Check out my last mock here.
I’m getting straight to business on this one. Rumors are flying, and I’m going to try to keep my readership, as far as a stretch it is for me to use that word, as plugged in as possible between this mock and the next/last one I do next week.
1. CLE (via LAC)—Kyrie Irving, PG Duke: ESPN reports the #1 overall pick is “Irving’s to lose.” The Cavs will bring Irving in for another workout and last-minute physical before they decide, but I’d be shocked if they went with anyone else.
2. MIN—Derrick Williams, PF Arizona: I think the T-Wolves are leaning toward keeping this pick, but it’s only like 60/40. There have been suitors for the pick. At one point we believe Danny Granger’s name was floated. Now it looks like Phoenix and/or Washington could be interested (knowing Kahn, the rumor that the Suns may trade Steve Nash for the pick, is probably sadly true). Sports Illustrated has reported that Charlotte is looking to move up, and the geniuses at Bleacherreport suggested they might be in play for the #2 pick. However it works, as Eminem says, it’s insane…it’s plain nuts. And you can never tell what David Kahn’s little brain is telling him. Just be prepared for Minny to either draft Williams and keep him (then later trade Michael Beasley, who will become immediately irrelevant), or draft Williams for someone else.
3. UTAH (via NJN)—Brandon Knight, PG Kentucky: SI reports that Brandon Knight’s refusal to work out against competition may cost him the #3 spot to Utah. But Enes Kanter refused to even accept an interview with Utah at the combine, then when he finally met with them to work out, he made them come to him. If it’s between the guy they’ve liked all along (Knight) and a guy who’s worth it, but who’s being a major prick, I’m guessing they go with the guy they’ve liked all along.
4. CLE—Enes Kanter, PF/C International: Kanter is scheduled to actually fly to Cleveland, one of only two cities he’ll travel to (the other being Minnesota, as he lobbies for the #2 overall pick) in what has to be the most unjustifiably arrogant pre-draft workout schedule ever. Kanter and Irving is an ideal scenario for the Cavs, and is probably the most likely one barring a trade up to #2.
5. TOR—Kemba Walker, PG Connecticut: Here’s what we know: Walker’s stock has been on a meteoric rise since the start of the NCAA tourney, he canceled (the later re-scheduled) a workout with Sacramento and the Raptors love him. Is #5 too high for him? Probably. But all the signs point to him being the guy here. He’ll most likely start his career on the bench, and eventually take over for the vastly overpaid Jose Calderon.
6. WAS—Jan Vesely, SF/PF International: I still think Vesely is the best bet to go to Washington. There are 2-3 lottery teams that like him, and according to Chad Ford (Twitter link unavailable) the Wizards are the ones most likely to take him. I think it’s a fine fit. Lately there’s been some buzz about Vesely being a “can’t miss” prospect, but I think he’s very clearly still a project.
7. SAC—Jimmer Fredette, PG Brigham Young: This is my first big shock of the draft. While I think the Suns believe they can land Fredette if Utah takes Brandon Knight at #3, and the Pacers will be right there to snag him up if they change their minds. But Sac-to just watched him light it up in a workout, and he provides, according to The Bee, everything the Kings need. While this is a reach for Fredette, it’s only a slight one. And he provides a lot of the same stuff as guys popularly linked to the Kings like Walker and Knight. Also, a little food for thought…Jimmer won’t even work out for Milwaukee, who picks as early as 10. Could he have already have gotten a promise from Sacramento?
8. DET—Jonas Valanciunas, C International: Valanciunas does not really address a specific need for the Pistons, but he’s too good to slip any further. Joe Dumars has been given a three-year leash to fix the Pistons, so he may not want to gamble on a European prospect who doesn’t currently have a buy-out clause. But he’s simply too good. Valanciunas has been slated as high as #1 by some more creative mockers. Getting him here would be a boon for Detroit, even if they have to leave him in Europe for a year or two.
9. CHA—Kawhi Leonard, SF San Diego State: Leonard is only working out with teams who pick within the top 9, so I’d bet this is his floor. I’m keeping him here for all the same reasons I had him here last mock (mainly because he’s basically Gerald Wallace with three-point range).
10. MIL—Marcus Morris, SF/PF Kansas: Both Charlotte and Milwaukee like the versatile Morris. With Charlotte going with Leonard, Morris falls to the Bucks, who are very interested. There’s a lot to like about Morris’s game, and how it translates to the pros. He could be a steal at #10.
