2011 NBA Mock Draft: Utah Jazz Get Dream Scenario
The 2011 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and players' stocks continue to shift on a daily basis.
Teams are continuing to work players out, allowing themselves first-hand looks at potential draftees.
There are a number of teams that own multiple first-round picks, and they must scout players projected at the beginning and middle of the first round.
As the draft continues to inch closer, the first-round projections are not getting any clearer.
Here is my second version of the 2011 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
All signs still point to Cleveland taking Kyrie Irving with the first pick of the draft.
It seems that both Irving and Derrick Williams continue to be the most coveted prospects in the class.
Many teams around the league are building around young point guards, which will most likely cause the Cavs to follow suit.
Irvin tested out in the NBA Draft Combine fairly well and showed no signs of a lingering injury from his shortened freshman season.
He has done everything needed to stay at the top of most draft boards and will likely be selected here.
Cavaliers select Irving.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter, PF/C, Turkey
David Kahn is at it again.
He finally has Ricky Rubio.
So, Kyrie Irving is out of the picture for Minnesota.
Derrick Williams is still a viable option with this pick. Still, Kahn has a tendency to surprise us on draft night.
Kahn may not be taking five point guards in this draft, but he will still find a way to make our jaws drop on June 23.
Timberwolves select Kanter.
3. Utah Jazz: Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona
Most people around the league think the Jazz are looking for a point guard with the No. 3 pick.
If Derrick Williams falls to them, however, he will be extremely difficult to pass up.
Andrei Kirilenko's contract is up, and his future in Utah is uncertain.
Williams could immediately fill the small forward hole with youth and athleticism.
He may not be the defender that Kirilenko is, but he is definitely a solid start to the rebuilding process of the Utah Jazz.
Jazz select Williams.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic
The Cavaliers are lacking talent at a number of positions.
J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao make up their frontcourt, and they are actually considered bright spots on this team.
Assuming they add Irving to the roster with the first selection, Jan Vesely will probably be the most talented guy left on the board at No. 4.
There are plenty of other solid options at this stage, but it would be a reach to fill the need at shooting guard with the likes of Alec Burks or Klay Thompson.
In this scenario, they take the most talented player on the board.
Cavaliers select Vesely.
5. Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
Toronto is below average at nearly every position.
They could go a number of different ways with this pick.
Brandon Knight could rejuvenate this team, but with a contractual commitment to Jose Calderon for the foreseeable future, that scenario seems unlikely.
The Raptors would love to combine Jan Vesely's talent with Andrea Bargnani. Those two would create a dynamic duo with versatility that would create matchup nightmares for teams.
Still, they need a safe pick. Toronto needs a true basketball player. One that is not known for his scoring but more for his ability to defend and work hard.
Kawhi Leonard can make an immediate impact in Toronto.
That might be what they need most.
Raptors select Leonard.
6. Washington Wizards: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
This may be a bit of a reach for Washington, but it is definitely a possibility.
Chris Singleton continues to impress teams in workouts.
He may or may not become the player that scouts think he is; but he has a lot to improve upon on the offensive side of the ball.
Still, he will be able to come in and contribute immediately on the other end for a Wizards team that is slowly blossoming behind John Wall.
Singleton alongside Wall on the fast break would definitely bring excitement to the nation's capital.
Wizards select Singleton.
7. Sacramento Kings: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
The Kings are just about set on taking a point guard with this pick.
Sacramento need another leader in the backcourt alongside Tyreke Evans.
Though they do need to win now to salvage the team in Sacramento, Brandon Knight may be just as ready as Kemba Walker is.
Knight showed continuous growth throughout his time at Kentucky, and really grew up as a leader during the NCAA tournament.
He took the reins from Terrence Jones, who was projected as a top-five pick in the early months of the season.
Knight would be explosive next to Evans, and they would create one of the most promising young backcourts in the league.
Kings select Knight.
8. Detroit Pistons: Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo
Bismack Biyombo can help turn the Detroit Pistons back into a defensive-minded franchise.
Defense was the key to their dominance in the late 1980s, and it also was the key in their romping of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals.
Biyombo is a big man that can develop alongside Greg Monroe. Monroe can provide the offense while Biyombo protects the rim.
There will be a number of more talented, NBA-ready big men at this eighth spot.
However, Detroit needs to recognize the length in a rebuilding project and begin with Monroe and Biyombo.
Pistons select Biyombo.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Jonas Valnciunas, C, Lithuania
Charlotte needs a center.
Kwame Brown logged big minutes at the postion for them last season. Obviously, they need to upgrade.
The Bobcats have not have made an extremely successful pick throughout their draft history. Raymond Felton may have been the one that panned out best, but he is no longer on the team.
They need to swing for the fences here. Jona Valanciunas could be a big-time player in the NBA.
He is extremely athletic for a big man and with some work, he could turn into a consistent performer.
Charlotte needs to do something with this pick. Drafting someone "safe" has not worked for them. It is time to swing for the fences.
