21. Boston Celtics – Royce White (Iowa State) 6-8 260 pounds
Hopkins High School (MN) alum Royce White is one of the most verstalie players in this years draft class. A point forward player that is at his best with the ball in his hands could be a very effective NBA player given the right coach and system. The Celtics are in need of some front court help, and White could be a steal at this point in the draft. A stat filler across the board.
22. Boston Celtics – Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State) 6-11 223 pounds
The Celtics need a center to help with there low post presence. Playing majority the playoffs with KG as their center, Moultrie could come give them an interior toughness. Flying under the radar all season, Moultrie is a beast. He wants to dunk everything, and uses his wide frame to clear space on both ends of the floor.
23. Atlanta Hawks – Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure) 6-10 235 pounds
May come as a surprise to see this name in the first round, but don’t get it twisted, Nicholson can play. He is a true stretch 4 that has really impressed GMs during the workout process. Was a top performer at the combine this year during the pick up games and could be a nice replacement if Josh Smith leaves Atlanta.
24. Cleveland Cavilers – Fab Melo (Syracuse) 7-0 255 pounds
With the Cavs taking a guard with their first pick in this years draft, look for them to grab another big man to help add depth to the front line. Fab Melo in my eyes under preformed during his time at Syracuse, but could really be an effective big man in the NBA with his height and already good frame. He is athletic and is an above average shot blocker.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Tony Wroten Jr. (Washington) 6-6 205 pounds
A very big PG with a lot of upside, Wroten has the potential to be the steal of the draft, or a major bust. Unproven, Wroten Jr. is a talent that is worth gambling on this late in the draft. I see similarities to a player like Tyreke Evans.
26. Indiana Pacers – Draymond Green (Michigan State) 6-8 235 pounds
One of my favorite players in college basketball last year, Green is guy that will do anything the coach asks of him. The Pacers could use a guy off the bench that brings a winning mentality, and the willingness to do the dirty work. Green as the potential to have a long career in the NBA mainly because of his high basketball IQ.
27. Miami Heat – Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt) 6-11 265 pounds
The Heat need a true center that can bang with some of the big boys in the Eastern Conference (ie. Dwight Howard), and Ezeli has that capabilities. A true center that doesn’t need to score to be effective, Ezeli is a solid fit for the reigning NBA champs. He can provide rebounds, blocks, and a decent post up game.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder – Evan Fournier (France) 6-7 205 pounds
The first international player taken in the draft should be Fournier. The Thunder have arguably the most stacked lineup in the NBA and have no real need which makes Fournier a solid pick. The Thunder can let Fournier develop a little more and bring him over when needed. Fournier has great height for a SG in the NBA and could be a very productive player down the road.
29. Chicago Bulls – Will Barton (Memphis) 6-6 175 pounds
Word is that Barton has had some very good workouts, and the Bulls are looking at him very hard. I still think the Bulls are need of a knock down shooter, but there is not much first round talent (maybe John Jenkins) at this point that can provide that for them. Barton is athletic 2 guard, that can defend multiple positions and has a wide variety of offensive tools.
30. Golden State Warriors – Quincy Miller (Baylor) 6-10 220 pounds
I had a hard time deciding between Miller and Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt), but with the last pick in the first round the Warriors should gamble a little bit and grab Miller. With time, Miller could develop into a really nice player. He has the upside that Taylor doesn’t have, and with the right system Miller could be very productive.
11. Portland Trailblazers – Meyers Leonard (Illinois) 7-1 250 pounds
With the Blazers electing to go with a guard with there 6th overall pick, look for the Blazers to lock up a big man with there second pick in the first round. They most likely will have their pick of 3 viable big men in Leonard, Zeller, and Henson here, but with Leonards upside and frame he seems to be the fit alongside LaMarcus Aldridge. Although many people don’t know much about Leonard he is an athletic 7 footer that plays tough on both ends of the floor.
12. Milwaukee Bucks – Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) 7-0 247 pounds
After trading Andrew Bogut to Golden State the Bucks are in a desperate need of center. Zeller is a polished offensive scorer with a deadly right hand baby hook and a good touch. Although there is question marks in his toughness and strength, he comes to play day in and day out and is the best running big man in the draft.
13. Phoenix Suns – Terrence Ross (Washington) 6-7 200 pounds
I don’t think many people would have expected out of high school for Ross to be a lottery pick over his high school teammate Terrence Jones (Kentucky), but with his height and athletic ability, Ross has shot up draft boards. Although streaky at times, Ross can stroke it from deep and will help the Suns backcourt out.
14. Houston Rockets – John Henson (North Carolina) 6-10 216 pounds
If the Pistons don’t grab Henson at #8, I can see Henson falling down the board a bit. The Rockets are in need of center, and with Leonard, Zeller off the board Henson is the guy. He is the second best shot blocker in the draft behind Anthony Davis, and is an athletic big that can also run the floor. Only reason for him falling to #14 is his weight, and can be pushed around on the block easily.
Note: Houston might package picks #14,16,18 after their trade with Minnesota today. Look for a trade to Sacramento or a desperate attempt at Dwight Howard.
