Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft
THE JIM SEZ NBA MOCK DRAFT IS HERE!!!
NOW GO AHEAD AND CATCH OUR FIRST-ROUND PICK-BY-PICK FORECASTS
By Jim Hurley:
If you happen to believe the media reports -and you know that you can't all the time! -than you know there's been heavy-duty trade talk in the days/hours leading up to Thursday's NBA Draft.
Some of the more high-profile names include Phoenix point guard Steve Nash, San Antonio lead guard Tony Parker and Atlanta swingman Josh Smith but when all the dust settles at "The Rock" in Newark (NJ) this year's draft still should belong to the "kids" along with all those NBA teams who own two picks apiece in Round I and that's Cleveland (picks #1 and #4), Minnesota (at #2 and #20), Utah (at #3 and #12), Washington (that's #6 and #18), Charlotte (selections #9 and #19), Houston (#14 and #23) and Chicago (at #28 and #30).
We'll get to our Jim Sez NBA Mock Draft -all of the Round I selections (and, yes, we're expecting to hit everyone of 'em on the nose!) -in just a moment but first this important message:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be releasing loads of Major-League Baseball Winners each and every day and you can be part of all the action -- just remember to call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and make sure you're all aboard for a summer filled with all our MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are as follows: After 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays; after 11 a.m. ET for weekday Baseball and anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the weeknight action in the world of Major-League Baseball.
THE JIM SEZ NBA MOCK DRAFT
- CLEVELAND -KYRIE IRVING, PG, DUKE ... The Cavaliers have sent up some smoke screens regarding seven-footer Enes Kanter here with the numero uno pick but look for owner Dan Gilbert to "come around" and agree on this one-and-done Blue Devils star who figures to be 20 ppg scorer right from the very start.
- MINNESOTA -DERRICK WILLIAMS, PF, ARIZONA ... Multi-dimensional star proved he played his best when the chips were down in big Pac-10/NCAA Tournament games and he could be the perfect complement now to the Timberwolves' double-double maven Kevin Love.
- UTAH -KEMBA WALKER, PG, CONNECTICUT ... Most mock drafts have the biggest hero of last season's NCAA Tournament getting plucked somewhere later in the top 10 but his leadership skills are a major plus for a Jazz bunch that needs an on-court floor general in the worst way.
- CLEVELAND -ENES KANTER, PF, TURKEY ... Okay, so the Cavs "gambled" and still got their man here but don't include us among the folks who think he's a potential Dirk Nowitzki clone. Fact of matter is Kanter has endured knee woes in his past and might be good for just 25 minutes a game on this pro level.
- TORONTO -JAN VESELY, PF, PARTIZAN BELGRADE ... The Raptors absolutely love tabbing international players and this skinny 6-foot-11 European star is considered smart and extremely well-versed in the "team concept" but he better know how to play defense for new head coach Dwane Casey (former Dallas assistant).
- NEW YORK (trade with Washington) -JIMMER FREDETTE, SG, BYU ... Okay, so sometimes you do have to heed the media reports and all the chatter in NYC is that the Knicks are ready/willing/able to trade up to get this offensive star and so look for New York to deal away its first-round pick (that's #17) along with guard Toney Douglas plus a down-the-line 2012 draft choice.
- SACRAMENTO -KAWHI LEONARD, SF, SAN DIEGO STATE ... The Kings could go in a zillion different directions here but opt for this long-armed defensive-minded stud who will need to lock down some great small forward scorers in the wild, wild West.
- DETROIT -BRANDON KNIGHT, PG, KENTUCKY ... No way did the Pistons think this one-and-done star from the SEC would still be standing here but GM Joe Dumars and Company catch a real break and now we'll see if Knight plays like former John Calipari lead-guards John Wall, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans -you heard of these fellas, right?
- CHARLOTTE -KLAY THOMPSON, SG, WASHINGTON STATE ... The guy pulled a disappearing act in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden but he's been quite impressive in personal workouts ever since and his rise up the draft boards makes him a bit of a surprise inside the top 10 selections.
- MILWAUKEE -JONAS VALANCIUNAS, PF, LITHUANIA ... This 6-foot-10, 225-pounder runs the floor well and still is "filling out" but his so-called non-existent perimeter game will keep him out of the top 10 (barely) here.
- GOLDEN STATE -MARCUS MORRIS, PF, KANSAS ... New Warriors head coach Mark Jackson will emphasize defense but he also wants to see G-State get tougher right out of the starting gate and this former "Rock/Chalk/Jayhawk" star doesn't take any nonsense in the paint.
- UTAH -CHRIS SINGLETON, SF, FLORIDA STATE ... Great defensive stopper who climbed the draft boards big-time in recent days (many folks thought he'd go in the #25-through-#30 range) and Jazz having already filled guard need with UConn's Walker now makes the move to firm up roster that needs an energy boost after the post-Jerry Sloan collapse.
- CHARLOTTE (trade with Phoenix) -TRISTAN THOMAS, SF, TEXAS ... The Bobcats will deal off the 19th overall pick here in Round I plus chuck in a warm body too in order to land this favorite of Michael Jordan.
