NBADraft.net released it's Mock Draft 4.0 today, and with it, brings many surprises to the table. First surprise starts immediately at the top of the draft where they have the Cavs selecting
The Cavs find themselves in a unique situation where their first pick will have a direct impact on the quality of their pick at four. They're in a bit of a pickle with a draft that features a ledge after the fourth pick and a good possibility that taking Irving at 1 will force them to reach on their pick at 4. Which is why they would like to use 4 to move up for 2 and insure that doesn't happen. Enes Kanter has not played in a real game in over a year and the last chance scouts got to see him play was at the Hoop Summit in Portland in April of 2010. I was at the game and two of Kanter's practices and got a chance to speak with Kanter and came away extremely impressed. The rumors surrounding his knees have all turned out false and Kanter drew rave reviews after the NBA draft combine from numerous scouts. At one point during the post drills he sent NBA coach Joe Wolf (a large man) sprawling out of bounds. If the Cavs decide they think Kyrie is a franchise PG and head and shoulders above Knight (questionable), they might take him and let the chips fall where they may at 4. There's a growing chance that both Williams and Kanter (the draft's best two non PGs will be snapped up with the next two picks). The talent dropoff at that point is significant as Knight will be the best player on the board.
The Next suprise comes when the Wolves pass on Kyrie Irving to select Derrick Williams:
It would be difficult for David Kahn to explain himself if he drafted Kyrie Irving. Then again that wouldn't be a new development. After taking two point guards in 2009 and then courting Ricky for the past 24 months, the young Spaniard finally decided to sign to play for Minnesota. The T-Wolves are hoping that Kanter will be available to them at 2 because he is exactly what they need: an upgrade at one of their starting positions and one of the top talents available. It's possible a team will attempt to move up here for Irving or Williams. It's unclear if Beasley has much trade value considering his stats have come for a bottom feeder and concerns about his attitude linger. Williams, who measured and tested extremely well at the combine has proven that he's a winner. He remains a possibilty to go first.
After mocking that Utah would select Irving at #3, the article goes on to have the Cavs select Knight at #4, completing the strategy of drafing a big man first to walk away with one of either Irving or Knight and one of either Kanter or Williams. Further adding to such intrigue, I found an interesting nuggest from Sam Amick over at SI.com. In his recent draft notebook, Amick drops some knowledge bombs about Utah and Knight:
While it remains likely that Cleveland will take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving at the top spot and (insert team name here, since Minnesota continues to spread the word that it would like to move down) will take Arizona's Derrick Williams at No. 2, sources say the Kentucky point guard could be risking his chance to go third overall to Utah by refusing to work out against competition. Knight has an open invitation to join Connecticut's Kemba Walker, BYU's Jimmer Fredette and UCLA's Malcolm Lee in a June 15 workout with the Jazz, but sources close to both sides said he has yet to decide whether to take part.
What's more, there are rumblings that Utah is less than thrilled at the notion that Knight would even consider dictating the terms with the No. 3 pick (although Turkish center Enes Kanter already did just that in his Jazz workout in Chicago in which Toronto also took part). It's unclear whether the Jazz would take a hard-line stance and refuse to take Knight unless he worked out against other top-line competitors, but that appears to be a possibility.
I attended Knight's workout in Sacramento on June 2 and walked away convinced that Knight saw the Kings as his so-called first-round floor at No. 7. The problem there, predictably, is that the one-on-none approach wasn't well received by the Kings' brass either. As if separating the talent in this crop wasn't tough enough, Knight's tactic appears to have thrown a subtle wildcard into the process.
Maybe NBADraft.net is on to something here, or maybe they read Amick's article and posted something controversial for clicks and dollars. If the Cavs believe Williams and Kanter go #2 and #3 in the event they take Irving, maybe this is the strategy they ultimately employ. An additional piece of information that may shed some light on this draft strategy is the fact that they have Valanciunas pulling his name out of the draft due to buyout issues. Givony has been reporting that the Cavs prefer Valanciunas at #4 if they take Irving, so it's possible that Jonas pulling out of the draft by Monday's deadline may give more credence to this scenario. Under any event, the crazy doesn't stop at the top of the draft, but continues through Minnesota's selection at #20 with, none other than Bismack Biyombo.
That's a lot of crazy, but what's crazy to some, is perfectly logical to others. Lets settle this with a poll...