Joe Fong has been a contributor for 3 Shades of Bluefrom time to time but since he assists his college basketball team (CBU) during the season his contributions haven’t been that frequent. However, with school out for the summer, his unique perspective on college players comes in very handy with our annual mock draft. So without further ado here is Joe Fong’s first mock draft for this summer NBA draft.
1.Cleveland Cavaliers (From Los Angeles Clippers)
Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona, So.
Best Case Danny Manning
Worst Case Darrell Arthur
For the city of Cleveland, The Decision was like putting every Cavaliers fan in a gigantic feed sack and then LeBron beating the sack with a Louisville slugger. But whether by luck or by conspiracy theory as Timberwolves GM David Kahn would suggest, the Cavaliers brass gets the privilege of making the first overall selection by way of eating up Baron Davis albatross contract from the Clippers as well as making their own selection at number four. The Cavs need a huge upgrade in talent at almost every position, as the only reason they won more than 10 games this season was because of the experience of veterans like Jamison, Davis, and Parker.
Derrick Williams is the best physical specimen available, and he has the motor and competitiveness to succeed, unlike Kwame Brown.
For this snake-bitten franchise, the front office absolutely cannot afford to make any mistake.
Enes Kanter, PF/C, Kentucky, Fr.
Best Case Al Horford/Greg Monroe
Worst Case Brad Miller (Rockets version)
The problem here at number two is the Timberwolves dont need any more young talent (especially underclassmen) that theyd be obligated to play for significant minutes because theyre still waiting on young guys like Wes Johnson, Anthony Randolph, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Darko Milicic, Jonny Flynn, and now Ricky Rubio to finally put it all together. In addition, the Timberwolves greatest need is a true center to play alongside Kevin Love (why Al Jefferson was traded away), but maybe Kahn thinks that Kanter might be his guy. Value-wise, this pick should be Kyrie Irving assuming Williams goes first, and for all we know, Cleveland may covet this pick as to walk away with the two best players in the 2011 draft. However, since its well known that the Timberwolves would prefer to deal this pick, theyll continue to get low-balled, and may be forced to keep it and select Kanter.
3.Utah Jazz (From New Jersey)
Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke, Fr.
Best Case Chris Paul
Worst Case Mike Conley
Could Kyrie Irving, the consensus top overall pick, fall to the Jazz at 3? Id say there is definitely a possibility if Cleveland is unable to trade for the 2nd pick. Quite frankly, there arent any reasonable trade partners for the Timberwolves that will offer fair value for the rights to Irving or Williams. Irving would instantly become the Jazzs point guard of the future, as Devin Harris would slide to the two-guard.
Brandon Knight, PG/SG, Kentucky, Fr.
Best Case Jason Terry
Worst Case Keyon Dooling
Brandon Knight is not the pure point guard specimen that Irving is, but nevertheless, Knight is a gifted scorer. Some may argue that the difference between Knight and Irving is negligible, and even though Irving is the more NBA-ready floor general, question marks surrounding Irvings durability and management of the draft process may cause the Cavs to pass on Irving and grab Knight at 4.
Kawhi Leonard, San Diego St., So.
Best Case Gerald Wallace
Worst Case Stanley Robinson/Darius Miles (without the headaches)
There is no reason to excuse how awful the Raptors defense is, with or without Chris Bosh, and theyll never be able to get out of the hole unless they get more physical and defensive-minded. Even though his offensive skill set remains very raw, Leonard has the athleticism to fit right into the fast-paced offensive attack of the Raps, and he also brings defensive intensity and rebounding to the wing position.
Rumor has it that Portland wants to make a deal to move up and draft Kemba Walker, but theyll have to jump ahead of Sacramento to get him. Could a deal of Nicolas Batum and 21st pick for the 5th pick and James Johnson work out for both teams?
