Dan Gilbert’s shit-eating, fuck-you-Lebron grin was one of the highlights of a great night for the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers made away like bandits with picks number 1 and 4 in the 2011 NBA Draft. Gilbert’s son Nick, who suffers from Neurofibromatosis (NF), a nerve disorder that causes tumors to grow throughout the body, was a good-luck charm for the down-on-their-luck franchise who will now look to rebuild. Nick Gilbert was the representative for the Cavs at the Lottery and he was all they needed as the team pulled away with two top-5 picks…Without further ado, here is a look at my 2011 NBA Lottery Mock Draft (keep in mind, this is what I would do).
1. Cleveland Cavaliers…Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona. I’d take Williams over Kyrie because of their #4 pick. Williams can score inside and out and I think he can be a stud in the NBA. Williams will most likely play PF and will be able to stretch the floor with his shooting ability.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves…Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke. I think the T’Wolves trade this pick to a team in need of a PG in return they get some much-needed veteran help for Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. I am sure the franchise is hoping Rubio comes to the NBA, but for now they need to build around Love. Some call Irving the next CP3, but we’ll let his play do the talking.
3. Utah Jazz…Kahwi Leonard, SF, SDSU. The Jazz also have two picks in the lottery. A lot of people have them taking a PG here at 3, but I think they’ll wait for their #12 to take a certain state of Utah college legend. Instead, they will take Leonard who will bring a lot of hustle, heart and defense and be the long-term replacement for Andrei Kirilenko.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers…Kemba Walker, PG/SG, UCONN. Could you imagine getting two of the NCAA tournaments stars in one draft? The combination of Williams and Walker will turn this organization around a year after the departure of Lebron James and is great for the city of Cleveland.
5. Toronto Raptors…Ines Kanter, C, Turkey. The 6’11, 261 lb. frame is too much to pass up on after the top four picks. Kanter will join Bargani in a Toronto frontcourt that will have some solid strength and size.
6. Washington Wizards…Jan Vesely, SF/PF, Czech Rep. A 6’11 SF will compliment the backcourt of John Wall and Nick Young well. Vesely can shoot, dribble and throw-down and I think he can provide some solid numbers for a Wizards team in need of some pieces to continue to build around.
7. Sacramento Kings…Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. The Kings need a PG as they realized last season that Tyreke Evans is a 2. Another Calipari-coached kid to team up with Evans and Demarcus Cousins would give the Kings three solid, young NBA starters to build a potential-future contender around, as long as they can get their minds right.
8. Detroit Pistons…Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo. This guy is 6’9, 240 lbs with a 7’7 wingspan. He will bring some throwback Ben Wallace swag to a Pistons team that is truly lacking a team mentality. They need to go back to being the dirty, hard-nosed Pistons that helped them win back in the day.
9. Charlotte Bobcats…Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas. The Longhorns freshman averaged 13 ppg, 8 rpg, and 2 bpg over the course of the year and has a lot of potential with his athletic, 6’8, 235 lb frame. I like him to replace Gerald Wallace in the Bobcats system and give them another young body to mold into an NBA-caliber player.
10. Milwaukee Bucks…Alec Burks, SG/PG, Colorado. Burks will give Brandon Jennings a backcourt running mate for the future. If Burks pans out, he could turn into a solid two-guard that provides a spark and some scoring for the Bucks. He averaged 17.1 his freshman season and followed it with a 20.5 season last year. He is 6’6 with a solid NBA frame, but questions surrounding his shooting ability are worrying.
11. Golden State Warriors…Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithunia. I know what you’re thinking, another Lithuanian center? Yes. Biedrins has turned into a ghost on the court and made it seem as if we were playing with four guys on the court at times, but I think the Ws have to go with another big man this time around. The best one available seems to be Valanciunas, who some have as a top-5 talent. The 6’11, 260 lb body is too much to pass up on. Another option is one of the Morris twins, but I am unsure where we would use them.
12. Utah Jazz…Jimmer Fredette, PG/SG, BYU. The Jazz have no choice but to select the Jimmer. It is too good to be true. A white morman that can rain from 3 pt range? Sold. If the Jazz don’t take him, then the Suns will to replace Nash, but I think the Jimmer will be the centerpiece to the new-look Jazz without Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams.
13. Phoenix Suns…Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St. The Suns could go a bunch of different ways. If Jimmer is available, they will most likely take him, but Faried would be a great option to pair with Robin Lopez down-low. Faried is a rebound machine that might just be the next Dennis Rodman. Look for him to get playing time straight away wherever he ends up, as he can be used as a defensive weapon and will out-hustle anyone in the paint.
14. Houston Rockets…Chris Singleton, SF, Florida St. The Rockets will look to trade up possibly and use this pick and their #23 as ammunition. If not, look for them to get a Rockets-style player in Singleton. Singleton will bring solid defense, a long 6’9, 225 lb body and some scoring ability. He is the type of guy who will find a role and do it well wherever he ends up.
That is it for now. Check back tomorrow for the rest of 756sports NBA Mock Draft 1.0.