Remember to be on SavingTheSkyhook.com Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. CT) to follow and interact with me as I “Cover It Live”, live blogging throughout the entire NBA Draft. If not interested in the draft, and just want to chat about the NBA, ask some questions, start a discussion, come talk to me! If you ARE interested in the draft, I don’t even have to tell you – this is the place to be.
New developments and new predictions have come up this weekend in my research. While I posted my first mock draft but three days ago, I need to update you on the most recent happenings across the NBA draft landscape. And for a little extra spice, I’ll give you two reasons per pick on why (insert team here) will take (insert prospect here). The latest movers and shakers:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers/ Kyrie Irving
- Not sold on Kemba Walker at No. 4, not sure if Brandon Knight will be available at No. 4 for the taking. Irving is the safe pick for the Cavs to guarantee themselves a point guard in this draft.
- Unless GM Dan Gilbert is sure Brandon Knight will be available at No. 4, he wont risk not getting a point guard. Yes, he can look good making fun of LeBron James, but LeBron is going to win his titles; he needs to start worrying about his own team.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves/ Derrick Williams
- Although an unnecessary selection for his position on this team, during this year, what Williams does do is offer a replacement for Kevin Love at power forward. That’ll be like replacing Love with David West. I’m not sure if that’s an improvement or makes the team worse.
- It’s based on pure smarts. GM David Kahn doesn’t want to get fired. It’s common sense to draft the next best player in the draft. That way fans can’t blame you for taking a risk on somebody out of the blue (like drafting two point guards in a row).
3. Utah Jazz/ Brandon Knight
- In this writer’s opinion, Knight will be the best player to come out of this draft. That way, this pick makes sense for the Jazz.
- Devin Harris is not the long term answer at point guard for the Jazz. Knight is smarter, more athletic, and presumably more of a leader based on what he did in the NCAA tournament with a team of future NBAers.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers/ Enes Kanter
- Of the two that are coming in for private workouts this week, Kanter will be available. The best pure big man in this draft, Kanter is the ideal next choice for the Cavs after drafting a point guard. Bookends.
- Anderson Varajeo is no Kanter. Kanter is more physical and more of a classic center.
5. Toronto Raptors/ Jonas Valanciunas
- Jonas is making the late charge as one of the best European prospects. He fits in the same sort of role Chris Bosh voided last summer. He wont score as much, but he’s a fit.
- It’s either Jonas or Jan Vesely with this pick. The Raptors have a small forward (which would be Vesely’s position), sort of. Demarr DeRozan is a good fit at small forward. Keep him there.
6. Washington Wizards/ Kawhi Leonard
- The ideal athletic partner to pair with John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young. Only, he’s a small forward and none of the three aforementioned players are. That’s a fit.
- May turn out to be in elite company as one of the most (if not No. 1) athletic player in this draft. Right now, I’d rank them: 1)Williams, 2)Leonard, 3)Knight, 4)Kemba Walker, 5)Alec Burks. I’ll take No. 2 any day.
7. Sacramento Kings/ Kemba Walker (prev. 8 )
- I said it’s very tempting, in my first mock draft, for the Kings to take him. Too tempting.
- Walkers is the good fit. Get the ball out of the hands of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins so much, and allow Walker to make the decisions. He’s a smart player, only he’ll have to get passed his height deficiency.
8. Detroit Pistons/ Bismack Biyombo (prev. 7)
- It could work. Detroit has always been a high class organization. Under the tutelage of players like Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell, he could flourish.
- Wallace needs a replacement, and how great would it be for the Pistons if they found his replacement in Biyombo. And Biyombo can score more than Wallace ever could. It could be a great marriage.
9. Charlotte Bobcats/ Jan Vesely (prev. 11)
- If he’s available, you have to take him no matter who you have as a small forward. Vesely is more athletically gifted than most European players. He’s like an American small forward.
- The Bobcats got rid of Gerald Wallace (to Portland), so Vesely could easily replace him. A great addition at the No. 9 pick.
10. Milwaukee Bucks/ Alec Burks
- He’s a 6-foot-6 point guard. Ease him into a transition to shooting guard and he could be very good in the NBA. He’s got tremendous athleticism and intangible skills, which I love especially in point guards. In a shooting guard? Even better.
- The Bucks will lose Michael Redd and Chris Douglas-Roberts to free agency. They need an immediate replacement to get back to playoff form as they were last season.
11. Golden State Warriors/ Klay Thompson
- A fine fit to what will supposedly be a fast-paced, running offense installed by Mark Jackson, the team’s new coach.
- Thompson made everything, and cookies, at all the workouts he’s participated in. Won’t find a better shooter in this draft, that’s a guarantee. (Even Jimmer).
12. Utah Jazz/ Chris Singleton
- They’ll love this Florida State prospect in Utah. The best defensive player in the draft. The Seminoles always seem to churn out good defensive pro prospects, recently Toney Douglas.
