Cleveland fans rejoiced Tuesday as their team landed the first and fourth overall selections in next month's draft.
Every year the lottery shakes up mock drafts, and after a few surprising risers in the order, the outcome will be shaken up.
My first mock draft of the year is in, and there are a few surprises as teams look to not only fill positional needs but character and big name needs.
1.) Cleveland Cavaliers: PG Kyrie Irving, Duke
The Cavs fill a need while also playing it safe by selecting Kyrie Irving. Irving was hurt last season at Duke so we have not seen him play a ton. However, when he did play he was excellent on a superb Duke team.
Derrick Williams could get a look here, but J.J. Hickson is really the only valuable young talent on the team. Also, the Cavs have displayed their feelings on Hickson in prior seasons when it came to trades. Irving would be the first piece in the rebuilding phase and would allow Ramon Sessions to be traded to a team like the Knicks or Lakers.
Pro Comparison: Chauncey Billups
2.) Minnesota Timberwolves: PF/C Bismack Biyombo, Congo
This is the first pick that most people will not agree with simply because of the risk level. The Timberwolves need a shooting guard, but there is not a prospect at the position close to worthy of the second overall pick.
Minnesota could look to trade down with a team like Detroit or perhaps even the Cavaliers would try to jump back up for Derrick Williams. Williams is not a fit for Minnesota because of their recent overstock of forwards, plus he has a very similar skill set to Michael Beasely who is already on the roster.
Biyombo could still be on the board if they traded down, or a player like Jimmer Fredette who could actually get some fans in attendance would be an option.
Pro Comparison: Serge Ibaka
3.) Utah Jazz: SF/PF Derrick Williams, Arizona
The Jazz caught a break in their semi-rebuilding phase when jumping into the top three. Some see Derrick Williams as the top overall prospect in the draft after a great tournament. Williams can shoot excellently for his size and has the intangibles.
If Williams is not on the board, Biyombo would be an option if available or a more popular pick is Brandon Knight from Kentucky.
Pro Comparison: Michael Beasley with high character
4.) Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
The Cavs add a great defender who is a bit raw still with their second pick in Kawhi Leonard. Enes Kanter or even Jonas Valanciunas could be alternate selections here. Though no one would expect Leonard to be the next LeBron James, the whole he left at the wing arguably the biggest.
Pro Comparison: Gerald Wallace
5.) Toronto Raptors: PF/C Enes Kanter, Kentucky
It is no secret that the Toronto Raptors have recently fallen in love with adding international players. It is also no secret that Andrea Bargnani may be the softest big man in the league.
Luckily, Enes Kanter is not only physical but also came overseas from Turkey before being suspended all season. Kanter would mesh well with Bargnani producing an excellent offensive and defensive combination.
Pro Comparison: Andrew Bogut
6.) Washington Wizards: F Jan Vesley, Czech Republic
Jan Vesley will undoubtedly go to a team who runs. John Wall is one of the fastest players in the league, and Vesley is considered as the best transition player in the draft. Josh Howard is often injured, and Al Thornton was waived so there is a hole at the wing.
Vesley is big for a small forward which would make the Wizards a long team. Also, the recently declining Rashard Lewis could come off the bench as a primary scorer.
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Tracy McGrady
7.) Sacramento Kings: PG Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Tyreke Evans can not play point guard, and the Kings need to bring in someone who can. Also, the Kings need to add some positive character in a locker room with Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. Finally, the Kings will look to add a big name player before moving out of Sacramento.
Kemba is all of these things, and despite lack of height should still be able to make plays in the NBA. If Kemba can mesh well with Evans, the starting back court could become one of the best in basketball.
Pro Comparison: Ty Lawson
8.) Detroit Pistons: PG Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Brandon Knight could go as early as third overall to the Jazz and would also be under consideration for the Kings at 7, however, if he falls to the Pistons at 8, they would have a hard time passing him up.
Detroit has long been looking for a franchise point guard as Rodney Stuckey does not appear to be one. Concerns with Knight are that he may have a longer than average learning curve, but with a team like Detroit waiting out to destruct their team, Knight would be given this time.
Pro Comparison: Gilbert Arenas
9.) Charlotte Bobcats: G Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Michael Jordan needs to start selling tickets before the Bobcats have to move from Charlotte. The nation fell in love with Jimmer this past season, and though he will never be a star in the NBA, I'd look for a team like Charlotte or Minnesota to reach on him for the sole reason of selling tickets.
Jimmer could contribute right away as a role player off the bench who is only asked to score and not play defense.
