Dime NBA Mock Draft: Cleveland Snags The Top Pick, And Probably Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving (photo. Kelly Kline/Nike)

Following tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery at the NBA Entertainment studio in Secaucus, New Jersey, now we can begin to get an idea of how the rest of the draft will play out after the top spot. This is the first of many Dime mock drafts leading up to June 23. As usual, it’s a combination of what we think teams should do and what we think they will do:

1. Cleveland (via L.A. Clippers) – Kyrie Irving
6-2, 180 lbs. PG
Duke, Fr.
With only an 11-game sample, Irving was able to display why he may be the best prospect in the entire draft. His combinations of vision, shooting and scoring are maybe the best we’ve seen since Chris Paul. With the franchise in need of a savior, Irving is the best guy to build around.

2. Minnesota – Derrick Williams
6-7, 210 lbs. SF/PF
Arizona, So.
Using his versatility all season long, Williams became a viable option for a top pick as an inside-outside threat. Not sure there is anyone in this draft that can bring to the table what he can. And with the chance of Ricky Rubio finally arriving in Minnesota, the T-Wolves could be looking at a major talent upgrade.

3. Utah (via New Jersey) – Enes Kanter
6-10, 250 lbs. C
Kentucky, Fr.
After lighting up the world in the U-18 games and the Nike Hoop Summit, Kanter became a hot name before arriving in Lexington last fall. Since then, the Turkish big has played zero basketball and become a bit of a mystery in this year’s draft. Utah could use another big body after the loss last summer of Carlos Boozer, and the injury problems with Mehmet Okur.

4. Cleveland – Kawhi Leonard
6-7, 225 lbs. SF
San Diego State, So.
Playing on the West Coast hurts when it comes to publicity, but Leonard has the athleticism and skill to make his name known. For a young Cavs team that needs utility guys that can do just about everything, Leonard is the perfect piece to add to the puzzle.

5. Toronto – Brandon Knight
6-4, 183 lbs. PG
Kentucky, Fr.
A few months into the season Knight was still a project. Since then, he has become one of the most clutch players in the nation and has proven to be a multi-faceted offensive threat. The Raptors need a guy that can help them win, and Knight should be up for the job. Don’t think for a second that Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo – who just agreed in principle to a multiyear extension with the team – will pass on a guy like this who is one of the few players in the draft with star potential.

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  • Nigel

    The Basketball Gods made it up to the Cavs big time.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    You do realize how stupid that would be for Clevland to pick Kyrie instead of Derrick Williams right?

    They have the #4 pick. They can pick Derrick Williams and fill a HUGE GAP at the wing with a guy that is like a athletic Paul Pierce. Then they can take Brandon Knight at the #4 pick.

    Of course you guys are gagging on the hype-cock of Kyrie so you fail to realize he’s not really that good.

  • bola

    the guy might leave Cleveland after his rookie contract anyway.. prepare for another heartbreaker, cav fans

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    And then you want Minney to take Derrick Williams?

    The team already has KLove at the 4 and Beasly killing it at the 3. Also Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, Anthony Randolph and Wayne Ellington all on the wing. WHY THE FLUCK! would they take another wing?

    Some wrtiers just don’t think about sh!t before they put it on the web

  • Reno

    Even when the Cavs win, they lose. The #1 & #4 picks in a weak draft class… I’m sure they’ll blame LBJ for that too.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    Amen Chi, amen

  • First & Foremost

    Dang… Chi beat me to it. However, if you are Minny you just have to draft the best position available. They stockpiled pgs so it may be an upgrade but now you have a log jam and 2 of your pgs no one wants. You just paid for Darko and Love is due soon. Williams makes since IF Beasley can guard the opposing 4.

  • beiber newz

    ******************************************
    BOLA #3: no one can just LEAVE after their rookie contract expires u dumb squirrels. there is something called a restricted free agent. which without a doubt the first overall pick will have within his contract. once the contract runs out, the team, in this case the cavs, will be able to match any offer he gets on the open market. or even before that extend his current deal. but if the cavs are bad, he kyrie will opt for free agency where then the cavs will simply equal dollar signs from any competitor trying to steal him.

