Thursday, June 23, 2011

06/23 (Mock Draft) Quickie

I said I wouldn't be doing a mock draft. And yet I couldn't help myself. Each pick earns a single word of analysis that (barely) covers the rationale:

1. Cavs: Kyrie Irving. Safe.
2. T'wolves: Derrick Williams. Trade?
3. Jazz: Enes Kanter. Redundant.
4. Cavs: Tristan Thompson. Surprise!
5. Raptors: Brandon Knight. Lucky.
6. Wizards: Jan Vesely. Sigh.
7. Kings: Jimmer Fredette. Popular!
8. Pistons: Bismack Biyombo. Steal.
9. Bobcats: Kemba Walker. Name.
10. Bucks: Jonas Valanciunas. Promise?
11. Warriors: Klay Thompson. Shooter.
12. Jazz: Kawhi Leonard. Steal.
13. Suns: Marcus Morris. Size.
14. Rockets: Chris Singleton. Defense.
15. Pacers: Marshon Brooks. Sizzle.
16. 76ers: Nikola Vucevic. 6-11.
17. Knicks: Alec Burks. Available.
18. Wizards: Donatas Motiejunas. Sigh.
19. Bobcats: Markieff Morris. Safe.
20. T'wolves: Kenneth Faried. Kahn!
21. Blazers: Kyle Singler. Local.
22. Nuggets: Jordan Hamilton. Backup.
23. Rockets: Tobias Harris. Versatile.
24: Thunder: Justin Harper. Surplus.
25: Celtics: Reggie Jackson. Depth.
26: Mavs: Jeremy Tyler. Riskless.
27: Nets: Jimmy Butler. Solid.
28: Bulls: Iman Shumpert. Backup.
29: Spurs: Davis Bertans. Promise?
30: Bulls: Malcolm Lee. Defense.

(My mock was influenced by the phenomenal Jonathan Givony of the essential, whose network and insights are superlative. Here's his latest mock.)

If you are on Twitter, I recommend following Givony (@draftexpress), ESPN's Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider), SI's Sam Amick (@samamick) and SBNation's Tom Ziller (@teamziller).

Have a few fun NBA Draft-related things planned for Quickish today. We'll promote them on Twitter and on the site. For a terrific "Quickish LIVE!" experience to accompany watching the draft on TV, pop by tonight during the draft.

Here are a few of the biggest storylines to watch:

*Trades near the top? The T'wolves don't necessarily want to draft Derrick Williams; they would be thrilled to trade out. If the Jazz go for need (Brandon Knight) over "best player available" (Enes Kanter), watch for a potential deal involving Kanter and the Cavs at the No. 4 spot. (If Kanter is gone, I like the late-breaking momentum that the Cavs take Texas PF Tristan Thompson -- even if he overlaps with JJ Hickson -- over Euro prospect Jonas Valanciunas.)

*Jimmer! The biggest name in the draft could go as early as No. 7 to the Kings, but things get really interesting if the Jazz go big at No. 3, and Jimmer is available at No. 12. They would almost assuredly take him in that case; I think they will never get the chance.

*Kemba Walker sliding? The best player on the best team is also no better than the 3rd-ranked point guard in the draft. I think he'll have a fine NBA career, and he should have a sizable chip on his shoulder if he slips from the Top 5, past the Kings at 7 and Bobcats at 9. Kemba Walker in the double-digits? It could happen, but I think Michael Jordan goes for unexpectedly available glitz at 9.

*Bismack Biyombo: He has the most potential of anyone in the draft. In a relatively weak draft, where there will be plenty of busts and mediocrities, where's the risk if you take him and he is a bust? At a minimum, he can be a terrific rebounder and shot-blocker off the bench. On the other hand, his ceiling is higher than anyone else in the group. If you are calculating the expected value of awesomeness, Biyombo gets the highest grade. Whoever drafts him will be one of the night's biggest winners.

*Draft fashion and tears from moms (and players): It's a universally appealing part of the NBA draft night -- the players trying to look good. But the most drama is always when the moms of the players cry when their sons' names are called. Forget what happens on the court down the road; this is a moment of realized potential.

Enjoy the draft. We'll have "just enough" coverage throughout the day on Quickish, complete with any well-sourced rumor-mongering to keep things spicy. Then be sure to drop by Quickish tonight throughout the draft -- whether you are watching it on TV and want a sidebar or whether you are skipping it on TV and just want to get the best of real-time commentary from Twitter. Quickish is here to help.

-- D.S.

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