2011 NBA Mock Draft: Where Is Brandon Knight's Stock? Picks 1-30 Breakdown

Peter HillCorrespondent IIMarch 31, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Where Is Brandon Knight's Stock? Picks 1-30 Breakdown

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    With the NCAA tournament almost over, it's time to look at what the NBA Draft looks like.Several players have altered their stock in several ways, changing the draft strategy of every team in the draft.

    Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger shocked the college basketball landscape this week, by announcing his plans to return for his sophomore season. 

    For underclassmen like Brandon Knight, this is great news.

    Knight has had a heck of a tournament, and hopes to top it off with a national title. Few players have seen their stock rise this season like Knight's, who potentially could be the first pick in this years draft.

    With every player under a huge microscope, the pressure has never been bigger. Whether a player will put up or shut down is entirely up to them.

    Here's an up to the minute mock draft, with picks 1 through 30.

30. San Antonio Spurs Select Kyle Singler

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 240 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Ability to score

    Biggest weakness: Athleticism

     

    Why he's drafted here: Singler to the Spurs might be the most obvious pick in the draft.

    San Antonio has drafted James Anderson, DeJaun Blair, and George Hill the last three years of the draft. Notice anything about those guys?

    They are all very accomplished college players, who rarely make dumb mistakes. Singler is no different. He has had a long and distinguished college career, taking home one national title with Duke.

    Singler is able to score in many ways, whether it’s off the dribble, on a pull up jumper, or after setting a screen.

    Singler is a high IQ guy that Spurs front office executives love.

29. Chicago Bulls Select Jon Leuer

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    Height / Weight: 6'10", 230 lbs.

    Biggest strength: The finesse to his game

    Biggest weakness: Lack of bulk and strength

     

    Why he's drafted here: With the Bulls full of “true” power forwards, a guy like Leuer brings a new dimension to their team.

    Leuer is as big of a finesse player you will see. He has great footwork, can step out and hit threes, plays smart and can dribble by his defender when he needs to.

    Perhaps most importantly, Leuer is a safety guy Derrick Rose can pass to when driving to the bucket.

    Leuer may never see major minutes in the NBA, but he will make them count when he does.

28. New Jersey Nets Select Nikola Mirotic

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    Height / Weight: 6'10" 225 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Shooting stroke

    Biggest weakness: Speed

     

    Why he's drafted here: The Nets need help everywhere, so why not start with a shooting power forward that can stretch the floor?

    Nikola is one of the top shooters in this draft, able to spot up from anywhere on the floor. For a guy that’s 6’10”, that’s a heck of a statement.

    His outside shooting stroke would help Deron Williams when he drives to the bucket.

    He just turned 20-years-old, so the potential to grow as a player is there.

    As many foreign players are, Nikola is highly skilled and has a smooth overall game.

27. Dallas Mavericks Select Justin Harper

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    Height / Weight: 6'10", 230 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Shooting stroke

    Biggest weakness: "Tweener" label

     

    Why he's being drafted here: Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks love tall players who can drain threes. For that reason, they should pick Justin Harper in the first round.

    Harper is tall, agile, quick, and can knock down shots from anywhere.

    Harper is a definite “tweener” at this point, but the improvements can be made. Harper needs to work on his perimeter defense to make the full transition to small forward.

    If he puts in the work this summer and is able to play on the wing, Harper could be one of the biggest steals in this year’s draft.

26. Boston Celtics Select Nolan Smith

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    Height / Weight: 6'3", 190 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Basketball IQ

    Biggest weakness: Athleticism

     

    Why he's drafted here: Take a look at the Celtics' roster. They have the experienced and dominant group of bigs. They have the skill at the wing position between Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

    Last, there is Rajon Rondo at point guard. After Rajon Rondo at point guard, the Celtics don’t have a reliable back up.

    Avery Bradley was the team’s first round pick last year. Not to rip on Bradley, but he has not lived up to expectations this year.

