Here's the seventh (and hopefully last) update to our NBA mock draft. The latest news is that the Spurs are trying to trade Tony Parker
to get into the lottery, Iman Shumpert
's stock has skyrocketed, and that most NBA executives agree that this is one of the most unpredictable drafts ever. Kyle Singler
and Darius Morris
are now in Round 1, while Bismack Biyombo
takes a big leap to Toronto at No. 5.
The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 23. Follow me on Twitter
for the latest Draft updates, as well as what's going through my brain as I write the upcoming NBA Fantasy Draft Guide this summer.
1. Cavaliers (via Clippers) - Kyrie Irving
PG Duke Derrick Williams
is a real possibility here, but Irving is still the favorite to be taken No. 1. I'd like to get daring and put Williams No. 1, but just can't do it.
2. Timberwolves - Derrick Williams
All indications are that the Wolves are still trying like heck to move this pick, but regardless of where it ends up, Williams and Irving are nearly a lock to go 1 & 2 in this draft. There is some talk of Enes Kanter
jumping up to No. 2 for Minnesota, and while it would be funny to see them skip Williams, I don't even think David Kahn has it in him.
3. Jazz (via Nets) - Brandon Knight
Knight and Enes Kanter
look like they're going to go third and fourth, although the order is clearly up for debate. I think the Jazz have more needs at point guard than in the middle, so I'm simply going with Knight due to his position. Their back up point guards are Earl Watson
and Ronnie Price
, while starter Devin Harris
rarely seems to be healthy.
4. Cavaliers – Enes Kanter
The Wizards really seem to want Kanter, but it's starting to sound like he won't be there at No. 6. The Cavs have big-man needs and Kanter appears to be the best one in the draft. If they can't swing a deal to move up to the No. 2 pick, taking Kanter at No. 4 makes sense. He's got a great personality and would be a PR win as well, although a lack of wingspan should hurt him in the shot-blocking department.
5. Raptors – Bismack Biyombo
This is one of those late moves I don't feel great about, but am going with anyway. The Raptors and Bryan Colangelo seem to be on a defensive kick and Biyombo is one of the best defenders in this draft, if not the best. This one could be a stretch, but I've read enough reports of Colangelo being enthralled with the big man that I'm going with it. 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.
6. Wizards – Jan Vesely
SF Czech Republic
Vesely's stock is on the rise and the Wizards had a disaster at SF with Rashard Lewis
and Josh Howard
last season. If they can't get Kanter, Vesely looks like the next best option for the Wiz.
7. Kings - Kawhi Leonard
SF San Diego State
The Kings have been struggling to find a suitable small forward since they let Gerald Wallace
go and Leonard appears to fit a big need. The biggest question is whether or not Leonard is really worth the No. 7 pick. We'll find out in nine days.
8. Pistons – Alec Burks
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 – Kemba Walker
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
. Walker's stock has taken a hit over the last few weeks, but he still appears to be destined for the Top 10. I'm still not sure Charlotte makes a ton of sense with D.J. Augustin
around and a hole at center, but then again, DJA's not exactly a Tier 1 NBA point guard, either. There is also chatter out there that if the guy the Bobcats are targeting is gone, this pick will be dealt.
10. Bucks – Marcus Morris
The Bucks are deep at most positions but could use an upgrade at power forward. Morris is ready for the NBA, is going to be a nice rookie and reminds me a bit of Greg Monroe
, who was a very pleasant surprise this season. While the Bucks also have their eye on other players, like Klay Thompson
, there may not be a safer pick at 10 than Morris.
11. Warriors – Klay Thompson
G/F Washington State
The latest reports from Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter are that the Bucks and Warriors both want Thompson badly, and are also two teams that wouldn't mind drafting big man Jonas Valanciunas
, even if they have to wait two years for him. I don't see Marcus Morris
falling past the Bucks at 10, so despite the Warriors need for bigs, I'm going to give them Thompson right here. Thompson is expected to have some shot selection issues early in his career.
12. Jazz – Jimmer Fredette
Fredette could easily end up going in the Top 10, but I'm leaving him with the Jazz. He'd be a great fit in Utah after attending BYU and it's hard to imagine the Jazz passing on him. He'll sell tickets, hit shots and help solidify their shaky core of point guards – if he's still on the board.
13. Suns – Iman Shumpert
PG Georgia Tech
Shumpert's stock has been on a crazy rise lately and the team I've seen him most associated with is the Suns. He's also been linked with the Knicks, Timberwolves and Nuggets, but I've got a feeling the Suns are ready to pull the trigger at 13, where he'd likely be the third-string point guard behind Steve Nash
and Aaron Brooks
14. Rockets – Jonas 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, although it now appears that he'll sit out at least next season, and possibly the following one as well. If Valanciunas was a lock to play in the NBA next season, he'd easily be going Top 10. But if any team in this draft needs a center, it's the Rockets, and getting Valanciunas this late could be the steal of the draft.
15. Pacers – Marshon Brooks
Brooks' stock is rising and he's 22 years old after averaging 24.6 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 assists, while finishing seventh in the nation in scoring at Providence. He's a silky smooth scorer and given the Pacers' problems at shooting guard over the last several years, he could be a sneaky pick at 15.