Raptors Rapture's (Kinda Sorta) First Ever NBA Mock Draft


I helped the great people at The Sports Bank out with their 2011 Mock Draft, and as usual mock drafts go it is basically a bunch of random bloggers from their respective teams giving their take. Credit goes to David Kay for putting this together and asking me for help. Enjoy!

Sidenote: This article was published on Tuesday, before any trades were made.

Side-Sidenote: I absolutely hate doing these things.

nba draft

Welcome to The Sports Bank‘s first ever Guest NBA Mock Draft.  The concept is simple.  I got in touch with friends around the internet who have NBA blogs that cover a specific team and asked them to be the guest general manager for their team as we go through the first round of the NBA Draft.  They made their pick based on which players were still available and provide the reasoning for their pick.  Here is what transpired.

Check out The Sports Bank’s real 2011 NBA Mock Draft which was updated Wednesday morning.  Here is our way too early 2012 NBA Mock Draft and our 2010 NBA Draft Lottery Re-Do.

By: David Kay

1. Cleveland- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
Guest GM: Will Smith, Mooheadradio.com
With the addition of PG Davis the Cavs saw what a real point gurard can do for an offense.  Irving has great floor vision and makes very sound decisions.  He will score a little more than you expect and if the Cavs can get a true 3 point shooter will be able to penetrate and dump the ball back for a trey.

 Go here for a feature profile on Irving.

2. Minnesota- Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
Guest GM: Peter Christian, TheSportsBank.net
Williams is a dynamic player that has improved from a decent recruit into a Naismith candidate in his two years at Arizona. Some question his true position, but the Sophomore is a proven worker that will exude the necessary effort to do what he needs to help his team win. I believe in this kid’s skills, but I’m confidently taking him with the 2nd overall pick because I believe in this kid’s character.

3. Utah- Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
Guest GM: David Kay, TheSportsBank
If I am a general manager in need of backcourt help like the Jazz, I think Kemba is a game-changer, a winner, a fierce competitor, lightning quick, has that NBA-ready step back jumper.  Sure, he is only 6’1” and not the best outside shooter, but I will take those intangibles and hope his shot becomes more consistent with time.  I like Kemba more than Brandon Knight and am not married to Devin Harris as the long-term point guard so I am throwing the first curve ball in this draft and taking Walker.  By the way, I feel VERY good about this selection.

 Go here for a feature profile on Walker.

4. Cleveland- Enes Kanter, C, Turkey
Guest GM: Bill Smith, Mooheadradio.com
The Cavs need a center but there are a lot of power forwards foced to play C.  Kanter is the leading candidate for them at 4.  Afterall, he has the John Calipari seal of approval.  Unfortunately he did not get the NCAA seal and was not able to play for the Wildcats.  He is short for a true C but those are hard to find.  He will either be a big factor or Cavs fans will say “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

5. Toronto-Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
Guest GM: Chase Ruttig, RaptorsRapture.com
This mock brought up my worst fears in this draft as there is no real team changer and picks 5-12 won’t be much different.  I am picking Knight because, well, he is a guard and Jose Calderon is being run out of town. Now excuse me I am going to go on suicide watch ‘til Friday.

Go here for an interview with Knight from the NBA Draft Combine

6. Washington- Jan Vesely, F, Czech Republic
Guest GM: @DevonNBA, MidwestSportsFan.com
One of the most versatile, if not the most versatile player in this draft. At 6’11 and 230 lbs, Jan Vesely can present problems to a defense in numerous ways. His length can be nightmares for undersized defenders on the post, and his quickness and explosiveness to the rim can be troublesome for taller, less athletic defenders.

7. Sacramento- Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU
Guest GM: Gregory Dix, KingsGab.com
Jimmer is a big boy. I’m not convinced he will save this franchise but he will help. The broke and notoriously fickle Maloof bros are in love with him.

Go here for an interview with Jimmer from the NBA Draft Combine

8. Detroit- Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo
Guest GM: H. Jose Bosch, The Sports Bank
The Pistons need a guy in the paint right now, not to mention a pick that fans will want to see after a dismal 2010-11 campaign. That’s why I’m taking Bismack Biyombo if I’m Joe Dumars.  What he lacks on offense (and he lacks quite a lot) he makes up for in serious defense. He has the potential to become another Ben Wallace, especially since he’d be undersized for his position and the Pistons could use a guy like this. Biyombo is probably the most raw talent in the draft, but with such a weak class and the potential to play this guy right away, it’s well worth the risk.

 Go here to see why Biyombo’s draft stock is blowing up.

9. Charlotte- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
Guest GM: John Pettice, BobcatsPlanet.com
The trade of Gerald Wallace last season combined with the age of current starting SF Stephen Jackson make it an absolute must to pick up a young SF in this year’s draft. With Leonard’s athleticism and measurables, he has the potential to be the Bobcats SF of the future.

