Previewing Tomorrow Night's Draft

Jun 22, 2011

I’m not great with draft stuff.  Never have been.  I watch the NBA over college ball at every turn.  Furthermore, the college ball I do watch is exclusively Big East up until the tournament begins.  This makes it difficult for me to predict how players will fare in the pro game (tourney is too small of a sample size).  I’m also a huge UCONN Huskies fan, which really impacts my judgement.  I was adamant in 2004 that the Magic would be completely crazy to pass up UCONN junior Emeka Okafor for that unproven Dwight Howard kid.  I was also adamant in 2008 that Michael Beasley was simply too dynamic and well-rounded to not be taken over Derrick Rose.

So, you don’t want my opinion.  Trust me on that.  And, I’m not going to give it to you.

But, I love draft coverage.  I love watching the draft, and I especially love comparing members of each class against each other throughout the years (I still consider Dirk a direct rival to Paul Pierce).  I love watching these guys live out their dreams, and I especially love feeling the shared sense of optimism and hope for teams and fanbases that have fallen on hard times and are looking to begin a new chapter.

I’ve been reading through the draft coverage over the past few weeks, and my goal for today is to link up some of the most popular player rankings and mock drafts so that we all know what to expect tomorrow night.

I’m going to be giving different information depending on the nature of the link.  My main goals, however, were to include:

1) the top 3 picks listed in the link.

2) where the top stars from this past college season (Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, and Jimmer Fredette) are listed .

3) In mock drafts: Who the Celtics are predicted to take.

Obviously, we’ve got a whole day until the draft, and a lot can happen.  But, let’s give this a shot anyways.

 

First, the Player Rankings, Ratings, and Comparisons:

 

THE BILAS TOP 30:

1) Kyrie Irving, Duke.  2) Derrick Williams, Arizona. 3) Enes Kanter, Kentucky.  4) Kemba Walker, UCONN.  5) Brandon Knight, Kentucky.

13) Jimmer Fredette, BYU.

 

BASKETBALL PROSPECTUS, KEVIN PELTON’S NBA PLAYER COMPARISONS:

Kyrie Irving – Derrick Rose (95.7)

Derrick Williams – JJ Hickson (95.4)

Brandon Knight – Jerryd Bayless (95.3)

Kemba Walker – DJ Augustin (96.5)

Jimmer Fredette – JJ Redick (96.3) – Note – Pelton says he doesn’t like this comparison and also offers up Jodie Meeks as a potential comp.

Kawhi Leonard – Joe Johnson (96.5)

 

JOHN HOLLINGER’S DRAFT RATER:

Note:  Many people, including my ombudsman Ben, believe that this is the best measure of the draft prospects.  Of the draft rater, Ben says, “It’s not perfect, but I think it actually does a better job of picking the real prospects than the actual GM’s do (he has directly compared this in the past and it’s definitely a strength!). And I think the best approach is to start with these ratings and then adjust based upon what the buzz is.”

Hollinger’s one sure thing: Kyrie Irving.

Hollinger’s overall board:  1) Kyrie Irving   2) Derrick Williams   3) Tristan Thompson   4) Jonas Valanciunas   5) Kawhi Leonard   6) Enes Kanter   7) Kemba Walker   8) Tobias Harris   9) Alex Burks   10)  Jordan Hamilton

12) Brandon Knight  22) Jimmer Fredette

 

 

Next, the Mock Drafts (top 3 picks, where Knight goes, where Kemba goes, where Jimmer goes, and who the Celtics take):

 

NBA.COM, DAVID ALDRIDGE MOCK DRAFT:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Pacers at #15

The Celtics Select: Jordan Williams (Maryland)

 

 

CHAD FORD MOCK DRAFT 6.0:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Kings at #7

Jimmer Goes: to the Pacers at #15

The Celtics Select: Jeremy Tyler (Tokyo Apache)

 


SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – SAM AMICK’S MOCK DRAFT:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Enes Kanter

Brandon Knight Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Kemba Goes: to the Bobcats at #9

Jimmer Goes: to the Jazz at #12

The Celtics Select: Jeremy Tyler (Tokyo Apache)

 

 

HOOPSHYPE.COM MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Suns at #13

The Celtics Select: Trey Thompkins (Georgia)

 

 

THE TRUE HOOP NETWORK MOCK DRAFT: (note: there’s no link here, as these picks were made on the sites that make up the network)

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Warriors at #11

The Celtics Select: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

 

 

THE SPORTING NEWS MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Suns at #13

The Celtics Select: Justin Harper (Richmond)

 

 

TOM ZILLER’S SB NATION MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Suns at #13

The Celtics Select: Jeremy Tyler (Tokyo Apache)

 

 

DRAFT EXPRESS MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Kings at #7

The Celtics Select: Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)

 

 

THE BASKETBALL JONES MOCK DRAFT LOTTERY: (note: I’ve been plugging TBJ as the best bball site out there.  During the season, their daily vids are the best.  This is by far the most enjoyable mock draft to take in.)

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Raptors at #5

Jimmer Goes: to the Suns at #13

The Celtics Select: Nobody.  They only hit the lottery picks.

 

 

SLAM ONLINE MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Kemba Goes: to the Kings at #7

Jimmer Goes: to the Suns at #13

The Celtics Select: Tobias Harris (Tennessee)

 

 

THE BLEACHER REPORT MOCK DRAFT 2011:

TOP 3: Kyrie Irving – Derrick Williams – Brandon Knight

Jimmer Goes: to the Kings at #7

Kemba Goes: to the Pistons at #8 (note: no effing way.  Everything I’ve read and heard says Detroit is all about getting bigger)

The Celtics Select: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

 

 

There it is.  You’ve got some clear trends there.  The top 3 seem to be pretty consistent, and the top 2 are a virtual lock.  However, there seems to be more uncertainty swirling around this draft than any I can remember.  There are rumors that Enes Kanter could move up to #2.  There’s the fact that the Cavaliers were meeting with Derrick Williams at the time the story broke that they had decided on Kyrie Irving.  There’s the fact that our consensus number 1 pick has only played 11 college games.  There’s the fact that most mock drafts say Brandon Knight is going #3, even though most scouts have major concerns about his ability to play point guard in the NBA and have Enes Kanter rated above him.  There’s the fact that we’re dealing with a lot of foreign players who we’ve only seen perform in small doses.  Bill Simmons had Chad Ford on his podcast yesterday, and Ford said he’s dreading posting his final mock draft (7.0), because if one team picks differently than he predicts, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the draft.

Needless to say, this should be a lot of fun.

I guess I’ll go on record right now as saying I’ve been enamored with Derrick Williams all year.  To me, he was the most dominant player in college basketball (and I’d normally never say that when there’s a solid UCONN candidate in the mix).  But, I’m a little gun shy ever since my epic Beasley over Rose debacle (which I still get texts about several times per year).

 

 


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