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Mark Heisler's NBA mock draft

The Times' basketball columnist has Duke's Kylie Irving going first to Cleveland.

June 22, 2011|By Mark Heisler
  • Duke's Kyrie Irving is projected to go No. 1 overall to Cleveland in Thursday's NBA draft.
Duke's Kyrie Irving is projected to go No. 1 overall to Cleveland in… (Justin Lane / EPA )

MARK HEISLER'S NBA MOCK DRAFT

1. Cleveland — Kyrie Irving, 6-1¾, 191, Fr., Duke. Who said he's so small? If he's no Derrick Rose, he's a quarter-inch taller and very good, besides.

2. Minnesota — Derrick Williams, 6-7¾, 248, So. Arizona. Unable to find big man, GM David Kahn goes small with him at center, opening floor up for Ricky Rubio.

3. Utah — Enes Kanter, 6-9¾, 259 Fr., Kentucky. Would make their front line as wide as a mountain range (if not ticketed for Wizards in multi-team swap with Jazz taking Brandon Knight after all.)

4. Cleveland — Jonas Valanciunas, 6-9½, 240 Lietuvos Rytas. Stock rising even if he's not ready now.

5. Toronto — Brandon Knight, 6-1¾, 177, Fr., Kentucky. Sharpshooting point to replace Jose Calderon drops to them (or they take Kemba Walker, if he doesn't).

6. Washington — Jan Vesely, 6-9½, 240, Partizan Belgrade. Smaller Anderson Varejao whose hustle will inspire or puzzle their young knuckleheads.

7. Sacramento — Kemba Walker, 5-11½, 184, Sr. UConn. Point guard they want falls to them, (or if not, best athlete available... Klay Thompson?)

8. Detroit — Tristan Thompson, 6-7¼, 227, Fr., Texas. With new owner, GM Joe Dumars forgoes gamble on quote next Ben Wallace, Bismack Biyombo, takes this Tyrus Thomas type with a better head.

9. Charlotte — Bismack Biyombo, 6-8¼, 245, Fuenlabrada, Spain. Michael Jordan rolls dice on player who lacks size, skill but not explosiveness, blocking 10 shots against top U.S. preps at Hoop Summit.

10. Milwaukee — Klay Thompson, 6-5¾, 206, Jr., Washington St. In one of the biggest pre-draft moves ever, Mychal's son is now top-rated shooting guard.

11 Golden State — Alec Burks, 6-5, 193, Jr., Colorado. Jerry West, dying for Klay, takes former top-rated shooting guard.

12. Utah — Jimmer Fredette, 6-0¾, 196, Sr., BYU. Wasn't in top 20 but burned up pre-draft circuit, convincing his hometown team he wasn't just a local yokel.

13. Phoenix — Marcus Morris, 6-7, 230, Jr., Kansas. Small power forward for team in mid-transition, or starting over if it moves Steve Nash.

14. Houston — Kawhi Leonard, 6-6, 227, Jr., San Diego State. Tough rather than big, quick or athletic but can handle and make plays. If he learns to shoot, can be good.

15. Indiana — Chris Singleton, 6-7¾ , 230, Sr., Florida St. Rated top defender in draft.

16. Philadelphia — Nikola Vucevic, 6-10¼, 260, Jr., USC. Coach Doug Collins prefers him (among others) to Chris Kaman, whom Clippers offered for Andre Iguodala.

17. New York — Imam Shumpert, 6-4½, 222, Sr., Georgia Tech. With Knicks in turmoil after Pres. Donnie Walsh's departure, CAA, which reps Carmelo Anthony, tried selling them Maryland's Josh Selby. Shumpert, a big, athletic point is repped by Amare Stoudemire's guy, Happy Walters.

18. Washington — Donatas Montiejunas, 6-10½, 215, Benetton Treviso. Looks like a young Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

19. Charlotte —Kenneth Faried, 6-6, 225, Sr., Morehead St. Not big or skilled but animal rebounder.

20. Minnesota — Marshon Brooks, 6-4¼, 195, Sr., Providence. Blossoming shooting guard who averaged 25 as senior.

21. Portland — Reggie Jackson, 6-1½, 208, Jr., Boston College. Powerful point guard, thought to have gotten a promise before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

22. Denver — Jordan Hamilton, 6-6¾, 228, So., Texas. Big-time shooter projected in teens, drops to them.

23. Houston — Jeremy Tyler, 6-9, 262, Tokyo Apache. Still promising at 20 after skipping senior year at San Diego High and bombing overseas.

24. Oklahoma City — Nikola Mirotic, 6-8½, 210, Real Madrid. Would be in lottery if he wasn't under contract through 2016. GM Sam Presti's kind of move.

25. Boston — Markieff Morris, 6-7¾, 241, Jr., Kansas. Jeff Green type, in case real Jeff Green wants a lot of money.

26. Dallas — Davis Bertans, 6-8, 210, Union Olimpija Ljubljana. Latest "next Dirk Nowitzki," played well at Hoop Summit.

27. New Jersey — Kyle Singler, 6-7¾, 228, Sr., Duke. Hard-nosed player who won't be a star but will be all he can be.

28. Chicago — Justin Harper, 6-8, 228 Sr., Richmond. Made 44% of threes this season, just what they need.

29. San Antonio — Nolan Smith, 6-1½, 188, Jr., Duke. Can back up George Hill if Spurs wind up trading Parker.

30. Chicago — JaJuan Johnson, 6-9, 220, Sr., Purdue. Hoping for Taj Gibson II.

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