Following the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and feedback from various individual workouts around the league, we can continue to fine-tune how the draft will play out after the top spot. In the second of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 23, keep in mind that this is a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:
1. Cleveland (From L.A. Clippers) â€“ Kyrie Irving
6-2, 180 lbs. PG
With only an 11-game sample, Irving was able to display why he may be the best prospect in the entire draft. His combinations of vision, shooting and scoring are maybe the best we’ve seen since Chris Paul. With the franchise in need of a savior, Irving is the best guy to build around.
2. Minnesota â€“ Derrick Williams
6-7, 210 lbs. SF/PF
Using his versatility all season long, Williams became a viable option for a top pick as an inside-outside threat. Not sure there is anyone in this draft that can bring to the table what he can. And with Ricky Rubio finally arriving in Minnesota, the T-Wolves could be looking at a major talent upgrade. Note: Don’t count out Cleveland making a play for this pick and snagging Williams.
3. Utah (From New Jersey) â€“ Brandon Knight
6-4, 183 lbs. PG
A few months into the season Knight was still a project. Since then, he became one of the most clutch players in the nation and proved to be a multi-faceted offensive threat. The Jazz need a new franchise point guard and a guy that can help them win, and Knight should be up for the job.
4. Cleveland â€“ Enes Kanter
6-10, 250 lbs. C
After lighting up the world in the U-18 games and the Nike Hoop Summit, Kanter became a hot name before arriving in Lexington last fall. Since then, the Turkish big has played zero basketball and become a bit of a mystery in this year’s draft. Cleveland could use another big body to pair with Irving for a killer pick and roll, and Kanter can step out and knock down jumpers.
5. Toronto â€“ Jonas Valanciunas
6-10, 220 lbs. PF
Valanciunas is the best European prospect in the 2011 class. He has more of an American style game as a hustle player who excels in the paint. Once he fills out his body with strength he will be a very productive player. Pairing him with Andrea Bargnani and Ed Davis makes for a very dangerous and young frontcourt rotation in Toronto.
6. Washington â€“ Kawhi Leonard
6-7, 225 lbs. SF
San Diego State, So.
Playing on the West Coast hurts when it comes to publicity, but Leonard has the athleticism and skill to make his name known. For a young Wizards team that needs utility guys that can do just about everything, Leonard is the perfect piece to add to the puzzle.
7. Sacramento â€“ Kemba Walker
6-1, 172 lbs. PG
Walker is the fastest player with the ball in this class, and has a knack at getting in the paint. He may not be a pure point guard, but as a basketball player, he is a tough winner that will excel in the NBA. A backcourt of Walker and Tyreke Evans would give Western Conference teams fits for days.
8. Detroit â€“ Bismack Biyombo
6-9, 248 lbs. PF
You may not know who Biyombo is, but scouts are learning. He is a big-time athlete who can jump out of the building and protect the paint â€“ two skills the Pistons are desperately in need of. He’s not the next Ben Wallace, but he’ll definitely bring his toughness.
9. Charlotte â€“ Jan Vesely
6-11, 240 lbs. SF/PF
Some see him as a small forward, others as a power forward, but either way Vesely is a big-time athlete that can shoot it with range. He will be a matchup nightmare once he adds some strength. And for a team that needs an influx of talent, Vesely brings just that.
10. Milwaukee â€“ Alec Burks
6-6, 185 lbs. SG
Burks is a smooth operator on offense who gets to the free throw line like no other. He also rebounds the ball for his position very consistently, making him the best all-around shooting guard in this class. Milwaukee has said they’ll take the best player on the board, and Burks is it. He’ll make Bucks fans forget they ever had Michael Redd.
11. Golden State â€“ Tristan Thompson
6-8, 225 lbs. SF/PF
Thompson will be next in line of phenomenal Longhorn freshman to go one-and-done. He’ll also become the first Canadian drafted in the first round since Jamaal Magloire in 2000. What he brings to Golden State is a strong rebounder who also provides a physical presence in the paint to play alongside Andris Biedrins and David Lee.
12. Utah â€“ Jimmer Fredette
6-3, 195 lbs. PG
The Jimmer has been compared to Mark Price, Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, Dan Dickau, Luke Ridnour and Eddie House. In reality, he is one of the most unique prospects we have seen in a long time. His future is up to him. And if the Jazz can snag him at No. 12, he’ll become one of the NBA’s most marketable players.
13. Phoenix â€“ Marcus Morris
6-8, 220 lbs. PF
Like most big men with a good jump shot, Morris falls in love with it often in games and becomes very guardable. At the next level, we’ll see how his skills can develop in an NBA system. If he drops to the Suns here, he’ll be a steal.
14. Houston â€“ Chris Singleton
6-9, 210 lbs. SF
Florida State, Jr.
Singleton was easily the best overall defender in the country last season before injures shortened his season. He is very athletic and can guard multiple positions on the court, making him a perfect talent for the Rockets.