- HOUSTON -BISMACK BIYOMBO, PF, BALONCESTO FUENLABRADA ... First of two Rockets' Round I picks is really raw talent guy plus he didn't play well in personal workouts but 6-foot-9 Kevin Garnett wanna-be has skills and won't slip further than this selection.
- INDIANA -DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS, PF, BENETTON TREVISO ... This seven-footer with a feathery shooting touch was expected to be a lottery pick last year but pulled out of the 2010 draft and now Pacers go against a two-guard here and instead nab some height.
- PHILADELPHIA -ALEC BURKS, SG, COLORADO ... The 76ers are pinching selves that this top 10 talent is still on the board and so they'll swing some sort of deal for Andre Iguodala (he'll probably wind up in either Phoenix or Denver) and make the two-guard spot vacant for this CU Buffaloes star who must prove he's over a recent shoulder injury.
- WASHINGTON (trade with New York) -KENNETH FARIED, PR, MOREHEAD STATE ... Remember that we have the Wizards swapping picks with the Knicks and so D.C. guys actually have these next two draft choices and they'll opt for blue-collar guys to surround the aforementioned Wall. Note that Faried is considered poor man's Dennis Rodman as 6-foot-8 board-basher could be 12 rebounds-per-game guy right off the bat.
- WASHINGTON -MARKIEFF MORRIS, PF, KANSAS ... Marcus' twin brother gets the nod here as the Wizards look to add some toughness and this 6-foot-10 banger will score just enough so that opposing defenses will have to pay him some attention.
- PHOENIX (trade with Charlotte) -MARSHON BROOKS, SG, PROVIDENCE ... The Suns slide down a few picks and go for best available backcourt scorer here and providing Nash stays put this could be a really entertaining team in 2011-12 and beyond.
- MINNESOTA -TOBIAS HARRIS, SF, TENNESSEE ... The T-Wolves now have a bountiful amount of young star players including Love, Ricky Rubio and the aforementioned Williams from 'Zona and now this smooth shooter figures to be a missing piece guy who knows how to get to the free-throw line.
- PORTLAND -KYLE SINGLER, SF, DUKE ... The Oregon native isn't on many Round I draft boards but gotta believe the Trail Blazers are looking for a veteran college kid who knows all about winning (plus Faried wasn't here when Portland was drafting and the Blazers couldn't trade up to get 'em).
- DENVER -JORDAN HAMILTON, PF, TEXAS ... Life after Carmelo Anthony wasn't so bad late last season for the Nuggets who now add another key piece here with this 6-foot-7 scorer who may be, in reality, top 10 talent that simply slid down the draft charts.
- HOUSTON -CHARLES JENKINS, SG, HOFSTRA ... High-quality scorer who played in better-than-folks-think Colonial Athletic Association for the past four years and truly a sound selection here for Rockets team that can't afford to "blow it" with picks #14 and #23.
- OKLAHOMA CITY -JOSH SELBY, PG, KANSAS ... No doubt this selection will get point guard Russell Westbrook a bit twisted but fact of matter is Thunder must fill out its bench and this 20-year-old has major upside and could easily go inside the top 15 or 16 selections on this summer night.
- BOSTON -JORDAN WILLIAMS, C, MARYLAND ... The Celtics are getting old in a hurry but this rebounding whiz could take the heat off the team's front-court guys while concentrating solely on the glass. Truth is C's wanted Singler here but don't get their man.
- DALLAS -REGGIE JACKSON, PG, BOSTON COLLEGE ... Perfect fit for the defending champion Mavericks who know PG Jason Kidd probably only has one or two more years left in his aging legs and so multi-talented ACC star lands in Mark Cuban's lap here.
- NEW JERSEY -NIKOLA VUCEVIC, PF, USC ... This 6-foot-10 rebounding monster (he copped back-to-back Pac-10 rebounding titles in 2010 and '11) is a true make-sense pick for a Nets team that has to show marked improvement on the boards plus guards aforementioned Brooks and Jackson are already gone according to our Jim Sez Draft.
- CHICAGO -IMAN SHUMPERT, SG, GEORGIA TECH ... Note that the Bulls own two of the final three picks here in Round I and no question that they must come up with a scoring guard to take some heat off Rose although front office says they'll go "best available athlete" with both of these late first-rounders.
- SAN ANTONIO -DAVIS BERTANS, SF, UNION OLIMPIJA LJUBJANA ... The Spurs (like the Raptors) love gobbling up high-quality international players and this pure scorer will be a welcome addition to a San Ant team that needed more pop in playoff loss to Memphis. Don't believe the stories that the Spurs will deal off Parker for a lottery pick in this draft.
- CHICAGO -CHANDLER PARSONS, SF, FLORIDA ... The Bulls love his unselfishness but they also know he can light it up from deep and Kyle Korver was way too ineffective and too inconsistent in this year's playoffs. Solid pick to close out Round I.
NOTE: Get MLB News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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