The NBA Draft is now less than 24 hours away and we here at Every Month Should be March wanted to take one last stab at predicting this year’s outcome.
After two attempts to lock down this year’s draft class — taking an in depth look at teams needs, player ratings and scouts opinions — we have finally compiled all our thoughts into one Final Mock Draft.
Consensus #1 Overall, Kyrie Irving, leads us off but after that it’s about any bodies guess as who will be taken.
So, take a trip with us here at EMM and find out who our experts are predicting your team will select…
MOCK DRAFT 3.0:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: The rumors have already begun that the Cavs have committed to Kyrie Irving, confirming what the vast majority of draft pundits have suspected. Irving has a lot to prove after missing most of his only season at Duke. Still, most believe that he is one of two players in this draft with any potential to be consistent all-star selections. Irving wins out because the league is becoming a point guard dominated league. (Mayo)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona: With Kyrie going 1 overall, it’s pretty much a sure thing that Williams goes to the Wolves here. Long, athletic and good upside he could be a great addition to Kevin Love in the front court. He would also make Beasley an expendable commodity. Any takers? (Luke)
3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky: Everyone has Irving and Williams going 1-2. After that, no one is quite sure yet between Knight and Kanter. I have doubts whether the Devin Harris will actually be anything more than what he is (a starting point guard for a lottery team). Knight is the pick as they try and replace Deron Williams. (Giblin)
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, PF/C, Kentucky, C, Turkey: Kanter gets taken 4th overall but maybe won’t fall this far. Utah is strongly considering him with the 3rd pick. If that is the case, Tristan Thompson may be the pick here (a reach). But for now we are giving the Cavs Kanter. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are considered the only blue chip prospects in this draft, but Kanter is the top player of the next tier. This would be a coup for the Cavs.
5. Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard, SF, SDSU: Some believe that the Raptors might go point guard with this pick, but I contend that they give Jerryd Bayless a shot at running the show. They have a big need for a swingman who can defend and provide some toughness to a team who definitely was lacking in that category last season. (Mayo)
6. Washington Wizards – Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic: The lengthy swingman is probably the most polished foreigner in this year’s draft class. If Leonard isn’t available here or unless the Wiz move up a few spots, Vesely is the best option and could be tossed into the starting lineup right away. (Luke)
7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker, PG, Uconn: Rumor has it the Maloofs want Jimmer, but Kemba is the better player and can sell tickets too. With Walker running the point, Tyreke Evans can move to the 2 where he’s a better fit. (Giblin)
8. Detroit Pistons – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado: The Ben Gordon experiment (and his contract) has not exactly payed big dividends for the Pistons. With a solid foundation of Greg Monroe at the post, the Pistons need to look to get younger. Burks is a good start. (Dalton)
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas: Thompson is one of the better all-around players in this draft. He can guard multiple positions, is a versatile scorer, and hits the boards on both ends. He doesn’t jump out of the gym, but he plays with a blue collar attitude. Charlotte might see higher upside elsewhere, but they can’t afford to whiff on these top-ten picks. Thompson doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game and should provide some stability. (Mayo)
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania: Sure, Valanciunas won’t be playing in the NBA next season, but come 2012-13 Andrew Bogut may also not be on the Bucks roster anymore. He may have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft. Look for a team to grab him in the top-10 regardless of contract issues. (Luke)
11. Golden State Warriors – Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas: This pick depends a lot on if the Warriors are able to trade Monta Ellis, but the Warriors could use some depth in the front court. I think Morris’ upside is limited, but he can be a great banger for a contending team. Think Udonis Haslem. (Giblin)
12. Utah Jazz – Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State: Thompson is a 6’7 shooting guard who can flat out stroke it (thank you I’ll be here all night). Burks may be more athletic, but Thompson will probably be able to contribute more quickly, especially with Brandon Knight feeding him the rock.(Dalton)
13. Phoenix Suns – Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo: For all his shortcomings on offense, and there are plenty, Biyombo has real potential to be a defensive POY candidate and a monster on the boards. No one the Suns currently have fits that description. Plus, Steve Nash creates the offense for the rest of the team. If Biyombo can dunk the ball and get put-backs, that’s probably all he needs to start with. (Mayo)
14. Houston Rockets – Chris Singleton, SF, FSU: Singleton isn’t the ideal game changer that many teams are looking for heading into the draft. However, with his defensive presence and ability to guard just about anyone on the wing, not to mention an already talented roster in place, teams out West could be looking at a dangerous sleeper. (Luke)