  • IGP

    I bet the Wolves trade the pick. Also, if I’m the Cavs, it would be hard to pass up Irving but I agree I would take Williams #1. Knight and Williams sounds a lot better than Irving and Leonard to me.

  • IGP

    I could see the Wolves trading #2 only if Williams is the #1 pick. If Irving is available the Wolves would probably draft him and trade Rubio to LA or NY or some other big market where he wants to play. He has a lot of value still. Maybe the Knicks could do something like Toney Douglas and the #17 for him? Just a guess really

  • IGP

    *only if Irving is the #1, not Williams. My bad on the typo

  • Zenchimo

    Haha Jazz will take Jimmer at 12 watch

  • bookkwormmaster

    Congratulations to Cleveland on getting the top pick in the draft. Lebron left, Dan Gilbert acted a straight ass, Lebron obliterates his former team in his first game back in Cleveland, the Cavs set the record for the worst losing streak in NBA history, the team shows some signs of life after snapping the losing streak, Cleveland wins the No. 1 in the upcoming NBA Draft. What a year for Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavs.

    However, as much as Cleveland needed it I would rather have seen the Timberwolves get it. I think Minnesota getting the top pick and drafting Kyrie Irving would have solidified their future at the point position and allowed them to give up on any hopes of Ricky Rubio joining the franchise. David Kahn could finally admit he made a mistake with Rubio and trade him while his value is still high for more building blocks for his team. I still think they can since they have the second overall pick but I don’t know who they go with. At least with Kyrie Irving you knew he was a clear cut number one pick.

  • http://Dimemag.com Chrisballz

    Sac town should take walker. He is THE MAN

  • Waggle

    LOL@ Kemba being listed as 6’1

  • JTok

    This draft lottery wasn’t fixed or anything…

  • D-NICE

    I hope the raps take king kemba….we need another player who can create off the dribble and score….IMO he would also fit in pretty well with our young,athletic,uptempto team……plus I’m a HUGE fan lol

  • https://www.sportsbetting.com.au/basketball_betting dcyrilcasa

    I think Kyrie Irving already signed an agent early this May 2011

  • Sam

    Anyone who has the brains to say the lottery was rigged clearly isn’t using them. Cleveland had a 20 percent chance of winning- a pretty good shot.

    Utah has lots of bigs (Millsap, Jefferson, Favors) but I think I agree that they have to take Kanter- him and Favors could form a truly elite duo up front. The problem for the Jazz is where are they going to get their offense? How soon is Derrick Favors going to develop a great offensive game?

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Sam and DIME

    No way Utah picks Canter. again did anyone look at the roster before making this prediction.

    Okur, Jefferson, Millsap, Favors. All guys that are much better than Canter. And 3 of them get paid pretty well. Okur might be gone through free agency soon but that still leaves 3 guys who deserve starter minutes in the post.

    If Utah is smart, they trade this pick and try to get them a guy who can play the 2G spot pretty well and is a good character guy. Like James Harden. CJ Miles is good, but he seems to be a bit injury prone. I’d take Harden or perhaps they draft Tyler Honeycutt and give him the time to develope into the beast he’ll become.
    But under no circumstance do they ever draft MFing Enes Canter.

  • Me

    i say minny should draft irving if he’s available, trade rubio to NY for 2 #1′s and whatever else they can get. rubio will suck in minny cuz he don’t wanna be there, plus he’s gonna be a bust anyway.

  • Me

    or, trade rubes to cleveland, and get williams and irving. figure out a way to either play will or beas at the 2, or play love at the 5 and beas at the 4.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tootalented21 Talented

    “With only an 11-game sample, Irving was able to display why he may be the best prospect in the entire draft.” <– WHAT? Listen, not throwin salt on my boy, but hop off his d*** Dime ! Gaahdamn, bro is talented but dnt stroke him acting like 11 games was enough. And why would Cleveland do like Minnesota and snatch another guard? I honestly feel like Brandon Knight is a better pick than Kyrie right now. But Cleveland should go w/ Derrick Williams w/ they 1st pick.

