With the NBA regular season in the books, the draft picture is becoming more clear. The next big step is the lottery in that will happen in about a month.
When all the picks are in place, mock drafts will take on a life of their own.
Jimmer Fredette will remain a hot topic, and will probably fall in and out of the lottery in several mock drafts. After pre-draft workouts, we should have a much better handle on his future.
For now, there's still a ton of speculation, which is fine by me. Allow me to speculate how the 2011 NBA Draft will go down this June...
Weight: 180 lbs
Comparison: Chris Paul
Kyrie Irving's return to Duke for the Big Dance helped his stock. He didn't get a lot of assists, but he showed his ability to score in a big way.
He averaged almost 18 points in Duke's three tournament games (including a 28-point outburst against Arizona).
With Kevin Love and Michael Beasley on the roster, the Timberwolves will likely select Irving over Arizona's Derrick Williams (even with Ricky Rubio in limbo).
As far as point guards go, he's the closest to a sure thing in this draft.
Weight: 241 lbs
Comparison: Michael Beasley/Thaddeus Young
Derrick Williams officially became a legitimate top overall-pick possibility after he thrashed Duke.
In that game, he scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting (including five out of six threes), and grabbed 13 rebounds.
That was his signature game, but he's been nothing short of spectacular all season long.
For the year, he averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. Plus, he shot 60 percent from the field and 57 percent from three-point range.
The Cavaliers can use help at every position, but the biggest hole in their roster is still the one that LeBron James left behind.
Weight: 255 lbs
Comparison: Luis Scola
We didn't get a chance to see Kanter at all this year because he played professional basketball overseas before he came to play for Kentucky.
Even still, it looks like he's almost a lock to be selected in the top 10 of this year's draft.
Think of him as a longer, more athletic version of Luis Scola.
The Raptors really aren't set at any position, so they'll try to select the best player available (or at least the one with the most potential).
Weight: 230 lbs
Comparison: Nenad Krstic
He still needs to add a lot of strength, but his solid fundamentals should help him transition into the NBA.
The Wizards have a solid, young backcourt in place with John Wall, Nick Young and Jordan Crawford. They can still upgrade at power forward.
Weight: 244 lbs
Comparison: Lamar Odom
John Calipari continues to send multiple one-and-dones into the league each year.
Terrence Jones has a great deal of potential. He's very athletic and naturally talented, but he also already has a decent skill set as well.
He needs to become more consistent from the perimeter, but his versatility could help him become a great player for years to come.
Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Terrence Jones could develop into a great core (who all played for Calipari).
Weight: 243 lbs
Comparison: DeJuan Blair/Ben Wallace
Biyombo has burst onto the scene of this draft class in the last couple weeks.
He's come out of nowhere to become a very legitimate first-round possibility.
He's long (7'7" wingspan) and athletic, but like most 18-year-old prospects—very raw.
Considering their roster, you'd think Utah doesn't need a power forward. However, they may be moving Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap this offseason.
Weight: 240 lbs
Comparison: Tyrus Thomas/Andrei Kirilenko
Vesely has great size and length for a small forward, but he's still very unpolished at this point. He needs a lot of work on offense, specifically in the post.
He does have some serious upside, and Detroit is a mess without any real building blocks to speak of.
Comparison: Brandon Jennings/Ben Gordon
Kemba Walker led his Huskies on one of the most ridiculous runs in the history of college basketball this month. He did so with more than just his scoring.
He's a solid distributor, an underrated rebounder and he works hard on defense.
On the season, he averaged 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
He's not a very efficient scorer (43 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range), but he has a hunger that may be unparalleled in this draft class.
He's proven to be a great leader, and his success in March could very well get him drafted in the top five.
If he slips to this spot, Cleveland should snag him in a heartbeat. Adding Derrick Williams and Walker could have the Cavaliers well on their way to a bright future.
Weight: 195 lbs
Comparison: Brandon Roy
Alec Burks is my dark horse pick for 2012 Rookie of the Year (for a lot of the same reasons I thought Brandon Roy would win it).
He's a very polished, complete scorer. He has a prototypical NBA shooting guard's build. He's long and athletic. In addition to being a great scorer, he does just about everything else well too.
