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.
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