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2011 NBA Mock Draft: Is Kyrie Irving a Lock at No. 1?

Grant NoJoContributor IIIJune 7, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Is Kyrie Irving a Lock at No. 1?

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    Dan Gilbert's Cavs own the number one overall pick in this year's Draft
    Dan Gilbert's Cavs own the number one overall pick in this year's DraftGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    There's been a lot of talk swirling around the top of the draft board in recent weeks, and with Ricky Rubio rumored to finally be coming over from Spain, there could be a lot more. 

    Is Kyrie Irving set to join the Cleveland Cavaliers? Or will owner Dan Gilbert want to take a different route?

    Here's the latest Mock Draft.  

Cavaliers (via Clippers): Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Irving is still the safest pick in the draft, and in the aftermath of Cleveland losing LeBron James, I don't think owner Dan Gilbert is in a risky mood.

    Irving is the only player that has been scheduled to meet with the Cavaliers, and should be a lock at number one.

Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after a dunk against of the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, Cali
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Again, this seems to be a safe pick at number two, with Irving off the board.

    However, the Timberwolves have been rumored to be in trade talks with numerous teams-- despite owner Glen Taylor denying any of these claims.

    Since Love and Beasley already play similar roles for the Wolves as Williams does, there could be a shake up on draft day at the top of the board. 

Jazz (via Nets): Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats moves the ball while taking on the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    With Irving and Williams most likely gone by now, Brandon Knight is the consensus pick at number three. 

    Knight's size and athleticism will fit in very well with the Jazz's offensive systems.

Cavaliers: Enes Kanter, C, Turkey

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    The Cavaliers will need to take a big man with their second pick in the draft. They can no longer rely on Anderson Varejao playing the five.

    The Cavaliers have holes across the board, but this is a big one that could be filled with Kanter. 

Raptors: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies handles the ball against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Kemba Walker could easily go two or three in this draft. The kid has proven he has a wide variety of weapons in his arsenal and is not afraid of the big stage.

    The Raptors would be smart to take Walker, the best available player, at number five.

Wizards: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania

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    The Wizards will attempt to beef up their front-court after Kemba Walker is taken off the board.

    Jonas will not be the answer, as he is not NBA ready—that is too bad for the Wizards.

    For some reason, "major upside" seems to be very compelling for failing franchises, and it makes no sense to me. Major upside is a code word for bust. 

Kings: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs dunks the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Kings fans should rejoice with this pick. A second chance at a Gerald Wallace-type player, Kawhi Leonard should fill that same role.

    Small forward is a position of need for the Kings, and Leonard will fit in perfectly. 

    After being screwed once again in the lottery, the Kings will have another great player fall into their lap (See: Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins) 

Pistons: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 11:  Alec Burks #10 of the Colorado Buffaloes dunks the ball against the Kansas Jayhawks during their semifinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Miss
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Burks will provide a much-needed scoring punch for the Pistons after the likely departure of Rip Hamilton. Burks will be solid at the 2, and should be in the starting lineup in no time.

    After all, Burks is the most prolific wing-scorer in the upcoming draft. 

Bobcats: Bismack Biyombo, F/C, Congo

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    The Bobcats have a solid starting lineup at positions one through four. Then there's Kwame Brown...

    Biyombo will fit in nicely with the Bobcats, who effectively used DeSegana Diop in the past. 

Bucks: Tristan Thompson, PF/C, Texas

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns walks off the court after their 70-69 loss to the Arizona Wildcats in the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Pho
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Tristan Thompson will be a great addition for the Bucks. The Bucks have already found gems at the one and five positions, and Tristan Thompson will be another step towards building a winning franchise.

    Thompson's toughness and rebounding prowess fit perfectly with the Bucks system. 

Warriors: Marcus Morris, PF/C, Kansas

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27:  Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks handles the ball against Ed Nixon #50, Jamie Skeen #21 and Bradford Burgess #20 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball t
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Warriors certainly do have their problems in the frontcourt. 

    Morris will add much needed size down low for Golden State, and his inside-outside game will also be a nice addition to their high-octane offense. 

Jazz: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Jordan Hamilton #3 of the Texas Longhorns dunks the ball against the Arizona Wildcats during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Jordan Hamilton is another prolific wing-scorer that could be a nice fit for the Jazz. Although Jan Vesely is still on the board, the Jazz are unfortunately still toying with the Gordon Hayward experiment....

Suns: Jan Vesely, G/F, Czech Republic

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    Vesely is a good athlete, has good size, and claims to be NBA-ready. I'm not buying into this kid, but if anyone can make him look good, it's Steve Nash and the Suns (see: Marcin Gortat).

Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas, C, Lithuania

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    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 08:  Donatas Motiejunas of Lithuania walks off after losing the U19 Basketball World Championships match between the United States and Lithuania at North Shore Events Centre on July 8, 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by
    Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

    With Yao Ming most likely leaving the Rockets (finally), Donatas is the best center remaining on the board. He is a scorer that likes to work in the post, but so is every player his size that comes over from Europe. 

Pacers: Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 03:  Jimmer Fredette of BYU received the 2011 Naismith Trophy Presented by AT&T at the NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Program on April 3, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Jimmer is a perfect fit for the Pacers, who could use a scoring punch off the bench or at the starting two position. Well-liked in Indiana, Fredette would receive a warm welcome to the Pacers. 

