After Tuesday nights glory, Cavs fans now get to have dreams of Kyrie Irving leading us back to the playoffs while at the same time analyze and dissect all the possible picks for that #4 draft slot. Already I’ve seen people hoping for Enes Kanter, Jan Vesely, Kemba Walker, and Kawhi Leonard, but its entirely possible that none of those guys are the pick.
With that said, lets dive right into Land Loyaltys first mock draft of the summer. These picks are based on what I think teams should do, not what I think they will do.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
The no brainer of the draft. Some question his star potential, but while he lacks the athleticism of Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook he makes up for it in basketball IQ and shooting ability. His ceiling is Chris Paul but his floor is Mike Conley, who if you haven’t noticed has become a solid PG. Easy pick for the Cavs that likely means the end of the Ramon Sessions era in Cleveland.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Enes Kanter, C, Turkey
Most people have Arizona F Derrick Williams going here, and he probably will if the T-Wolves don’t trade out. But I worry about how well D-Will fits in Minnesota. I consider Williams a PF as opposed to a SF, and the T-Wolves are set there with Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. Love currently plays more C, but adding Kanter would allow Love to play his more natural position of PF. Love would be more effective on defense at the 4, and Kanter would give the T-Wolves a solid low-post foundation for the future. A better move might be trying to trade this pick in a package for a quality wing player.
3. Utah Jazz – Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
Williams certainly won’t fall past the Jazz, and while they don’t have huge needs at PF either with Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors, the gap between Williams and the next batch of players is huge to me. PG is more a need, but Williams is a much better player than Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight. I fear Williams will struggle if put at the 3 because he isn’t quick enough to stay in front of most SFs but will be a matchup nightmare offensively for PFs. With Williams, Utah is set on the frontcourt, and having Devin Harris as your PG isn’t the worst thing in the world.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania
There are worries about Valanciunas’ contract situation, but having a player develop overseas for a season doesn’t strike me as a bad idea. Antawn Jamison is going to be a challenge to trade before the season, and as long as he and JJ Hickson are around the minutes at PF will be hard to come by. If Valanciunas stays in Europe for one more year he will get more playing time and be more ready to come over a year from now. Valanciunas is the rare European player that boasts elite athleticism and he will be a force on the pick and roll with Kyrie for years to come. He could have more upside than any player in the draft.
5. Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard, F, San Diego St
The Raptors are in a position to take the best player available, and I think that is Leonard here. Rebounding and defense have been problems for the Raptors for years, and Leonard can come in right away and help in that regard. And as he develops his jump shot he will become a more consistent force on offense. Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight could be the pick here also, but Leonard to me is the better player.
6. Washington Wizards – Jan Vesely, PF, Serbia
Vesely has struggled this past season due to injuries and not fitting very well in his teams offense, but he is athletic enough to be a good running mate for John Wall and could thrive in the more open NBA game. The Wizards have needs pretty much at every position except PG, but Javele McGee would like having an athletic 4 like Vesely to play next to. Vesely will need to improve on defense and increase his strength, but he is young and fits this teams up-tempo style.
7. Sacramento Kings – Kemba Walker, PG, UCONN
The Kings have a collection of highly talented by highly enigmatic young players, but Walker certainly is a high character person that knows how to win basketball games. Tyreke Evans needs to be moved to SG so Walker could come in day one and start at PG. Evans often plays with the ball in his hands but Walker has the outside jumper necessary to be a good running mate for Tyreke if he ever gets his act together. Brandon Knight would be a fine pick here as well, I just think Walker is better.
8. Detroit Pistons – Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo
The Pistons have a lot of money invested in PFs Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell, but not a lot to show for it. Biyombo is as raw as can be but defensively is already capable being a force. His athleticsm would make him a perfect compliment defensively with the heavy-footed Greg Monroe, but Biyombo will really need to improve his offensive game as Serge Ibaka did in order to be come a legitimate player worthy of such a high pick.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
The Bobcats are desperate for help inside, and Motiejunas is the best available big man at this point in the draft. He has an array of offensive moves but will struggle defensively until he gets stronger and more experienced. How Metiejunas does in workouts will be a major factor in how high he goes in the draft, however. It is possible for him to drop down past the lottery.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Burks is without a doubt the best SG in this class, and fits a major need for the Bucks. Burks has nothing really resembling a jumper at this point but that is something that history has shown us can be improved once in the league. He can attack the rim and is very athletic, and will probably develop into a solid defender as well. PF could also be an option here.
11. Golden State Warriors – Tristian Thompson, PF, Texas
The Warriors really need help down low, and Thompson fits their up-tempo offense while also providing some excellent offensive rebounding. Thompson is a player who could really thrive in individual workouts because he will be given the opportunity to showcase his talents in a way he wasn’t able to while playing with Jordan Hamilton at Texas.
12. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
The odds of Knight falling to 12 are probably slim and none, but I just don’t think he did enough to merit a top 5 pick like others do. Yes, he is a good scorer but he struggled with consistently setting up his teammates for easy buckets. He was not as effective at running the dribble drive offense as past John Calipari-coached PGs, but could still find success in the league as a scoring PG in the right system. Utah might not be that place but if he falls to 12 they have to take him.
