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Scott Howard-Cooper

Mocked out: At No. 3, Jazz eye Turkish center Kanter


Posted Jun 23 2011 3:20PM

Pencils down. My final mock of 2011:

1 Cleveland Cavaliers | Kyrie Irving | G | Duke

No. 1 on the list on lottery night, No. 1 on Draft night. Irving is clearly the player with the most star potential in the Draft -- and he's a point guard. He also handles himself very well for someone who just finished his freshman year of college, so leading the turnaround in Cleveland won't weigh him down.


2 Minnesota Timberwolves | Derrick Williams | F | Arizona

The Timberwolves pick here for now, at least. The pick has been in play since lottery night and, much like Irving to the Cavaliers, there is a clear consensus around the league that Minnesota goes Williams if it keeps the choice. The other option is the Timberwolves dealing a player already on the roster and definitely using this, or trading No. 20.


3 Utah Jazz | Enes Kanter | C | Turkey

More mockers in recent days try to make it seem as if Kanter going to the Jazz (instead of Brandon Knight) is a late development. Wrong. Knight is still in the picture, as is Jan Vesely, the athletic small forward who has been compared to Andrei Kirilenko and could now become Kirilenko's replacement.


4 Cleveland Cavaliers | Jonas Valanciunas | C | Lithuania

Yes, even if he can't play in the NBA in 2011-12 because of his contract in Lithuania. The Cavs and their fans may need patience for a year, but that's a lot better than needing a center for many years. While Valanciunas may not be a dominating, All-Star regular, some executives think he can be an anchor inside in a way unlike anyone else available.


5 Toronto Raptors | Brandon Knight | G | Kentucky

If Knight goes 3 to the Jazz, watch Toronto go all in by taking Bismack Biyombo in a high-risk, high-reward move. While Knight's basketball potential is the obvious appeal, his personality is as well. He comes across very well in interviews and got good grades in school, and the NCAA tournament answered everything about how he wants the ball with the pressure on.


6 Washington Wizards | Jan Vesely | F | Czech Republic

Washington almost certainly goes front court with the player that falls to them from among Valanciunas, Kanter or Vesely. (Williams won't get this far.) Kawhi Leonard is also in the mix.


7 Sacramento Kings | Kemba Walker | G | Connecticut

Walker has been getting a lot of credit around the league for workouts that show him to be more of a distributing point guard than a scoring point, the role he was asked to play at UConn. That's an important distinction for a team that already has Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins and needs someone that can deliver the ball, not monopolize it. It's just as important that Walker is a great leader, something sorely lacking in the locker room.


8 Detroit Pistons | Alec Burks | G | Colorado

The top true shooting guard available excels in the open court and is good at getting others involved. The power forwards -- Tristan Thompson, Marcus Morris, Biyombo -- are also possibilities, with the obvious drawback that the Pistons already have Greg Monroe. The defense and rebounding of Biyombo (in particular), plus his ability to guard some centers because of his strength and athleticism, could make that combination work.


9 Charlotte Bobcats | Bismack Biyombo | F | Congo

Think Michael Jordan has put his name on the line with some past picks? This would be a greater risk at the time of the selection than any of the others, given the uncertainty over Biyombo's impact. So what that Rod Higgins and Rich Cho head basketball ops? The unavoidable conclusion is that the best center on the roster is Kwame Brown, and he is about to become a free agent. Biyombo next to Tyrus Thomas would be incredibly athletic. The Bobcats are also one of the top candidates to trade out of the lottery.


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

Milwaukee is going offense, which is why Donatas Motiejunas, Jordan Hamilton and Burks have also been on the radar. Thompson is size for the backcourt, at 6-foot-7, to play alongside Brandon Jennings, and offers the shooting the Bucks desperately need.


11 Golden State Warriors | Chris Singleton | F | Florida State

The Dubs would love Thompson to still be here. But Singleton has been moving up the board with workouts that have shown he can be more than a one-dimensional defensive standout. He is a particularly good fit for a team that claims it is committed to getting better at stopping the ball.


12 Utah Jazz | Jimmer Fredette | G | BYU

If Valanciunas does begin a free fall, a possibility, it ends here and Utah walks away beaming at its good fortune. The other factor is what the Jazz do at 3. If they take Knight, they won't take another guard in the lottery and the storybook outcome of Fredette moving from Provo to Salt Lake City ends.


13 Phoenix Suns | Tristan Thompson | F | Texas

Thompson is a top-10 possibility as a nonstop worker on the boards who particularly excels on offensive rebounding. The Suns have to take the best big available, not the best player available. Don't they? Marcus Morris is also a possibility.


14 Houston Rockets | Kawhi Leonard | F | San Diego St.

Leonard is the great floater, with the potential to go as high as six or as low as the teens. Opinions are that split. But Houston, unable to go center here and get close to value, would have to feel good getting him.