11. GSW—Alec Burks, SG Colorado: Burks’s shoulder has checked out fine after bruising it in a Detroit workout. He now, according to his Twitter, considers himself a “top 10 lock.” This is close enough. I don’t see how he could slip any farther than #11, and if Golden State deals Monta Ellis, as the rumors indicate, Burks would be a seamless replacement. He’s the most NBA ready 19 year-old in the country. New boss Jerry West originally wanted Klay Thompson, but in this scenario Burks slips to him and it’s too good of a deal to pass up.
12. UTAH—Klay Thompson, SG Washington State: Everyone talks about how badly teams like the Knicks and Bobcats need shooting, but in this (suddenly very likely scenario) the Jazz need not only shooting, but wing depth. Thompson provides both, and could even be the starting-caliber two-guard the Jazz have been looking for seemingly since the Jeff Hornacek days. There’s no buzz in Utah about Thompson, but he’d be a good fit if he slipped to them here, especially after taking Knight at #3 (since Knight is not much of a pure shooter).
13. PHO—Tristan Thompson, PF Texas: The Suns are tight-lipped, as usual, but if they can’t have Jimmer, they may favor a post man, if you believe their GM. Phoenix has an obvious need for toughness along the front-line, and while Thompson is undersized, he provides a nice rebounding boost, especially on the offensive glass.
14. HOU—Bismack Biyombo, PF/C International: Biyombo has been slipping. His situation is bonkers. First of all, he could be as old as 26 or 27. But if your team agrees to watch him workout (against no one) you not only get to watch him in person, but you get a special password to a Website where you can access more film and medical history reports. It’s like a freakish scavenger hunt. Anyway, according to ESPN, all the lottery teams have visited Biyombo except for Washington. They don’t want him. But even if Biyombo has “looked nervous” in recent workouts, the Rockets should be his basement, and they’re already so good that they can afford to let him wait a year or two to develop.
15. IND—Marshon Brooks, SG Providence: The Pacers need wing depth like the Timberwolves need another point guard. But that won’t stop Larry Legend from drafting Brooks, who has shot up draft boards faster than Paul George did last year. Brooks impressed at his Indiana workout, reportedly (according to a local radio personality) “clowning” Klay Thompson. He’s saying all the right things right now (brushing off Kobe comparisons and explaining away his ball-hogging in college) and looks like a legit NBA scorer, if nothing else. Indiana needs more offense. With Tristan Thompson and Jimmer Fredette off the board, this pick wouldn’t surprise me at all.
16. PHI—Donatas Motiejunas, PF International: Motiejunas has been a top-1o consideration for years, even in deeper drafts, so don’t knock him for being the product of a weak draft. He slips this far now because he’s unavailable for pre-draft workouts due to his team commitments and it looks like buying him out (like other Euro prospects) will be a challenge. Motiejunas may not help right away, and doesn’t seem like Philly’s type of low post banger. But they are reportedly interested, and they could certainly use the help down low as soon as this season.
17. NYK—Josh Selby, PG/SG Kansas: Chad Ford no longer thinks Selby is the guy in NY, thanks to his lackluster workout last week. I disagree. The Knicks are bringing him back, hoping he can atone with a better workout. If he does, expect him to go here (even though NY has more pressing needs than PG).
18. WAS (via ATL)—Chris Singleton, SF/PF Florida State: Singleton has impressed for just about everyone he’s worked out for and is one of the big favorites among fans this year thanks to his defense. He’s been rising up draft boards, and some think Golden State may even take him at 11. I see Washington at #18 as his basement.
19. CHA (via NOR)—Nikola Vucevic, C USC: The Bobcats need size, and Vucevic can provide it. He’s limited athletically, but has been a recent riser thanks to his surprising combine measurements (over 6’11 in shoes, and with a longer than normal wingspan). Vucevic could go this high, to NYK or even to the Sixers at #16 (as he is rumored to be one of their targets there).
20. MIN (via MEM)—Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF Texas: Rumors don’t necessarily link Hamilton to Minnesota, but he’s rising up draft boards with his recent impressive workouts and the T-Wolves could use some wing help. With Klay Thompson, Alec Burks and Marshon Brooks all off the board, Hamilton is the next-closest thing to a viable two-guard, which is Minny’s greatest position of need.