15. Indiana â€“ Jordan Hamilton
6-7, 215 lbs. SG/SF
Hamilton has the complete package as a player: athletic, deep range shooter, passing ability and size. All he has left to do is put the pieces together to reach that potential. Larry Bird may be just the guy to give him a shot.
16. Philadelphia â€“ Donatas Motiejunas
7-0, 220 lbs. PF
A soft, skilled shooting big man is what Motiejunas brings to the table. Could he be the next Dirk Nowitzki? Probably not, but that conversation has already begun. Some people have him pegged as a Lottery pick, so if he’s still available here, the Sixers will have to take him.
17. New York â€“ Josh Selby
6-3, 188 lbs. PG
Anointed a superstar in the making before playing a single minute, once Selby finished his suspension he began his career with a bang. The Knicks can’t afford to pass on another dynamic guard after missing out on Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday and Ty Lawson. Look for him to make huge strides at the next level.
18. Washington (From Atlanta) â€“ Klay Thompson
6-6, 202 lbs. SG
Washington State, Jr.
The middle son of former NBA center Mychal Thompson, Klay is a smooth perimeter scorer and deadly three-point shooter. If Nick Young leaves in free agency this summer, Thompson can be that guy.
19. Charlotte (From New Orleans via Portland) â€“ Tobias Harris
6-8, 210 lbs. SF/PF
Harris was not really looked at as a one-and-done player until the dismissal of Bruce Pearl. Now he emerges as one of the most skilled players at his age who can play both forward positions with regularity. If the Bobcats go big with Vesely at No. 9, Harris could be a nice addition here.
20. Minnesota (From Memphis via Utah) â€“ Marshon Brooks
6-5, 195 lbs. SG
Brooks has one skill: get buckets. He is a very talented offensive player that will add scoring immediately off the bench. If you’re wondering who dropped a Big East record 52 points this season, making a Big East record 20 field goals (20-28), that would be him. The Timberwolves could use his offensive firepower.
21. Portland â€“ Kenneth Faried
6-8, 228 lbs. PF
Morehead State, Sr.
Faried, the Division I all-time leader in rebounds (post-1973) and second in double-doubles, is a high energy player and high quality defender. He will fit in with any team from Day One. And with the chance to play alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace, the Blazers frontcourt just got a whole lot stronger.
22. Denver â€“ Tyler Honeycutt
6-9, 180 lbs. SF
A big fan favorite of scouts, Honeycutt has been likened to talented NBA players such as Tayshaun Prince. He has not yet been dominant, but the potential and upside are obviously there. The Nuggets need depth at the SG and SF positions, and Honeycutt provides that.
23. Houston (From Orlando via Phoenix) â€“ Reggie Jackson
6-3, 208 lbs. PG
Boston College, Jr.
The next in the line of explosive, long (7-foot wingspan), fast and athletic point guards maybe hidden away in Jackson. Elite NBA teams all have a player that fits that description, and Jackson is ready to be just that. Even with Kyle Lowry at the helm, there’s no way Daryl Morey passes on Jackson.
24. Oklahoma City â€“ Markieff Morris
6-9, 232 lbs. PF
The other half of the Morris Twins, Markieff is all hustle and provides the consummate team attitude on the court. Chances are he won’t still be around this late, but I’m sure his college teammate, Cole Aldrich, wouldn’t mind.
25. Boston â€“ Nikola Vucevic
7-0, 260 lbs. C
While Vucevic measured as the biggest player at the draft combine, size isn’t necessarily limiting on his skill set. At 260 pounds, the 7-footer averaged a double-double during his junior season at USC, and his agility and 15-foot jumper make him capable of stretching the floor. For a Celtics team in need of a future down low, Vucevic is their guy.
26. Dallas â€“ Jereme Richmond
6-8, 195 lbs. SF
It was pretty shocking to see this dynamic freshman and future lottery pick declare after just one year, but Richmond’s ability to rebound from the wing and defend makes him a very attractive late first-round pick. And when you’re playing in the NBA Finals, you can take a chance.
27. New Jersey (from L.A. Lakers) â€“ Justin Harper
6-10, 225 lbs. PF
Over four years at Richmond, Harper improved each season, becoming an asset as a stretch-four. What he brings to New Jersey is talent and size â€“ two things they won’t turn down.
28. Chicago (From Miami via Toronto) â€“ Travis Leslie
6-4, 205 lbs. SG
The best pure athlete in the class; Leslie can jump out of the gym and has been improving his game little-by-little for three years at Georgia. For a Bulls team in need of a scorer at the two-guard spot, Leslie could be considered a steal in a few years.
29. San Antonio â€“ JaJuan Johnson
6-10, 225 lbs. PF
A great career ends and a new start begins for the athletic and skilled All-American. He will need to improve his strength to make it at the next level, but the Spurs could use his size right away.
30. Chicago â€“ Nolan Smith
6-4, 185 lbs. PG/SG
He is a direct reflection of Duke Basketball; progressed every year, great intangibles and has become a quality combo guard. For the Bulls, the last pick in the first round could help spell Derrick Rose without worrying about losing a lead.
Who do you think your team should draft?
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.