15 Indiana Pacers | Donatas Motiejunas | F | Benetton Treviso

Montiejunas is a very skilled offensive player with size and athleticism, with the worrisome knock that he avoids contact. The Pacers need that punch with the ball.


16 Philadelphia 76ers | Jordan Hamilton| F | Texas

Andre Igoudala has a very uncertain future in Philadelphia and Hamilton is good enough to get serious looks in the lottery. The questions are about his drive. He says he is fully engaged and that there is no issue. No one doubts his potential to become a top scoring threat.


17 New York Knicks | Marcus Morris | F | Kansas

Power forward isn't a pressing need in New York, an obvious drawback to the pick. But Morris is being talked about by some for the second half of the lottery and is so solid that most everyone around the league sees him having a long career. That's not a bad selling point this late.


18 Washington Wizards | MarShon Brooks | G | Providence

Washington goes frontcourt in the lottery and follows with a scorer-shooter at 18. Kyle Singler is another possibility here.


19 Charlotte Bobcats | Nikola Vucevic | C | USC

Vucevic has had an incredible jump from understated Trojan big man to one of the fast risers of the last month. His stock was helped when the measurements came out at the Chicago pre-Draft camp and it turned out he was actually bigger than listed by his college team. But Vucevic also had good showings against Kansas and Texas during the season. In a very weak Draft for centers in particular, that is enough to get him into the teens.


20 Minnesota Timberwolves | Tyler Honeycutt | F | UCLA

Smooth player who does a lot of things well but nothing great could become a nice complementary piece and the latest UCLA product to go from underrated college player to important pro.


21 Portland Trail Blazers | Darius Morris | G | Michigan

One of the few true, playmaking point guards in the Draft, Morris has size and instincts. And the Blazers have a very uncertain future at the point.


22 Denver Nuggets | Kenneth Faried | F | Morehead St.

The relentless rebounder and defender who put up big numbers against good competition at small Morehead State will be an NBA success -- or crash through walls trying.


23 Houston Rockets | Jeremy Tyler | C | Tokyo Apache

Houston can go center here. Once considered a major prospect coming out of high school in San Diego, Tyler is working to reclaim that level of respect after disappointments as a pro in Israel and Japan..


24 Oklahoma City Thunder | Kyle Singler | F | Duke

Singler is one of the best options for a team that needs 3-point shooting, or any threat to draw defenses away from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.


25 Boston Celtics | Markieff Morris | F | Kansas

Though not considered as good as twin brother Marcus, Markieff has the same potential to become a dependable part of the rotation. He doesn't answer the pressing need for a center in Boston, but no one does at this stage.


26 Dallas Mavericks | Josh Selby | G | Kansas

He has the tools to be a serious offensive threat, but could be held back as a player without a position, too small for shooting guard and lacking the ability to be a full-time point guard. Being tutored by a veteran backcourt will help.


27 New Jersey Nets | Trey Thompkins | F | Georgia

Thompkins dropped quickly after showing to the Chicago pre-Draft camp out of shape and still having poor conditioning as he toured for individual workouts. A lot of heads are shaking around front offices. But he plays smart and has a skill set that is impossible to deny.


28 Chicago Bulls | Shelvin Mack | G | Butler

A combo guard who is aggressive and can score, he is versatile enough to force his way into any lineup, even one with Derrick Rose in the backcourt.


29 San Antonio Spurs | JaJuan Johnson | F | Purdue

Fluid big man who will do better in an open-court system than a system that will require him to consistently bang inside. The lack of muscle is a concern.


30 Chicago Bulls | Davis Bertans | F | Latvia

The shooting specialist expects to spend at least one more season in Europe. Then it's agreed. Bertans gets the needed playing time overseas he wouldn't receive in the NBA and Chicago doesn't have to bring in two guaranteed contracts from among the final three picks of the first round.

Second round
31 Miami Heat | Reggie Jackson| G | Boston College

Not a prototype PG, but the Heat, with a need at the position that would increase if Mike Bibby leaves as a free agent, don't require a typical distributor on a roster with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade handling the ball so much. Jackson has athleticism and an improving shot.


32 Cleveland Cavaliers | Justin Harper | F | Richmond

A power forward with very good range, in the Channing Frye mode, Harper would have a chance to help a team that finished 29th in the league in shooting.


33 Detroit Pistons | Chandler Parsons | F | Florida

Parsons is a nice offensive package of shooting, passing and ballhandling, with intangibles of experience at a major program and a high basketball IQ.


34 Washington Wizards | Nikola Mirotic | C | Montenegro

A contract in Spain that makes a buyout near impossible means Mirotic might not reach the NBA for two more seasons, and possibly longer. He would go much higher if not for that, making it a worthwhile investment in the second round.


