One thing the NBA has over the NFL is the fact that their draft comes so soon after the season ends. I’m not really a fan of one particular team in the NBA, but it’s like one last shot of Heroin to get me through the summer until football season.
For Thursday night’s draft, I’ll be live blogging it throughout the night on both twitter and on this site. You can find me on twitter @bigdukeballs. Obviously those updates will be short and sweet. On this site, I’ll live blog in more depth.
So please join BDB. At the very least you can make fun of my typos.
Looking ahead, outside of Kyrie Irving, Duke players (and ACC players in general) appear to be slipping down the draft boards.
Back in May, I predicted where I thought all ACC players would end up. As for just the Blue Devils, I had Irving going first to Cleveland (like everyone else), with Kyle Singler getting taken by Oklahoma City, followed by Chicago grabbing Nolan Smith with the last pick in the first-round.
In just over a month, there are some changes to my predictions, but overall I’m sticking with what I said for most of the players.
Clearly I’m still going to put KYRIE IRVING first.The Cavaliers have been looking to get creative in an effort to land both Irving and Derrick Williams, but it won’t happen. If they pass on Irving with the first pick, he won’t be there when they pick again with the fourth pick.
I think CHRIS SINGLETON is sort of a dark horse in the draft. He can do so many things well. If he can improve his shooting, he’d be a steal. I’ve seen some mocks place him in the top-10, going as high as Charlotte.
I think that’s too risky. Remember, the Seminoles actually played better without him at the end of the season. I think the two best destinations will be Houston or Golden State. I’m sticking with my original pick and saying the Warriors, who are desperate for a defender.
From the very beginning I had KYLE SINGLER going to Oklahoma City. They are a team ready to own the western conference. The pieces are there. They don’t want to waste their time waiting for some European to come over or some 19-year-old to develop.
What they need are role players, who will come in and treat every minute on the court like it was their last. That’s Kyle Singler. I’m sticking with my original pick again.
While he’s a gifted player, I’ve always felt that REGGIE JACKSON was a bit overrated as an NBA talent. I get why he left school early (Boston College is going to suck ass next year), but I never foresaw a stellar pro career. Yet I kept seeing Jackson pop up in the top-15 in some mock drafts.
However, after having a minor knee procedure and missing out on a ton of pre-draft camps, Jackson suddenly looks risky and is sliding. Don’t be shocked if he falls out of the first round, but don’t be shocked if the Dallas Mavericks start looking for their future PG now.
Previously I had JORDAN WILLIAMS landing in San Antonio and assuming the Spurs don’t try to trade up, I think Williams is a great fit for an aging front court. However, I haven’t heard too many impressive things about him this spring, so my gut says he falls out of the first-round.
I’m going to make a bold prediction, one that I haven’t found on any mock drafts (now I’m sure someone will prove me wrong). I predict the Miami Heat grab Williams early in the second-round. In fact, I can even see them trading down and grabbing him later than their 31st pick. The Heat really could have used a big space-eater to grab rebounds and bang bodies underneath this year.
Previously I had IMAN SHUMPERT going to Golden State in the second-round, joining Chris Singleton. I still think Singleton is headed to the Warriors, but I’m ready to move Shumpert up into the first-round.
The Chicago Bulls have two late first-round picks and I can guarantee that they’ll use one on a combo guard. Go ahead and pencil the former Yellow Jacket as that combo guard.
With Shumpert going to Chicago, this sadly means I’m dropping NOLAN SMITH out of the first-round. I originally had him going to the Bulls. I know I’m bias, but I still think Smith will be a better pro. Yet this is the NBA and Shumpert is the more athletic specimen.
This makes it hard to predict where Smith will go. He’s not a game-changer and he’s not a sleeper. What you see is what you get. If you’re a bad team, do you use a pick (even in the second-round) on a role player?
I can see two teams looking for a combo guard coming off the bench. First there is New Jersey with the 38th overall pick and then there is the LA Lakers with the 46th pick. Since I’m offering up worthless predictions, I’m going to go with the Nets…but don’t put any money on that one.
As for Malcolm Delaney (Va Tech), Joe Trapani (Boston College) and Demontez Stitt (Clemson), I still don’t see anyone drafting them.
MOST LIKELY TO BE TRADED AWAY QUICKLY: Reggie Jackson. There are plenty of teams in need of a solid combo guard with good ball handling skills, yet not willing to take a chance on him with his mystery knee injury. That doesn’t mean they won’t trade for him though.
MOST LIKELY TO SLIDE WAY DOWN: It comes down to Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. I’d argue Singler. I think there are only a handful of teams (4-5 tops) that are even looking at him in the first-round. All it takes is for one team up top to do something daring to shake up the whole draft and just like that, everyone’s mock goes out the window and Singler falls to the second-round.
MOST LIKELY TO SLIDE WAY UP: Iman Shumpert. If a couple of teams trade down and go after some of the talented point guards still available after Brandon Knight goes, don’t be surprised if someone like Shumpert goes as early as Indiana. Doubtful, but it could happen.
MOST LIKELY TO FINISH ALL-ROOKIE: Kyrie Irving in a landslide. Out of all the ACC players being draft, he’s the only one that will end up starting. Sure Cleveland is going to struggle and Irving’s shooting percentages and turnover ratios won’t always be pretty, but he’ll have solid points and assists numbers.
BESIDES IRVING, WHO IS A DARK HORSE FOR ALL-ROOKIE: It has to be Chris Sngleton. He’s the only other player who has a legit shot at stealing starter minutes if he goes to Golden State.
Okie dokie, I’ll see you all tomorrow night.
Topics: 2011 NBA Draft, Chicago Bulls, Chris Singleton, Clevelad Cavaliers, Demontez Stitt, Golden State Warriors, Iman Shumpert, Joe Trapan, Jordan Williams, Kyle Singler, Kyrie Irving, Malcolm Delaney, Nolan Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder, Reggie Jackson, San Antonio Spurs