After Gerald Wallace was dealt, the Bobcats fell out of the playoff picture and a spot in their starting lineup opened up. Stephen Jackson could slide over to small forward and start opposite of Burks.
Weight: 220 lbs
Comparison: Kyle Korver/Martell Webster
Hamilton has been a fantastic offensive player this year, averaging 19 points and eight rebounds a game. He shot 44 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.
His numbers are pretty similar to what Kyle Korver put up in college (plus they have similar builds). However, I think he might develop into a better all-around player.
Milwaukee has some solid wings on the team, but getting younger at that position could be important for their future.
Weight: 225 lbs
Comparison: Shawn Marion
Kawhi Leonard is anything but polished on offense, but his athleticism, intensity and defensive prowess could get him drafted in the lottery.
Plus, he's an elite rebounder for a 6'7" player (he averaged nearly 11 a game this year).
If he plays with a great distributor like Marion did for much of his career, he could put up some solid numbers.
His versatility would help him be a solid reserve who could relieve both Dorrell Wright and David Lee.
Weight: 195 lbs
Comparison: Stephen Curry/Deron Williams
Fredette put up huge numbers in the tournament, but he missed a lot of shots in BYU's loss to Florida.
His critics focus on his 11-of-29, and ignore some good things he showed.
The experts have been telling us all year that Jimmer wouldn't be able to get his own shot off against quicker defenders, but he blew by Florida's Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker whenever he wanted to.
Then, he showed the ability to finish over legitimate big men. If only someone on BYU's coaching staff could have compelled him to keep attacking, the result of that game may have been different.
The legitimate question mark on Fredette has to do with defense. I'm not sure if he can guard anyone at the next level, but that's the same thing all the experts said about Steve Nash when he entered the league.
The Jazz probably won't be able to pass on Fredette here because of the emotional connection many of their fans already have with him.
Weight: 185 lbs
Comparison: Tyreke Evans/Jason Terry
John Calipari has sent four freshman point guards to the NBA in the last three years. Athletically, Knight is similar to those guys, but he's a better outside shooter than any of them.
He really showed off that ability against North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
The Suns may have acquired Aaron Brooks as the heir apparent to Steve Nash, but I'm not sure anyone's sold on that.
Knight may have the potential to be a great point guard.
Weight: 220 lbs
Comparison: Andrea Bargnani/Kevin Durant
His game is a lot like Bargnani's, and his toothpickish arms and legs are reminiscent of Kevin Durant (when he was a freshman at Texas).
He needs to get a lot stronger and needs to develop every part of his game, but he could become a decent big man.
The Rockets already have a lot of talent on their roster, but they still need to find a legitimate replacement for Yao Ming.
Weight: 235 lbs
Comparison: Al Harrington/Carlos Boozer
Marcus Morris is considered by most experts to have more upside than his brother Markieff. What's clear is that Marcus has the more polished offensive game.
Indiana already has the starting frontcourt of their future in place with Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert, but they need a solid backup big.
Jeff Foster is getting older and the Pacers may take another shot at trading Josh McRoberts for O.J. Mayo.
Weight: 225 lbs
Comparison: Paul Millsap/Louis Amundson
He may be undersized, but he has everything else that a great rebounder needs (work ethic, wingspan, explosiveness).
He led the nation in rebounding at nearly 15 a game (after averaging 13 in each of the last two years).
He should follow the example of Paul Millsap and work hard on every aspect of his offensive game.
With Elton Brand aging rapidly, Philadelphia would be wise to select Faried. He has the potential to become an elite defender and rebounder, and would be a nice addition to the 76ers' young core.
Weight: 245 lbs
Comparison: Al Harrington/Channing Frye
The Knicks need to add size, and Thompkins offensive tools would fit perfectly into New York's system. He can play inside and out, and has NBA range on his jump shot.
What the team really lacks is a consistent defender on the interior, and Thompkins may develop into that as well. He can certainly improve, but he's already a decent rebounder and shot blocker.
Weight: 226 lbs
Comparison: James Johnson
Harris does just about everything well, but nothing really well.
He could very well be drafted in the first round but may have a hard time finding his way onto the court during his rookie season.