    Boston needs a smart, reliable, high basketball IQ point guard. That man is Nolan Smith.

    Smith won’t make any super athletic plays, but he won’t screw up. Smith knows the game and he knows how to play within himself.

    Smith could find himself as Rajon Rondo’s backup for several years, something the Celtics should cherish.

25. Chicago Bulls Select Shelvin Mack

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    Height / Weight: 6'2", 215 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Ability to score in many ways

    Biggest weakness: True position

     

    Why he's drafted here: Shelvin Mack to Chicago would be an underrated draft pick for several reasons.

    First, Chicago needs scoring and production from the shooting guard position. While Mack is undersized to play two, his scoring makes up for it.

    The Bulls currently play Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer at shooting guard, something that will surely haunt them in the playoffs.

    Second, Mack is somebody Derrick Rose can kick the ball out to. Since Rose is so good at driving to the bucket, he needs an outlet like Mack who can drain open threes.

    Last is the “instant offense” effect. Mack is Ben Gordon-esque in his abilities to score the ball. Mack can do it off the dribble, coming off screens, or just creating his own shot.

    Having another scoring guard on the floor makes Rose and company much more dangerous.

24. Oklahoma City Selects Jordan Williams

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    Height / Weight: 6'10", 260 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Bruising body he uses well

    Biggest weakness: Needs to develop all around game more

     

    Why he's drafted here: Williams has really come on in his two years of college. Coming into college as an overweight post man, Williams has worked hard to transform his body.

    He cut his weight drastically between his freshman and sophomore seasons, as well as improving his conditioning.

    Williams still needs some seasoning, which is why the Thunder should draft him on potential. Just a few years ago, they drafted Serge Ibaka on potential, and we have seen how well that worked out.

    If Williams can continue to transfer his body into more muscle, who knows how valuable he could be to the Thunder’s franchise.

23. Phoenix Suns Select Tobias Harris

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 225 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Polish and feel for the game

    Biggest weakness: Rebounding aggressiveness

     

    Why he's drafted here: Harris is a solid finesse player that could fit right in with Phoenix.

    Everything about his offensive game is promising. Harris is a good ball handler, has three-point range, can beat his man off the dribble and can find the open man.

    Just a freshman in college, Harris’s game has plenty of room to expand.

    He needs to work on his aggressiveness and rebounding. However, if he plays in the same offense as Steve Nash, those concerns are usually minimized.

22. Denver Nuggets Select Trey Thompkins

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    Height / Weight: 6'10", 250 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Polished skills

    Biggest weakness: Athleticism

     

    Why he's drafted here: Thompkins is about as safe of late round pick as you can get. He’s extremely smooth, smart, skilled, and uses his big body to his advantage.

    Veterans Chris Anderson, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington aren’t getting any younger. With the age of the Nuggets front court, a player like Thompkins is a solid addition off the bench.

    He doesn’t have NBA level athleticism, but his basketball IQ and very high skill level make up for it.

    Thompkins knows how to play within himself, making this an even safer pick.

21. Portland Trail Blazers Select Chris Singleton

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    Height / Weight: 6'9", 230 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Defensive prowess

    Biggest weakness: Transitioning to small forward

     

    Why he's drafted here: Chris Singleton plays “Blazer” basketball. He’s tough, athletic, can step out and hit threes and plays hard-nosed defense.

    He is somewhat of a “tweener,” but that fits their style. Gerald Wallace, Rudy Fernandez, and Nicolas Batum are all seen as “tweeners,” being able to play and guard multiple positions.

    Singleton’s backbone of his game is his defense. He is great at disrupting the passing lanes, stripping players of the ball, crashing the boards and blocking or altering shots.

    The Florida State Junior can help on offense too. He is a decent dribbler, shoots threes at a solid rate and is great in transition.

    There is little that doesn’t make sense about Portland picking Singleton.

