We are know 24 hours away from the start of the 2011 NBA draft and some rumors are starting to come out. The biggest rumor is that the Spurs are shopping Tony Parker to the Toronto Raptors for the 5th pick in the draft. The Raptors would use their trade exception acquired in the Chris Bosh to Miami trade. The Spurs are also talking to the Kings about the same trade for the 7th pick. Another big rumor is that the Knicks are possibly going to move Toney Douglas and the 17th pick for Omri Caspi of the Kings. I doubt that one happens as Donnie Walsh will be reluctant to give up one of their biggest trade pieces if they tried to get Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. A rumor starting to gain some movement is that the Timberwolves would be willing to move the 2nd pick in the draft for Pau Gasol if Derrick Williams is picked 1st overall. They might also move it even if Derrick Williams is available. Some other rumors are that Andre Igoudala is available for a mid lottery pick. The picks I think that are available for cash are the 18th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 28th or 30th, and 29th. Teams that are interested in buying another 1st round pick are the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat. If I had to take a guess at when the 1st trade happens, I would say it is Tony Parker for the 5th pick in the draft.
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With the NBA Draft just one day away, I figured I would take a go at an NBA Mock Draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: Kyrie Irving is the best prospect in this draft and has drawn comparisons to Chris Paul. While I don’t think he will be that good, he will give the Cavs a face of their franchise and a future All Star.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona: Derrick Williams is a versatile forward who could pair with Wesely Johnson, Kevin Love, and Michael Beasly to give them a very deep and young front-court.
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky: This is the popular pick right now and it makes sense. Knight is a phenomenal player with tons of potential and could replace Deron Williams.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter, PF/C, Kentucky: The Cavs are hoping that the Jazz pick Knight because that means that Kanter will be available here. He will give the Cavs a legitimate center to pair with J.J. Hickson.
5. Toronto Raptors: Jan Vesley, PF, Serbia: Vesley has an NBA body and his size would be a nice compliment to Bargaini in the front court. He could give the Raptors flexibility and skill in the front-court.
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State: Leonard is a versatile SF that can provide defense and energy as well as a good mid-range game.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut: Walker is the best leader in this draft and can pair with Tyreke Evans to give the Kings a talented back-court.
8. Detroit Pistons: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas: Thompson is a tenacious rebounder that can pair with Greg Monroe in the Pistons front-court.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State: Singleton is the best defensive wing in this draft and could replace Gerald Wallace at the SF spot.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alex Burks, SG, Colorado: Burks has a great offensive skill set that will pair nicely with Brandon Jennings.
11. Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State: Thompson can shoot the ball from anywhere and has a great game going to the basket. Defense is not his strength, but who says the Warriors play defense.
12. Utah Jazz: Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas: Morris is a good faceup PF that can also play some SF. He has good range and is a decent rebounder/defender.
13. Phoenix Suns: Jimmer Fredette, PG/SG, BYU: Fredette can provide a nice scoring threat off the bench and will sell a lot of tickets while also being groomed as the PG of the future.
14. Houston Rockets: Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania: With the reports that Jonas will be able to come to the NBA in 2012, his stock could go back up but I think he lands in a good situation. The Rockets need to move on from Yao and Jonas has a great skill set, similar to Yao’s.
15. Indiana Pacers: Markeiff Morris, PF, Kansas: Morris is a versatile PF who can step out and knock down jumpers as well as play with his back to the basket. He rebounds well and can also block a shot or two.