  • Maynard

    How is 11 games not enough? Irving was phenomenal in those 11 games, on another level from everyone else on the court. And Derrick Williams was a very good college player, but it’s not like he’s a sure bet or anything, with his 19 ppg in a weak conference. I bet the Hawks loved Marvin Williams’ athletic upside over Chris Paul and Deron Williams too.

    To me, point guard is an important part of a team’s identity. Kyrie’s super-talented and a born leader, he has more ability and strikes me as with more of a pro-style game than Kemba and Knight, and Cleveland can take its pick of European big men at No. 4.

  • brain

    there are a lot of solid point guards in this draft and a lot of good point guards already playing in the nba. If teams were to draft based on need this is how it could go.

    1- cleveland – derrick williams…they need a SF and hes the best at this position. there are a lotta point guards in this draft.

    2- minnesota – jonas valanciunas – minnesota has talent at four positions except center.

    3- utah – enes canter – utah has PG devin harris and good bigs. utah can trade this pick.

    4- cleveland – kyrie irving – baron davis is not the pg of the future for the cavs

    5- toronto – kawhi leonard – they could use an SF like kawhi. calderon performs well in toronto.

  • pipdaddyy

    As for Minnesota at #2, they are average at all positions, except at PF … they should just take the best player. Their biggest need is a SG, but other than Alex Burks noone seems worth it. Or, yeah, admit you screwed up with the Rubio/Flynn draft and take another PG.

  • 2cents

    @ beiber newz

    Another startling effort. Not only do you thoughtlessly insult another reader, but you seem to know more about the new CBA that the Players Union and the NBA are yet to agree upon.

    Or haven’t you heard about the impending lockout?

    Please, post some more of your wisdom here….

  • First & Foremost

    Just because a player might be a restricted free agent, that just means another team will have to over pay in order to get that player.

    @Chi – Are you saying Utah should take a big and then package said players in a trade with Portland for Brandon Roy? Yes, they are division rivals but both teams have a need for that trade.

  • JAY

    “Anyone who has the brains to say the lottery was rigged clearly isn’t using them. Cleveland had a 20 percent chance of winning- a pretty good shot.”

    Until the NBA televises the ACTUAL lottery, and not just opening envelopes, I’m sticking to my guns that the lotteries are fixed. Not even media is allowed to watch the balls drop. IMO, there’s no reason for them to be so secretive. If you or anyone can come up with a reasonable reason why the NBA won’t allow anyone into the lottery room to witness it, I’m all ears.

  • JAY

    Oh yeah… Sam,

    “Cleveland had a 20 percent chance of winning- a pretty good shot.”

    The Cavs didn’t “win” the lottery. That was the Clippers ball that dropped for the 1st overall pick. They had a 2.8% chance of winning the pick. Not very good.

  • First & Foremost

    Very very true. The NBA looks at which storyline can they run with and that teams generally gets the pick.
    Lebron to Cleveland; Rose to Chicago; The late Abe Pollin getting the #1 the year he passes away; LA needs a superstar since Kobe is on the decline; Toronto wins the weakest draft class ever.

    The NBA needs an open door policy…

    If you aren’t whacking off in your, then why is the door closed?

  • iCARNACKi

    Damn it was the Clippers pick that went first? Didn’t it have like 2.8% chance of winning? Cavaliers just came out of that Baron Davis trade looking like geniuses. I can’t even begin to imagine a Williams, Jordan, Griffin front court in LA… DAMN that would have been crazily athletic.

    Whilst I do think Irving is the consensus top prospect in this draft I have to agree with homie up there ^ coming out of this draft with Knight/Williams looks a whole lot better than Irving/Leonard. One thing though; I doubt in the actual draft Utah will take Kanter and pass on Knight. Cleveland cannot guarantee that Knight will be there at 4. So if I’m Cleveland I play it safe and take Irving No.1.

    Enes Kanter just has bust written all over him, so I’m guessing that Cleveland will take him with pick 4. If I were the Cleveland GM unless I could guarantee Knight/Williams I would take Irving/Burks and solidify the back court.

    Alec Burks is my sleeper pick for best player from this draft… I don’t know why I just get this feeling that at the very worst he’ll be a solid starter in the league for 10 years.

    I bet Cleveland are kicking themselves that Sullinger, Barnes etc all pulled out of the draft.

