6. JONAS VALANCIUNAS, BC Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania, 6'10", 238 lbs., C/PF
Valanciunas will battle with Vesely to see who will be the first international player drafted, but both are projected early lottery picks. He’s vying to become the earliest that a Lithuanian player has ever been selected by an NBA team. Cleveland took Zydrunas Ilgauskas with the 20th pick in the 1996 draft. The Cavs could opt for Valanciunas at No. 4, but with an unsettled buyout situation, the forward could slide, but no further than Houston at No. 14.
7 . KAWHI LEONARD, San Diego State, Sophomore, 6'7", 225 lbs., SF
Nicknamed the “Human Avatar,” Leonard’s dominance crashing the boards have professional scouts likening his skills to those of Gerald Wallace. If the Wizards can’t find a way to grab Kanter, Leonard could head to the capital city as a front court compliment to grow with John Wall. Sacramento is also highly interested in him with the No. 7 pick.
8. KEMBA WALKER, Connecticut, Junior, 6'0", 172 lbs., PG
Like Williams, Walker’s recent workouts are forcing teams like Charlotte to seriously consider moving up in the draft to select him, with Detroit also eyeing the Husky with the No. 8 selection. The “General Patton” of the college basketball world, nobody in this draft can rally the troops like Walker. The “gunslinger” finished seventh on the Husky all-time record list with 1,783 points scored, but also showed his unselfish side, as his 460 assists rank 10th in school annals.
9. KLAY THOMPSON, Washington State, Junior, 6'6", 202 lbs., SG
He won’t go first overall, leaving those bragging rights to his dad, but Thompson is making his mark as a potential lottery pick.
The son of Mychal Thompson, the top overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, Klay ranks third in school history with 1,756 points, a 17.92-point scoring average, 1,414 field goal attempts and a free throw percentage of .827. He set the WSU all-time records with 242 three-point attempts on 620 chances. Golden state would love to have Stephen Curry feeding Thompson the ball next year, especially if the Warriors trade away their top scorer, Monta Ellis.
10. MARCUS MORRIS, Kansas, Junior, 6'9", 233 lbs., PF
The departures of Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry to the NBA actually helped Morris’ offensive game grow up in a hurry and he proved to be one of the most mistake-free performers in the Big 12 conference last year, showing much more confidence in his ability to score with his fade-away jumper, which helped increase his scoring output from 12.8 points as a sophomore to 17.2 points last year. If Utah goes for a point guard at No. 3, Morris could be their front court target at No. 12, but the Bucks at No. 8 are also interested.