15. Philadelphia 76ers – Perry Jones III (Baylor) 6-11 235 pounds
With the aging Elton Brand, the 76ers are in need of an young athletic big man that can run the floor and score in a variety of ways. Jones has the potential and upside to be a top 5 pick (as many projected coming out of high school), but many GMs are in limbo about what kind of player Perry Jones III really is. I think at #15 the 76ers would love to grab this kind of talent.
16. Houston Rockets – Moe Harkless (St. John’s) 6-9 207 pounds
At pick 16 the Rockets can take a little gamble and I think Harkless should be that gamble. Restricted to playing the PF slot at St. John’s, Harkless was limited in showing his true offensive ability. Harkless is an underrated shooter and can guard multiple positions. Could turn out to be a solid selection in the mid-first round.
17. Dallas Mavericks – Terrence Jones (Kentucky) 6-10 25o pounds
I want to say Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) is the play for the Mavs here, but if Terrence Jones is available this late it would be hard to pass up. Jones can rebound, he’s tough, he’s versatile and most importantly he wants to win. The Mavs need some youth and toughness down low and Jones is willing to be that guy.
18. Houston Rockets (via Timberwolves 6/26/12) – Marquis Teague (Kentucky) 6-2 180 pounds
Like I noted above, look for the Rockets to package these picks to move up in the top 10, but if that doesn’t happen and 2 bigs already selected, the Rockets need some depth at the PG spot especially since they are actively shopping Kyle Lowry around. If Teague had stayed another year at Kentucky he would have been a top 10 pick. At 18 the Rockets would be drafting Teague purely on value.
19. Orlando Magic – Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) 6-9 270 pounds
No one was hurt more in the pre-draft business then Sullinger. He has been sliding down the draft boards ever since the word of his bad back was made public. But if I were a GM in the middle of the first round and needed a solid low post guy, I would take the risk. Sullinger is a winner and you know what kind of player you are going to get. Sullinger can step in from day one and play meaningful minutes. The Magic in my eyes would be getting a steal at #19.
20. Denver Nuggets – Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) 6-4 195 pounds
Besides Dallas, I see the Nuggets being a perfect fit for Marshall. Andre Miller’s contract is up, and Marshall could slide right in to replace the old with youth. Marshall is the best passer in the draft and can push the ball in a flash. With the UNC duo in Lawson and Marshall, teams would have be very scared of the Nuggets transition offense.
1. New Orleans Hornets – Anthony Davis (Kentucky) 6-11 222 pounds
This is a no brainer for the Hornets. Struggling all of last year, the Hornets get a top shot blocker and a versatile big man that is still has a high ceiling in terms of offensive ability. There is no debate here, this is the #1 pick in the draft.
2. Charlotte Bobcats – Thomas Robinson (Kansas) 6-9 245 pounds
If the Bobcats do in fact hold on to this pick (look for them to shop it around to move down in the draft and accumulate another 1st rounder), T-Rob as they call him would be the safest bet. Although the Bobcats needs just about everything, you know what you are going to get day in and day out with Robinson. A beast on the defensive glass, and a motor that doesn’t stop. His offensive game is still developing, but if he can knock down the 15-18 foot jump shot consistently, T-Rob could be a star. Not only is Robinson a hard worker, he comes from a winning background going to high school at Brewster Academy and then on to the winningest program over the last decade, the University of Kansas.
3. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal (Florida) 6-5 202 pounds
With the addition of Trevor Ariza in the trade with the Hornets over the off season, I’m more inclined to think the Wizards will select Beal over Kidd-Gilchrist. The Wizards need to supply John Wall with scores and Beal is the perfect fit. Can stroke it from anywhere, and can use his big frame to get into the paint and finish against contact. Another plus is his rebounding ability, Beal was one of the best rebounding guards in the country this year.
4. Cleveland Cavilers – Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) 6-8 230 pounds
Cleveland like the Wizards have to make a decision about Kidd-Gilchrist really is? If they aren’t sold on his offensive ability, I see them grabbing Barnes here. Barnes has the great height for a 2 guard at the NBA level, and is a very intelligent player. The Cavs need some shooters for Kyrie Irving so Barnes seems like the better fit then Kidd-Gilchrist. A Irving/Barnes backcourt = Tar Heel and Blue Devil tandem, Wild.
5. Sacramento Kings – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky) 6-8 233 pounds
The Kings ideally would like to fill up there front line, but if Thomas Robinson goes before they select, I think they take the leftovers of Barnes or Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist could help this Kings team tremendously by adding a certain toughness and winning attitude. Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t need to put up points to affect the game, and that is exactly what the Kings need. He is a “do everything” player that is solid on both ends of the floor. I would be very happy if I were a Kings fan if they select him.
Also hearing they are looking to move down in the draft, so keep your eye out for potential trade.
6. Portland Trailblazers – Damien Lillard (Weber State) 6-3 190 pounds
The Blazers will either select Lillard or Drummond here, but with Raymond Felton on his way out of Portland, the Trailblazers should grab the best PG in this years draft. Lillard can shoot from deep, or get to the rim with ease. He will be the type of PG the Blazers are looking for. One of my favorite players in this years draft.
7. Golden State Warriors – Dion Waiters (Syracuse) 6-4 221 pounds
The Warriors like the Blazers will have to decide if Drummond is the real deal or a potential bust. Because there is a risk in Drummond, I see the Warriors selecting Waiters, a guard who can get to the basket and use his physical frame to overpower smaller defenders. With the loss of Monta Ellis last year, Waiters can fill that spot and let Klay Thompson move over to the 3 spot.
