14 June 2011
We have a special treat for you, Jazz fans. A guest post from an anonymous source. After months, and in some cases years, of close examination of the prospects available in this year's NBA Draft he's drawn up a mock for us, one that pertains to the most likely picks hanging around for Kevin O'Connor and the Jazz's consideration in 2011. So, without further ado...
Some say he can braid basketball twine with chop sticks. Others say he lives in James Harden's beard.
All we know is, he's called The Scout.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving
The no-brainer pick. Point guard is actually Cleveland's strongest
position right now, but you never draft for need when you win 20 games
the season before and Irving is the best prospect in the draft.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams
Williams may not be the best fit in the world considering that the
Wolves desperately need defense and players who aren't power forwards,
but Williams is the best player available. The Wolves will likely
trade him for a veteran wing or center like Andrew Bogut, Andre
Iguodala, or Kevin Martin. If they can't trade him, Williams should
still be an upgrade over Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph.
Williams isn't a stud prospect or a prospect who would go top 5 or
maybe even top 10 in a good draft, but he is the most talented player
available and has a good chance to become a David West or Paul Millsap
3. Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter
Tough spot for the Jazz. Scouts are majorly divided on who the third
best player in the draft is and draft sites such as Draftexpress and
ESPN have said that there is no major difference between the third and
tenth pick in this draft. Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas seem to have
most often been proclaimed as the third best player in the draft, but
Brandon Knight, Jan Vesely, and Kemba Walker are all in major
contention for the pick. I lean towards Kanter here because he seems
to have the most trade value. There is potential that the Wolves would
trade down for Kanter and that the Wizards would trade up for Kanter
and the Jazz could potentially acquire a solid young PG in the league
with Kanter and perhaps one of their other picks. There's also a
chance that they outright take him to have him play for the team since
he is highly rated in some circles. Kanter isn't much of a defensive
presence at all and has major question marks about his postup game and
pick-and-roll scoring, but he is a good pick-and-pop player and
rebounder and has drawn comparisons to Carlos Boozer.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas
The Cavaliers seem to like both Valanciunas and Kanter according to
Yahoo and others and with Kanter off the board, this is a very easy
pick. Valanciunas lead Euroleague in rebounding rate last season
(22.7%, better than Dwight's rebounding rate last season when he
grabbed 14 boards a game) and is a terrific pick-and-roll scorer and
defender with great touch. By all reports, Valanciunas has excellent
intangibles and his strength concerns from earlier in the year aren't
a major concern now as he is putting on an exceptional amount of
muscle in a short period of time and will be a very well built center
in just a few years.
5. Toronto Raptors: Brandon Knight
While there are a lot of differing reports on whether the Raptors
would go with Kanter, Valanciunas, Vesely, Kawhi Leonard, Bismack
Biyombo, or Kemba if all were on the board, the Raptors love for
Knight seems to be consistent. Jerryd Bayless played fairly well for
the Raptors at the end of the year, but he has mostly been a
disappointment and his strong play can't be counted on moving forward
for the Raptors.
6. Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely
Much has been made over Vesely's abysmal free throw shooting (47%,
would have been close to the worst in the NBA for rotation players
last season) and defensive rebounding (8.2%, would have again been
close to the worst in the NBA for rotation players) and really his
complete lack of skill despite being 21 years old, but Vesely's
ridiculous physical tools make him near impossible to pass up at this
point in this draft. Those issues may prevent him from being a starter
in the NBA and he will likely have to make the move to PF since he
lacks the lateral quickness to defend wings, but his physical tools
and nonstop motor should allow him to become a quality pick-and-roll
stopper and scorer and being really good at either one of those two
things can make you an all-pro (See Amar'e and Tyson Chandler). The
Wizards could also use Vesely, along with the 18th and 34th picks
which they have, to trade with the Jazz to get Kanter. Ryen A.
