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David Aldridge

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Name brand college stars Jimmer Fredette (left) and Kemba Walker are on the rise in DA's latest mock.
NBAE via Getty Images

Mock Draft: Fredette, Walker moving up


Posted Jun 13 2011 9:13AM - Updated Jun 13 2011 2:37PM

I have been thoroughly, completely Mocked.

The experience of my first mock draft a month ago made me believe, even more than I did before, that this is a total crapshoot and should be taken with a stiff drink, preferably a brown one. What amazes me is how seriously all of you take what is, essentially, a series of guesses stitched together with pieces of information that are, hopefully, honestly delivered.

In my first mock, I had Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette rated, shall we say, lower than others. It wasn't because I believed they weren't good players or didn't have a chance to become good pros. But you take the information you have at the time and take a whack at it. In subsequent weeks more info makes for different opinions and choices, and thus Walker and Fredette have moved up on the first-round board. That doesn't make these guesses any more prophetic (or accurate) than the last ones.

You'll also notice a few changes to the Big Board based on workouts, interviews and the words of the folks I trust most about these things in the college and pro hoops communities: coaches, scouts, GMs, team execs and others who are way smarter than I am. Enjoy. And if you don't enjoy, you know the address: daldridgetnt@gmail.com.

David Aldridge's Mock Draft No. 2

June 13, 2011

1 Cleveland Cavaliers | Kyrie Irving | PG | Duke

Sat down with the young man in Miami for a piece that will air before the Draft on NBA-TV. He's not your typical teenager, let's put it that way. But he can play, and he's the best point guard available this year in a league where point guards have taken over.


2 Minnesota Timberwolves | Derrick Williams | SF-PF | Arizona

Minnesota's telling so many teams so many different things no one knows for sure how serious the Wolves are about anything. But whether they make this pick or someone else does, the consensus is that Williams is the guy, the surest thing for the greatest number of teams. If Minny keeps the pick, it can sell Williams and Ricky Rubio as a franchise-changing package.


3 Utah Jazz | Brandon Knight | G | Kentucky

A pick made with much trepidation. The whole civilized world has Utah going for a guard here, and the Jazz, supposedly, are in love with Knight. I am not sure of this for three reasons: 1) Utah has no idea what it's going to do yet. The Jazz has four major workouts with Draft prospects between now and the 23rd, including Wednesday's guard matchup with Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette, which Knight -- at least for now -- is not going to attend; 2) Kevin O'Connor, the Jazz GM, wouldn't tell anybody what he's really thinking at this point even if he's made up his mind, and 3) I know how much O'Connor values size and toughness, and it's hard to see him passing up all of the quality bigs that are available. It also wouldn't surprise if Utah moves back if it really wants a guard; perhaps to six, where it could still take Knight or Walker and get an extra first-round pick out of the deal (Washington would package 6 and 18 to move up).


4 Cleveland Cavaliers | Enes Kanter | C | Turkey

The Wizards could also try and move up to this spot to take Kanter, but it's not going to be easy to convince the Cavs to pass up on someone so talented and physical to pair with Irving.


5 Toronto Raptors | Kemba Walker | G | Connecticut

Walker Lovers, rejoice: I repent my sins. Too many NBA types insist that Walker can not only play the point in the pros, but can play it well. If so, his expansive scoring ability may be too big for the Raptors to pass up, creating a potentially explosive backcourt with DeMar DeRozan. GM Bryan Colangelo also needs a sure thing after barely surviving a bid from one of Toronto's ownership groups to oust him.


6 Washington Wizards | Jonas Valanciunas | C | Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)

Assuming Kanter is off the board, the Wizards would be delighted if the young, hard-charging Lithuanian is still there. Washington needs wings, and there are significant questions about the not-yet-completed buyout agreement between Valanciunas and his current team that would allow him to come to the NBA. (The latest rumor last weekend said it could be as much as $3 million.) But size still matters, and the Wizards have Valanciunas rated slightly ahead of Jan Vesely, from what I'm told. He is scheduled to meet with teams today at the adidas Eurocamp in Italy.


7 Sacramento Kings | Jan Vesely | F-C | Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)

Originally had the Kings taking a guard here, but I didn't factor in the development of Marcus Thornton at the end of last season, which has Sac convinced he can be solid at the two, which means there's no need to move Tyreke Evans over from the point. If Evans, Thornton (a restricted free agent) and Beno Udrih are the Kings' three-guard rotation, then they can address other needs, like small forward -- which Vesely can play. And GM Geoff Petrie has never been shy about drafting overseas talent.


8 Detroit Pistons | Kawhi Leonard | F | San Diego State

Pistons will try to re-sign Tayshaun Prince, but it's not just up to them, and if Prince wants to walk, Detroit will need a three to replace him. (Just a thought: doesn't a sign-and-trade between the Pistons and Clippers, with Compton-born Prince going home to L.A. and Grand Rapids-born Chris Kaman going to Detroit make too much sense not to happen? The Clips desperately need a veteran presence in their locker room, as well as a three, and the Pistons could use a center that would allow them to move emerging Greg Monroe to power forward. Trade for Kaman, take Leonard at eight and, voila! A frontcourt is born.)


9 Charlotte Bobcats | Tristan Thompson | F | Texas

Big upside potential at power forward as he fills out and gets stronger to go with one of the best motors coming into the league. Also impressive during team interviews.


