The NBA Draft Combine was about a month ago, and a whirlwind of changes have since transpired. At the top we are seeing consistency, especially up to Sacramento at pick No. 7, but after that the show begins. With workouts happening daily, chatter at its highest possible magnitude and the rumors swirling left and right, it is time for a new addition of the Dime NBA Mock Draft. This time of year prospects are working their hardest, agents are earning their money and teams are doing their utmost diligence to find the future of their franchise. This is how we see it today:
1. Cleveland (From L.A. Clippers) â€“ Kyrie Irving
6-3, 191 lbs. PG
In a point guard’s league, the Cavaliers are not going to pass on the next potential All-Star at the position. Irving may be the piece that starts the rebirth of a team that so desperately needs it.
2. Minnesota â€“ Derrick Williams
6-9, 249 lbs. SF/PF
At the end of the day, Williams may be the most talented player in this draft. He is a combo forward that can dominate at the wing or in the paint.
3. Utah (From New Jersey) â€“ Brandon Knight
6-3, 177 lbs. PG
Utah can go in a lot of different ways here, but the potential of Knight fills a need that the Jazz have. He is a very talented scorer and defender who has barely scratched the surface of his ceiling.
4. Cleveland â€“ Enes Kanter
6-11, 259 lbs. C
Kanter is the best center in this draft and may even be the best overall player, but his lack of playing time the last few years hurts. His size, rebounding and scoring will be a welcome complement to the No .1 pick Irving.
5. Toronto â€“ Kemba Walker
6-1, 184 lbs. PG
The Raptors haven’t had a franchise point guard in their short history since Damon Stoudamire, and with Walker that all changes. Walker is a winner, a competitor and maybe the player the Raptors have been looking for the past 16 years.
6. Washington â€“ Jan Vesely
6-11, 240 lbs. PF/SF
Some see Vesely as a small forward while other see him as a power forward – in today’s NBA that means he is a versatile athlete. Vesely will be an exciting weapon on the wing and on the break with John Wall in the nation’s capital.
7. Sacramento â€“ Kawhi Leonard
6-7, 227 lbs. SF
San Diego State, So.
The Kings have future and present stars already, they need players like Leonard who are willing and able to do the little things needed to win. Defense, rebounding and hustle are what Leonard excels in, and those qualities would be welcome in Sacramento.
8. Detroit â€“ Bismack Biyombo
6-9, 243 lbs. PF
As of late, Biyombo has not had positive workouts, but every time he is in a 5-on-5 setting he dominates the glass and on defense. He is what he is – a great athlete that can guard anyone, and that sounds like a Piston to us.
9. Charlotte â€“ Jonas Valanciunas
6-10, 230 lbs. PF
If he falls this far, the Bobcats will not hesitate to grab the talented Lithuanian forward. He is a talented rebounder that competes on every play with the best talent in the world, and the best part is that he is only 19 years old.
10. Milwaukee â€“ Alec Burks
6-6, 193 lbs. SG
The Bucks need a complementary player for Brandon Jennings in the backcourt to take some pressure off him, and they also need consistent scoring from the wing. With Burks they accomplish both. He is a great scorer and can create his own shot.
11. Golden State â€“ Klay Thompson
6-6, 202 lbs. SG
Washington State, Jr.
This summer the Warriors are going to do some soul searching. Is the current crew enough to win it all? Doubtful. Insert Thompson who has ideal size and skill to make the backcourt one of the best in the NBA going forward, and you’re heading in the right direction.
12. Utah â€“ Jordan Hamilton
6-7, 228 lbs. SG/SF
The 2011 Draft is going to reinvent the Jazz for the long-term. Currently, they have a stable of big men and need more help on the perimeter. Hamilton’s skill set allows him to play on the wing effectively as a guard or a forward, making him the complete package as a basketball player.
13. Phoenix â€“ Tristan Thompson
6-8, 227 lbs. PF
A season ago the Suns lost perennial All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire for nothing, and their frontcourt was reassembled with a cast of players who did not get the job done. With Thompson they now have a big man with potential on both ends of the floor.
14. Houston â€“ Marcus Morris
6-9, 230 lbs. PF
Morris wants to be a wing and has the frame to play in the paint, so his versatility will be welcome in Houston. He is one of the more NBA-ready players in this draft and will help a team on the verge of the playoffs.