Sixers: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  Kenneth Faried #35 of the Morehead State Eagles dunks reacts after a play against the Richmond Spiders during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Pho
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Arguably the best rebounder in the draft, this kid has a motor that never stops. The Sixers need help in the frontcourt, so look for Faried to get off the board earlier than expected. 

Knicks: Josh Selby, PG, Kansas

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Josh Selby #32 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a shot against the Boston University Terriers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Rona
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Although the Knicks would love to have a center to play alongside Amare, Josh Selby is just too much for the Knicks to pass up.

    This kid never did live up to the tremendous expectations placed on him this past season, but in a weak draft year, this is Selby's best time to come to the NBA. 

    Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni is already in love with Selby's high powered offensive game. 

Wizards (via Hawks): Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Chris Singleton #31 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Alamodome on March 25, 2011 in San Antonio, Tex
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    With Josh Howard and Rashard Lewis disappearing this past season, the Wizards desperately need help at the three position. Chris Singleton can guard multiple positions, plays great defense, and will be a steal if he drops out of the lottery.

    This would be the Wizards' second first-round pick, but Singleton is talented enough to go with their first pick.  

Bobcats: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

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    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5:  Marshon Brooks #2 of the Providence Friars drives to the basket during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas on February 5, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  The Hoyas won 83-81.  (Photo by Mitch
    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    The Bobcats will have already addressed their problem at center by taking Biyombo with the first of their two first round picks, giving them room to bolster their offense with their second pick. 

    Brooks has been impressing folks at the combine, and will greatly help the Bobcats, who do not have a clear starter at the two position. 

Timberwolves: Klay Thompson, G/F, Washington State

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Klay Thompson #1 of the Washington State Cougars looks on in the second half against the Washington Huskies in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2011 i
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Although one criticism of this pick is that the Timberwolves will already have 3 forwards with Williams, Love, and Beasley, don't put it past the Timberwolves to load up at one position (see their PG obsession). 

    Thompson is a great value if he has slid this far, and the Timberwolves will love his outside shooting. 

    Thompson was a tremendous scorer at Washington State, and his spot-up shooting and off-the-ball movement will help a team that lacks perimeter scoring and offense off the bench. 

Trail Blazers: Markieff Morris, PF/C, Kansas

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27:  Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Markieff made his reputation in college about playing defense and rebounding. The Trail Blazers could really use Markieff and his defense-first mentality to complement their budding star, LaMarcus Aldridge. 

Nuggets: Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Tennessee Volunteers dunks the ball while taking on the Michigan Wolverines in the first half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18,
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Harris has a very polished offensive game and will fit well in George Karl's Denver offense. With Carmelo Anthony leaving a hole to be filled at the 3, Harris could do the job. 

Rockets: Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19:  Tyler Honeycutt #23 of the UCLA Bruins attempts a shot agaisnt the Florida Gators during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Florida won 73-65. (P
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Honeycutt has a great basketball IQ and a very fluid offensive game. Ultimately, he could be a nice fit with the Rockets, who have a gaping hole at the 3 position. 

Thunder: Kyle Singler, SF/PF, Duke

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the over Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim,
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    For some reason, reports are saying that the Thunder like Singler—didn't they learn with BJ Mullens? 

Celtics: Nikola Vucevic, C, USC

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    DAYTON, OH - MARCH 16: Nikola Vucevic #5 of the USC Trojans shoots over Juvonte Reddic #5 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Grego
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Celtics need size and strength. If they don't land Dwight Howard in a blockbuster trade, they will settle for the big body of Nikola Vucevic. 

    I think Celtics fans would prefer Howard for some reason...

Mavericks: Travis Leslie, SF, Georgia

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Travis Leslie #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs dunks the ball in the first half while taking on the Washington Huskies during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 i
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Mavericks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA. They are also becoming one of the slower teams. Although they are performing great with their current squad, the Mavericks need to infuse some youth and athleticism. 

    Enter Travis Leslie, arguably the best athlete in college basketball. 

    Although the Mavericks also desperately need to address the backup power forward role, Leslie is too much to pass up at this point in the draft. 

Nets (via Lakers): Justin Harper, F, Richmond

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Justin Harper #32 of the Richmond Spiders drives against the Kansas Jayhawks during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 25, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Kansas defeated
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Harper is ready to play in the NBA, and that's a great thing for the Nets. This guy is a steal at the 27th pick, and has the talent to go much higher.

    Harper will fit nicely alongside Brook Lopez in the frontcourt. 

Bulls (via Heat): Reggie Jackson, G, Boston College

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    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Reggie Jackson #0 of the Boston College Eagles moves the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the second half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2011 in Gr
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Bulls need some help in the backcourt-- and Reggie Jackson, with his ridiculous 7' wingspan and freakish quickness, will be the answer at this point in the draft. 

Spurs: Jeremy Tyler, C, Japan

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    The Spurs lost this year in the first round because of their lack of size. With their first pick, they need to address that problem. Remember Jeremy Tyler?

    This 19-year old monster, who decided to play in Japan instead of the NCAA, has great potential and will be a great pick for the Spurs. 

Bulls: Nolan Smith, G, Duke

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Bulls will once again try to address their thin rotation at guard. Nolan Smith has a great basketball IQ, and can score in bunches.

    Additionally, Smith is a combo-guard, which means he could help the Bulls at their one true weak position—shooting guard. 

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