- For a team who has no need to have two picks in the lottery, Singleton should be a good, comfortable addition for their new coach.
13. Phoenix Suns/ Jimmer Fredette (prev. 15)
- If they’re talking about this guy being a pretty good point guard in the NBA, then there’s no better player to learn from than Steve Nash. Nash can teach him the right mindset and the right maturity and composure for the game.
- In a fast-paced offense like in Phoenix, there could be no bigger threat than Jimmer running and planting his foot beyond the arc.
14. Houston Rockets/ Tristan Thompson (prev. 9)
- You can’t really explain all the health issues Yao Ming has had with the Rockets, besides just bad luck. Thompson is a shot blocker, a defensive presence the Rockets have been yearning for.
- Develop an offensive game and he’s a serious threat in any team’s system.
15. Indiana Pacers/ Marcus Morris (prev. 14)
- Why not add depth to that frontline they have? Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Marcus Morris. Just rolls off the tongue if you’re a Pacer fan.
- Morris brings a more offensive game than either Hibbert or Hansbrough. He is small for his position like Hansbrough, but could learn a mid range game than can help his game like it has help Hansbrough’s.
16. Philadelphia 76ers/ Jordan Hamilton
- If you’re going to trade away Andre Igoudala, then you might as well draft a replacement. Although, this small forward position might be one calling for Evan Turner, last year’s No. 2 overall draft pick to the Sixers.
- Jordan Hamilton is a prolific scorer. He takes bad shots, but makes almost half of them (well, low-40 percent).
17. New York Knicks/ Marshon Brooks
- There’s another scorer to add onto Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire.
- Like Klay Thompson before him, he too made pretty much all of the shots he’s been taking in workouts. Coming from Providence, yeah the Knick fans will be rooting his name.
18. Washington Wizards/ Donatas Motiejunas (prev. 13)
- He’s no replacement for JaVale McGee, but he is a guy who provides more of an offensive game than the Slam Dunk runner-up.
- Having fallen, he’s a good value pick here. The Wizards wont find another Kawhi Leonard here. Nor a tested center.
19. Charlotte Bobcats/ Darius Morris (prev. 20)
- Great vision makes for a great point guard.
- Athletically and physically, he surpasses DJ Augustin, the current point guard in Charlotte.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves/ Josh Selby (prev. 26)
- No point guard to take. No longer a need for one with Rubio on his way. Selby is a talented shooting guard, with some attitude problems.
- Aside from his maturity, scouts like in range, his playmaking ability, and everything else the Kansas Jayhawks recruited him for.
21. Portland Trailblazers/ Kenneth Faried (prev. 16)
- My goodness imagine Faried and LeMarcus Aldridge next to each other in the paint. Talk about a mentality that nobody gets to the rim. This would make for a ridiculous shot-blocking tandem.
- Faried is the best rebounder the NCAA has ever had.
22. Denver Nuggets/ Tobias Harris
- A fit through and through with the Nuggets. A lot of people getting old on that team, Kenyon Martin and Nene. Harris can be the apprentice.
- Harris has a nice inside out game from Tennessee.
23. Houston Rockets/ Markieff Morris (prev. 18)
- Totally different talent than Tristan Thompson, taken before him. A more offensive oriented player, offering a change of pace on a new-look frontline.
- Based on shear value alone, he’s worth the pick.
24. Oklahoma City/ Nikola Mirotic (prev. 23)
- This is a team never afraid to take a risk on a European player.
- Mirotic is another gritty player to add to the roster, more offensively than anything.
25. Boston Celtics/ Jordan Williams (prev. 19)
- Between Jordan Williams and Jeremy Tyler, Williams is more like Kendrick Perkins.
- Williams is big bodied and can be counted on to play good defense against other bigs in the NBA. He wont get bullied.
26. Dallas Mavericks/ Tyler Honeycutt (prev. 27)
- A small forward to spar Shawn Marion.
- Will allow the Mavericks to stay with a big lineup even when Marion goes out. Unless of course the Mavs want to go with a small lineup.
27. New Jersey Nets/ Reggie Jackson (prev. 21)
- Do you plan on losing Deron Williams next offseason to free agency? Yes or no? Grab Jackson.
- Another good value pick-up of a guard whose wingspan, 7-foot, is awing.
28. Chicago Bulls/ Charles Jenkins
- A big guard. A project. You hope everything that you saw at Hofstra translates well to the NBA.
- A shooting guard, kind of like Keith Bogans. Maybe better.
29. San Antonio Spurs/ Jeremy Tyler (prev. 25)
- The team is getting old. Tyler is really young and talented.
- A big man is a big need for the Spurs. With Tim Duncan getting old, that’s all the more reason to draft Tyler, and apprentice who might be able to provide some of the same things in the future than Duncan did (defense, rebounding, low-post moves).
30. Chicago Bulls/ Justin Harper
- An athletic power forward, who can run, block shots, and play defense. Carlos Boozer is boring. Harper is a spark plug.
- Might fit in along the same role as Ty Gibson.