Sunday, June 5, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft, 1.0

The NBA Finals will end June 14th (or earlier if the series does not go seven games) and then all attention will turn to the 2011 NBA Draft, which will happen in Newark (NJ) on Thursday, June 23rd.

At least, it will be all of the good attention considering the NBA's current labor deal ends on June 30th and there is the threat of a shortened 2011-2012.

Back to the good stuff, here are the first ten picks of our 2011 NBA mock draft from Kyle Baillargeon, our NBA Draft guru:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving, Duke (discuss pick): Irving has the potential to be an all-star caliber point guard. In an era of great point guards, Cleveland would be smart to start rebuilding around one of their own.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Enes Kanter, International (discuss pick): We can't predict trades, but we expect Minnesota to trade out and someone else to come in and take Derrick Williams. Assuming Minnesota stays with this pick, however, Kanter is the guy here, as the Wolves are already set at SF and PF.

3. Utah Jazz - Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State (discuss pick): The Jazz would rather have Kanter, for sure. But he's gone. Andrei Kirilenko will be gone soon, and the Jazz can use this pick to get their SF of the future.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Derrick Williams, Arizona (discuss pick): A dream scenario for Cleveland, this will allow them to not only build around two potential studs, but also trade J.J. Hickson for some help elsewhere.

5. Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas, International (discuss pick): Colangelo loves international players, and with his recent extension he has the kind of security to make this pick. Also, Toronto doesn't have a good center on the roster.

6. Washington Wizards - Tristan Thompson, Texas (discuss pick): The Wizards can pair Thompson up with JaVale McGee and potentially trade Andray Blatche for some help elsewhere. The team is still in the early rebuilding stages, and Thompson is a good building block here.

7. Sacramento Kings - Brandon Knight, Kentucky (discuss pick): Knight gives the Kings a chance to move Tyreke Evans to the SG position where he belongs. Kemba Walker is an option, but Knight looks to have the bigger upside.

8. Detroit Pistons - Bismack Biyombo, International (discuss pick): The Pistons will hope that Biyombo can be another Ben Wallace. Thankfully, the original Ben Wallace is already in Detroit and hopefully he can take the beast from Congo under his wing.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Kemba Walker, Connecticut (discuss pick): The Bobcats have a penchant for taking known collegiate products in the draft. It hasn't really worked out for them, but Walker is an immediate upgrade over D.J. Augustin.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - Chris Singleton, Florida State (discuss pick): The Bucks could use a strong permimeter defender, and Singleton would help immediately. He needs to work on his offensive game, but that could come with time and hard work.

Click here to view the rest of the first round in our 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Or, to see more mocks from around the internet, check out our 2011 NBA Mock Draft Database.

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