13. Phoenix Suns – Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas
There are lots of options for the Suns here and Jimmer Fredette might be the fan favorite to replace Steve Nash. But Morris is the more practical pick, because the Suns lost all of their post offense with Amare Stoudemire. He doesn’t really have much upside but he is a solid player and will help Nash and the Suns get back into the playoffs.
14. Houston Rockets – Chris Singleton, SF, Florida St
When the Rockets traded Shane Battier, they traded their best wing defender. Singleton is also a great defender and would greatly help the Rockets in that area. He certainly needs to become a more efficient offensive player, but him and Kyle Lowry would combine to give the Rockets a terrific defensive backcourt tandem.
15. Indiana Pacers – Klay Thompson, SG, Washington St
The Pacers spend their first round pick last year on a SG, but even if he pans out the Pacers will need depth there. Indiana has depth at pretty much every position except SG and really should be more interested in potential studs than role players. Unfortunately, such a player doesn’t exist here.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Markeiff Morris, PF, Kansas
With Elton Brand aging and Thaddeus Young looking at free agency, the Sixers need help down low. Morris will be more of a defensive presence down low than their current crop of bigs, which will be a welcome sight in South Philly.
17. New York Knicks – Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St
PG is more of a need for the Knicks but it would be a real reach to take someone like Reggie Jackson or Josh Selby. Faried, who was one of the best rebounders if not the best in the NCAA last year, will add toughness to the Knicks frontline and take away some of the pressure from Amare.
18. Washington Wizards – Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee
Harris is the type of player that every team needs – that guy who can do a little bit of everything. He also has something that the Wizards locker room desperately needs, which is a strong work ethic and high character. SF also happens to be a need for the Wizards and he has the ability to have a Landry Fields type of rookie year.
19. Charlotte Bobcats – Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
At this stage in the draft, Hamilton is one of the few players with all-star potential. He does have massive shot selection problems and there are questions about his basketball IQ, but the guy can fill it up on offense and could be a 20+ ppg scorer in this league in a short amount of time. Worth the risk at 19 for Charlotte.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia
The last thing the T-Wolves need is another role player, which is what you usually can only hope for this late in the draft. Mirotic likely won’t be ready to play in the NBA this year, so the T-Wolves can let him stay in Europe for a year or two before coming over. By then, they will have a better idea as to where he fits with the teams future. What would probably be more prudent though is trading this pick for future considerations.
21. Portland Trailblazers – Lucas Noguiera, C, Brazil
This is just a typical Trailblazers pick – drafting a foreign player and let them develop overseas for a little bit before bringing them over. This draft doesn’t offer the Blazers a lot because they are pretty deep and already have their core group of guys, so they are in a position to swing for a home run.
22. Denver Nuggets – Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Since JR Smith is likely on his way out as a free agent, Brooks would make a solid replacement. Aaron Afflalo will remain the starter but Brooks is a scorer at heart and will fill Smiths role as the offensive spark off the bench, only without the crazy. I have questions about Brooks ability to score efficiently at the next level but at this stage in the draft he is worth the risk.
23. Houston Rockets – Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU
This doesn’t seem like it would be Houston’s style, but Jimmer at this point in the draft would be a solid gamble. He is horrible defensively but the Rockets have Kyle Lowry, who I think is the best defensive PG in the NBA, and that could help reduce Jimmer’s defensive liabilities.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler, F, Duke
Singler could come in and help fit into Jeff Green’s old role with OKC. The Thunder need a backup for Durant and Singler can not only do that but also play with KD when the Thunder opt to use a smaller lineup. Singler also should have a pretty seemless transition to the NBA because of his experience playing at college basketballs highest level.
25. Boston Celtics – Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Delonte West had a good postseason backing up Rajon Rondo but he would be better off playing off the ball more often. Enter Jackson, who could take his spot as the main backup to Rondo and help out Boston’s bench which needs a punch in the arm. Jackson would also give Boston a shooter off the bench that they really need.
26. Dallas Mavericks – Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA
The Mavericks are another team that is incredibly deep, but they don’t really have any young SFs which makes Honeycutt a good fit. Honeycutt probably needed another year of seasoning at UCLA, but he has a lot of potential on defense and has a chance to crack the Mavericks rotation if drafted here.
27. New Jersey Nets – Travis Leslie, SF, Georgia
Leslie is one of the few guys left in this draft with any real upside, and the Nets are in a position to take a risk. Every position not PG or C is a need, and Leslie is a gifted athlete that could develop into a solid starter that works well next to Deron Williams. At worst, he should still be a good defensive player.
28. Chicago Bulls – Darius Morris, G, Michigan
The Bulls are pretty set with their frontcourt but their backcourt could use some help. Morris isn’t dissimilar from CJ Watson insofar that they are both combo guards, but the Bulls need to find someone who can play the 2 that can shoot from deep and play defense. Morris could be that guy.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Justin Harper, PF, Richmond
The Spurs got abused inside by Memphis in the playoffs and need to find some additional help down low. Harper is the best available big man remaining who also has some upside. He has a pretty versatile offense game but will need to gain strength and become a better defender.
30. Chicago Bulls – Josh Selby, PG, Kansas
Does not fit a need whatsoever but he has so much upside he is worth the chance at this point in the draft. He didn’t produce as much as his talent suggests at KU but he is too talented to slip into the 2nd round.
This article originally appeared on LandLoyalty.com