Following tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery at the NBA Entertainment studio in Secaucus, New Jersey, now we can begin to get an idea of how the rest of the draft will play out after the top spot. This is the first of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 23. As usual, it’s a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:
1. Cleveland (via L.A. Clippers) – 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 – 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 the chance of Ricky Rubio finally arriving in Minnesota, the T-Wolves could be looking at a major talent upgrade.
3. Utah (via New Jersey) – 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. Utah could use another big body after the loss last summer of Carlos Boozer, and the injury problems with Mehmet Okur.
4. Cleveland – 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 Cavs team that needs utility guys that can do just about everything, Leonard is the perfect piece to add to the puzzle.
5. Toronto – Brandon Knight
6-4, 183 lbs. PG
A few months into the season Knight was still a project. Since then, he has become one of the most clutch players in the nation and has proven to be a multi-faceted offensive threat. The Raptors need a guy that can help them win, and Knight should be up for the job. Don’t think for a second that Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo – who just agreed in principle to a multiyear extension with the team – will pass on a guy like this who is one of the few players in the draft with star potential.