Bobcats select Valanciunas.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
John Salmons is not the long-term answer for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The team proved that the current roster is mediocre; not a consistent five-seed in the playoffs like they were in 2010.
Alec Burks fits nicely in this situation.
He will not be rushed on to the court. Burks will have time to develop behind Salmons, improve his outside shot, and prepare to be the full-time shooting guard in Milwaukee.
This is a perfect situation for both parties.
Bucks select Burks.
11. Golden State Warriors: Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas
Mark Jackson is the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
He has already made it clear that defense will be a major focus of this team.
Marcus Morris can add the offensive firepower of this team, while playing solid team defense on the other end.
He proved at Kansas that he can play a role as a leader of a very good defense.
In the NBA, Morris will be a very solid two-way player. This would be a perfect first selection for Jackson as head coach.
Warriors select Morris.
12. Utah Jazz: Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut
This is a dream scenario for the Utah Jazz.
First, Derrick Williams falls to them at No. 3.
Then at No. 12, they get their point guard.
If Kemba Walker is not here at 12—which could be the case—Jimmer Fredette may be their man.
Still, Walker would become the instant starting point guard in Utah, and Devin Harris would immediately pack his bags.
A combination of Walker and Williams is a nice way to start a rebuilding project.
Jazz select Walker.
13. Phoenix Suns: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
The Phoenix Suns have not had a true low-post big man logging heavy minutes for quite some time.
Amare Stoudemire would run the high-pick-and-roll with Steve Nash, and now Channing Frye sits out on the three-point line.
Tristan Thompson can change this for Phoenix.
He may be a bit overrated as a prospect due to his lack of offensive low-post prowess.
Yet, he brings immediate defensive ability to the table.
Thompson is something the Suns have not had in a long time, and with the decline of Nash, it is time for change in Phoenix.
Suns select Thompson.
14. Houston Rockets: Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF, Texas
Jordan Hamilton could be a steal in this draft.
He has the ability to score in a number of different ways and has the athleticism to turn into a quality defender.
His value, for some reason, is much lower than Wesley Johnson's was last year, even though they are very similar players.
The Houston Rockets could use a guy that could turn into something special.
Besides, Chase Budinger is a quality role player who probably should not be featured on any team in the NBA.
Rockets select Hamilton.
15. Indiana Pacers: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU
There have been a number of reports that Jimmer Fredette and the Pacers have clicked on all cylinders.
He seems to fit in the culture of Indiana, and the fans could really get behind a guy like this.
Darren Collison disappointed mightily last season as the starting point guard for Indiana.
It is time to turn a new leaf. The Pacers cannot settle on scratching their way into the playoffs with a sub-.500 record.
Fredette might turn into a star in the NBA or he might turn into a role player.
Either way, he can shoot the lights out, and when a team can add someone like that, it is never a bad selection.
Pacers select Fredette.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
In this scenario, Markieff Morris gets about as close to a perfect scenario as he could ask for.
He and his twin brother, Marcus (at No. 11 to the Warriors), would love to play together.
They are from Philadelphia, and dream of playing together. So, if they could both end up wearing Philadelhpia 76ers hats on draft night, they would be ecstatic.
This is highly unlikely.
Markieff will have to settle for going home, without his brother.
76ers select Morris.
17. New York Knicks: Josh Selby, PG, Kansas
Josh Selby to the Knicks is just a match made in heaven.
Selby has every tool required to be a point guard in the NBA.
He has the confidence, athletic ability (42-inch vertical at the Draft Combine), and the jump shot.
Sometimes, he just cannot put it all together.
New York has been known to pick high-potential players that they can groom.
Selby will be the next in line.
Knicks select Selby.
18. Washington Wizards: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
If Klay Thompson falls to the Washington Wizards at No. 18, it will be the steal of the draft.
In this scenario, it will happen.
Thompson is slowly inching up draft boards and is probably valued higher than this by most teams.
He is one of the more dynamic scorers in the draft, and might have a top-five jump shot in this class.
The Wizards need someone to challenge Jordan Crawford.
Thompson can do that.
Wizards select Thompson.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
With their second first-rounder, the Bobcats need to look for a scorer who can actually contribute.
They do not need a high-potential player that might pan out in a few years.
For once, Charlotte needs to make a safe pick.
Marshon Brooks might be one of the safer picks in this draft. Everyone recognizes his scoring ability, and he played in the best conference in college basketball.
If anyone has the proper experience to jump in right away and adapt to the style of the NBA at this point in the draft, it's Brooks.
Bobcats select Brooks.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
David Kahn loves high-potential players.
Donatas Motiejunas is the definition of the word potential.
He is long, athletic and plays multiple positions. At one point in time, he was projected as a top-10 pick.
Some teams still may have him rated that highly, including the 'Wolves.
If Motiejuans is here, Kahn will think he has a steal on his hands.
Timberwolves select Motiejunas.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St.
