Steve Alexander

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The Final NBA Mock Draft

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here's the eighth (and hopefully last) update to our NBA mock draft. The latest news is that the Spurs are trying to trade George Hill or 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. It also sounds like Tristan Thompson is being targeted by the Pistons at No. 8, along with Biyombo Bismack.

Chad Ford said on Twitter Wednesday that he was thinking about letting his seven-year-old daughter do his final mock draft, as she would likely be just as successful as him. Obviously, this year's mocks are going to be fun to make fun of when it's all said and done, but this one at least feels logical to me.

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 F Arizona

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 PG Kentucky

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 C Turkey

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 F/C Congo

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. In short, he's been much more impressive offensively than folks thought he would be. He will also get close looks from the Pistons, Bobcats, Warriors and Suns, if he falls.

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

Leonard's stock is simply too high to have him much lower and despite reports the Kings want a shooting guard, they have Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans. If they don't take Jimmer Fredette here, Leonard should be the guy.

8. Pistons – Tristan Thompson PF Texas

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that the Pistons were going to target Thompson so I moved him up. Besides, the Pistons don't need a SG nearly as much as they could use a solid big man. The Bucks, Suns and Rockets are also in the mix for him.

9. Bobcats – 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. 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 PF Kansas

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 G BYU

Fredette is tough to place right now, as he could go as high as No. 7 to the Kings, or fall to the Pacers at 15. However, he's had good workouts, is saying all the right things, and looks like the most marketable player in the draft. Utah really wants him, but won't use No. 3 on him, and may not have a shot at him with the No. 12 pick. But if he's there, Jimmer should be the pick.

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 might pull the trigger at 13, where he'd likely be the third-string point guard behind Steve Nash and Aaron Brooks. If they don't go Shumpert (and I'm not convinced they will), look for them to grab the best big man available, which could be Jonas Valanciunas.

14. Rockets – Jonas Valanciunas C Lithuania

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 – Alec Burks SG Colorado

Burks is a true shooting guard and one of the best in the draft. While he may not fall this far, could be groomed as a starter for the Pacers, who have long had a hole at shooting guard. If Jimmer is still on the board, they're going to give him a close look too. And if Burks does happen to fall this far, the Pacers will likely have a steal on their hands. If Burks is gone, Marshon Brooks is probably their guy.

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



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