With the June 13 date to withdraw from the NBA draft and the adidas Eurocamp behind us, we are now just a week from when the selections will be made.
The draft remains fluid at this point. Teams are still engaged in the workout process and are beginning to narrow down their lists, but the final draft order is still far from certain.
"Good luck with your mock draft," one GM said to me as he was departing Treviso, Italy. "I'll be interested in seeing who we are taking since I still don't know."
Here's our most informed take, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, about how the draft might play out June 23.
(via L.A. Clippers)
Weight: 191 pounds
Analysis: There have been a lot of interesting theories floating around the past week about why Cleveland won't be taking Irving No. 1. I still don't buy it. The Cavs have been shopping Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions hard in the past week.
Williams is still in the picture here at No. 1 in part because the Cavs feel they could get a very good point guard (either Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker) at No. 4 ... but sources continue to stress that it's Irving's to lose.
Analysis: Still hearing that the Wolves are hoping they can get a great offer for the No. 2 pick. But if they don't they'll just take Williams and work out the rest this summer via trades. If they get Williams, Michael Beasley could be gone by the time next season starts.
(via New Jersey)
Analysis: Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker are both possibilities at guard. Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas and Jan Vesely will also get a look here. The Jazz have a huge workout on June 15 when Walker and Jimmer Fredette are expected to work out for them.
Knight will come in at some point too, though he still seems to be refusing to work out with Walker or Fredette. While it's still possible the Jazz go big with this pick and select either a player like Kanter, Valanciunas or Vesely -- they're likely to try to select a franchise point guard if either Knight or Walker blows them away. If Fredette wins the battle on the 15th ... that could push the Jazz to go big here and try to nab Fredette with the 12th pick.
Analysis: I've had Kanter in this position since Mock Draft 1.0, but it's time to make the biggest change I've made to our board. From what I gather, the Cavs appear to be cooling a bit on Kanter and warming to Valanciunas.
Vesely and Leonard are in the picture too and would both be good fits. But this may be the Cavs' only chance to draft a legit 7-foot center. Valanciunas is raw, but he has big upside.
Country: Czech Republic
Analysis: Bryan Colangelo could go a number of directions here. He has strong interest in both Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker. If Knight is on the board, I think he doesn't get past here. If just Walker is here, the question for Colangelo is what to do with Leandro Barbosa and Jerryd Bayless. Both players are similar to Walker.
The Raptors could go with an international player such as Kanter, Valanciunas, Vesely or Bismack Biyombo. Of the four, sources say, Vesely is the highest on their board.
Analysis: The Wizards know they aren't taking a point guard -- not with John Wall in the fold. So the questions are: Who's the best player on the board and what do they need? The Wizards are very high on Vesely, but in this mock he's off the board.
Kawhi Leonard is an option. He brings toughness, defense and versatility to a team that can use all three attributes. But the Wizards are really looking for rebounding help up front and Kanter is a very good fit here. He's tough, he isn't afraid to be physical and he has good size. Tristan Thompson is a dark horse here as well.
School: San Diego State
Analysis: If the draft plays out this way, the Kings could go in three different directions. They could go with Leonard, who would help solve a major need at small forward or they could choose between Walker and Fredette at the point. We've had Walker in this position for weeks, but mostly because we've had Leonard off the board.
Fredette, as we've been writing for the past two weeks, is the dark horse here. The Maloof brothers love him and he's probably a better fit in the Kings' backcourt than Walker. If Leonard is off the board, Fredette could be the pick.
Analysis: For the past few weeks, we've had the Pistons taking Valanciunas, but with Valanciunas now going No. 4, it looks like the Pistons will be down to three prospects: Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson and Bismack Biyombo.
Walker is the safe pick, though he doesn't actually fill a major need. Thompson has upside. And, from what I gather, the team is still very high on Biyombo. The Pistons know how to develop a defensive stopper like him and I'm told their trip to Spain to see him went well.
Still, at the end of the day, I think the Pistons draft the best player available, Walker, and look at moving Rodney Stuckey to the 2.
Analysis: The Bobcats haven't been the greatest drafters the past few years. Michael Jordan is determined to change that. The thinking in Charlotte is to not take big risks. To go with a proven product. To aim at the double instead of the home run.
Morris, with his versatility, toughness and Kansas pedigree is a very good option. Klay Thompson, Chris Singleton and Jordan Hamilton are all in the mix as well.
School: Washington St.
Analysis: I think this pick likely comes down to Thompson and Alec Burks. They play the same position, but have different strengths. Thompson is a shooter, Burks is a slasher.
With the Bucks telling me pretty strongly that they're holding on to Brandon Jennings as their point guard, and with the team making a strong drive to get back in the playoffs, I think Thompson is a better fit.
11. Golden State
Analysis: Jerry West is a fan of Klay Thompson and would likely select him if he's still on the board. But if he and Marcus Morris are off the board, the Warriors could be the team that takes a chance on Biyombo. The team desperately needs to improve its defense, shot-blocking and rebounding. Biyombo has the tools to do that right away.
School: Florida State
Analysis: We've had Singleton here for weeks and we're not moving him unless the Jazz draft a forward with the No. 3 pick. With Andrei Kirilenko heading into free agency, the Jazz are going to want a defensive stopper who can guard multiple positions.
Tristan Thompson, Jimmer Fredette and Alec Burks are all possibilities here too.
Analysis: The Suns are in that awkward spot between pushing for the playoffs and rebuilding. Lon Babby says the team will be emphasizing defense and Tristan Thompson could be a solid direction to go.
But if Burks is on the board, he may be very hard to pass up on. He has star potential if he ever learns how to shoot. With Vince Carter likely out of the picture in Phoenix, Burks also fits a need.