Weight: 226 lbs
Comparison: Linas Kleiza/Andrea Bargnani
It seems like people are looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki every year. Unfortunately, that has led to a lot of Nikoloz Tskitishvilis.
That's sort of the best-case/worst-case for Mirotic.
Weight: 206 lbs
Comparison: Thaddeus Young
Leslie had a decent freshman season, but he didn't live up to the hype surrounding him. He averaged 11 points, seven rebounds and one block in less than 25 minutes a game.
His elite athleticism and the potential he showed in high school and at times in college could still get him drafted in the first round.
If they take Irving with the top overall pick, they could add Leslie to a young core of Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and Irving.
Weight: 245 lbs
Comparison: Carlos Boozer/Al Harrington
Markieff Morris is a great rebounder and defender, and was a huge part of Kansas' great season. He averaged almost 14 points and just over eight rebounds a game.
Plus, he shot 42 percent from three-point range.
Portland traded away a solid backup big man in Joel Przybilla for Gerald Wallace and now doesn't really have any size to speak of behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby.
Morris could be a perfect fit off the bench for the Blazers.
Weight: 230 lbs
Comparison: Jordan Hill
Plumlee's pretty athletic for a big man, but he needs to get stronger and polish just about every aspect of his game.
When the Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony for a handful of Knicks, they got a lot younger and established a bright future for themselves.
With Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, they have solid young pieces at every position but center. Plumlee could be the future in that slot.
Weight: 225 lbs
Comparison: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Singleton could become a great perimeter defender at the next level. He's very long and athletic and could give some of the league's small forwards a few headaches.
His offensive game needs a lot of work, but his defense could help him be an impact player early.
Houston has a solid, young small forward in Chase Budinger but Singleton could back him up and replace some of the defense they lost when they traded Shane Battier.
Weight: 215 lbs
Comparison: Ben Gordon/Kyle Lowry
Despite his shaky title game (one of the only players from that night who could be categorized as anything other than terrible), Mack has solidified his status as a legitimate pro prospect.
He's a big-time shooter, handles well and plays really strong for his position.
Right now, he doesn't really have a true point guard's mentality, but he's probably too small to be an elite shooting guard. Sounds a bit like Ben Gordon to me.
Mack could develop into a solid role player behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Weight: 225 lbs
Comparison: Channing Frye
Harper has a great outside game for a big man but still needs a ton of work on his rebounding, defense and low-post skills.
On the year, he averaged 18 points and seven rebounds a game while shooting 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range.
His outside shooting could help him be a role player for the Celtics as early as his rookie year.
As he learns the game from a veteran like Kevin Garnett over the next couple seasons, he could become a great player.
Weight: 221 lbs
Comparison: Amare Stoudemire/Hakim Warrick
Purdue got knocked out in their second game of the tourney, but you can't blame Johnson. He scored 41 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in those two contests.
He had a great season at Purdue, and his solid all-around game could help him stay in the league for a while.
He's shown great athleticism and a decent mid-range game all year. In a best case scenario, he could develop into a player like Stoudemire. Or, he could be a career backup like Hakim Warrick.
The Mavericks need a solid backup big man who can relieve Dirk Nowitzki.
Weight: 230 lbs
Comparison: Mike Dunleavy/Grant Hill
Singler came back to Duke this year to win a second national championship. He didn't, and he may have hurt his draft stock in the process.
Pretty much across the board, his stats dipped a bit, and he didn't look nearly as consistent this year as he has in the past.
Rest assured, I didn't compare him to Dunleavy just because they're both white and played at Duke.
They actually have very similar bodies and numbers. Krzyzewski recruits players to fit his system and these two had the same role.
The biggest hole in New Jersey's lineup right now is at small forward. Singler is a mature player that could thrive playing with a distributing point guard like Deron Williams.
Weight: 185 lbs
Comparison: Kyle Lowry/Devin Harris
Nolan Smith had a fantastic senior season. At about 21, five and five, he averaged career highs in points, rebounds and assists.
He played point guard for most of this season but has a skill set that may be more suited for shooting guard.
He could be a perfect fit for the Bulls who have two picks at the end of the first round.