  • Detroit Dave

    This might be the worst draft since 2001.

  • abovetherim

    @JAY and First and Foremost.

    Select members of the media are allowed in when the balls are picked.

    Doug Smith who covers the Raptors was in the room for the lottery. Check his blog for how everything goes down

    http://thestar.blogs.com/raptors/

  • Zenchimo

    Flash Gordon Hayward…. Offense

  • NYK

    doesn’t matter as whoever the first pick is, he will leave Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach in 2018.

    i’m still laughing at the clippers though. i thought originally that their traded pick went #4… it was #1? enjoy your time with Mo Williams.

  • matt

    My raps get screwed over like always. Don’t know why cleveland gets that pick, they had their chance – they had the best player in the world play for that team for 7 years, they wen to the finals, constantly first, EC champs. Minnesota – this team should turn some of their assets in2 better players (trade them) – I think they could give up some depth and seriously get some1 like JSmoove or Bynum. Jazz have been to the finals twice + had a legendary coach. I fail to see how my raps don’t deserve 1st. No one wants to come here, we have the best country in the world, best city in the world, 4th largest city in N.America. When we get good picks they are in horrible drafts. Leonard = James Johnson, Knight + Kemba = Bayless. AKA we have to take Valanciunas (contract problems) or Biyombo (next big ben :) )

  • Danny

    I watched Kanter in the high school all-star circuit and thought then and there that he was going to be a beast.

    How can you say he has bust written all over him when you’ve probably never seen him play?

  • Brown

    Brandon Knight reminds me of Antonio Daniels. Still, the Raps could afford to upgrade from Calderon, who should be traded for a bag of popcorn.

  • JAY

    Thanks abovetherim. I’m glad they opened it up to witnesses.
    The next step would be to air it live. I think all of us would be glued to our TV sets to watch the balls drop.

    Does anyone know why Stern and the other NBA brass chose to stop airing the live lotteries after NY won the Ewing draft? As far as I know, there was no issues or delays when they did it.

  • Celts Fan

    If there’s a God, Cleveland takes Williams #1 (shooting for Knight at #4) and we get to see David Kahn either pass on Kyrie or draft yet another PG. Please God let this happen. I don’t ask for much…

  • http://www.twitter.com/tootalented21 Talented

    @Maynard

    I understand what you sayin as far as what he did in those 11 games, but an NBA season isn’t 11 games long. You gotta take consistency into consideration. I just don’t feel like 11 games is enough to gauge the worth or potential of any player.

    W/ Derrick Williams I feel like he would be a more solid pick because of the make up of the Cavs, I think they have enough guards and not as many reliable wing players. And conference isn’t everything. Just look at another Hawks pick in Acie Law IV. He played in a tougher conference and they were expecting from him, but he hasn’t cashed in yet.

  • braindead

    lol @ kyrie not being that good. niggas mad.

  • CTP

    Why would the Jazz draft Kanter?! I hope they don’t. We have Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson. Along with millsap and okur.

    I think they will draft Brandon Knight

  • K

    @ Jay

    I read an article on espn about the lottery room. They are so thorough it’d be impossible to rig. They’ve even got a backup plan incase the machine breaks down. Its pretty much been opened up for a decade now.

  • iCARNACKi

    @ Danny

    Why would you assume I haven’t done due dilligence when remarking about Enes Kanter?

    A European center that is already having knee trouble, hasn’t played in a year, has conditioning issues and a questionable work ethic and all anyone has to go off is highlights and one game where he showed a somewhat developed post game for his age but looked slow as hell and about as athletic as my grandma… why would you say he DOESN’T have bust written all over him?

    I would always stay away from European players in the lottery as a rule, the NBA is a completely different world to them (and I’m European so no bias) they simply aren’t worth the risk when compared to equally talented battle tested college players. IMO.

    I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say all 3 of the prominent European big men in this draft will bust… none look particularly promising as NBA players. I will of course admit I was wrong if I am.

  • ab40

    williams scored 13 ppg big time scorer my ass.

  • doc

    The Sixers dont need none of these pricks.We need to make some trades for a superstar.Irving a beast though.