20. New Orleans Hornets Select Jordan Hamilton

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    Height / Weight: 6'7", 225 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Versatility

    Biggest weakness: Nothing big steps out about his game

     

    Why he's drafted here: There are two good reasons why New Orleans needs to take Jordan Hamilton.

    First is the failure of the Trevor Ariza experiment. Now, Ariza hasn’t been terrible, but he has been nowhere near the player they needed him to be.

    During the last two years, Ariza was a well-rounded scorer who helped contribute in other areas of the game. In his first season with the Hornets, it’s a rare site to see Ariza score more than 12 points.

    The second reason is Chris Paul. If New Orleans wants to have a chance at keeping Paul in town, it starts on taking high potential guys like Hamilton.

    Hamilton has the versatility and smoothness to his game that Paul will love. Not only will Paul love playing with him, but head coach Monty Williams will love his size and toughness on the defensive end.

19. Washington Wizards Select Kenneth Faried

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 225 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Intensity and passion

    Biggest weakness: Undersized

    Why he's drafted here: With two picks in the first round, the Wizards have a serious chance to grab some good talent. At the 19th pick, Washington should pick up tenacious rebounder Kenneth Faried.

    Faried is a monster on the boards, exploding off the floor. He leaps off the floor like Blake Griffin, while attacking the glass like Gerald Wallace.

    Faried is generally listed at 6’8”, meaning he will be an undersized power forward in the NBA.

    However, plenty of undersized power forwards make it in the NBA. Guys like DeJaun Blair, Jason Maxiell and Brandon Bass are examples of the player Faried could be.

    Fortuantely for Faried, none of those guys can jump like him. Faried’s energy and explosiveness will keep him in the NBA for years.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves Select Tyler Honeycutt

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 185 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Defense and athleticism

    Biggest Weakness: Creating off the dribble

     

    Why he's drafted here: Outside of Michael Beasley, the T-Wolves need help on the wing.

    Wesley Johnson, the team’s first pick last year, has been less than impressive this year. Johnson struggles to score, and doesn’t impact the game like he should.

    Honeycutt can come in and provide stability next to Beasley.

    Honeycutt is a supreme defender, next level athlete, and disrupts anything that goes on when defending. He rebounds much better than people would assume, even with his skinny frame.

    He struggles with his outside shot, which is a concern. His dribbling is suspect, but that can be fixed.  At this point in the first round, Honeycutt’s ability to lock down somebody on defense is well worth the pick.

17. Philadelphia 76ers Select Tristan Thompson

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    Height / Weight: 6'9", 225 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Ability to impact the game

    Biggest weakness: Inconsistencies

     

    Why he's drafted here: The 76ers have to be salivating if Thompson can fall to them at 17. The physical power forward is an ideal pickup Doug Collins.

    Philadelphia also has an aging front court. Power forward Elton Brand is on the last leg of his career, making the need for power forward even greater.

    On top of that, Doug Collins refuses to give Mareese Speights consistent minutes.

    Thompson has the body, tools, and energy to impose his will down low. Thompson does nothing great, but everything good.

    This is a moderately risky pick, with the upside to become an everyday starter for the 76ers.

16. New York Knicks Select Kemba Walker

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    Height / Weight: 6'0", 170 lbs.

    Biggest strength: Ability to score

    Biggest weakness: Decison making

     

    Why he's drafted here: Kemba would be a great system player for Mike D’Antoni and the New York Knicks.

    D’Antoni loves players who can run and score, which fits Walker to the teat. Kemba is fast, can drive to the bucket, shoots well from outside and has the big game experience to shine in N.Y.

    With his high turnover ratio, Walker is unlikely to be an everyday starter for the Knicks. However, Walker could see a similar role to combo guard Toney Douglas.

    There are few teams in the NBA who Kemba fits in better with.

