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David Aldridge

Will Congolese big man Bismack Biyombo end up being a Top 5 pick?
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Mock Draft: Last-minute shifting before the big night

Posted Jun 23 2011 10:15AM

My last shot at Mockery.

The last month has proven to me, unequivocally, what I already suspected: trying to predict what 30 lying people will do when they stop telling their lies is impossible. Like trying to catch Jello from a third-floor window.

Every minute, there is new "information" that takes hours to track down, to debunk or to believe. Either way, everything changes, day after day. All you can do is take your best shot in the dark and hope you hit something. The only saving grace is that this will soon be over. I never thought I'd look forward to getting back to labor talk.

But the Draft matters. For one night, NBA hoopheads can dream that their teams will get better, or make that one trade that will make a difference next June, and that they can someday be where the Mavericks are now. It's not as bad as people make it out to be; there will be a half-dozen unlikely stars to come out of the '11 Draft, just as there are every year. And no matter how many years you do this, to see the emotion of the young men and their families seeing their collective dreams come true is compelling television.

Just don't ask me to tell you what comes next. Or, first.

David Aldridge's Mock Draft No. 2

June 23, 2011

1 Cleveland Cavaliers | Kyrie Irving | PG | Duke

Don't believe these last-second "concerns" about Irving's toe. Everyone that matters has checked him out, and he's good to go. People will find out fast how good this kid is.

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

Don't think Wolves have anything serious cooking for the pick, and if they keep it, it's to take Williams. They'll worry about what it means for Michael Beasley and the others later.

3 Utah Jazz | Brandon Knight | G | Kentucky

I have gone back and forth on this because I think the Jazz have gone back and forth. In the end, Knight's total package will be hard to pass up, even though Utah doesn't have a crying need at the position.

4 Cleveland Cavaliers | Enes Kanter | C | Turkey

He likes them, they like him, and he'll be an effective scorer and passer out of the post for years to come. You come out of one Draft with your 1 and 5 of the future, that's a good night's work.

5 Toronto Raptors | Bismack Biyombo | F | Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (Spain)

Thought Kemba Walker was a solid fit here, wrote it and said it on NBA TV Wednesday afternoon. But late word Wednesday night had Raptors very interested in off-the-charts defensive potential of the young Congolese center. Assuaged concerns about less-than-stellar workout earlier this month for NBA types in Italy with strong workouts this week in Detroit and Charlotte.

6 Washington Wizards | Jan Vesely | F | Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)

Wizards would love to take Jonas Valanciunas, but his buyout situation with his Lithuanian team -- likely keeping him there at least one season, and maybe two -- makes pulling the trigger difficult. Vesely runs and finishes as well as any big man in Draft, an important consideration with John Wall running the show. If Washington's smart it will give up the ghost that Vesely is a three and put his 6-foot-10 butt at power forward to give Seven-Day Dray (Andre Blatche) some real competition.

7 Sacramento Kings | Kawhi Leonard | F | San Diego St.

See Washington. With all the uncertainty about whether the Kings will stay in town after next season, they can't take a flier on Valanciunas, either, and I just don't see Kemba Walker as a good fit with Tyreke Evans. Leonard's not a great shooter but he can guard multiple positions.

8 Detroit Pistons | Chris Singleton | F | Florida St.

A lot of chatter about the great workouts Biyombo and Markieff Morris had for the Pistons on Tuesday. While I love my guys in the 313, I think they were advertising a pick for sale if you want to move up and grab Valanciunas or Kemba Walker (Knicks are desperately trying to move up) more than indicating interest in either big. If the Pistons still have it Thursday night, though, they'll have to take a guy who can play now. Singleton's defensive potential would be hard to pass up.

9 Charlotte Bobcats | Kemba Walker | G | Connecticut

As one of my guys said in comparing Walker and Brandon Knight: "Do you like chocolate, or do you like fudge? They're both good." Michael Jordan supposedly was impressed by how Walker led the Huskies to the Big East title and then to the national championship while his young teammates learned how to play in the spotlight.

10 Milwaukee Bucks | Klay Thompson | G | Washington St.

League's 30th-ranked offense (91.8 ppg) this season goes for the country's ninth-leading scorer to get the points rolling at Bradley Center.

11 Golden State Warriors | Tristan Thompson | F | Texas

For all the talk about how the Warriors have take a two, they'd have no problem with a good, hard-working big man coming to town. (But I still think they'll deal Monta Ellis before the start of next season.)