21. POR—Darius Morris, PG Michigan: Earlier this month Portland Tribune reported that the Blazers were looking to move up, perhaps for Kemba Walker. If he’s out of the question (and in this scenario he is) Portland could look to Morris to replace the aging Andre Miller. Morris is uncanny, in that he hasn’t played the PG position very long, but has developed into a natural distributor. I could see him going as high as the top 10.
22. DEN—Tobias Harris, SF/PF Tennessee: The Denver Post reports that the Nuggets have shown “serious interest” in Harris. With his transition game and versatility he could be a starter from day one, especially if Wilson Chandler isn’t retained. The Nuggets probably won’t expect Harris to fall to them here, but if he does, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s their first choice.
23. HOU (via ORL)—Markieff Morris, PF Kansas: Morris sort of duplicates what Jordan Hill already does for the Rockets, but he’s a much more sure-thing than the other big they acquired earlier in this draft (Biyombo). The Rockets showed enough interest to bring both Markieff and Marcus in for workouts, and probably would have never guessed one of the twins would be available with the #23 pick. They won’t be able to pass him up if he’s still on the board.
24. OKC—Kenneth Faried, PF Morehead State: Faried said via his Twitter that OKC would be the lowest-picking team he’d workout for. I don’t know how good of a fit he is, but I think he can definitely carve out PT off the bench. But either way, it looks like he’ll likely go no later than this.
25. BOS—Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF UCLA: Tyler Honeycutt pulled out of his Nets workout, which leads me to believe that Boston, a team with a serious need for wing depth, will pull the trigger on him at #26. The Celtics, according to Danny Ainge, are not interested in “inexperienced players,” and could very well trade out of the draft for veteran wing help. But I have to believe that if Honeycutt fell to them (a soon to be 21 year-old two year starter from a great program) they’d bite.
26. DAL—JaJuan Johnson, PF Purdue: Johnson has impressed at pre-draft workouts for Indiana, Utah and Washington, and has increased his stock to the point that he may be a first round lock. The champs could bite, as they looked like they needed some post depth in the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion aren’t getting any younger.
27. NJN (via LAL)—Reggie Jackson, PG Boston College: The New York Post reports that Billy King is looking to move up by packaging this pick, and his team’s early second. And he probably will. Good thing, too, because everyone is canceling their workouts with New Jersey, including Jackson. If he’s here, and Jersey keeps the pick, I think he’s a lock. Once he starts working out again, teams will remember his stupid measureables and he’ll start shooting up draft boards. The Nets need backup PG help. Seems like a good fit.
28. CHI (via MIA)—Malcolm Lee, PG/SG UCLA: The Bulls are right in the middle of swirling Monta Ellis trade rumors, and you can almost guarantee that if they can get him without giving up any of their top 4 players (Rose obviously, and Noah, Deng and Boozer) that they’d have to part with one or both of their two late first rounders, and perhaps even more picks in the future. But if they keep at least one of the picks, Lee makes a lot of sense. He’s a versatile and experienced combo guard who could provide solid depth for them at their weakest position (two guard) and an alternative to C.J. Watson at backup point guard in a pinch.
29. SAS—Jeremy Tyler, PF International: Tyler is as boom or bust as they come. But the aging Spurs are going to have to replace Tim Duncan soon, and without outright sucking, and lucking into a third #1 overall pick in 20 years, they’re going to have to gamble on someone with potential like Tyler. With a few years playing under Duncan and working in Gregg Popovich’s practices under his belt, Tyler could be a legitimate replacement, and could form a formidable frontcourt with Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair.
30. CHI—Justin Harper, SF/PF Richmond: Harper’s a gamer. The Bulls could’ve used some offense throughout the playoffs, and Harper’s one of the best jump-shooting forwards in the country.
31. MIA (via MIN)—Keith Benson, C Oakland: Benson worked out with Miami recently, and could be a good fit and fill a need.
32. CLE—David Lighty, SG Ohio State: Hometown star Lighty will be a fan-fave, and won’t be around at the Cavs’ next pick.
33. DET (via TOR)—Nolan Smith, PG Duke: Should Rodney Stuckey skip town via free agency, Smith could be a seamless replacement; he’s as NBA-ready as they come in this draft.
34. WAS—Trey Thompkins, PF Georgia: Thompkins looked pretty good at last week’s Wizards’ workout. The team could use another big body or a backup PG.
35. SAC—Kyle Singler, SF Duke: Singler says the Kings are interested in him. They need perimeter shooting and Singler could provide that.