Go here for an interview with Leonard from the NBA Draft Combine

10. Milwaukee-Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Guest GM: Jake McCormick, We’reBucked.com
The Milwaukee Bucks‘ wing play in 2010-11 left a strong taste of bile in their mouths, and Alec Burks and Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson are sitting at the top of their board at pick 10. The Bucks will have to choose between upgrading their athleticism and pure scoring ability (Burks) or adding a long range bomber to help them spread the floor (Thompson). Shooting can always be improved if the talent is there, and Burks’ multidimensional abilities as a scorer, passer, and surprisingly strong rebounder give him the nod over the Cougars all-time leader in three point shooting.

Go here for an interview with Burks from the NBA Draft Combine

11. Golden State-Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
Guest GM: @thecity2, GoldenStateOfMind.com
Length, post defender, upside, high ceiling, motor, tough, work ethic

Go here for an interview with Thompson from the NBA Draft Combine

12. Utah- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
Guest GM: David Kay, TheSportsBank
I was really tempted to take Jordan Hamilton since I think he is hugely under-valued in this draft, but Chris Singleton gives us a versatile defender who can step in right away and replace what the Jazz will likely lose in free agency with Andrei Kirilenko a free agent.

Go here for a feature profile on Singleton.

13. Phoenix- Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
Guest GM: Will Cantrell, BrightSideOfTheSun.com
The Phoenix Suns are not in the position to make a risky choice at #13. The team is aging, in transition, and has many holes to fill. This is why the Suns will take Marcus Morris at the 13. Morris provides the Suns with 3 vital attributes of a draft pick for the franchise: 1. He is a fairly polished player. 2. He is a scorer, and 3. He projects as an NBA PF. Further, Morris isn’t a one dimensional player. He can take it to the rack, and he can also step out and hit a 15 footer. He’s not yet the defender or rebounder the Suns desperately need down low, but he’s go the tools, desire, and athleticism to develop into “that guy” who makes all of us in the desert forget about Amare Stoudemire.

Go here for an interview with Morris from the NBA Draft Combine

14. Houston- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
Guest GM: Bill Ingram, HOOPSWORLD.com
The Rockets have two primary needs this summer, a starting center and a replacement for Shane Battier on the wing. Thompson fills the latter role well, especially because he’s a dead eye shooter in spot-up situations. He got the bulk of this offense from isolations (23.5%) and spot-up plays (22.1%), and that fits Houston’s style of play perfectly.

Go here for an interview with Thompson from the NBA Draft Combine

15. Indiana- Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
Guest GM: Nick Grays, TheSportsBank.net
He’s a big body who could complement Roy Hibbert down low and an absolute beast on the boards. He won’t be a presence right away, but a few years down the road could be one of the best re-bounders in the league.

Go here for an interview with Fredette from the NBA Draft Combine

16. Philadelphia- Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Guest GM: Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com
The Sixers have two glaring needs – a defensive, rebounding presence, and a No. 1 scorer. When it came down to crunch time, Philadelphia couldn’t put the ball into the hands of a consistent scoring option because it didn’t have one. That would change with Marshon Brooks, who averaged 24.6 points per game for Providence last year. Brooks’ stock is rising, and he could be the considered the best player available – though Texas’ Jordan Hamilton might have something to say about that.

Go here for an interview with Brooks from the NBA Draft Combine

17. New York- Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
Guest GM: Jim Weber, Founder & President LostLettermen.com
Even the lunatics in attendance couldn’t boo this pick. Projected as a top five pick, Valanciunas has slid in mock drafts over concerns of his buyout and a repeat of the Ricky Rubio fiasco. Possibly the only good thing about James Dolan as an owner is that he’s never short on cash, meaning the Knicks can bring Valanciunas stateside immediately. Mike D’Antoni loves skilled big men and there’s none more skilled than this 6-11 Lithuanian who can shoot, run the floor, block shots and snag rebounds. Oh, and the Knicks desperately need an upgrade at center with Ronny Turiaf woefully inadequate to start at the five. If Knick fans were falling in love with Timofey Mozgov before he was shipped out for Carmelo Anthony, they might have a parade when Valanciunas hits the Big Apple.

18. Washington- Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
Guest GM: @DevonNBA, MidwestSportsFan.com
Great, young, athletic kid. With a 6-8, 223 frame, he’ll be tough to contain for ‘soft’ defenders. Very versatile, and uses his strength with the perfect combination of speed to get to the rim. He gives the Wizards a different dimension; versatility.

19. Charlotte- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
Guest GM: John Pettice, BobcatsPlanet.com
The Bobcats coaching staff has praised his old school style of play which gives me a feeling that he will be the cats pick if he is on the board at that spot.

Go here for an interview with Morris from the NBA Draft Combine

20. Minnesota- Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
Guest GM: Peter Christian, TheSportsBank.net
You might not believe this but Hamilton actually fills a need for the Timberwolves. He’s a perimeter shooter who doesn’t rely on others to get his shot. His athleticism will allow him to be a very good fit with the offense that the Wolves plan to run with Ricky Rubio.