8. Toronto Raptors – Jeremy Lamb (UConn) 6-5 180 pounds
The Raptors would prefer Waiters here, but with him already off the board, it seems like Lamb is the pick. Lamb can provide instant scoring from a variety of different ways and will help the Raptors from the perimeter. Lamb needs to be tougher and more assertive on the court to make an impact in the NBA, but if he gets the right motivation his ceiling is high.
9. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond 7-0 (UConn) 280 pounds
The Pistons are in the need of big man to compliment Greg Monroe and they would be getting a steal here at 9 with Drummond. Many believe Drummond could be off the board here, so look for John Henson or Miles Leonard as alternatives. Drummond is very athletic and talented 7 footer with a high ceiling. Many are questioning his ability because of his lack of production at his one year at UConn, but at the 9 pick this isn’t a reach and is the best Center available.
10. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Rivers (Duke) 6-5 200 pounds
If the Hornets believe Rivers can play the PG postion at the NBA level, this is a very solid choice at #10. We all know that Rivers is super talented with a sixth sense of getting the ball through the net, but can he run a team and play defense is the question? With a core of Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, and Austin Rivers there would be plenty to look forward to in New Orleans.
1. Kyle Anderson – 6-8 215 – Jersey City, NJ (St. Anthony ) – Uncommitted – list: St. Johns, Villanova, Georgetown, Arizona, Seton Hall, UCLA, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky
No I did not mess up on his height! Kyle is a very tall, lengthy guard who you want to have the ball in his hands at all times. He is a “do-everything” kind of player and is a triple double threat every time he walks on the court.
Where he’ll end up: Stays in the Big East- my guess is Villanova or St. Johns
2. Yogi Ferrell – 5-11 165 – Indianapolis, IN (Park Tudor School) – Committed: Indiana University
A very quick PG with outstanding basketball IQ. Usually a pass first type of PG with the knack of getting his teammates involved, but when needed can hit his pull up jumper from anywhere on the court. Despite his lack of size, he posses great elevation on his jump shot and has a smooth release.
3. J-Mychal Reese – 6-1 170 – Bryan, TX (Bryan) – Uncommitted – list: Kansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisville, Memphis
A scoring PG, J-Mychal has a wide variety of ways to put the ball in the basket. Loves to get to the hoop using his quick first step, but also has a silky smooth jump shot up to around 20 ft. Even though he’s a score first, pass second PG, he does have great court vision and will always hit the open man. Oh, and by the way he’s a lefty!
Where he’ll end up: Rock Chalk Jayhawk! (Crossing my fingers)
4. Marcus Paige – 6-0 155 – Marion, IA (Linn Mar) Committed: North Carolina
Paige is a very speedy PG with a high basketball IQ. Great pick and roll player, with outstanding handles. A very good long range shooter, but struggles finishing in the paint because of his lack of strength. Seems to be a perfect fit in the Roy Williams system and will be a perfect replacement for when current UNC PG Kendall Marshall is no longer playing.
5. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera – 6-3 210 – Mouth of Wilson, VA (Oak Hill) – Uncommitted – List: Louisville, Kansas State, Baylor, Xavier, Texas, Georgetown
Best attribute is his strength and vision. Can over power smaller guards and has no real weakness. Excellent passer, with a jump shot that keeps defenders honest.
Where he’ll end up: To be honest I have no clue. My guess is either Louisville or Kansas State
PG – Magic Johnson – Can’t argue with his numbers, and most importantly you can’t argue with his Rings
Honorable mention: Oscar Robertson
SG - Michael Jordan – Do I really have to say why?
Honorable mention: George Gervin
SF - Larry Bird – Averaged 24.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 6.3 apg all while shooting 49.6% FG.
Honorable Mention: Elgin Baylor
PF - Dirk Nowitzki – This a bold move, but well deserving. Averaging 23 ppg, 8.3 rpg while shooting 47.6% FG. His play is so versatile with a winning attitude.
Honorable mention: Karl Malone
C – Wilt Chamberlain – Despite other centers that have won considerably more rings ( Kareem, Bill Russell), no one can downgrade Wilt’s numbers, 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg, 4.4 apg. (plus he is a Jayhawk)
Honorable mention: Bill Russell
1. Cleveland Cavilers – Kyrie Irving PG Duke 6-3 191
Analysis: From what I’ve read/heard the Cavs are about 95% sure they are taking Kyrie Irving with the first pick. This is no surprise to anyone since Kyrie expresses franchise point guard abilities with his ability to get to the rim and create. When I watched Kyrie play the one PG that came to mind was Chris Paul, and that has to say something about this kids talent. The Cavs are in desperate need of a PG. With aging Baron Davis, and Ramon Sessions as the current options Kyrie seems to be the right move. If the Cavs do draft Kyrie look for Sessions or Davis to be used as trade bait.