36. NJN—Jordan Williams, PF Maryland: If Williams slips past the hometown Wizards at #34, the Nets could pick him up. He reminds me of Kris Humphries, who New Jersey may lose via free agency.
37. LAC (via DET)—Norris Cole, PG Cleveland State: Cole’s impressive combine numbers have him climbing draft boards. There isn’t a better wing prospect, and Eric Bledsoe had mixed results at PG as a rookie.
38. HOU (via LAC)—Shelvin Mack, PG/SG Butler: At one point Mack was a near-lock for the first round. He could help take some of the shooting pressure off of Kevin Martin.
39. CHA—Iman Shumpert, PG Georgia Tech: Shumpert reminds me a lot of Lance Stephenson, only even more athletic. He’s intriguing, and the Bobcats could use another option at PG.
40. MIL—Cory Joseph, PG Texas: Joseph has a lot to work on, but he’s one of the more intriguing prospects in a deep PG class.
41. LAL (via GSW)—Gilbert Brown, SG/SF Pittsburgh: The Lakers will look to move Ron Artest sometime in the near future. Gilbert Brown is a similarly-skilled defender, for much, much cheaper.
42. IND—Malcolm Thomas, PF San Diego State: Thomas fits what the Pacers are trying to do to add energy and shot-blocking to the PF rotation.
43. GSW (via UTAH)—Greg Smith, PF/C Fresno State: Smith has a ton of potential and an NBA body. He should get picked higher than where he’s being mocked.
44. CHI (via PHO)—Chandler Parsons, SF Florida: Great size for a wing player. The Bulls can get longer, and better from 15-feet out with Parsons, Lee and JaJuan Johnson.
45. NOR (via PHI)—Andrew Groudelock, PG College of Charleston: Groudelock can stretch the floor, provide what the Hornets lost in Marcus Thornton trade.
46. LAL (via NYK)—E’Twaun Moore, SG Purdue: More backcourt depth for the Lakers, as post talent pool is diminishing.
47. LAC (via HOU)—Jon Leuer, PF Wisconsin: The Clippers need more hard workers in the paint, especially if DeAndre Jordan skips town as an RFA.
48. ATL—Michael Dunigan, C International: Not much depth behind Al Horford. Dunigan could be a cheaper version of Zaza Pachulia.
49. MEM—Charles Jenkins, PG/SG Hofstra: Great teammate, good size for a potential backup PG. I’ll be surprised if Jenkins lasts this long.
50. PHI (via NOR)—Joffrey Lauvergne, PF International: Lauvergne has been penciled in as a Spurs draft pick because he’s French. But unlike many other international prospects he’s actually visiting teams. Expect him not to last to SA’s pick. Philly has brought him in and needs more size.
51. POR—Mathew Bryan-Amaning, PF Washington: Portland got their PG in round one, now they look for a guy to potentially play some center in the raw, Bryan-Amaning.
52. DEN—Jamie Skean, PF Virginia Commonwealth: The last of the draftable bigs, Skean can stretch it out with teh 20+ footer, which could help Denver a great deal.
53. ORL—Bojan Bogdanovic, SF International: Perhaps Europe’s best scorer, under-the-radar Bogdanovic could really supply some much-needed offensive punch to the Orlando wing rotation.
54. CLE (via OKC)—Isaiah Thomas, PG Washington: Kyrie Irving gets his future backup, and Thomas is probably the BPA here.
55. BOS—Jereme Richmond, SF Illinois: Richmond is the most intriguing prospect left. Ainge could take a chance this late, hoping to infuse some real youth (he’s 19) into the Celtics’ lineup, especially after getting a more experienced, mature player in round 1.
56. LAL—Jimmy Butler, SF/PF Marquette: Butler is the obvious BPA. LA is stocked with second rounders, and Butler has a chance of making the team.
57. DAL—Robin Benzing, SF International: A skinny shooter, Benzing could help take over for Peja Stojakovic, who’s getting a little long in the tooth.
58. LAL (via MIA)—Willie Reed, PF St. Louis: A tweener, but another guy with great potential.
59. SAS—Ben Hansbrough, PG Notre Dame: Hansbrough’s smart and hardworking, traits always appreciated on a Gregg Popovich team.
60. SAC (via MIL)—Rick Jackson, PF Syracuse: An NBA rebounder who could happily pack on more pounds if you needed him to…