Number one overall, Cleveland Cavaliers:
They select: Kyrie Irving, G, Duke
The Cavs should select Williams at number one overall. In my opinion, he is a Blake Griffin-type of player: crazy athleticism with a wide range of skills. Williams can hit the three, he can play defense, and he can finish. Kyrie Irving seems extremely injury prone already. No team wants to deal with another Greg Oden situation. It’s also important to note that Cleveland also has rights to the fourth overall pick as well. So, if they can snag Williams here they can go for a guard later. However, I can see them going for Irving here to solidify their point guard position instead of possibly taking a riskier player like Brandon Knight or even Kemba Walker.
Number two overall, Minnesota Timberwolves
If Derrick Williams gets selected number one, this leaves the Wolves in a bind. They already have Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio at the point, so trading this pick would probably be best. If Williams is still here, though, then taking him is still the best choice because he is a “can’t miss” player. I also would like Enes Kanter here, since the Wolves seem pretty content at every position except center, however I don’t see Irving falling out of the top two.
Number three overall, Utah Jazz
The Jazz are in a similar situation as the Wolves, a team full of decent starters that could trade down to get what they need. Kanter would be the pick here for most teams that aren’t the Jazz, but the Jazz would instead go with the next best guard available in Knight to backup the oft injured Devin Harris or even play beside him. Knight has the scoring ability and length to play the two at the NBA level. Kanter does not fit because of the Jazz’s plethora of bigs (Favors, Jefferson, Millsap, Okur). The Jazz also have a pick at 12 to use on a SF or even another big if they want.
Number four overall, Cleveland Cavaliers
Although Kanter played zero games this year for the Wildcats, he has been scouted heavily and is oozing with potential. Kanter actually has enough skill to be a top two player in this draft, but his year of absence from the court hurt his stock just a little. The Cavs will strike gold if they’re able to land Kanter here.
Number five overall, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors seem pretty solid at both guard positions (Calderon, Bayless, Barbosa, Derozan) so Kemba Walker is out of the question (although it wouldn’t be a shocker if he was picked here). Valanciunas seems like Toronto’s type of player: a European who can hit the mid-range but who can attack the glass on both sides. Valanciunas is a hard-worker and plays very aggressive, giving the Raptors a force down low that they don’t have in Andrea Bargnani, who is seven feet tall and averages a mere five rebounds a game.
Number six overall, Washington Wizards
This is a great selection for the Wizards. Vesely is a 6-11 forward who can handle and shoot the ball, fulfilling their need for a SF. He can also play the PF position if he bulks up a bit in the future.
Number seven overall, Sacramento Kings
With Tyreke Evans, Beno Udrih and Marcus Thornton filling up the guard rotation and Jason Thompson and Demarcus Cousins looking like long-term options up top, Leonard seems like the only logical choice for the Kings, who lack a backup SF behind Francisco Garcia. Leonard, in my opinion, is one of the more “bust” players in this draft. He doesn’t impress me with any of his skills and this may be one of the worst picks in this draft.
Number eight overall, Detroit Pistons
The Pistons seem to be solid at every position, so they will fill the backup PG position with the explosive Kemba Walker. Starting PG Rodney Stuckey is a restricted free agent at the end of the 11/12 season, so if the Pistons are feeling like Walker is ready, he can take the reins from Stuckey in only a year’s time. People may note that both Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady are free agents at the SF, but isn’t that why the Pistons drafted Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko for?
Number nine overall, Charlotte Bobcats
They select: Donatas Motiejunas, F-C, Int’l.
MJ will make another questionable draft choice here, passing up on forward Tristan Thompson and instead taking seven-footer Motiejunas. The Bobcats have no future in any of their bigs, so they’ll take Motiejunas who possesses a very European style of play, lots of shooting.
Number ten overall, Milwaukee Bucks
Burks can give the Bucks some much-needed offense alongside John Salmons.
Number eleven overall, Golden St. Warriors
The Warriors love players like Thompson, who can hit shots wherever and whenever. The Warriors were reportedly extremely impressed by his workout. Also, SG Monta Ellis may be moved during the draft or shortly after.
Number twelve overall, Utah Jazz
They select: Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
Utah solidified their need for a guard with the number three pick, so now they fill their last need and take Kansas’ Marcus Morris. Morris showed he can shoot the mid-range shot at the PF/C position in college as well as rebound and block. He’ll be a good fit in Utah.
Number thirteen overall, Phoenix Suns
They select: Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU
With both Steve Nash and Aaron Brooks in the last year of their contracts, Fredette is the best guard available by far.
Number fourteen overall, Houston Rockets
They select: Tristan Thompson, F, Texas
The Rockets need a big body to complement Luis Scola. Thompson is still raw, but can run the floor well and even throw a few nice post moves out there. His size is a concern but if he can be taught a better jumper then he’ll be fine.
*End of Lottery*
No. fifteen – Indiana Pacers
They select: Chris Singleton, F, Florida St.
No. sixteen – Philadelphia 76ers
They select: Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
No. seventeen – New York Knicks
They select: Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech
No. eighteen – Washington Wizards
They select: Bismack Biyombo, C, Int’l.
No. nineteen – Charlotte Bobcats
They select: Marshon Brooks, G, Providence
No. twenty – Minnesota Timberwolves
They select: Jordan Hamilton, G-F, Texas
No. twenty one – Portland Trailblazers
They select: Markieff Morris, F, Kansas
No. twenty two – Denver Nuggets
They select: Kenneth Faried, F, Morehead St.
No. twenty three – Houston Rockets
They select: Tyler Honeycutt, G-F, UCLA
No. twenty four – Oklahoma City Thunder
They select: Reggie Jackson, G, Boston College
No. twenty five – Boston Celtics
They select: Nolan Smith, G, Duke
No. twenty six – Dallas Mavericks
They select: Davis Bertans, F, Int’l
No. twenty seven – New Jersey Nets
They select: Trey Thompkins, F, Georgia
No. twenty eight – Chicago Bulls
They select: Kyle Singler, F, Duke
The Bulls love winners, which is what Singler is. Singler will bring the defensive tenacity and toughness the Bulls coaching loves to see. He will come off the bench to replace Luol Deng and should be able to make smart decisions with the ball.
No. twenty nine – San Antonio Spurs
They select: Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
No. thirty – Chicago Bulls
They select: Josh Selby, G, Kansas
The Bulls select a project in Selby with the last pick of the first round. Selby came out of high school ranked higher (by some organizations) than players like Brandon Knight and Kyrie Irving, however, he struggled at Kansas and never really found his groove. This is a total potential pick and he’s the epitome of a high risk, high reward player.