Jan Vesely, SF/PF, Czech Republic
Best Case Andrei Kirilenko
Worst Case Bostjan Nachbar
John Wall turned out to be every bit as good as advertised and now the Wizards brass must surround him with the talent to bring out the best of his ability to create in the open floor. Ideally the Wizards would like to trade up to grab Williams or improve defensively on the perimeter by standing pat and grabbing Leonard, but assuming both are unavailable, Vesely would certainly fit on this young, athletic Wizards team.
But rumor has it that Portland wants to make a deal to move up and draft Kemba Walker. Could there be a
Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut, Jr.
Best Case Bobby Jackson (Kings version)
Worst Case Pooh Jeter
Tyreke Evans is a great player just not the great point guard the Kings expected him to be. Hell be better at his natural two-guard position. Kemba Walker brings championship pedigree as well as the competitiveness and natural leadership ability to help stabilize a young but inconsistent Kings team.
Bismack Biyombo, C, Congo
Best Case Serge Ibaka/Ben Wallace
Worst Case Olumide Oyedeji
The Pistons know very well the value of a defensive stalwart in the paint ala Ben Wallace for a number of years in the last decade. This team must become more physical and get back to being the defensive-minded team they were under Larry Brown, and Biyombo would be a high risk, high reward pick for this franchise, that like Cleveland, needs a huge facelift in the talent department.
Jonas Valenciunas, C, Lithuania
Best Case Nenad Krstic (Nets version)
Worst Case Darko Milicic (Pistons version)
The Bobcats have said they want to add athleticism and shooting on the perimeter, so Alec Burks or Klay Thompson may be surprise picks here. However, I can somehow see Michael Jordan trying to make amends for the Cats passing on Brook Lopez three years ago by drafting Valenciunas. The Lithuanian is extremely raw but athletic and skilled around the basket, but he reminds me way too much of an 18-year-old Darko.
Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas, Jr.
Best Case Juwan Howard (90s version)/Al Harrington
Worst Case Darnell Jackson
The Bucks, who finished last in the league in PPG at 91.88, must improve offensively to get back in the hunt in the Eastern Conference and a physical, versatile scorer like Marcus Morris could contribute immediately with offensively-challenged guys like Mbah a Moute (free agent), Brockman, and Gooden currently at power forward. An all-around perimeter scorer like Jordan Hamilton or Alex Burks would also make sense here.
11.Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, SG, Washington St., Jr.
Best Case Reggie Miller
Worst Case Anthony Parker (Cavs version)
The Warriors have lots of money tied up in David Lee and Andris Biedrins, and used the 6th pick last year on Ekpe Udoh, so Motiejunas or Markieff Morris doesnt make much sense. Meanwhile, some think that the Warriors will part with Monta Ellis, and even if they dont, they still need to add size and scoring to the backcourt. Thompson may not be a jaw-dropping athlete, but he is tremendously versatile offensive player as well as a prolific shooter.
Alec Burks, PG/SG, Colorado, So.
Best Case Eddie Jones (Hornets, Lakers version)
Worst Case Courtney Lee
The Jazz resist the temptation of drafting BYU product Jimmer Fredette even though itll be a mini-PR nightmare. After nabbing their point guard of the future with the 3rd pick, they might get another steal here with Burks. Burks is an athletic all-around guard with prototypical size and skills with the ability to play point guard in short spurts. A new Jazz lineup of Irving, Harris, Heyward, Millsap, and Jefferson with Favors, Okur, and Burks coming off the bench looks promising on paper.
Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas, Jr.
Best Case Udonis Haslem/Carl Landry
Worst Case Ike Diogu
The Suns made a nice addition by adding Marcin Gortat from the Magic in their midseason shakeup, but they still need to add a more physical power forward thats NBA-ready since Steve Nashs days may be numbered. Markieff Morris is not as gifted offensively as his brother, but he still runs the floor well enough to fit in with the Suns, and being a junior and having played for Bill Self at Kansas, hell be ready to contribute from Day 1, as opposed to a guy like Tristan Thompson. However, if the Suns decide that Nash is no longer in their plans, the oozing upside of Thompson may be too much to pass up.