Go here for an interview with Hamilton from the NBA Draft Combine

21. Portland- Nikola Vucevic, PF/C, USC
Guest GM: Dave Deckard, BlazersEdge.com
The Blazers could have gone with Donatus Motiejunas and gotten the height part right but Vucevic, though undoubtedly possessing a lower ceiling, may fill a void right away as the Blazers could get desperate for bigs should they trade Marcus Camby.  Vucevic can probably play.  Motiejunas would need another couple years in Europe.  It’s close, but since either of them could end up busts the known quantity wins out…barely.

22. Denver- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
Guest GM: Nate Timmons, DenverStiffs.com
The last time the Nuggets selected a big lefty in the first round, the year was 1998 and the pick was Raef LaFrentz. In ’98 the Nuggets passed on more talented guys to get LaFrentz (like Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, and Dirk Nowitzki), but this time the Nuggets, following general manager Masai Ujiri’s plan of talent over need, grab the most talented guy available.

Motiejunas gives the Nuggets a few things – a replacement for Kenyon Martin, a big man who can step out to the three-point line, and a prospect that they could keep overseas for a season or two, if they so choose. Along with being a writer’s worst nightmare in the name department, Motiejunas gives the Nuggets incredible depth on the front-court with Nene, Chris Andersen, Timofey Mozgov, and Kosta Koufos … time to start talking trades!

23. Houston- Kyle Singler, SF, Duke
Guest GM: Bill Ingram, HOOPSWORLD.com
This is another unconventional pick for Houston, but when you’re talking about a senior from Duke University you’re talking about more than just a good basketball player. With that pedigree comes a certain amount of maturity and leadership that will serve the Rockets well as they try to replace Duke alum Shane Batter.

Go here for an interview with Singler from the NBA Draft Combine

24. Oklahoma City- Nikola Mirotic, F, Montenegro
Guest GM: Joe McCann, Sports Producer Newson6.com
I think Singler is the best fit for the Thunder because he would be a perfect addition as a role player off the bench and insurance as a shooter in case Daequan Cook unexpectedly gets away as a restricted free agent. However, in this mock draft with Singler off the board, I think Sam Presti will select the best European player available, and that’s Mirotic. Yes, OKC will have to wait at least two years to get him stateside, but the Thunder is a team that is very close to a championship level. All of their needs are minor, and although Reggie Jackson is a tempting replacement for the likely-to-be-traded Nate Robinson, I don’t see the Thunder using a first round pick on a guard who would barely see the floor behind Westbrook, Harden, and Maynor. They’ll take Mirotic and hope it pays off a few years down the road.

25. Boston- JaJuan Johson, PF, Purdue
Guest GM: David Kay, TheSportsBank
With Glen Davis and Nenad Kristic free agents, Shaq retiring, Jermaine O’Neal being washed up, Kevin Garnett getting older, and Jeff Green being a restricted free agent, we need a frontcourt player who can help us out right away since our championship window is starting to close.  We think Johnson can be a dangerous weapon in the pick and pop and like his length and ability to run the floor.

Go here for an in-depth feature on Johnson

26. Dallas- Josh Selby, G, Kansas
Guest GM: Mike Rigg, PrepTicket.com
With no immediate needs, the defending champions roll the dice on a project:  Selby was the top recruit in the nation coming out of high school in Maryland, but endured just one injury-plagued and frustrating season in Lawrence.  The Mavs hope they can get Selby some playing time in the NBDL this season, with the hopes that he will add some needed youth and athleticism to the roster by 2013.

Go here for an interview with Selby from the NBA Draft Combine

27. New Jersey- Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech
Guest GM: David Kay, The Sports Bank
Shumpert is a guy who is really soaring up the draft board with Phoenix reportedly being interested at #13.  I am going with value here over the need for a power forward.  Shumpert is crazy athletic and provides some versatility to the backcourt.  He gives us an option at the two behind Anthony Morrow and insurance in case Deron Williams does not re-sign with us.  We feel good about being able to grab a decent power forward with our pick early in the second round.

Go here for a feature profile on Shumpert

28. Chicago- Nolan Smith, G, Duke
Guest GM: Paul Banks, Founder TheSportsBank.net
Smith would bring his experience and ability to play either guard spot to Chicago in hopes of giving them an added boost off the bench.  He is not the true creator that the Bulls crave but the best option this late.

Go here for an interview with Smith from the NBA Draft Combine

29. San Antonio- Jeremy Tyler, PF, USA
Guest GM: Yannis Koutroupis, HOOPSWORLD.com
In need of some frontline help, Tyler is the kind of project who would blossom in the Spurs organization post-Tim Duncan era.

30. Chicago- Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia
Guest GM: Paul Banks, Founder TheSportsBank.net
With two of the final three picks in the first round, the Bulls can get a little risky with this pick by taking Bertans.  He is a pure shooter and good size at 6’10″ but we would hope he gets stronger and continues to develop and them bring him to Chicago in a couple of years