Strengths: Posses great size for the PG position and incredible intangibles that every team wants. Has been a proven winner whether in high school (St. Patricks, NJ) or at Duke. Has very good ball control, keeps the ball on a leash and the ability to find the open man with precision passes. Irving plays at a very fast but under control pace, can get up and and down the court with the best of them ( No not like John Wall or Derrick Rose) but does not turn the ball over. (1.75 assist/turnover ratio). Has a quick first step with the ability to get past defenders and get to the rim. Look for him to score a good amount of points from the free throw line where he shoots 90%.
Weaknesses: Not many come to mind when talking about Kryie. If I had to pick one out, it would be his outside shooting. Yes he did shoot 46% from the three point line last year but that was only over 11 games. He has yet to show a consistent pull up jumper and in the NBA he’ll need to establish that to keep defenders honest.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams 6-8 250
Analysis: You would think this pick is a simple choice for the Wolves, but you never know what goes through GM David Kahn’s head when it comes to the draft. Williams is by far the best talent and player available at this point, but I’ve heard numerous rumors about the Wolves possibly trading this pick and getting a veteran big man in return (I’d hope a little more too). Williams would be a nice compliment for Kevin Love, and with Ricky Rubio coming over, a core of Love, Rubio and Williams could create some buzz for the Timberwolves fans. Williams is a fierce competitor and I know it sounds cliche but he doesn’t like to lose. This is the perfect attribute for a struggling Minnesota Timberwolves team. If the Wolves do select Williams it will be interesting to see what they decide to do with Michael Beasley being virtually the same style of player.
Strengths: The first thing that jumps out at you is his footwork. Williams posses great footwork for a big man, which can separate him from similar players. Williams has good post moves and is great at establishing himself before the ball gets there. It will be interesting to see how he does against bigger and quicker opponents in the NBA, but Williams has enough skills to adapt quickly. Williams also has a very good stroke for someone who is 6-8. Has a very solid mid-range game and the ability to create his own shot. Already has an NBA body, and will be able to jump in immediately without getting pushed around.
Weaknesses: Rebounding the basketball seems to be problem especially on the defensive side of the ball. Although having the strength, only being 6-8 will be a problem. Also, he tends to be more of a ball watcher when shot goes up and can lose position. Even though he shot 56% from the 3 point line last season, he only attempted 1.9 per game. I’m very skeptical that he will be able to shoot consistently from the NBA three point line. The last aspect of his game he needs to work on his cutting down the turnovers. He averaged close to 3 turnovers a game, which equates to 16% of his offensive possessions. With quicker and better defenders in the NBA this number could be higher.
3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight PG Kentucky 6-3 180
Analysis: Utah is in need of some stability in their backcourt, and Brandon Knight could be that rock. A very athletic guard with great height, Knight is the right pick at PG for Utah. With Devin Harris there some people believe Utah may take Enes Kanter here, but I’ve heard Kanter would rather not play not play for them. If this is true, Knight has to be the guy. Look for a possible trade of Devin Harris, but if I were the Jazz I actually wouldn’t mind keeping him and then get rid of Earl Watson.
Strength: Not an overly athletic guard, but has a quick first step and has a knack of getting into the paint and creating whether dishing it off or hitting a floater. Has a solid pull up jumper and has range up to 22 feet. Knight is a fierce competitor and is not shy about taking the last shot (think Princeton game in NCAA tournament). He is also a very solid rebounder at the PG position (4 rpg at Kentucky) this is helpful because it allows him to start a fast break himself and get up and down the floor. Can be a good defender when needed with his length (6-6 wingspan) and above average athleticism. Has been known to have a great personality and has a level head on his shoulders. A great locker room guy.
Weaknesses: Ball handling skills is a concern. Carelessly loses the ball in the lane, and averaged 3.2 turnovers a game for Kentucky. Sometimes tries to hard to make the special or flashy pass and ends up being inaccurate or a turnover. Even though Knight is a good scorer he is more of a volume type scorer that is deemed more “streaky” than anything with his jumper.
4. Cleveland Cavilers – Enes Kanter 6-11 260
Analysis: I was going to say Jonas Valanciunas here, but he would have to buyout $3 million from his Euro Club and many believe he won’t play in the NBA for a couple of seasons. This leaves Kanter as the best option for the Cavs. Already securing their PG for the future in Kyrie Irving, they could lock down a solid big men with this pick. Having a core of Irving, JJ Hickson, Anderson Varejao, and Kanter would be a good group to build around for the future.
Strengths: Already posses an NBA ready body, with a 7-1 wingspan and a 9-1 standing reach, Kanter can be a big body in the center. Has very good hands for a center, and can score in a variety of ways. Has a soft touch from his mid range game and can shoot it from up to 20 feet. Pretty mobile despite weighing 260 pounds and can get up and down the floor well.
Weaknesses: The main problem is that we just haven’t seen enough game footage from Kanter to really see what type of player he is. With what we have seen though is that he doesn’t have a very good motor, and sometimes lacks the desire to compete. A below average rebounder despite being 6-11, and not much of a shot blocker. Being a below average defender could be a problem facing some NBA big men.
5. Toronto Raptors – Kemba Walker PG UCONN 6-1 185
Analysis: With Jose Calderon just not cutting it at the starting PG spot, and no faith in Jerryd Bayless Toronto seems likely to take a PG. They would love to grab Brandon Knight here if Utah doesn’t take him, but it seems likely they will. By selecting Walker, Toronto may be getting the most exciting player in the draft. With his ability to create off the dribble and get to the rim, Walker will contribute right away. Could be a fun young team to watch with the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, Sonny Weems, and Andrea Bargnani.