Chris Singleton, SF/PF, Florida St., Jr.
Best Case Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Worst Case Earl Clark
The Rockets can flat-out score. But with Kevin McHale as their new head coach, theyll have to play defense, too. Singleton is the best perimeter defender outside of Kawhi Leonard, and offensively, he has improved every year at Florida St. The Rockets would like to find a potential replacement for Yao, but at 14, unless Valenciunas plummets, they should look at guys like Singleton, Honeycutt, or Hamilton.
Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Benneton Treviso, Lithuania, Int.
Best Case Andrea Bargnani
Worst Case Nikoloz Tskitishvili
Indiana is a young team on the rise that needs to continue to add talented pieces to their core of Granger, Collison, and Paul George. With Josh McRoberts set to become a free agent, a talented young power forward would be perfect for the Pacers. Motiejunas is a high risk-high reward pick at this point, and his size, length, and offensive repertoire are worth the gamble. Tristan Thompson is also a possibility.
Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas, Fr.
Best Case Tyrus Thomas
Worst Case Solomon Jones/Brandan Wright
The Sixers are another team on the rise, but with Elton Brand entering NBA antiquity, they will need to draft his eventual replacement. Thompson is a solid athlete that will need to expand his post game and better utilize his quickness in order to be successful in the league.
17.New York Knicks
Jimmer Fredette, PG/SG, BYU, Jr.
Best Case Mark Price
Worst Case Chris Quinn
David Kahn did in fact say that the NBA has a way with amazing headlines. Jimmer Fredette goes home and Knicks fans go nuts. Darius Morris is probably a better basketball pick as an eventual successor to Chauncey Billups, but Fredette only helps fans get more excited about the new-look Knicks with his prolific shooting ability. The general consensus is that the Knicks want Jimmer, but they may have to move up to get him, considering Utah (12), Phoenix (13), and Indiana (15) are all reportedly interested in him. As of right now, I think may fall here.
18.Washington Wizards (From Atlanta)
Tobias Harris, SF/PF, Tennessee, Fr.
Best Case Joey Graham (Raptors version)
Worst Case Stephen Graham
The Wizards, like the Timberwolves, have plenty of talented young players, like Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Trevor Booker, and Kevin Seraphin, but theyre just waiting for the pieces to gel. Theyd probably like to trade this pick, but if they cant, theyll take a player thats NBA-ready. Harris, along with Vesely, will give the Wizards a new punch at the small forward position.
19.Charlotte Bobcats (From New Orleans)
Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF, Texas, So.
Best Case Poor mans Paul Pierce
Worst Case DaSean Butler
The Bobcats like to draft NBA-ready players, and they need to upgrade the small forward position; a guy like Jordan Hamilton here at 19 would be a steal, because hes a tremendously versatile scorer whose stock is not as high as it should be because of perceived lack of quickness and athleticism.
20.Minnesota Timberwolves (From Memphis)
Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia
Best Case Peja Stojakovic/Kyle Korver
Worst Case Steve Novak
Bertans is the first international player to be a candidate to stay overseas for a year or two, and the Timberwolves have plenty of first-rounders, past and present, that need to pan out before they continue to logjam their roster with underachieving talents. Bertans is an outstanding outside shooter with a sweet stroke like Korver and the size of Stojakovic.
Darius Morris, PG, Michigan So.
Best Case Andre Miller (younger version)
Worst Case Antonio Daniels
If the Blazers are unable to orchestrate a deal to get Kemba Walker, theyll look to find a diamond in the rough among Morris, Josh Selby, and Shelvin Mack. Morris is very similar to the Blazers incumbent point guard Andre Miller, and hes got outstanding size and enough talent to be the teams future starter.
Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF, UCLA, So.
Best Case Josh Childress (Hawks version)
Worst Case Corey Brewer
The Nuggets have several needs. Nene , Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, Kenyon Martin, and J.R. Smith may leave in free agency, so going with the best available player would be a good idea. Honeycutt is a solid penetrator who does a lot of good things at 68 shoot, handle, rebound, and defend.