Weight: 188 lbs
Comparison: Josh Childress/Landry Fields
In terms of numbers, Honeycutt's season at UCLA has been very similar to Chandler Parsons' at Florida.
He rebounds and passes well but is never terribly aggressive as a scorer.
His game is a bit like fellow Pac-10 guy Fields, while his physical tools are similar to Childress'.
Gary Neal has been pretty good on the wing for San Antonio this year, but they still need a legitimate backup for Richard Jefferson.
Weight: 205 lbs
Comparison: Tony Allen
Travis Leslie is a bit undersized, but he may be one of the most athletic shooting guards in the draft.
That athleticism has led to plenty of highlight-reel dunks over the course of his career at Georgia. Plus, it's helped him become a fantastic rebounder for a 6'4" player (7.2 a game).
His body and athleticism are a lot like that of Tony Allen.
Chicago's need for a shooting guard has been well documented this year, and they may draft a couple guys hoping that at least one of them fits the bill.
31: Miami Heat: Keith Benson (6'11 C, Oakland) Benson seems like a perfect fit here. They need size and defense, and he provides those things in addition to outside shooting.
32: Cleveland Cavaliers: Lucas Nogueira (7'0" C, Brazil).
33: Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson (6'3" PG, Boston College).
34: Washington Wizards: Jeff Taylor (6'7" SF, Vanderbilt).
35: Sacramento Kings: Klay Thompson (6'6" SG/SF, Washington State).
36: New Jersey Nets: Patric Young (6'9" C, Florida).
37: Los Angeles Clippers: Chandler Parsons (6'9" SF, Florida).
38: Houston Rockets: Josh Selby (6'2" PG, Kansas) After struggling as a freshman, Selby would be best served returning to school for at least one more year. His raw talent will still get him drafted.
39: Charlotte Bobcats: Khris Middleton (6'7" SF, Texas A&M).
40: Milwaukee Bucks: Darius Morris (6'4" PG, Michigan) Brandon Jennings really struggled without a solid distributing backup like Luke Ridnour this past year. Morris could fit that role.
41: Los Angeles Lakers: Demetri McCamey (6'3" PG, Illinois).
42: Indiana Pacers: Ben Hansbrough (6'3" PG, Notre Dame) Hansbrough is a perfect fit in Indiana. They need a backup point guard and uniting with his brother would cause some buzz.
43: Golden State Warriors: Jon Leuer (6'10" PF/C, Wisconsin) Golden State needs help in the frontcourt and they always like players who can stretch the floor.
44: Chicago Bulls: Scotty Hopson (6'7" SG, Tennessee).
45: New Orleans Hornets:
46: Los Angeles Lakers: Charles Jenkins (6'3" SG/PG, Hofstra).
47: Los Angeles Clippers: Jereme Richmond (6'7" SF, Illinois).
48: Atlanta Hawks: Nikola Vucevic (6'10" PF/C, USC).
49: Memphis Grizzlies: Davis Betrans (6'10" SF/PF, Latvia).
50: Philadelphia 76ers: Jordan Williams (6'10" C, Maryland).
51: Portland Trailblazers: Jeremy Tyler (6'11" C/PF, United States) Tyler is on a strange path into the NBA after foregoing his senior year of high school to play professionally overseas.
52: Denver Nuggets: Norris Cole (6'1" PG, Cleveland State).
53: Orlando Magic: Vernon Macklin (6'9" PF/SF, Florida).
54: Cleveland Cavaliers: David Lighty (6'5" SG, Ohio State).
55: Boston Celtics: Jamie Skeen (6'9" PF/SF, Virginia Commonwealth) Skeen took himself from complete unknown to legitimate draft prospect during his team's run through March Madness.
56: Los Angeles Lakers: John Jenkins (6'4" SG, Vanderbilt).
57: Dallas Mavericks: Robin Benzing (6'11" PF/SF, Germany).
58: Los Angeles Lakers: Mouphtaou Yarou (6'10" PF, Villanova).
59: San Antonio Spurs: Jacob Pullen (6'0" SG/PG, Kansas State).
60: Sacramento Kings: Bojan Bogdanovic (6'7" SF, Serbia).