Strengths: The first thing that comes to mind when you say Kemba Walker is speed. Kemba is the quickest player in the draft and probably the fastest with the ball. Can handle the ball very well and has a variety of ways to get to the rim. Has no fear when playing and is willing to put the team on his back (Think title run in Big East and NCAA tournaments). Out of the players in this draft there isn’t any other player I would want to take a last second shot for me (maybe Jimmer). You have to love the intangibles he brings to the table, just a natural competitor and born winner. Despite being only 185, Walker is very durable and never missed a game last year for UCONN while playing almost every minute.
Weaknesses: His measurements seem to be the only real weakness that stands out. Only measuring 5-11 without shoes and a well below average 6-3 wingspan Kemba isn’t physically gifted like a Derrick Rose or John Wall. With not having the biggest body, he could have some problems on the defense end, and he is not known for being the best on ball defender. In most cases he’s known as a “streaky” shooter, or a volume scorer since he only shot 43% from the field.
6. Washington Wizards – Kawhi Leonard SF San Diego State 6-7 225
Analysis: The Wizards already have an abundance of talent at the guard spots ( John Wall, Nick Young, Jordan Crawford) but need someone one the wing with aging vets Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard playing their way out of major minutes. Leonard could come in a give the Wizards an immediate impact especially on the defensive end. The Wizards were 24th in points allowed so someone who plays hard on both ends of the floor is a must. Even though he is not overly effective on the offensive end, he is surrounded by scoring talent in Crawford and Young.
Strengths: Amazing physical attributes, has a 7-3 wingspan with hands bigger than most centers in the league. Also weighs a solid 225 which is heavier than some PF in this class. Has the ability to guard multiple positions and can use his body effectively while guarding bigger players. Is tremendous while guarding pick and roll situations because of his ability to fight through screens and option to switch onto any player. Can do a bit of everything on the offensive end, not especially great at one thing, but is very versatile.
Weaknesses: Even though he is versatile on the offensive end, his jump shot is very inconsistent and is not a real threat from the three point line. Only hit 32% of his spot up jumpers, and 28% of his pull up jumpers and those numbers will not cut it in the NBA. Not an exceptionally great ball handler and is at sometimes hesitant to get to the rim.
7. Sacramento Kings - Jonas Valanciunas PF/C Lithuania 6-11 240
Analysis: I think the Kings would like to take Kawhi Leonard if he falls to them , but if he doesn’t I think taking Jonas here would be a good pick. He is a very athletic and lanky player who can run the floor really well. Is a fierce competitor who just doesn’t sit around and wait for things to happen. The Kings did select two centers in last years draft, but Hassan Whiteside has not shown improvement or really the skills to be a difference maker in the NBA. If the Kings select Jonas, look for them to trade Whiteside or Samuel Dalembert.
Strengths: Very active big man. Excellent rebounder both offensive and defensive, crashes boards very hard every play. Offensive rebounds is where he scores a lot of his points with put backs or tip ins. Can be a good defender in the paint with a good motor. An effective weak side shot blocker and uses his length to alter passes and shots. Does not avoid contact which is a good thing since he is a very good free throw shooter (88.5% FT). Has been said that he has a deep passion for the game and is passionate about improving his game each year.
Weaknesses: Offensively he is limited to what he can do at this point. Can shoot up to about 15 feet, but even then is not a true threat. Has not filled out his frame yet, so he tends to be overpowered by bigger and stronger opponents on both side of the floor. Still not much of a passer. He is not selfish by any means, but just doesn’t have a good touch with his passes or the floor sense to find the open guy at the right time. Biggest concern is actually not part of his game, its the $3 million dollar buyout with Lietuvos Rytas who he currently plays for. This is a large chunk of money, so look for Jonas to be over in a couple years.
8. Detroit Pistons – Jan Vesely SF/PF Czech Republic 6-11 240
Analysis: Possibly the most athletic player in the draft, Vesely is a 6-11 freak. With likely departures of Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince the Pistons are in a need of a young athletic wing. Vesely can play either the small forward or power forward position and can provide versatilely to the Pistons lineup. I think has the potential to be star if he developed the right way for the first couple of years (outside shooting, dribbling).
Strengths: Amazing athlete who can use his athleticism to change games on both ends of the floor. Is a very good slasher who can finish around the rim better than any SF in this draft. Is an active rebounder on the offensive glass. Produces a lot of tip ins and put backs as well as draw fouls on a consistent basis. Very good hands, with a soft touch while in the post. Has very good lateral quickness and length for his height which allows him to guard multiple positions.
Weaknesses: Still hasn’t improved on his one on one skills. Can’t really do much off the dribble and is usually not a threat to blow by any defenders. Has a mediocre jump shot, and shoots very poorly from the free throw line ( 46% FT). Needs to add some weight and fill out his frame. Still has some trouble holding his ground against bigger opponents. Some scouts are worried that he may not have a true position since he is 6-11 but prefers to play on the perimeter but doesn’t really have a jumper.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Marcus Morris SF/PF Kansas 6-9 230
Analysis: Another one of my favorite players in the draft, Marcus is more versatile than his twin brother Markieff (16th pick) and can play the small forward or power forward in the next level. A true NBA small forward though, Morris is an all around skilled player. The Bobcats are in need of a lot of help, especially with the departure of Gerald Wallace and who better to draft than Morris who can do a little bit of everything. Morris could be a good compliment to Stephen Jackson, and provide good stability to the front line of Charlotte who always seems to be injury plagued.