Analysis: Could Vucevic really go this high? That's the word among a number of NBA GMs who are raving about his workouts. Some have argued that the differences between him and Enes Kanter are very slim.
With the Rockets in desperate need of some size in the paint, Vucevic could be the answer. He's not the world's greatest athlete, but he is skilled, has an NBA body and is ready to play now.
School: Brigham Young
Analysis: The Pacers could go a number of different ways here, but for the third straight week I think Fredette will be their man. There's a good chance that Jimmer is off the board when they draft, but if he's here, he'll be very hard to pass up.
Tristan Thompson and Markieff Morris are all also serious options here as well if both are still on the board.
Analysis: Thompson could go as high as No. 5 or No. 6. But he also could slide. Just about every team I spoke to likes him a lot, but I've yet to find the team that's fallen in love. I doubt he slips further than this though. The Sixers need more size, toughness and rebounding. Thompson provides all three. Jordan Hamilton and Markieff Morris are also options here.
17. New York
Analysis: The Knicks are really hoping that either Klay Thompson or Jimmer Fredette fall to them. But if they don't, watch out for Brooks. He had a great workout in New York, has the sort of swagger that Knicks guards need and the Knicks were wowed by his ability to pass the ball too.
Brooks, at 22, doesn't have the upside of a guy like Josh Selby, but his size advantage is big and so is his ability to step in and play right away.
Analysis: Hamilton is often compared to Wizards small forward Rashard Lewis. Both are big men with sweet strokes that can catch fire. But with Lewis on the back end of his career and the Wizards actively shopping him, I don't think the team will shy away from adding another scorer to put around John Wall.
(via New Orleans)
Analysis: The Bobcats have needs just about everywhere and Morris should be a good fit. He's strong, he's defensive minded, he rebounds and he blocks shots. He's a bit undersized to play the 5, but his ability to stretch the floor will be welcomed.
Analysis: The Wolves have the best group of international scouts in the NBA and if Motiejunas falls this far, I think they'd snap him up here. He's an aggressive scorer and has size -- two things the Wolves could use in the post.
Marshon Brooks, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Mirotic and Charles Jenkins are also possibilities.
School: Morehead State
Analysis: The Blazers fell in love with Faried last year before he withdrew from the draft. If they are fortunate enough to get a second chance at him this year, they'll grab him. His relentlessness on the boards is a nice complement to LaMarcus Aldridge's more offensive-minded style.
Markieff Morris, Tobias Harris, Darius Morris, Reggie Jackson are other players to watch.
Analysis: Harris may be one of the more underrated players in the draft. He can play both the 3 and 4, and he has a very high basketball IQ and an NBA body. Harris doesn't do any one thing at an elite level, but he is one of the most well-rounded players in the draft.
Charles Jenkins, Iman Shumpert and Tyler Honeycutt are other possibilities here.
Analysis: We have the Rockets going big with pick No. 14 and we have them going big again at No. 23. Morris is a different kind of big. He's a point guard who towers over the competition. If he were a better shooter he'd be going much, much higher in the draft. But at this point he's a steal.
24. Oklahoma City
Analysis: Sam Presti is an opportunist, and he is patient -- two critical traits in a great GM. Mirotic, based on talent, is a lottery pick. But a massive buyout means he won't be playing in the NBA anytime soon. Mirotic shocked NBA teams by deciding to stay in the draft.
It will likely take him three years to actually make it to the NBA, but given the talent level, the Thunder could be getting a major steal down the road. If Mirotic is off the board, Davis Bertans and Bogan Bogdanovic are possibilities.
Team: Tokyo Apache
Analysis: The Celtics are going to start rebuilding soon and they need to hit a home run again the same way they did with Rajon Rondo. Tyler could be that guy. If he had played in college, he might have had a chance to be a top-10 pick with his talent.
He's long, athletic and raw, but if he succeeds, he could be a major pickup for the Celtics. JaJuan Johnson, Justin Harper and Jon Leuer are also possibilities.
Analysis: The Mavs have won the title, but now it's time to begin thinking about the future. While the Mavs may have one more long run in those veteran legs, it's unlikely. Selby, like Tyler, could be a home run if he's developed right. His ability to get to the basket is really unmatched.
27. New Jersey
(via L.A. Lakers)
School: Boston College
Analysis: Yes, the Nets have Deron Williams. But he's not a sure thing to stay in New Jersey after next season. Even if he does, Jackson would be a terrific backup and a player who could play off the ball in certain situations.
Had he not had a knee injury when the predraft process began, he could've gone much higher. He's great value here. Justin Harper, Tyler Honeycutt, JaJuan Johnson and Jeremy Tyler are all options here too.
Analysis: Harper was one of the best stretch 4s in college basketball last season. He also has size and is a pretty good athlete. The Bulls need perimeter shooting and Harper should be able to give them some.
Charles Jenkins, Tyler Honeycutt and Jeremy Tyler are also possibilities.
29. San Antonio
Analysis: The Spurs have done a good job over the years of finding young international players and stashing them overseas for a few years until they're ready.
Bertans showed he can be a big-time shooter at the Nike Hoop Summit and adidas Eurocamp. At 18, he's worth taking a flier on and seeing what he can accomplish after another year or two in Europe.
Analysis: The Bulls need scorers in their backcourt and ultimately need to find a backup for Derrick Rose at point guard. Honeycutt wasn't a dominating scorer in college, but his versatility should make him a nice fit in Chicago.
Next Five In: JaJuan Johnson, F, Purdue; Charles Jenkins, G, Hofstra; Nolan Smith, G, Duke; Jordan Williams, F/C, Maryland; Chandler Parsons, F, Florida