15. Indiana Pacers Selelct Markieff Morris

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    Height / Weight: 6'9", 245 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Good all-around game

    Biggest Weakness: Nothing overly flashy to his game

     

    Why he's drafted here: Indiana needs to take another stab at getting a legit power forward. The Tyler Hansbrough /Josh McRoberts experiment has failed.

    Not that Hansbrough and McRoberts are complete busts, but they aren’t starters in the NBA.

    Markieff brings many things to the table Indiana needs. For a power forward, Markieff can step out and hit threes, beat his man off the dribble and finish at a high rate around the rim.

    The “other” Morris twin also has great hands. Rarely will Markieff get his hands on a ball and not come away with it.

    The biggest disappointment for Indiana this year has been Darren Collison. With Markieff in the lineup, Collison should be better at the pick and roll, as well as running the fast break.

14. Houston Rockets Select Jonas Valanciunas

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    Height / Weight: 6'11", 240 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: NBA potential

    Biggest Weakness: Body strength

     

    Why he's drafted here: With the expiring contract of Yao Ming, the Rockets need a center. Jonas Valanciunas is their man.

    The 6’11” center appears to be the European version of Dwight Howard coming into the NBA. Jonas has big broad shoulders that can certainly acquire more muscle.

    Jonas is also only 18-years-old, so the possibility of him growing well over seven feet is good.

    He is somewhat raw at this stage, but he can still contribute immediately. With his huge hands, active feet, and long arms, Jonas can alter shots in the NBA without second thought.

    Valanciunas can be seen as “project,” but the prize is well worth it. Houston desperately needs a big man down low and Jonas could be the future.

13. Phoenix Suns Select Marcus Morris

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 230 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Versatility

    Biggest Weakness: "Tweener" label

     

    Why he's drafted here: The Phoenix Suns are weak at two positions: small forward and power forward.

    Luckily for them, they are drafting a guy who can play both.

    Marcus Morris has the versatility to play either position in the NBA. Morris can shoot from outside, grab rebounds down low, dribble the ball on the perimeter and post up players when he needs to.

    The label of “tweener” might actually work towards Morris’s advantage in this case.

    Morris is definitely NBA ready and can only benefit from playing with Steve Nash.

12. Utah Jazz Select Jimmer Fredette

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    Height / Weight: 6'2", 195 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Shooting stroke

    Biggest Weakness: NBA level athleticism

     

    Why he's drafted here: The Jazz have the opportunity to have a huge draft this year. They have two picks inside the top 14, and it starts with selecting Jimmer Fredette.

    Fredette is a scoring threat the Jazz need. They lack a true spot up shooter, which is exactly what Jimmer brings to the table.

    It will be interesting to see how the Jazz use Fredette alongside Devin Harris, but it can surely work.

    Scouts love to rip on Jimmer for his lack of athleticism and point guard skills. However, Fredette has made great strides at point guard and should continue to do so.

    Worst case scenario is that the Jazz have drafted a dead on shooter, who is sure to come up big when they need him.

11. Golden State Warriors Select Kawhi Leonard

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    Height / Weight: 6'7", 225 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Quickness and Intangibles

    Biggest Weakness: Ability to create off the dribble

     

    Why he's drafted here: Outside of Dorrell Wright, the Warriors are very weak on the perimeter. Kawhi Leonard could make an instant impact for Golden State.

    He is raw around the edges and can be seen as somewhat of a project. Considering how hard he plays all the time, minutes will always be available for him.

    Leonard has the motor, quickness, rebounding ability and athleticism that Warriors Head Coach Keith Smart will love.

    Another great part about Kawhi’s game is his defense. He is relentless and can contribute in every aspect of defense. His huge hands give him the ability to tip passes, disrupt the passing lane, block shots and snatch rebounds he probably shouldn’t be.

10. Charlotte Bobcats Select Terrence Jones

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 240 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Versatility

    Biggest Weakness: Awkward shot form

     

    Why he's drafted here: Terrence Jones falling to Charlotte at the No. 10 pick is a blessing. The supremely versatile forward is exactly what the Bobcats need.