Pro Comparison: Lou Williams
10.) Milwaukee Bucks: PF Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania
International players are always the highest risks in the draft. However, the league's European scouts all rave that Jonas has incredibly potential. The Bucks have brought in some international players recently so they may be comfortable taking the risk.
At 10 Jonas is a risky pick but also presents value because scouts have him going as high as fourth.
Pro Comparison: Joakim Noah
11.) Golden State Warriors: F Marcus Morris, Kansas
The Golden State Warriors add Morris to toughen up their roster with players who could all be considered soft. David Lee certainly is not getting physical down low on defense so adding Morris who could be a role player behind Dorrell Wright would add some defensive players.
Pro Comparison: Al Harrington
12.) Utah Jazz: SG Alec Burks, Colorado
Utah drafted Derrick Williams with their first lottery pick to replace Andrei Kirilenko and will use their second lottery pick to fill the need at shooting guard. Raja Bell was brought in via free agency last year but was disappointing. C.J. Miles is too inconsistent to be expected to jump into the starting job.
Gordon Heyward could only be a good scoring bench player after not displaying much last season. Burks has a poor jump shot, but can drive to the hoop. Jazz fans are hoping for Jimmer to be available at 12, and he very well could be.
Pro Comparison: Andre Iguodola
13.) Phoenix Suns: PF Tristan Thompson, Texas
The Phoenix Suns were not the same team last season after losing Amar'e Stoudemire. Trades brought in a dwindling down Vince Carter in December, but Phoenix failed to reach the playoffs. Tristan Thompson is a long defender who will make an immediate impact with his shot blocking. Thompson will not be a threat on offense like Stoudemire was but could bring energy defensively to the Suns.
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Josh Smith
14.) Houston Rockets: SF Chris Singleton, Florida State
The Rockets have a great amount of talent and potential, but chemistry and lack of a true center has kept them out of the playoffs the last two seasons. Last year's first-round selection, Patrick Patterson, showed potential to be a starting power forward or center so instead of looking at Markieff Morris or Kenneth Faried, Houston adds a scrappy defender.
Singleton is inconsistent on offense, but could become a lock down defender. A team with Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, and Goran Dragic could use some defensive help.
Pro Comparison: Ron Artest
15.) Indiana Pacers: PF Kennethh Faried, Morehead State
The Indiana Pacers may have a bright future. With improved coaching, another scorer and a dominate rebounder, the Pacers could make it out of the first round next season. Kenneth Faried makes sense because he is a high effort rebounder who would fit in well with Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert.
Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger and Hibbert are all solid starters. Adding Faried would allow Hansbrough to come off the bench as a scoring big.
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Kevin Love
16.) Philadelphia 76ers: PF/C Markieff Morris, Kansas
This pick makes too much sense not to happen. Markieff Morris is the exact player the Sixers need and is a Philadelphia native. Philly took strides under first-year head coach Doug Collins but were ultimately eliminated after being dominated in rebounds by Miami.
Spencer Hawes almost seemed to be afraid to box out, and it led to Zydrunas Ilgauskas grabbing five offensive rebounds. Elton Brand himself is not always physical, and either through the draft, free agency or trade, the Sixers need to get more physical.
Morris is a physical defender and rebounder who would immediately add toughness. Offensively, Morris is not the most-polsihed but can will still knock down jump shots.
Pro Comparison: Carl Landry
17.) New York Knicks: PG Josh Selby, Kansas
The New York Knicks were the talk of the trade deadline as the winners of the Carmelo Anthony sweep steak. After a comeback win against Miami, the Knicks team appeared to be a great mesh, however, a disappointing sweep in the playoffs revealed otherwise.
The team appeared to have quit on head coach Mike D'Antoni. Chauncey Billups was recently extended another season, but New York will need to look for the long term replacement. It was reported that the Knicks have been looking at Josh Selby as a first round target.
Pro Comparison: Raymond Felton
18.) Washington Wizards: SF Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA
After using the sixth overall pick on fast break stud Jan Vesley, Washington looks to add depth with Tyler Honeycutt. The Wizards bench was not deep last year, and Honeycutt could bring energy and depth to Washington.
Honeycutt can shoot from outside and has great ball handling for a wing. Ultimately have to put on weight at 185 pounds, and some scouts question his toughness. However, the need for depth will have Washington considering him at 18.
Pro Comparison: Thaddeus Young
19.) Charlotte Bobcats: PF Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania
After reaching on Jimmer at 9 to bring exposure, Michael Jordan takes Donatas Motiejunas as a value pick. Donatas is one of the most polished offensive players in the draft, but questions about defense and strength may keep him out of the lottery.