Strengths: One thing that makes Morris so good is his versatility on both ends of the floor. On offense he can score from the perimeter as well as inside. His jump shot has developed very nicely since arriving at KU as a freshman. Can shoot consistently from NBA three, and has a very good pull up jumper. His inside game is one that really impresses me, with help from assistant coach Danny Manning, Morris has a variety of low post moves including a baseline turnaround jumper. Just an overall efficient scorer where he shot 57% from the field at KU last season. Possesses great hands and is an excellent passer for his size.
Weaknesses: Not as strong as most players his size. Will be interesting to see how he competes on the glass against stronger more athletic players, because he tends to get pushed around while underneath battling for rebounds. Is not at a real threat as a shot blocker only averaging .6 blocks per game. Labeled as “tweener” because he does not look as quick as most NBA small forwards.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks SG Colorado 6-6 195
Analysis: The Bucks are need of some scoring from the wing, and Burks is a perfect guy to come in and give you a polished game with a lot of upside. Not heavily recruited out of high school, Burks turned into one the best scoring guards in the NCAA. Burks could be a good compliment to John Salmons and Brandon Jennings in the back court Burks provides excellent height for a two guard, and has a variety of ways to score the ball.
Strengths: At 6-6 Burks provides great height and also has a massive 6-10 wingspan. Is a great ball handler with the ability to break down defenders and get to the rim at will. Can create his own shot, and can shoot it from anywhere on the court. A naturally smooth scorer that makes the game look effortless. Even though he is a shooting guard he has point guard skills and excels in the open court whether he is slashing to the rim, or finding the open man with his great court vision.
Weaknesses: Although he has great height, he has not bulked up enough at only 195. On the defensive end he tends to be vulnerable when guarding the ball where he doesn’t show great lateral quickness or toughness. Though a natural scorer and has the ability to score from anywhere, he is has been inconsistent from the three point line shooting 29% last year.
11. Golden State Warriors – Klay Thompson SG Washington State 6-7 205
Analysis: From what I’ve heard, newly hired executive Jerry West loves Thompson and want to grab him here at #11. I haven’t seen Thompson play much but he does posses great height for a SG, and has performed very well at the combine and other workouts. A premier scorer in college ( 21.6 ppg) the warriors would be getting another threat from the perimeter. Rumor has it the Warriors are trying to shop Monta Ellis to the 76ers for Andre Iguodala and this would open up that SG spot for Thompson. If the Warriors draft Thompson here, look for some sort of trade coming from the Warriors. What concerns me is that his team at Washington State consistently underperformed and his character issues. Was also arrested while at Washington State for Marijuana possession.
12. Utah Jazz - Chris Singleton SF/PF Florida State 6-9 230
Analysis: May not be the perfect fit, but the Jazz could use a guy like Singleton. One of the best defenders in the draft, Singleton uses his length and athleticism to get blocks (1.5 bpg) and steals (2.0 spg). Could add a few pounds to avoid getting pushed around in the post, but has a body similar to other NBA forwards (Gerald Wallace, Rudy Gay). Although he hasn’t fully developed a steady offensive game, his jump shot has come along way, as well as his post moves during his senior season at Florida State. With Gordon Hayward and Singleton running the three spot for the Jazz, you have two experienced college stars that love to play the game.
13. Phoenix Suns – Tristan Thompson PF Texas 6-9 227
Analysis: Thompson is a undersized PF, but makes up for it with a solid 7-1 wingspan. Thompson has probably the strongest lower body of anyone in the draft, and uses it very effectively when establishing himself in the post. Is very mobile for guy his size, can get up and down the floor, while making great cuts towards the basket. One of the best offensive rebounders in the NCAA, has a very good motor and plays very hard. Will need to work on his footwork and post moves to be able to score in the post at the NBA level.
14. Houston Rockets - Dontas Motiejunas C Lithuania 7-0 224
Analysis: WIth Yao Ming’s foot and whole body in question every year, having another 7 footer would add great depth to the frontline who uses a 6-6 center in Chuck Hayes Once considered a lock in the lottery, his workouts have done nothing but hurt himself. He has shown he can’t shoot, and is still filling into his body. But you can’t overlook what he did this past season in Italy where he averaged almost 13 ppg while shooting 54% from the field. It will take Dontas a couple years to adjust to the NBA, but being a athletic 7 footer that can shoot off the bounce is a good player to have and let develop.