In acquiring Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline last season, the Portland Trail Blazers traded away Dante Cunningham.
To most people, Cunningham was not all that important to the Trail Blazers.
Still, he played a very important back-up role to Portland's star player, LaMarcus Aldridge.
Now, Portland is in need of a solid replacement off the bench who can provide high-energy minutes.
Kenneth Faried is the perfect man to do this for them.
He might be the best rebounder in the draft, and is known for his voracious tempo on the court.
Faried is the perfect man to spell Aldridge.
Trail Blazers select Faried.
22. Denver Nuggets: Jordan Williams, PF/C, Maryland
Jordan Williams is an interesting prospect.
He never really made much noise at Maryland, despite his solid statistics.
Williams averaged 16.9 ppg and 11.8 rpg. With those numbers, most college basketball fans should know who he is. Unfortunately, they don't, but he is making NBA scouts notice him.
The Nuggets need a big man. Kenyon Martin's future is cloudy, and Al Harrington is not a reliable starter.
Williams, who can play both power forward and center, could be a nice rotational big man for Denver.
Nuggets select Williams.
23. Houston Rockets: Darius Morris, PG, Michigan
If Goran Dragic is not in their long-term plans, Houston will have to look elsewhere for a backup point guard.
Most of Houston's roster is set for the foreseeable future. Thus, they need someone that can adapt to the current culture.
Darius Morris will fit right in. He is a team player who sees the court very well.
Morris can be a potent offensive player at times, but the Rockets will love his intangibles and unselfishness the most.
Rockets select Morris.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF, UCLA
Tyler Honeycutt is the perfect piece to a winning team's puzzle.
He will not come into the league and lead a team as a scorer or take the big shots.
Still, he will defend, hit the open jumper and occasionally take over games for short stretches.
Oklahoma City needs a solid role player to take the relief off of Kevin Durant.
Honeycutt is built for this role and will help the Thunder take the next step in the playoffs.
Thunder select Honeycutt.
25. Boston Celtics: Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
Ray Allen exercised his player option with the Boston Celtics for the upcoming season.
Clearly, Boston is attempting to make another run or two at a championship with their current core intact.
Their glaring need is at center.
Jermaine O'Neal and Nenad Krstic can provide decent minutes at times, but it is time to look for another option.
Nikola Vucevic may be one of the most NBA-ready big men in the draft, and he can step right in and produce for Boston.
Celtics select Vucevic.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Jason Kidd has proved during the 2011 NBA Playoffs that he has plenty of juice in the tank for next season.
However, we all know his retirement is not that far in the distance.
If Dallas is not able to re-sign J.J. Barea, a point guard becomes a major need for this team.
This year's draft class may be the deepest at the point guard position.
Reggie Jackson from Boston College is a player that can turn into a Kyle Lowry-type point guard.
The Mavs would love to have him at the end of the first round.
Mavericks select Jackson.
27. New Jersey Nets: Justin Harper, PF, Richmond
Kris Humphries had the best season of his career last year. He has become a staple on the Nets roster.
Avery Johnson has reiterated that he is in their plans for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, the Nets need to acquire a complementary big man.
Justin Harper is the guy that can do everything that Humphries cannot.
He can shoot from the outside, penetrate off the dribble and consistently knock down the open jumper.
Harper can be a nice addition for this team.
Nets select Harper.
28. Chicago Bulls: Charles Jenkins, PG/SG, Hofstra
The Bulls have some glaring needs to fill.
Last year, it was apparent throughout the season that they were lacking a scoring guard alongside Derrick Rose.
They are hoping to find this in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Charles Jenkins is one of the best scorers in the class.
He has good size, but no one knows if he will be a true point guard in the NBA.
Jenkins might be more suited as a Jason Terry-type player, who plays off the ball despite his size.
Even if Jenkins does not turn into a scoring two-guard for the Bulls, he will be a viable backup to Rose in the future.
Bulls select Jenkins.
29. San Antonio Spurs: JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue
The San Antonio Spurs seem to always find the quirky players that no other team wants.
After a couple of years down the line, San Antonio is laughing because their pick turns out to be exactly who they thought he was while the rest of the league missed it.
DeJuan Blair was one of the few second-round draft picks to play significant minutes last season. The Spurs grabbed him after his stock fell at the Draft Combine.
This year, it would make sense for the Spurs to end up with another player like Blair.
JaJaun Johnson can provide the scoring punch that the Spurs need out of a role playing big man.
Spurs select Johnson.
30. Chicago Bulls: Malcolm Lee, SG, UCLA
Malcolm Lee is not the scoring shooting guard that Chicago needs.
Still, he can become a solid starter in the future at the NBA level.
Lee is a great athlete. He was known as a premier defender at UCLA, while still finishing second on the team in scoring.
If the Bulls believe Charles Jenkins (at No. 28) can provide the scoring off the bench that they need, Lee may be their man at the 30-spot.
Bulls select Lee.