Philadelphia will consider him at 16, but Donatas could fall to Charlotte at 19. MJ could worry that coming to play in a small market may have a Ricky Rubio-Minnesota type reaction for Donatas. However, Jordan has not been afraid to take risks before.
Pro Comparison: Andrea Bargnani
20.) Minnesota Timberwolves: G Nolan Smith, Duke
Minnesota uses their second pick to add an experienced winner in Nolan Smith. The frontcourt will be solidified with Bismack Biyombo and Kevin Love, but the backcourt is still weak. Jonny Flynn may be subject to trade while Ricky Rubio is still a question mark. Smith may never be a starter, but will provide depth and leadership to a Minnesota team in need of it.
Pro Comparison: Jarrett Jack
21.) Portland Trailblazers: G Reggie Jackson, Boston College
Portland needs a true center to play with Lamarcus Aldrige as Greg Oden will likely never play a full season and could leave in free agency. However, there are no centers on the board. Reggie Jackson has the potential to be a future sixth man.
After improving his field goal and three-point percentage the last two seasons, Jackson has shown potential to be a pure shooter in the NBA. Brandon Roy's knees are always at risk, and Wesley Matthews should be a solid starter.
Pro Comparison: James Harden
22.) Denver Nuggets: PF Justin Harper, Richmond
The Denver Nuggets looked great following the Carmelo Anthony trade before a disappointing Round 1 exit against Oklahoma City. Kenyon Martin will be a free agent, and though he has lost a step, was still a valuable piece fro Denver.
Justin Harper plays a lot like "K-Mart" as he thrives when facing the basket and will knock down a mid-range jumper. Some scouts see him as more of a Rashard Lewis, but since he is going to Denver in the mock, I see him more in the Kenyon Martin mold
Pro Comparison: Kenyon Martin
23.) Houston Rockets: F Tobias Harris, Tennessee
After adding the defensive stud in Chris Singleton, Houston adds Tobias Harris to be a key role player. Harris has an NBA frame but may find it best to become more defined. Harris is more offensively minded and would provide energy and offensive production off the bench.
Pro Comparison: Glen "Big Baby" Davis
24.) Oklahoma City Thunder: F JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Oklahoma City may just take the prospect highest on their board as their roster is already pretty sound. JaJuan Johnson would add depth to an already sound bench. Johnson is long and athletic and should be able to grab offensive rebounds on the next level.
Pro Comparison: Channing Frye
25.) Boston Celtics: C Lucas Noguiera, Brazil
The Celtics were eliminated by Miami, and many speculate that had they not traded Kendrick Perkins, they may still be playing. Boston is set to blow up this time next season, but the number one need will be a center. Lucas Noguiera will be given time to continue developing overseas, and could be a shot-blocking machine upon coming to the NBA.
Pro Comparison: Samuel Dalembert
26.) Dallas Mavericks: SG Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Dallas will likely take the best player available as they are covered in every position but are growing old. Jordan Hamilton has questions about his defensive play. Also, scouts worry that he may not be athletic enough to play shooting guard and not tall enough to play wing. However, he does have strength in his shooting.
Pro Comparison: Luc Mbah a Moute
27.) New Jersey Nets: PF Trey Thompkins, Georgia
The New Jersey Nets need a power forward after moving Yi Jianlian, Troy Murphy and Derrick Favors. Trey Thompkins can shoot well for a big man and can be compared to Channing Frye. Thompkins should contribute right away off the bench with a good shot selecting and the ability to grab rebounds.
Pro Comparison: Antawn Jamison
28.) Chicago Bulls: SG Marshon Brooks, Providence
The Chicago Bulls have a big need at the shooting guard position. After failing to acquire O.J. Mayo, the Bulls will look at Marshon Brooks. Brooks scored 24.6 points per contest at Providence and should provide an upgrade over Ronnie Brewer.
Pro Comparison: Gary Neal
29.) San Antonio Spurs: SF Davis Bertans, Latvia
San Antonio has been selecting a lot of international players in the draft over the last few years. With an impending roster reconstruction, Davis Bertans would be given a few extra years before coming to the league if desired. Bertans could go higher because many scouts are comparing his rare jump shot to that of Dirk Nowitzki's.
Pro Comparison: Teyshaun Prince
30.) Chicago Bulls: G Klay Thompson, Washington State
The Bulls use their second late pick on value, and Klay Thompson is exactly that. Some scouts say that he is similar to Jimmer, only more talented. Thompson would provide more depth and scoring a long side Marshon Brooks and Ronnie Brewer at the shooting guard position.
Pro Comparison: Mike Bibby
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