Steve Alexander

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Will Cavs Take Irving No. 1?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here's the fourth update to our first NBA mock draft of the year. The latest news is that the Cavaliers won the Draft Lottery on Tuesday, securing the No. 1 and No. 4 picks.

1. Cavaliers (via Clippers) - Kyrie Irving PG Duke

With some help from owner Dan Gilbert's son, Nick, the Cavaliers turned their trade of Mo Williams for Baron Davis into Davis AND Kyrie Irving by landing the No. 1 pick. I still think they'll take Irving, as he currently looks like the No. 1 pick, hands down. That could change between now and draft day, but my early money is on Irving. He's the best point guard in the draft and while he's not as fast as Derrick Rose or John Wall, he's quick enough to keep defenses honest and is considered by most as the clear first pick this year. The Cavs already have Baron Davis, but he's far from reliable, while his career is also starting to wind down. If they decide to pass on Irving, which seems unlikely at this point, Derrick Williams would be the next logical selection. As for Ramon Sessions, who can also play point guard? If they take Irving, expect Sessions to be traded on draft night.

2. Timberwolves - Derrick Williams F Arizona

Williams could go over Irving at No. 1, but as of now, we're guessing he ends up in Minnesota. Unfortunately, they've already got Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, but Williams would have time to develop off the bench in Minnesota, and appears to be the only option they have at No. 2. Then again, David Kahn is running the show, which means anything is possible here.

3. Jazz (via Nets) - Kemba Walker PG UConn

Walker became a household name during the NCAA tournament and while his size is an issue (6-feet, 180 pounds), plenty of other small men have succeeded in today's NBA. Think Brandon Jennings. And with Devin Harris often banged up, and his backups (Earl Watson & Ronnie Price) aren't great NBA point guards. Walker looks like a solid pick for the Jazz here. They could also go with Enes Kanter here, but my guess is they grab a guard and then try to get another big man with the No. 12 pick, which they also own.

4. Cavaliers – Jan Vesely SF Czech Republic

After taking Irving with the first pick, the Cavs will look for a small forward to get ready to eventually take over for Antawn Jamison. Vesely fits the bill and makes a ton of sense for the Cavs here. Vesely might be a bit of a reach this high, and it's possible the Cavs could take a shooting guard. But No. 4 overall is probably too high for Alec Burks, so it makes sense they'll go with Vesely. Center Enes Kanter is also a real possibility here, as the Cavs rely on a couple power forwards (Anderson Varejao & J.J. Hickson) at center.

5. Raptors – Brandon Knight PG Kentucky

The Jazz could take Brandon Knight at No. 3, which would leave the Raptors with Kemba Walker here, but either way, it makes sense the Raps would look for a back up for Jose Calderon at point guard. They also have Jerryd Bayless, but Knight looks like a great way to spend this pick. And once again, if they're finally done with using Andrea Bargnani at center, they will also give Enes Kanter a serious look.

6. Wizards – Kawhi Leonard SF San Diego State

The Wizards had no luck with either Rashard Lewis or Josh Howard this season, so swiping Kawhi Leonard here works. They don't need any more bigs with JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Trevor Booker around, and are also set in the backcourt with John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young potentially back next year. Therefore, Leonard seems like the obvious pick, for now.

7. Kings – Enes Kanter C Turkey

With Samuel Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins, along with several other bigs, potentially on board again next year, the Kings don't really need a center. In fact, what they really need is a small forward, which has long been a hole in their offense. But the lottery wasn't kind to the Kings and Kanter still looks like the pick here. Then the Kings could potentially make a trade in order to get a starting small forward. We really haven't had a chance to see Kanter much, as he was ruled ineligible to play for Kentucky after receiving more than $30,000 from his Turkish team. Kanter ended up serving as a student assistant coach at UK. He's 6-11, 265, meaning he clearly has the size to play center in the NBA. Many mock drafts have Kanter going at No. 3 or No. 4, and we could end up with him there before next month's draft. But for now, we like some of these guards coming off the board before Kanter.

8. Pistons – Alec Burks SG Colorado

Burks is a true shooting guard and with the future of Rip Hamilton up in the air, as well as the constant struggles of Ben Gordon, getting a shooting guard (or small forward) makes sense for Detroit. Burks might be a reach at No. 8, but the Pistons could easily roll the dice on him.

9. Bobcats – Bismack Biyombo F/C Congo

The Cats seem to be set at PG (D.J. Augustin), SG (Gerald Henderson), SF (Stephen Jackson) and PF (Boris Diaw/Tyrus Thomas), but they start Kwame Brown at center. That's obviously a problem, although Kwame actually exceeded some expectations for the first time in his career in the second half of this season. If Kanter or Valanciunas are gone, this seems like the perfect spot for little known Bismack Biyombo of the Congo. He's got points/rebounds/blocks triple-double potential and a relatively simple buyout from his professional team, clearing the way for him to play in the NBA once the lockout issues are resolved.

10. Bucks – Donatas Motiejunas F/C Lithuania

Motiejunas surprisingly pulled out of last year's draft and then tore it up in the Italian league this season. He's a great shooter, both from the floor and beyond the arc, and appears to be one of the more NBA-ready players in the draft. The Bucks have become somewhat famous for taking guys like Motiejunas and turning them into players worthy of being owned in fantasy leagues. And while it won't happen this year, he could be a solid option in a couple years.

11. Warriors – Tristan Thompson PF Texas

The Warriors have both David Lee and Ekpe Udoh, but clearly don't need any backcourt help at this point. Small forward is probably their greatest need and it's possible they reach for a guy like Jordan Hamilton, but Thompson is too good not to be a lottery pick. And the Warriors could certainly use another big body around, as Andris Biedrins was MIA for most of the season.

12. Jazz – Jonas Valanciunas C Lithuania

The Jazz have plenty of big men with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, (maybe) Mehmet Okur and Kyrylo Fesenko, but could easily add Valanciunas. He's a skinny center, built in the mold of Andris Biedrins, but is also possibly the best one in the draft. He could be a steal this late, even if the Jazz might be better off with a shooting guard. Jimmer Fredette and Jordan Hamilton are also serious options right here.

13. Suns – Kenneth Faried PF Morehead State

Faried has a great nose for the ball, is one of the best rebounders in college history and will dive for loose balls without hesitation. Hustle is a word that best describes him and the Suns could use a rebounding power forward to complement the 3-point shooting of Channing Frye.

14. Rockets – Jordan Hamilton SF Texas

Like Alec Burks, Hamilton is a smooth scorer and plays best when he's the main cog in a team's offense. That means it could take him a while to get going in the pros, but he might be the best pure shooter in the draft, and his quick release will be a key to his success in the pros. The Rockets have some needs at the wing and Hamilton makes sense – especially since he's already in Texas.

15. Pacers – Jimmer Fredette G BYU

The Pacers actually have a well-rounded team with solid players at most positions, with shooting guard being the most obvious need. Mike Dunleavy hasn't been healthy, Brandon Rush hasn't lived up to the hype, Paul George is more forward than guard, and Dahntay Jones was locked up like the gimp in Pulp Fiction until Frank Vogel finally unleashed him in the playoffs. Jimmer is a household name, would fit in well in the heartland and might even sell some tickets for the team that allowed Bulls fans to take over Conseco and basically give Chicago an extra home game in the first round of the playoffs. He's an amazing shooter and could easily end up as a starting shooting guard in the NBA (if he's for real).

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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