Russillo (@ryenarussillo on Twitter) has said that the Wizards love
Vesely as well.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker
Whether Kemba or Jimmer would go here at 7 has come into debate
recently after good workouts from Jimmer and fairly poor workouts from
Kemba, but I lean towards Kemba since I just think he's the better
prospect and will prove it when they play each other. The Kings love
tough players who are ready to play right away and they don't care
much about upside so Kemba and Jimmer are obviously great fits for
that drafting style.
8. Detroit Pistons: Alec Burks
Draftexpress and ESPN have frequently mocked Biyombo here, but I feel
that after Biyombo got eaten alive in workouts against the chair, he's
going to slip. Alec Burks is a talented scorer and while not a good
fit, the Pistons just need talent.
9. Charolette Bobcats: James Fredette
The Bobcats need everything. Statistically, their best player last
season was Tyrus Thomas. Going by how their fans viewed the team,
their best player might have been Kwame Brown. Think about that.
Jimmer is an okay pick who will make short-term money for Jordan which
Jordan has shown to be the only thing he really cares about in owning
the Bobcats after sending Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks for Matt
10. Milwauke Bucks: Donatas Motiejunas
In the last four drafts, the Bucks have gone with Yi, Joe Alexander,
Brandon Jennings, and Larry Sanders. All four had upside and were
incredibly risky. I think that drafting strategy will continue.
Stories about Donatas' attitude and hatred of defense and rebounding
make him likely to be leaving the league in a few years, but super
skilled low post scorers who are athletic and seven feet tall aren't
very common in the NBA.
11. Golden State Warriors: Kawhi Leonard
Mark Jackson wants defense in the franchise and Kawhi could bring it.
Not a fan of his offensive game (Too inefficient at everything,
doesn't have a niche to turn to in the NBA on offense), but he could
be a solid defender and energy player off the bench for Golden State.
12. Utah Jazz: Chris Singleton
If the Jazz leave the draft without getting Knight, Kemba, or Jimmer,
the team could view that as a failure or their want of one of those
three could be completely wrong since the media has no clue what the
Jazz will do with their incredible secrecy. Singleton has a chance to
be the worst wing scorer in the NBA next season. A player who makes
every fast break into a magical adventure and who will be constantly
blowing layups next season, there will be YouTube videos of
Singleton's futility on the offense end. However, Singleton is a high
level defender who has shown the ability to make spotup threes.
Singleton has the potential to be a starting SF in the NBA and that's
good value at this point in the draft. The Jazz are in desperate need
of wings and defense. The Jazz could go in an opposite direction with
Jordan Hamilton to improve their shooting and scoring from the wing
but continuing their defensive woes.
13. Phoenix Suns: Tristain Thompson
Thompson is a solid PF who defends, rebounds, and occasionally scores
on pick-and-roll. A starter in the NBA? Probably not, but a good
backup who will fit the Suns well.
14. Houston Rockets: Bismack Biyombo
Biyombo is a nice value here and the Rockets don't draft on need.
Looking at various other scenarios, it seems to me that the top 6 will
be Irving, Williams, Valanciunas, Kanter, Knight, and Vesely with
Irving and Williams going 1 and 2 and the other four going in some
other order 3 through 6 unless Valanciunas' contract becomes an issue
(Unlikely because, despite him having a long contract with no buyout,
his team in Lithuania is desperate for cash and will allow him be
bought out by his NBA team most likely). If the Jazz take Vesely at 3,
Val likely still goes 4, Knight goes 5, Kanter goes 6 and the 7-14
order is unaffected. If the Jazz go with Knight, Val likely still goes
4, the Raptors take Vesely, and the Wizards go with Kanter. One
interesting scenario however would be if the Jazz went with Vesely at
3 and then the Cavs went with Kanter at 4, Knight goes 5, and here
potentially the Wizards could take Kawhi Leonard 6th. This could drop
Valanciunas to the Bobcats and could allow the Jazz to draft Kemba or
Jimmer at 12.
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