15. Indiana Pacers – Jimmer Fredette SG BYU 6-2 196
Analysis: Indiana drafting Jimmer would be about as perfect as it gets. The pacers would be drafting the best pure shooter since Stephen Curry, as well as one of the classiest and hardest workers. Jimmer has the ability to stretch the defense to well anywhere. He is a threat to shoot anywhere inside of half court literally. With no real option at the SG spot ( Lance Stephenson hasn’t developed at all) Jimmer could come in and be a contributor immediately. Has shown in workouts that he can guard people which was a concern coming into the draft, and is not backing away from 1 on 1 workouts with Kemba Walker and other premier guards. Going to be a “gym rat” and quality guy to have in the locker room.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Markieff Morris PF Kansas 6-9 241
Analysis: One of my favorite players in the draft ( yea, I’m kinda biased) Morris is a true NBA power forward that can extend the defense all the way out to the three point line (42% 3pt). Developed very nicely under Coach Bill Self while at Kansas. Can shoot from the outside in a pick and pop situation, or finish around the rim with a variety of solid post moves. Has a good solid frame and rebounds the ball very well. Morris plays very aggressively and with a lot of passion. Would love to play with his hometown team and has stated he would feel blessed to play for the 76ers. With Elton Brand getting older and very injury prone, the 76ers could use a reliable backup for the time being until Morris fully adapts to the NBA game.
17. New York Knicks – Jordan Hamilton SG/SF Texas 6-8 228
Analysis: The Knicks really need some scoring help for Carmelo on the wing and who better at this spot in the draft then Hamilton. Hamilton was a lethal scorer for the Texas Longhorns last season (18.6 ppg). Already has NBA three point range, and can score off the dribble elevating over smaller defenders with his high release. Can get up and down the floor exceptionally well for his size and is very fluid in transition scoring the ball. (Knicks play uptempo) Measures well for a SG/SF (almost identical to Joe Johnson and DeMar DeRozan).
18. Washington Wizards – Tobias Harris SF Tennessee 6-8 223
Analysis: Wizards are in need of some SF help with aging Josh Howard and Rashard Lewis. Harris could come in a give Wizards a youth boost being only 18 years old with a lot of upside. Harris has a big body and uses it to his advantages by overpowering smaller defenders. Can create his own shot of the dribble with a surprisingly quick first step. Needs to develop a consistent outside shot and has no low post moves, but Harris is known by teammates as a “gym rat” and very hard worker. What also comes with Harris is a very high basketball IQ. He really understands the game and can adapt quickly.
19. Charlotte Bobcats – Bismack Biyombo PF Congo 6-9 243
Analysis: Talk about a roller coaster ride, Biyombo has gone from possible the 5th pick all the way to the #20. There is no doubt that Biyombo posses outstanding athletic ability and measures very well ( 7-6 wingspan & 9-3 standing reach) but there are so many concerns about him. The biggest problem has to be his offensive game where he has basically none. He had a beyond terrible Eurocamp workout where he shot 0/5 on turnaround jumpers, 2/10 on elbow jumpers, and 21/43 from the free throw line. The plus though for the Bobcats is they are getting a great defensive talent at #19 which can be very valuable. His presence in the paint will be felt immediately, and if he can develop like Serge Ibaka did the Bobcats could have a steal here.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Marshon Brooks SG Providence 6-5 195
Analysis: Definition of a “pure” scorer, Brooks is instant offense that could come help fill the SG hole the Timberwolves have. Brooks has decent height for a 2 guard, and can score in a variety of ways. The second leader scorer in the NCAA, Brooks can score inside or outside up to 30 feet. Has a very good and confident pull up jumper and has the reputation of making crazy shots. Will need to understand his role in the NBA and understand he isn’t “the man” anymore. A mediocre passer and defender, two things that he will have to work on in order to stay on the floor.
21. Portland Trailblazers – Kenneth Faried PF Morehead State 6-8 225
Analysis: Not a better player to draft here that will come in and be a solid role player than Faried. Could be a good backup to LeMarcus Aldridge that will give the Trailblazers rebounding and defense. With the loss of Dante Cunningham and Joel Przybilla last year Faried would add depth to their frontline and bring a certain toughness while in the game.
22. Denver Nuggets – Nikola Vucevic PF/C USC 7-0 260
Analysis: The biggest need I see for the Nuggets is at the PF position. With Kenyon Martin basically heading out the door as a player, the Nuggets need to fill his role. They could add depth to their frontline by adding Vucevic who is a great pick and pop player. I don’t see a need to draft a PG or SF here since they have a multiple players at both positions. Only other option I see is a SG here, but not one to take at 23.
23. Houston Rockets – Darris Morris- PG Michigan 6-5 190
Analysis: Basically an Andre Miller clone, Morris has very good height for a PG at 6-5 and uses his frame to overpower smaller guards. Has a good first step and is always looking to create off the dribble. Needs to establish a better outside shot as his career progresses, but that will come over time.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler SF Duke 6-9 225
Analysis: With the trade of Jeff Green, the Thunder have a wide open hole at the SF spot. Kyle Singler could be a perfect backup to Kevin Durant that will come in a give 100% effort every minute on the floor. Can guard multiple positions and has very high basketball IQ.
25. Boston Celtics – Justin Harper PF Richmond 6-9 230
Analysis: With an aging Boston Celtics team the Celtics need to fill up that front line. Harper is a similar player to Kevin Garnett (minus the defense) where he can extend the defense with his jump shot and is very athletic for a 6-9 player. Harper could provide depth for the Celtics and depth is a must with the age of the team. A center would be a definite need, but at pick 25 there isn’t many options. Look for the Celtics to pick up a center during the free agency period
26. Dallas Mavericks – Davis Bertans SF Latvia 6-10 215
Analysis: Could be the best shooter in this draft behind Jimmer. But at 6-10 he adds a much more dangerous threat to a defense than Jimmer with his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere. At only 18 year old, Bertans has a lot of room for improvement and who better to learn from then NBA finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. Can shoot from off the dribble, around screens, or spotting up much like the arsenal Dirk has. Only dilemma I see her is that his agent has previously stated that he will pull out of the draft if not guaranteed by a team in the first round.