    Jones is the definition of a “do it all” guy who impacts the game in every way. His ability to play almost any position on the floor makes him indispensable in the lineup.

    Jones’s best attribute is his dribbling skills. Jones can handle the ball like a point guard, being able to explode past slower defenders or find the open man.

    With the departure of Gerald Wallace, Terrence Jones should be able to fit in nicely at the small forward spot.

    The Bobcats seriously lack a small forward, making this pick that much more valuable.

9. Milwaukee Bucks Select Enes Kanter

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    Height / Weight: 6'11", 235 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Size and passion for the game

    Biggest Weakness: Overall offensive game

     

    Why he's drafted here: At pick No. 9, Kanter could be the biggest steal of the draft.

    Kanter has the post moves, body control, scoring prowess, big body, good hands and high basketball IQ to be an All-Star in the NBA.

    Kanter is super smooth, being able to play center or power forward.

    The risks are known with Kanter though. He missed the entire season at Kentucky due to eligibility issues. After taking a year off, it’s tough to know what exactly you’re getting.

    On top of that, his knees are a question mark. He has had knee problems in the past, but who knows how bad they really are.

    Kanter needs to have great individual workouts to erase all the question marks. If Milwaukee can snag Kanter at the No. 9 pick, they may have just found their franchise power forward to go alongside Andrew Bogut.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers Select Alec Burks

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    Height / Weight: 6'6", 190 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Athletic ability

    Biggest Weakness: Body strength

     

    Why he's drafted here: The Cleveland Cavaliers front court needs much more stability, and it starts with Alec Burks. Burks is a smooth, explosive shooting guard that is NBA ready.

    The biggest weakness in Cleveland’s starting lineup is shooting guard. With just Anthony Parker and Manny Harris, the Cavs need a legit scoring punch.

    Burks is athletic, explosive, has good body control, plays solid defense and has the big time potential the Cavs need.

    The one knock on Burks is his body strength, which is obviously something Burks can minimize this summer.

    Burks has progressed very well in two years of college, showing his ability to work hard and listen to coaches. Byron Scott will love just that, and should have the eager rookie in the starting lineup before you know it.

7. Detroit Pistons Select Donatas Motiejunas

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    Height / Weight: 7'0", 225 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: High potential due to size and ability

    Biggest Weakness: Mental motor

     

    Why he's drafted here: The aging roster of the Detroit Pistons needs a facelift. Donatas Motiejunas could do just that.

    Motiejunas is an extremely versatile player, doing a lot of things that resemble Andrea Bargnani.

    Motiejunas is a 7’0” post man who plays like a 6’7” small forward. He can dribble, knock down threes, find the open man and present serious matchup problems.

    Best case scenario: Motiejunas is the next Bargnani or Nowitzki, which is exactly what the Pistons will draft him to be.

6. Utah Jazz Select Jan Vesely

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    Height/Weight: 6'11", 235 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Size and passion

    Biggest Weakness: Overall offensive game

    Why he's drafted here: Out goes the aging Andrei Kirilenko, in comes the future in Jan Vesely.

    Vesely is a 6’11” “tweener” who can play small forward or power forward depending on the match up. Most teams don’t like to mess with the “tweener” label, but Vesely wears it as more a of versatile label.

    The one thing you will never have to worry about with Vesely is his work ethic. He is an extremely hard worker and doesn’t stop going 100 percent on the floor.

    While Vesely isn’t a true offensive player, he doesn’t really need to be. Utah has plenty of guys who can score in Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and the developing Derrick Favors.

    Don’t sleep on Vesely, as he can be the “X” factor type of guy who is very hard to contain.

5. Sacramento Kings Select Perry Jones

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    Height / Weight: 6'11", 230 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Ball handling / Athleticism

    Biggest Weakness: How he will transition to the NBA

    Why he's drafted here: Over the last two drafts no team has done a better job of acquiring raw talent than Sacramento. Sticking with that same theme, the Kings should pick up Perry Jones at this spot.