23.Houston Rockets (From Orlando)
Lucas Noguiera, C, Brazil
Best Case Tyson Chandler/Marcus Camby
Worst Case Alexis Ajinca
Noguiera is a super lanky, super athletic 18-year-old gushing with potential. His upside to be a tremendous shot blocker at the NBA level gets people excited, and the Rockets could draft him to be an eventual replacement for Yao.
24.Oklahoma City Thunder
Justin Harper, PF, Richmond, Sr.
Best Case Channing Frye/Anthony Tolliver
Worst Case Craig Brackins
The Grizzlies and Mavericks exposed one of the Thunders few weaknesses the inability of their big men to shoot the face-up jumper. A combo forward that can stretch the floor like Harper could be a nice addition for a team that obviously doesnt need much help.
Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia, Jr.
Best Case Marreese Speights
Worst Case Brian Cook
Shaq retired, and Krstic and Glen Davis are free agents, which means the Celtics will need to retool their frontcourt. Thompkins was once considered lottery pick talent, but questionable work ethic and motor have caused his stock to drop. Doc Rivers can get him to maximize his potential.
JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue, Sr.
Best Case Amir Johnson
Worst Case Stromile Swift (the where is he now version)
The Mavericks are in the Finals despite season-ending injuries to Caron Butler and Roddy Beaubois, so theyve definitely shown us the value of depth; some will argue that their championship window is closing. Johnson could play spot minutes in relief of Nowitzki now that hes 33 years old.
27.New Jersey (from Los Angeles Lakers)
Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence, Sr.
Best Case Nick Young (less athletic)
Worst Case Roger Mason
Brooks, like Jordan Hamilton, is underrated because of perceived lack of athleticism, but he is a gifted offensive player that some people say remind them of Kobe Bryant. Obviously he isnt that good, but nevertheless, he can hurt you in a number of ways. Jordan Williams and Jeremy Tyler could get looks here.
28.Chicago Bulls (from Miami)
Nolan Smith, SG, Duke, Sr.
Best Case Tony Delk
Worst Case DeMarcus Nelson
The Bulls are pretty good for Keith Bogans to be starting for them. A heady, unruffled player like Smith can contribute immediately and bring a little bit of everything to the table.
29.San Antonio Spurs
Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St., Sr.
Best Case Tyrone Hill
Worst Case Demarre Carroll/Renaldo Balkman
Faried is a Popovich-type of player hard-nosed, blue-collar. Hes the best rebounder in the draft and his energy and athleticism make up for his lack of size. With Duncan rapidly deteriorating, a guy like Faried can contribute immediately with the closing of the Spurs glory days not far off.
Jeremy Tyler, PF/C, USA
Best Case Jason Thompson
Worst Case Ian Mahinmi
The Bulls are one of the most complete teams in the league, so they can afford to take a chance on one of the biggest mysteries in the draft. Tylers athleticism and size will have somebody enamored.
Possible Second Round Gems
Shelvin Mack, PG/SG, Butler, Jr.
Best Case Jarrett Jack
Worst Case Marcus Banks
Josh Selby, PG/SG, Kansas, Fr.
Best Case Monta Ellis/Eric Bledsoe
Worst Case Jerryd Bayless/Willie Warren
Kyle Singler, SF, Duke, Sr.
Best Case Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Worst Case Ersan Ilyasova
Possible Grizzlies Targets at #49
The Grizzlies could look to add depth in the frontcourt, with Hamed Haddadi and Leon Powe set to become free agents. They could also opt to take the best available international player.
Jordan Williams, PF, Maryland, So.
Best Case Carlos Boozer
Worst Case Sean May/Lonny Baxter
Willie Reed, PF, St. Louis, Jr.
Best Case Hakim Warrick
Worst Case Brandan Wright
Keith Benson, C, Oakland, Sr.
Best Case Steven Hunter
Worst Case Rod Benson
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, France
Best Case Darius Songaila (Kings version)
Worst Case Jason Smith