2011 NBA Draft Preview: What Will Cleveland Cavs Do with Their 2 Top 10 Picks?
The playoffs have yet to start and the lottery balls have not even been picked yet, but the focus for 12 NBA teams has already switched over to the NBA Draft which will be held in late June.
The NBA Draft provides teams a chance to grow and to improve by obtaining the best college and international prospects from around the world.
There are many stories leading up to this year's draft.
Who will go No. 1 overall?
What team will get the No. 1 pick?
Will this year be the year when the most underclassmen are drafted in the first round ever?
All these questions and more still to come as we lead up to the 2011 Draft.
Here is a first round mock draft...playoff edition.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
If you did not know about Derrick Williams before the NCAA Tournament...now you do.
Williams stuck out like a sore thumb for the Arizona Wildcats, but for good reasons.
The sophomore averaged almost 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Tournament just a few weeks ago, including a 32 point effort in route to an upset over the top seeded Duke Blue Devils.
If Minnesota ends up getting the first pick, Williams is the pick here.
He solidified himself as the best player in the draft with his performance during March Madness.
Kyrie Irving, the only other option, really isn't one. Minnesota already has their PG in either Jonny Flynn or Ricky Rubio.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
After playing just 11 games in his college career, Kyrie Irving has decided that he is ready for the NBA.
When healthy, Irving has proved that he is a great player and one that can contribute right away at the next level.
When Irving came back for the NCAA Tournament, he did not look as quick, but still managed to drop almost 18 points a game.
As long as he does not go No. 1 overall to Minnesota, this is a lock for Cleveland right now.
I do not see them doing anything (trade-wise) with this pick. When you can get a player like Kyrie Irving, you take him.
3. Toronto Raptors
One month ago, I would have said Toronto would take Brandon Knight here.
However, with the emergence of Jerryd Bayless, the Raptors can afford to pass on the PG/SG position.
PF or C is now the biggest need for Toronto.
Enes Kanter may be one of the biggest question marks coming into the lottery.
He did not play any college ball because of his suspension by the NCAA and he has injury concerns with his knee.
Kanter is a big risk/big reward kind of guy here at No. 3.
What else does Toronto have to lose?
4. Washington Wizards
Jan Vesely is the better choice here for the Wiz, who desperately need to upgrade their frontcourt.
Vesely is a long and athletic forward who can play either the three or the four for Washington.
He is a true scorer that can create mismatches at either position.
He would need to work on increasing his strength and body weight, especially if he is going to play PF.
5. Sacramento Kings
The Kings could take a look here at Brandon Knight if they do not see Marcus Thornton in their future plans.
Thornton played extremely well for the team and I expect Sacramento to do everything possible to get him there for the next couple of years.
Instead of Knight, I see them taking Donatas Motiejunas here to replace Samuel Dalembert, who will almost certainly leave following this season.
Motiejunas and DeMarcus Cousins can man the front court for Sacramento for the next decade.
Motiejunas has perhaps the highest potential out of all the European prospects in this draft.
His size and offensive skills make him valuable enough to creep into the top five.
6. Utah Jazz
Brandon Knight falls right into Utah's laps here at No. 6.
If they feel they have to move up to get him, they have another lottery pick as trade bait.
Knight is a creative PG who can also switch out and play the two as well.
He showed as a freshmen at Kentucky, how good he can become with further development.
Utah really likes Devin Harris, but maybe they start looking for a trade suitor. They could try using both in the backcourt.
7. Detroit Pistons
Alec Burks averaged over 20 points per game very quietly this season.
Colorado was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, but it was not his fault.
Burks was one of college basketball's leading scorers throughout the year. His athleticism and penetration skills make him a dynamic inside/outside player. He played a lot of PG for Colorado, but will have to adjust to playing the two in the NBA. With more work on his outside shooting, he could become a star.
He is the eventual replacement for Rip Hamilton.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
With Cleveland already taking their PG of the future in Kyrie Irving, they can now focus on some front court help.
Jonas Valanciunas will provide some help at either the PF or the C position. Anderson Varejao is coming off a bad ankle injury, but should return 100 percent for next season. Valanciunas should be the last of the international prospects taken in the lottery.
He is probably the least NBA-ready out of the Europeans since he is only 18-years old. In time, he could turn into a solid big man for the Cavs. He has good hands and good touch around the rim.
9. Charlotte Bobcats
Marcus Morris will most likely be the first of the Morris twins taken on draft day. He is the more versatile of the two, playing either the SF or PF positions.
If he wants to play at the four, he is going to need to bulk up a little bit more. A four that can shoot the three and play down low will be a dangerous weapon for the Bobcats.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Terrence Jones is another fabulous freshman coming through Kentucky. He is a lefty that has excellent size to be a swingman in the NBA. He would be a perfect fit for the Bucks here and could step in as a starter right away. His defensive capabilities and his versatility is what gets him drafted over Markieff Morris here.
11. Golden State Warriors
Markief Morris finally gets taken here at No. 11. Morris is the more stable of the twins, staying only at the PF position. He has perfect size at 6'10" and weighing 245 pounds.
He and David Lee could man a very good front court for the Warriors.
With Steph Curry and Monta Ellis in the backcourt, this is all of a sudden a very good team.
12. Utah Jazz
Kawhi Leonard is rising up draft charts with his announcement to enter the draft.
Leonard would be the perfect fit in Utah because of his "slasher" mentality.
He is very quick and athletic enough to penetrate and score. He is a great ball handler, but would need to work on his outside shot to become a complete player in the NBA.
13. Phoenix Suns
I would not be surprised if Kemba Walker is off the board by now, but the teams right in front of the Suns already have a PG.
Walker is a top 10 talent and could be gone at No. 9 or No. 7.
Kemba would fit well in Phoenix's run n' gun system. Aaron Brooks' and Steve Nash's future with the team is uncertain so if Walker could establish himself, he will be the future of the franchise.
Walker had an unbelievable run leading UCONN to the NCAA Championship.
His scoring capabilities and intangibles are what make him a top 10 talent.
14. Houston Rockets
The Rockets sure miss having Shane Battier down low.
Trey Thompkins could be a possible replacement for the former Duke star. Thompkins is a little bigger and is more of a one-way player, but he could fill the PF position. Thompkins is a great rebounder and has excellent post moves. For a PF he also has a good jump shot around the key.