    The biggest weakness to the Kings starting lineup is small forward. Perry Jones is a 6’11” freak athlete that dribbles as well as anyone, and will comfortably fit in at small forward.

    Since the Kings are no scared to play rookies big minutes, Jones could come in and start at small forward. Jones will be extremely hard to guard with his mixture of height and athleticism. Worst case scenario the Kings will have three guys over 6’10” in the lineup, making them a serious threat from a rebounding perspective.

    There is major concern about how Jones will translate his game into the NBA, but if anyone is going to take the risk it’s the Kings.

    The top NBA teams should be scared of Jones to Sacramento, considering the Kings are building a Thunder-esque lineup.

4. Toronto Raptors Select Brandon Knight

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    Height / Weight: 6'3", 185 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Size and speed combination

    Biggest Weakness: Needs a more point guard "feel".

     

    Why he's drafted here: Toronto is clearly reloading their roster with young talent. In the last two years, the Raptors have drafted scoring swing-man DeMar DeRozan, followed by selecting project big man Ed Davis.

    Brandon Knight has the ability to speed up the rebuilding process. Knight has the speed, shooting stroke, athleticism, and big play ability to put Toronto in the playoff race.

    Few players have seen their stock rise this season like Knight.  After getting off to a slow start, Knight has really picked his game up.

    If Toronto wisely chooses Knight, they will have a solid core of players like DeRozan, Davis, Bargnani, Johnson, and Knight.

    On top of that, Toronto will be able to trade point guard Jose Calderon for considerable value. This pick is a win-win for the young Raptors.

3. Washington Wizards Select Harrison Barnes

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    Height/Weight: 6'8", 215 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Athleticism / Potential

    Biggest Weakness: Left hand / Inconsistencies

     

    Why he's drafted here: Outside of John Wall, the Wizards have a serious lack of back court. Harrison Barnes can fill that void and even more.

    Barnes is athletically gifted, has a great shooting stroke, plays underrated defense and has the potential to be a big time stud.

    The UNC freshman also can score the most silent 25 points you will see. To accomplish something like that in college is almost unheard of.

    If Barnes can fall to Washington, Wall will be the happiest guy on draft night.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves Select Kyrie Irving

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    Height / Weight: 6'2", 175 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Point guard "feel"

    Biggest Weakness: Durability concerns

     

    Why he's drafted here: It's about time the Johnny Flynn/Ricky Rubio experiment ended. Rubio isn't even on the team, while Flynn has been a bona-fide bust so far.

    At the second pick, Minnesota can't pass up another top end talent like Irving.

    The freshman point guard has everything pro scouts are looking for. He can dribble, shoot, play defense, fly around the court, and make great decisions with the ball.

    If Minnesota does the smart thing and drafts Irving, they will have options afterwards. They can trade Luke Ridnour, who has veteran value that contending teams will want. 

    Or the T-Wolves can give up on Johnny Flynn, trading him to young team who is still in rebuilding mode.

    Either way, Minnesota has themselves a franchise point guard, which is something they didn't get in their last point guard draft.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers Select Derrick Williams

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    Height / Weight: 6'8", 240 lbs.

    Biggest Strength: Versatility

    Biggest Weakness: "Tweener" label

     

    Why he's drafted here: It's no secret that Cleveland is in rebuilding mode. If they are truly starting over, they need to draft the player with the most talent and upside.

    Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats is the wisest pick at No. 1.

    He is an explosive athlete who can impact the game across the board. Williams is great at using his body, exploding past defenders, and has a good basketball IQ.

    The one glaring concern with Williams is whether he can make the full-time transition to small forward. He played more of a power forward role in college, while showing he has the potential to play the perimeter.

    Williams needs to have a solid summer, proving that he can dribble well and hang with other athletic wings on the perimeter.