10 Milwaukee Bucks | Bismack Biyombo | F-C | Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (Spain)

Bucks could go for the safe pick and take a shooting guard, but Biyombo's defensive skill set is right up Scott Skiles' alley. It also won't hurt to have some big man insurance in case Andrew Bogut isn't completely back next season from that gruesome April, '10 fall. (And don't worry about his supposedly poor workout on Saturday in Italy; he's not going to make his living in the NBA shooting jumpers.)


11 Golden State Warriors | Alec Burks | G | Colorado

Lots of mocks have Warriors taking Washington's Klay Thompson, but if the Warriors are indeed going to move Monta Ellis and open up minutes at shooting guard, Burks' skills might be a better fit in a backcourt with Steph Curry than Thompson's.


12 Utah Jazz | Klay Thompson | G | Washington State

Thanks, says the Jazz, who will happily take ex-Laker Mychal Thompson's kid, a flat-out scorer who addresses a key Utah need.


13 Phoenix Suns | Chris Singleton | F | Florida State

If defense is indeed the new buzzword in the PHX, Singleton fits the bill, with incredible length and defensive pedigree. The offense will come.


14 Houston Rockets | Donatas Motiejunas | F | Benetton Treviso (Italy)

New coach Kevin McHale's strength is working with bigs, and Motiejunas was top-10 ranked much of the last few months. With Yao Ming likely done, Hasheem Thabeet still a major question mark and Chuck Hayes a free agent, the Rockets need to start thinking about their frontcourt future.


15 Indiana Pacers | Jimmer Fredette | G | BYU

Although Fredette is tailor made for Mike D'Antoni's system in New York (No. 17), and could become a big star in Gotham, he probably doesn't get past a Pacers team that needs another guard in the rotation with Darren Collison and Mike Dunleavy (assuming the veteran free-agent returns to Indy). Having the Jimmer in the 'Nap might sell a few tickets, too. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


16 Philadelphia 76ers | Trey Thompkins | F | Georgia

Follow the logic bomb: if the Sixers trade Andre Iguodala, they'd likely move Thaddeus Young into the starting small forward spot, which would open minutes behind Elton Brand at power forward or Spencer Hawes at center, which is where Thompkins comes in.


17 New York Knicks | Markieff Morris | PF | Kansas

The size-challenged Knicks could use a potentially big-time rebounder like Morris to work his way into their rotation and give Amar'e Stoudemire some help on the glass.


18 Washington Wizards | Tobias Harris | F | Tennessee

Could become a terrific wing in the pros and could become a starter quickly for the Wizards, who don't have many good options at the position right now.


19 Charlotte Bobcats | Jordan Hamilton | SF | Texas

With Boris Diaw coming off a disappointing season at small forward, the Bobcats will be looking for a player to either light a fire under the veteran or take his spot. Hamilton could do either. Assuming the Bobcats go for a big at nine, they'll have re-created their forward positions within an hour on Draft night.


20 Minnesota Timberwolves | Nolan Smith | G | Duke

Again, I don't think there's any chance this pick is Minnesota's by Draft night; the Wolves have 731 young players on their roster and don't need another. In case a miracle happens, though, a solid citizen like Smith would be a low-maintenance guy who'd help solidify the Wolves guard rotation and facilitate a trade of Jonny Flynn.


21 Portland Trail Blazers | Malcolm Lee | G | UCLA

Blazers need to start grooming Andre Miller's replacement, and Lee's ability to play both guard positions would also help in case Brandon Roy has to become more of a part-time player the next couple of seasons. Ex-Bruins also seem to blossom once they get to the pros.


22 Denver Nuggets | Kenneth Faried | F | Morehead State

The nation's leading rebounder would be a solid addition to a Nuggets team that's filled with wings and could use some bulk just in case re-signing Kenyon Martin becomes problematic.


23 Houston Rockets | Tyler Honeycutt | F | UCLA

Rockets need a long-term replacement for the recently departed Shane Battier, and Honeycutt's defensive skill set and length could be intriguing to a basketball sabrematrician like Daryl Morey.


24 Oklahoma City Thunder | Nikola Vucevic | C | USC

Kendrick Perkins is nowhere close to 100 percent, so depth up front early next season (assuming we start on time) will be a Thunder priority. Vucevic could handle a few minutes next season.


25 Boston Celtics | Jordan Williams | C | Maryland

Worked off the pounds in Las Vegas under trainer/coach to the stars Joe Abunassar and has made himself into a legitimate first-rounder. Celtics' need for big men is now imperative with Shaq retired, Jermaine O'Neal near the end of his career and Nenad Krstic on his way to Russia next season.


26 Dallas Mavericks | Marcus Morris | PF | Kansas

Can play either forward position and provide the defending champions with frontcourt depth and scoring off the bench when Dirk needs a blow. Could get more run than expected if, for some reason, free agent Caron Butler doesn't return.


27 New Jersey Nets | Travis Leslie | G | Georgia

Potentially explosive backcourt-mate for Deron Williams would be an excellent value pick for the Nets at the end of the first round.


28 Chicago Bulls | Josh Selby | G | Kansas

You have a feeling that Selby will be a much more productive player in the pros than in his one season in Lawrence. Playing next to Derrick Rose, he would get an awful lot of open looks and single coverage.


29 San Antonio Spurs | Jeremy Tyler | Tokyo Apache (Japan)

We don't know if Tyler will ever reach his physical potential and emotional maturity, but we do know that he would probably get his best opportunity to do so with the all-business Spurs.


30 Chicago Bulls | Marshon Brooks | G | Providence

I'll be stunned if the Bulls still have this pick a week and a half from now, but for the purposes of this exercise, let's say they opt for a combo guard who can help give Rose a blow from time to time.


Longtime NBA reporter and columnist David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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