15. Indiana Pacers - Jimmer Freddette, PG, BYU: Get your Hoosiers/Jimmy Chitwood jokes ready! Larry Bird’s effort to build the ultimate Caucasian dynasty needs The Jimmer. Expect Granger to be dealt for Singler straight up at some point on draft night. (Giblin)
16. Philadelphia 76ers - Nikola Vucevic, C, USC: Vucevic is not very athletic but he is a very skilled big man who possesses great size. In this day an age, that is something tough to come by and Vucevic passes for an elite center. (Dalton)
17. New York Knicks – Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas: Mocks have the Knicks taking a guard with this pick. To those people, I ask: do you remember what happened to Amare Staudemire at the end of the season? And do you remember the lineup the Knicks played with at the end of their short-lived playoff run? New York needs to get some size and some toughness on their roster. Check and check for Markieff Morris, who also might surprise some people with his offensive ability which isn’t as far away as some believe. (Mayo)
18. Washington Wizards – Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence: Mayo says he’ll scream if the Wizards passed on Hamilton here but I think Brooks is just as promising a prospect. Brooks is instant offense and could replace the Nick Young, who as a free agent has no guarantee of coming back next year. (Luke)
19. Charlotte Bobcats – Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas: Hamilton might go to the Bobcats at 9, so MJ grabbing him here would be a big steal. Make no mistake, the Bobcats need offense and that’s where Hamilton excels. The guy just knows how to put up points. If MJ were able to grab this Texas tandem, Charlotte fans will be happy. (Giblin)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Donatas Montiejunas, PF, Lithuania: Another white big man for the Timberwolves who can pass the ball! Donatas has great offensive potential although, like alot of Euros, he is a little soft. Hopefully a little of Kevin Love can rub off of him. (Dalton)
21. Portland Trail Blazers – Iman Shumpert, PG, Georgia Tech: The Blazers need a point guard of the future, and while Shumpert is far from a finished product, his upside is absolutely ridiculous. Shumpert is an athletic freak whose game has maturing to do, but he also would have a year or two to learn from veteran Andre Miller. Pairing Shumpert with Wesley Matthews has the potential to give the Blazers one of the best defensive backcourts in the league. (Mayo)
22. Denver Nuggets – Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State: With Nene possibly out the door once free agency hits, the Nuggets may need to fill the void left in the middle of their defense. Faried’s defensive mentality should help ease the transition if Nene does go, meanwhile if paired in the frontcourt, the duo could be a force to be reckoned with in the West. (Luke)
23. Houston Rockets - Jeremy Tyler, C, Tokyo Apache: If you don’t know much about Jeremy Tyler, don’t worry. Most don’t. But his story is well-documented and quite interesting. Hopefully other high school ballers will learn from his story. Either way, the kid has enormous size and a huge wingspan. With the Rockets picking up an impact player in Singleton at 14, they can gamble on a sleeper like Tyler here. (Giblin)
24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler, SF, Duke: A great player in all four years at Duke, Singler would have been a first rounder last year and has the talent to be again this year. OKC gets a great backup for Durant. (Dalton)
25. Boston Celtics - Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College: Multiple sources have reported that Danny Ainge wouldn’t let Jackson slip past them if he made it this far into the first round. Jackson would provide some youth and athleticism into an aging backcourt with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. He can play both guard positions which also would give the Celts a strong potential backup to the often-nicked-up Rajon Rondo. (Mayo)
26. Dallas Mavericks - Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee: Harris didn’t wow scouts while in Knoxville, but he has the build and sneaky athleticism to be a very dangerous player in the league. A veteran presence around him and plenty of time to grow, Harris should have all the patience and ability he needs to reach his potential. (Luke)
27. New Jersey Nets – Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia: Bertans is quite the shooter and definitely draws some Dirk comparisons (what Euros don’t these days) and Mikhail Prokhorov wants to build the Nets into a “universal” team. Drafting a young European with tremendous upside is a start to his quest for
world domination building a consistent playoff team. (Giblin)
28. Chicago Bulls -Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra: A great scorer who excels in transition. Will be able to take some of the load off of MVP Derek Rose. (Dalton)
29. San Antonio Spurs - JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue: Getting more athletic up front is definitely a priority for the Spurs this off-season. They have some bulk in Tim Duncan, DaJuan Blair, and Tiago Splitter, but Johnson would bring a shot blocking presence that they definitely lack. He also can run the floor and has a developing offensive game. Johnson could be a steal this late. (Mayo)
30. Chicago Bulls – Justin Harper, SF, Richmond: Harper is the epitome of a tweener in this draft. He’s a bit thin for the 4 but doesn’t quite have the consistent jumper to be a 3 in the league. Yet, with his nose for the basketball on the boards and attention to defense, Harper should find his way into the first round and Chicago would be lucky to add a piece with his talent here. (Luke)
—–> ***If you want to see how this version compares with our first two Mocks, take a look for yourself:
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