Sunday, March 20, 2011

Irving tops mock draft


— In our annual salute to the NCAA Tournament, here’s a mock draft of all potentially eligible players.

  1. Kyrie Irving, 6-2, 185, Fr., Duke — The one great pick in draft. Admirers see the next Chris Paul (no, really), taller and a better shooter at same stage. ... In game’s worst-kept secret, he’s coming out.

  2. Harrison Barnes, 6-8, 210, Fr., North Carolina — Do-everything big small forward, generally rated around No. 4 but is breaking out.

  3. Enes Kanter, 6-11, 260, Fr., Kentucky — Turkish youth star, attended Simi Valley (Calif.) Stoneridge Prep, tore up top U.S. preps at 2010 Hoop Summit. ... Ruled ineligible, he’ll be UK’s first none-and-done after all their one-and-dones.

  4. Jared Sullinger, 6-9, 280, Fr., Ohio State — Ton of fun, more like 6-7 but admirers see Kevin Love’s hands and otherworldly basketball sense, down to the half-the-length-of-floor outlet passes.

  5. Derrick Williams, 6-8, 241, So., Arizona — Long-armed, ambidextrous around hoop, averaged 19-8, shot 61 percent, and 61 percent on threes. Supposedly a lock for top five.

  6. Perry Jones, 6-11, 235, Fr., Baylor — Big, athletic but numbers were merely respectable (13.9 points, 7.2 rebounds). Ranked No. 2 by ESPN’s Chad Ford but skeptics see Tim Thomas.

  7. Jonas Valanciunas, 6-11, 240, Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania — Just turned 18. Back-to-the-basket player, unlike most Euro-bigs.

  8. Terrence Jones, 6-8, 244, Fr., Kentucky — Lefty, Lamar Odom type.

  9. Alec Burks, 6-6, 200, So., Colorado — Athletic shooting guard with playmaking ability.

  10. John Henson, 6-10, 220, So., North Carolina — Averaged 8.5 rebounds in first 14 games, 12.6 since.

  11. Kemba Walker, 6-0, 180, Jr., Connecticut — Shot just 43 percent, 34 percent on threes but got to line 7.6 times a game.

  12. Jan Vesely, 6-11, 240, KK Partizan Belgrade, Serbia — Pau Gasol’s long limbs but not his touch.

  13. Kawhi Leonard, 6-7, 225, So., San Diego State — Tough small forward, averages almost 11 rebounds. Shooting range expanding.

  14. Tristan Thompson, 6-8, 225, Fr., Texas — Long-armed lefty averaging 2.3 blocks a game.

  15. Donatas Motiejunas, 7-0, 225, Benetton Treviso, Italy — Lithuanian has length and touch, has gained weight, needs more.

  16. Brandon Knight, 6-3, 185, Fr., Kentucky — Could be eighth Wildcat to go in top 20 the last two years.

  17. Jimmer Fredette, 6-2, 195, Sr., Brigham Young — Limited by chunky bod but sensational shooter who can get his shot.

  18. JaJuan Johnson, 6-10, 220, Sr., Purdue — Willowy as he is, averages 20.4, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks.

  19. Jordan Hamilton, 6-7, 220, So., Texas — Athletic shooter with game. Shed freshman rep as a pain.

  20. Marcus Morris, 6-9, 235, Jr., Kansas — Averages 17.3, shoots 59 percent, 36 percent on threes.

  21. Mason Plumlee, 6-10, 230, So., Duke —Role player, averaging 5.2 shot attempts, 8.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks.

  22. Tobias Harris, 6-8, 225, Fr., Tennessee — Freakish athlete with expanding range.

  23. Trey Thompkins, 6-10, 245, Jr., Georgia — Not explosive but has game, finally in shape.

  24. Lucas Nogueira, 7-0, 225, Asefa Estudiantes, Spain — Billed as “Brazilian Marcus Camby” since getting 22-14 vs. U.S. in 2010 under-18 tourney.

  25. Demetri McCamey, 6-3, 205, Sr., Illinois — Another chunky Illini point, if not in Deron Williams’ class. Takes it to hoop, shot 46 percent on threes.

  26. Nolan Smith, 6-2, 185, Sr., Duke — Makeshift point guard but he’s a blur who’s made 35 percent of threes.

  27. Kyle Singler, 6-8, 230, Sr., Duke — A teens pick last spring. Dropped from 40 percent to 32 percent on threes but tough and a winner.

  28. Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-9, 237, So., Kansas — Raw but exciting athlete.

  29. Kenneth Faried, 6-8, 225, Sr., Morehead State — Less-refined freak athlete, a.k.a. “6-8 Dwight Howard.”

  30. Tyler Zeller, 7-0, 250, Jr., North Carolina — Filling out, coming on.


Michael Auchard 10 years, 8 months ago

More crazy, to me, is the exclusion of 'Kief. If I was an NBA general manager, I'd be working furiously to try to figure out how to draft them as a tandem.

mojayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Marcus at 20? Seriously? This from a west coast dude with midwest blinders. Don't get me wrong, I want to see both M & M's in crimson and blue next year, but the stat and eye test should put he and Kief a lot higher.

Adam Evans 10 years, 8 months ago

it could get really scary for us next year if the twins AND TRob bounce out of Lawrence. Sadly, it really could happen.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

I think with the labor questions, everyone will stay including Selby.

Can you imagine next year with our team, we'll be up there again, like always.

David Leathers 10 years, 8 months ago

"Can you imagine next year with our team, we'll be up there again, like always."

If this was facebook, I would like this a thousand times. If it were twitter, I would re-tweet it for days... Quote of the year in my opinion.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 8 months ago

if everyone stays we could have 4 lottery picks the following season

hometownhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Shut up, there is no 'we.' Nobody likes you.

dylans 10 years, 8 months ago

No need to be rude. ahpersecoachingexperience is entitled to his wrong opinions as well as you.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 8 months ago

You kidding me.....if i'm an NBA manager I'm trying everything i can to get the two best players this year Kemba Walker and Jimmer. . Kemba is as clutch as they come and smooth as they come. Jimmer is gonna have Dave Stern considering moving the NBA line further back.

David Leathers 10 years, 8 months ago

That's the same thing everyone said about JJ Reddick of PUKE... Jimmer will be a 6th man at best.

David Lara 10 years, 8 months ago

Big difference: Reddick could score in droves but only in catch and shoot. Jimmer on the other hand needs no help getting his own shot, whether in the lane or behind the arc. He's a pretty smooth ball handler which is what kept jj from being anything but a role player. I'm definitely not worried about jimmer. He won't light the league on fire but he'll be making his mark right away.

milehighhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

<p> has Marcus going 12th, Kieff going 15th -- more in line with what else I've seen throughout the year.

It has Pullen going late 2nd by the way...

FreddyinLA 10 years, 8 months ago

If you need a story about “The Donald” Sterling, owner of the Clips, then Heisler is your guy. Every other article he writes is about the NBA franchise that resides on the wrong side of the tracks at Staples.

Based on his low rating of Marcus and the absence of his taller brother, Heisler would be a perfect candidate for continuing the legacy of former Clip GM Elgin Baylor.

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