27. New Jersey Nets – Josh Selby SG Kansas 6-3 195
Analysis: The Nets are in a need of a pure scorer to compliment Deron Williams and Brook Lopez and Selby fits that mold perfectly. With not much scoring coming from anyone else but Williams and Lopez, Selby could come and give the Nets a quality option from the SG spot. Selby has the ability to knock down the three as well as the athletic ability to get to rim and create off the dribble. Just overall one of the most athletic players in the draft (ex. 42inch vertical)
28. Chicago Bulls – Charles Jenkins PG/SG Hofstra 6-3 220
Analysis: What was missing from the #1 seeded Bulls this year was a legit scoring option from the SG position. I think the Bulls would prefer to grab Selby at this spot, but Jenkins is no slouch. A prolific scorer who is very efficient shooting 51.7% from the field, as well as 42% from the three point line. Better shooter when spotting up, which is is perfect with Derrick Rose delivering the ball. Has high basketball IQ and is willing to do the dirty work.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Chandler Parsons SF Florida 6-10 220
Analysis: Parsons is a “do everything” type of player. Played anywhere from the SG to the PF position at Florida. Has been developing his outside shot which at the end of the year looked very smooth. With the great coaching staff in San Antonio, Parsons could develop into a solid role player down the road.
30. Chicago Bulls – Tyler Honeycutt SF UCLA 6-8 190
Analysis: With no reliable back up to Loul Deng this year (yeah, I’m not a fan of Kyle Korver), Honeycutt is a tall lanky SF that can shoot the ball well coming off screens. Great player off the ball, moving without the ball, and coming off screens. Will fit into the rugged defense the Bulls run by using his lateral quickness and long arms. Honeycutt didn’t develope as much as I’d like to see during his time at UCLA but Coach Ben Howland has a good track record with his players in the league recently ( Collison, Westbrook, Afflalo, Mbah a Moute, Love).
1) Kyrie Irving PG Duke 6-3 191
2. Derrick Williams SF/PF Arizona 6-8 250
3. Brandon Knight PG Kentucky 6-3 177
4. Enes Kanter PF Turkey 6-11 259
5. Jan Vesely SF Czech Republic 6-11 230
6. Kawhi Leonard SF San Diego State 6-7 227
7. Alec Burks SG Colorado 6-6 193
8. Marcus Morris SF Kansas 6-8 230
9. Kemba Walker PG UCONN 6-1 184
10. Jonas Valanciunas PF/C Lithuania 6-11 240
11. Tristan Thompson PF Texas 6-9 227
12. Jordan Hamilton SG/SF Texas 6-8 228
13. Jimmer Fredette SG BYU 6-2 196
14. Chris Singleton PF Florida State 6-9 230
15. Donatas Motiejunas PF/C Lithuania 7-0 224
16. Markieff Morris PF Kansas 6-9 241
17. Klay Thompson SG Washington State 6-7 206
18. Tobias Harris SF Tennessee 6-8 223
19. Marshon Brooks SG Providence 6-5 195
20. Bismack Biyombo PF Congo 6-9 243
21. Josh Selby PG/SG Kansas 6-3 195
22. Tyler Honeycutt SF UCLA 6-8 187
23. Nikola Vucevic PF/C USC 6-11 260
24. Darris Morris PG Michigan 6-4 190
25. Kenneth Faried PF Morehead State 6-7 225
26. Shelvin Mack PG Butler 6-2 205
27. Davis Bertans SF Latvia 6-10 215
28. Kyle Singler SF Duke 6-9 228
29. Charles Jenkins PG Hofstra 6-3 216
30. JaJuan Johnson PF Purdue 6-10 220
31. Iman Shumpert PG Georgia Tech 6-6 222
32. Justin Harper SF/PF Richmond 6-9 228
33. Nolan Smith PG/SG Duke 6-4 188
34. Trey Thompkins PF Georgia 6-10 239
35. Chandler Parsons SF Florida 6-10 221
36. Reggie Jackson PG Boston College 6-3 200
37. Jon Leuer PF/C Wisconsin 6-11 223
38. Jeremy Tyler PF USA 6-10 262
39. Norris Cole PG Cleveland State 6-2 175
40. Lucas Nogueira C Brazil 7-0 200
41. Malcolm Lee SG UCLA 6-6 198
42. Jimmy Butler SF Marquette 6-8 222
43. David Lightly SG Ohio State 6-6 215
44. Travis Leslie SG Georgia 6-4 205
45. Jordan Williams PF Maryland 6-9 247
46. Keith Benson C Oakland 6-11 217
47. Isaiah Thomas PG Washington 5-10 186
48. Corey Joseph PG Texas 6-3 189
49. Scotty Hopson SG Tennessee 6-7 205
50. Blake Hoffarber SG Minnesota 6-4 200