35 Sacramento Kings | Malcolm Lee | F | UCLA

He has a chance to become one of the top defenders out of the Draft.


36 New Jersey Nets | Tobias Harris | F | Tennessee

The question is whether he has the athleticism to play small forward, his pro position after playing a lot of power forward in college. Harris is just 18 years old, so he has time to make the adjustment, and he already has a good feel for the game and a nice offensive attack.


37 L.A. Clippers | Charles Jenkins | F | Hofstra


A scorer who can hurt defenses from several parts of the court while also playing unselfishly.


38 Houston Rockets | Jordan Williams | F | Maryland

Houston needs size and Williams is 6-foot-9, 250 pounds and plays physical.


39 Charlotte Bobcats | Iman Shumpert | G | Georgia Tech

Shumpert has a chance to be a very good defender while using his athleticism to become an offensive threat.


40 Milwaukee Bucks | Jon Leuer | F | Wisconsin

It's not a pick for the locals. It's a pick for another potential boost for the offense, in this case a sharp-shooting big man who can handle well enough to move the ball.


41 L.A. Lakers | Travis Leslie| G | Georgia

The Lakers want to get more athletic. They don't come much more athletic than Leslie. Getting a consistent jumper would help secure a long NBA future.


42 Indiana Pacers | Norris Cole | G | Cleveland St.

Cole is not a standout in any one area, but he is solid in many.


43 Chicago Bulls | Nolan Smith | G | Duke

The toe injury that sent Kyrie Irving to the sideline became an unexpected showcase for Smith to move to point guard and show his versatility.


44 Golden State Warriors | Keith Benson | C | Oakland

Golden State goes for a shot blocker. It just happens to work out that Benson would be able to keep a lot of his college gear and fit in well in his adopted hometown.


45 New Orleans Hornets | DeAndre Liggins | G | Kentucky

An impact defensive player with good size for a shooting guard (6-foot-6 1/2, 200 pounds) and the ability to defend multiple positions.


46 L.A. Lakers | Andrew Goudelock | G | College of Charleston

The sleeper of the Draft. Goudelock made 41.2 percent of his threes and was able to create his own shot to score from other spots as well.


47 L.A. Clippers | Diante Garrett | G | Iowa St.

Pass-first point guard has good size (6-foot-5, 180 pounds) and a smooth game.


48 Atlanta Hawks | Jimmy Butler| F | Marquette

The MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament -- the top proving ground for prospects mostly trying to stick in the second round, or even reach the second round -- Butler fits in well with a team system and plays smart.


49 Memphis Grizzlies | David Lighty | G | Ohio St.

Once part of a Buckeyes recruiting class that included Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook, Lighty made a name for himself as a junior and senior. He makes very few mistakes with the ball.


50 Philadelpha 76ers | Rick Jackson | F | Syracuse

A physical power forward who averaged 10.3 rebounds, along with 13.1 points, as a senior.


51 Portland Trail Blazers | Demetri McCamey | G | Illinois

McCamey was second in the Big Ten and 10th in the nation in assists while also shooting 45.2 percent overall with range to the 3-point line.


52 Detroit Pistons | Jon Diebler | G | Ohio St.

Diebler has great range with ideal size (6-foot-6, 205 pounds), a combination that could allow him to carve out a career as a specialist.


53 Orlando Magic | Cory Joseph | G | Texas

Uses his quickness well to get into the lane, causing problems for defenses.


54 Cleveland Cavaliers | Jereme Richardson| F-G | Illinois

A good athlete who rebounds well for a wing and is best suited to an open-floor game.


55 Boston Celtics | Isaiah Thomas | G | Washington

Thomas runs a team well enough to offset the limitations at 5-foot-10. And he's got one of the best stories of the entire Draft class: He was named after Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas because his father lost a bet on a Pistons-Lakers game. If only the Knicks had a second-round pick.


56 L.A. Lakers | Bojan Bogdanovic | G | Croatia

The Lakers want someone to keep overseas. He shouldn't even get close to an airport heading across the Atlantic. No more Draft picks wanted. Stay away.


57 Dallas Mavericks | LaceDarius Dunn | G | Baylor

The Big 12 career scoring leader has range and a quick release.


58 L.A. Lakers | Scotty Hopson | G | Tennessee

Well established as a big-time athlete, Hopson's real development has been in improving his shooting percentage from 42.8 as a freshman to 45.2 as a junior.


59 San Antonio Spurs | Michael Dunigan | C | Estonia

A Chicago native who played two seasons at Oregon before spending 2010-11 with a team in Israel and with BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn in Estonia, Dunigan has the size and the shot-blocking ability to interest teams.


60 Sacramento Kings | Greg Smith | F | Fresno St.

Smith has huge hands -- easily the biggest among the 54 prospects who took physicals at the Chicago pre-Draft camp -- that allow him to grab balls others would miss.


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