12 Utah Jazz | Jonas Valanciunas | C | Lietuvos Rytas

If he falls this far, it is a function of the uncertainty of the buyout and nothing else; he is viewed by many as, potentially, the best player in this Draft. Jazz could also be making this pick for someone else trading up; there are a half-dozen teams (Houston, New York, New Jersey, Denver, Miami and San Antonio) all working hard to move up in the first round.

13 Phoenix Suns | Jimmer Fredette | G | BYU

There is buzz about the Suns and Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert, but I think that's a message to the Knicks and other teams intrigued by the defense-first guard. Hard to believe ownership isn't hounding the front office to take a high-scoring, high-motor, high-profile guy like The Jimmer who can generate interest in the PHX and pave the way for Steve Nash's eventual departure.

14 Houston Rockets | Nikola Vucevic | C | USC

Moving fast up the Draft charts, Vucevic is a legit center prospect in a year when there aren't many, and a great lump of clay for new coach Kevin McHale to try and mold.

15 Indiana Pacers | Alec Burks | G | Colorado

Teams in the teens are thinking Burks might be available after all, and the Pacers would be delighted if he fell this far to add to their Hibbert-George-Hansbrough-Granger-Collison nucleus.

16 Philadelphia 76ers | Marcus Morris | F | Kansas

Will score from either forward position and is a safe, low-risk pick for a team looking to add big man depth.

17 New York Knicks | Markieff Morris | F-C | Kansas

If Knicks can't move into top 10, Markieff Morris is NBA-ready right now to play minutes at power forward and center. Will rebound at a high clip.

18 Washington Wizards | Tyler Honeycutt | F | UCLA

The idea is to surround John Wall with as many athletes and finishers as possible, and Honeycutt is a wildly athletic fellow who gained some of those hops playing volleyball.

19 Charlotte Bobcats | Kenneth Faried | F | Morehead St.

Bobcats have told teams they're holding onto this pick, and the NCAA's all-time leading rebounder would be a logical reason why.

20 Minnesota Timberwolves | Reggie Jackson | G | Boston College

Have a feeling this will be Miami's pick by Thursday, for $3 million in cash and the 31st pick (which the Wolves could re-route elsewhere if they get frisky about a bigger deal). Call it a quid pro quo for Minnesota taking Beasley's contract around this time last season, without which the SuperFriends would never have been able to get together.

21 Portland Trail Blazers | Malcolm Lee | G | UCLA

With Paul Allen's financial wherewithal, who knows what picks the Blazers will wind up with by night's end? But for now, let's give them this one, with which they can pick a strong defender and improving offensive player that can replace Andre Miller in a year or two.

22 Denver Nuggets | MarShon Brooks | G | Providence

The Nuggets are trying to move up as well and have better assets (Ray Felton and this pick) than most of the other teams. But if they move Felton, and don't re-sign J.R. Smith (a reasonable assumption), Brooks would step right into Denver's guard rotation with Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo.

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

With Yao Ming almost certainly gone and Brad Miller out at least six months following knee surgery, the Rockets need all the size they can find. If someone as talented as Motiejunas, who was projected as a top 10 pick just a couple of months ago, is still here, they'd be delighted.

24 Oklahoma City Thunder | Iman Shumpert | G | Georgia Tech

Keep hearing that the Thunder are in the market for a guard. I don't know if it's because they're going to trade Eric Maynor or ... someone else. But Shumpert's stock has been rising for the last few weeks, with teams as high as the late lottery expressing interest.

25 Boston Celtics | Jordan Williams | C | Maryland

Ray Allen is probably entering his last season in Boston, but the Celtics' need for size outweighs all the wing players that are still available.

26 Dallas Mavericks | Tobias Harris | F | Tennessee

Talented offensive performer has to show he can guard people, but he'd be a reasonable gamble for the defending champions just in case they don't re-sign Caron Butler.

27 New Jersey Nets | Jordan Hamilton | F | Texas

Maturity and consistency are the issue, but talent is not. Nets trying to move up, though, and have several possible scenarios from small to multi-team deals on the burner.

28 Chicago Bulls | Justin Harper | F | Richmond

One thing the Bulls couldn't do consistently enough against Miami was score, especially from the perimeter. Harper's stroke is as good as any big man in the country.

29 San Antonio Spurs | Nolan Smith | G | Duke

Pop's kind of player. And in case the Spurs do wind up moving Tony Parker, George Hill could use some backup. Or, Parker could use a backup in case the Spurs move Hill.

30 Chicago Bulls | Darius Morris | G | Michigan

Still think the Bulls will deal one (both?) of their picks before the night is done, so Morris may not have time to put the Bulls' cap on. But the Big Ten's assist leader last season could give Derrick Rose a rest from time to time. Has improved his stock with good workouts.

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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