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Starting with Cavaliers at No. 4, draft will mean hard choices

Jun 23, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT

Lietuvos Rytas's Jonas Valanciunas (C) j

For all the chatter otherwise, it would be stunning not to see Kyrie Irving not go No. 1 and Derrick Williams No. 2. We may well have stunning, it’s been that kind of NBA season, but you might not want to bet on it.

As we said before, the draft gets interesting when the Jazz select at No. 3. But it looks more and more like they will take Enes Kanter, the Turkish center. Do the Jazz need a point guard more? Damn straight. Is Kentucky’s Brandon Knight still on the board? Yup. But the Jazz stick to their “best man available” system no matter what, and reportedly they like Kanter more.

That shakes up the draft, because it means hard choices for the teams that follow.

For the Cavaliers at No. 4 that would leave them with a choice between Texas’ Tristan Thompson and Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has the higher ceiling — some scouts think he can be the best player in this draft — but he may play in Europe for a couple more years. Thompson is the better player right now and fills a need. But ESPN’s Ric Bucher says the Cavs go Valanciunas.

Then at five is the Raptors. They really like Brandon Knight at the point, but Chad Ford of ESPN says they would take Bismack Biyombo, the wildly athletic but raw center out of the Congo (via Europe) over Knight. Hard choice, though.

At No. 6 you can bet the Wizards are not taking a point guard — they took some guy named Wall last year — so they will take Thompson or Jan Vesley.

Then at seven the Kings are faced with a real hard choice — Knight or Jimmer Fredette? The clear consensus is Knight is now and will be the better player, but the Maloof Brothers have been reported to push to get Fredette. Owners tend to get their way. Or, maybe the Kings just trade out of the spot so the Knicks can get Klay Thompson.

The choices keep on going… what will the Jazz do at No. 12 if they can choose between Kemba Walker or Fredette? It his hard to see the Jazz not taking Jimmer, even if the basketball people like Walker (or anyone else) more.

It’s been a long time since we had a draft that was going to be this unpredictable. This is going to be fun to watch unfold.

  1. denverhoopdreams - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I really hope we trade Felton straight for that 7th pick.

  2. digitaldonnie - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    If this is how it goes down, how can Cleveland pass on Williams and get Knight at 4?

  3. themanchine - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM


    When Williams goes #1 will you acknowledge how wrong you were/are?
    I will gladly claim my “fame” if Irving does indeed go 1st.

  4. centexhorn - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I think the Spurs want Klay Thompson, whoever that is. But if they want him, he’s probably pretty damn good. The Spurs are the best drafting franchise in the NBA. They’re like the NE Patriots that way.

    Maybe Tony Parker will go to the Kings? The Knicks have to find a way to get Tony Parker.

  5. purdueman - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    The hot new rumor out here in LA is that the Lakers are talking to Cleveland about a La Marr Odom for the 4th overall pick in the draft and the Cav’s backup center. The Lakers would then take a much needed point guard with that pick.

    I think that would be a good move on the part of LA, and I’d be positively giddy with anticipation to see how Odom and his Hollywood starlet trophy wife react to the news that they’ve just been banished to Cleveland! Now THAT would be FUNNY!!! Bwahahahahaha!!!

    • sguy2130 - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      And only in LA would people be that clueless to believe a trade like that would ever go down….

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