15. Indiana â€“ Jimmer Fredette
6-2, 195 lbs. PG
This is Fredette’s basement, as he is not slipping past Indiana. The Pacers need a guard who can provide scoring, and Fredette has also proved to be a better passer and athlete than most thought.
16. Philadelphia â€“ Markieff Morris
6-9, 241 lbs. PF
After making the playoffs last year, the 76ers are looking to tweak a few things to make it to the next round. Morris is a good shooter, but provides a big body in the paint on defense and for rebounding.
17. New York â€“ Josh Selby
6-3, 195 lbs. PG
The Knicks traded their entire roster for the opportunity to have two All-Stars on the same team, now they need to finish filling the rest of the roster. A guard like Selby will fit right into Mike D’Antoni‘s system and flourish in the open court.
18. Washington (From Atlanta) â€“ Chris Singleton
6-9, 230 lbs. SF
Florida State, Jr.
If Singleton slips this far, he is an obvious pick for a young team needing defensive help on the wing. He is a great athlete and can guard multiple positions in an Eastern Conference with numerous talents on the wing.
19. Charlotte (From New Orleans via Portland) â€“ Marshon Brooks
6-5, 190 lbs. SG
With the current lack of scoring on the team, the Bobcats need a player like Brooks who can get his own shot. Playing in the Big East prepared Brooks for the rigors and toughness of NBA defenses.
20. Minnesota (From Memphis via Utah) â€“ Kenneth Faried
6-7, 227 lbs. PF
Morehead State, Sr.
Minnesota may have already found their stars, but Faried is the hustle player who does the dirty work that every good team needs to have.
21. Portland â€“ Nikola Vucevic
6-10, 230 lbs. PF
Very skilled and often overlooked, Vucevic is a talented big man who will provide an immediate impact to the Blazers who need a frontcourt counterpart to LaMarcus Aldridge.
22. Denver â€“ Donatas Motiejunas
7-0, 220 lbs. PF
Motiejunas will provide another good player for the Nuggets who seem to have a full team of good players. The difference is Motiejunas has the chance to develop into a very good player with time and patience.
23. Houston (From Orlando via Phoenix) â€“ Darius Morris
6-4, 190 lbs. PG
Morris is a pure point guard with great size. He is able find teammates open looks like no other in this draft.
24. Oklahoma City â€“ Tobias Harris
6-8, 223 lbs. SF
The loss of Jeff Green may have ultimately cost the Thunder a chance at a championship. Luckily for them, a player of similar versatility in Harris is on the draft board.
25. Boston â€“ Tyler Honeycutt
6-8, 187 lbs. SF
Depth was an issue for the savvy old Celtics all season. To keep up with the current NBA they need the talents of a versatile weapon like Honeycutt.
26. Dallas â€“ Reggie Jackson
6-3, 203 lbs. PG
Boston College, Jr.
They may have won the title, but age and athleticism is not on their side. A young athletic talent like Jackson would allow them to compete going forward – especially if they lose J.J. Barea to free agency.
27. New Jersey (from L.A. Lakers) â€“ Jeremy Tyler
6-11, 245 lbs. PF
San Diego High School
Many forget how good Tyler was in high school and that he was on the rise to be a very special player – he just took a different track. His athleticism, strength, readiness and potential are too much to pass up.
28. Chicago (From Miami via Toronto) â€“ Justin Harper
6-10, 225 lbs. PF
The defense and playmaking is already in place in Chicago, now they need spacers on the floor that can knock down shots. Harper is more than just a shooter, he has potential to develop into an offensive threat.
29. San Antonio â€“ Bojan Bogdanovic
6-7, 200 lbs. SF
If San Antonio keeps this pick it may be to stow away another player in overseas for a few years and Bogdanovic fits that need. He is a quality scoring wing with toughness, and could develop into a Mike Miller type of player.
30. Chicago â€“ Andrew Goudelock
6-2, 202 lbs. PG
College of Charleston, Sr.
The best shooter in the draft is not named Jimmer, he is a point guard out of an even smaller school making a name for himself. He has come a long way from being labeled a “non-athlete” to testing as a top-10 athlete at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, all the while maintaining that first-rate jump shot.
Who do you think your team should draft?
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