NBA Draft Chatter: Draft Range for Top 15 Prospects
Tristan Thompson seems to be the most difficult of the top 15 prospects to predict where he might land. (Icon SMI)
By Ryan Feldman
Sunday, June 12, 2011
The draft is a week and a half away, but still there are so many different scenarios that could play out. Here are TheHoopsReport.com's top 15 draft prospects, according to a consensus of NBA executives and scouts, and a synopsis of each player's draft range and likely destinations:
Kyrie Irving will most definitely go No. 1 to the Cavs. While they haven't publicly admitted it yet, there is almost no chance that the Cavs don't draft Irving.
Derrick Williams is the likely choice for the Timberwolves at No. 2. But they will work out Enes Kanter and Williams both on June 16. There is a chance they could come away more impressed with Kanter on Thursday and change their mind, but Williams is the favorite.
Enes Kanter could go as high as No. 2 to the Timberwolves and as low as No. 6 to the Wizards. He will not get past the Wizards. Realistically, he won't get past the Cavs at No. 4.
Brandon Knight could go as high as No. 3 to the Jazz but definitely won't get past the Kings at No. 7. The Jazz, Raptors and Kings all really like Knight.
Kemba Walker could go as high as No. 3 to the Jazz or No. 5 to the Raptors. He could slip past the Bobcats at No. 9 and into the teens. He doesn't really have a floor. The Jazz like Walker but if they opt to draft Brandon Knight at No. 3 or Jimmer Fredette at No. 12, Walker could get past No. 12. If that happens, he likely won't get past the Suns at No. 13 or the Rockets at No. 14.
Jan Vesely could go as high as No. 4 to the Cavs but won't get past the Bucks at No. 10. The Raptors, Wizards, Kings, Pistons and Bobcats are all very interested as well, so there's no way he falls out of the top 10.
Jonas Valanciunas could go as high as No. 4 to the Cavs, if Enes Kanter is off the board. He likely won't slip past the Bobcats at No. 9. They appear to be his floor. The Raptors, Wizards and Pistons are also possible destinations.
Bismack Biyombo likely won't go any earlier than the Pistons at No. 8, but the Pistons have a lot of interest in Biyombo. The Bobcats are also interested at No. 9. Biyombo could slip as far as No. 14 to the Rockets or No. 16 to the Sixers. It's unlikely that he gets past the Sixers. If he somehow did, the Bobcats would scoop him up in a heartbeat at No. 19.
Jimmer Fredette could go as high as No. 7 to the Kings, if Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker are both off the board. The Kings would then have a tough decision between Fredette and Kawhi Leonard. If the Kings don't draft Fredette, he could go to the Bucks at No. 10 or the Jazz at No. 12. The Jazz will certainly take Fredette if they don't draft a point guard at No. 3. But if they do, he could slip to the Suns or Pacers.
Kawhi Leonard could go as high as No. 6 to the Wizards. The Wizards have a lot of options, but Leonard and Jan Vesely are two of their top options. The Kings are also very interested at No. 7. The next option would be the Bobcats at No. 9 and the Bucks at No. 10. It's highly unlikely that he slips past the Bucks, so it looks like Leonard will definitely be a top 10 pick at this point.
Alec Burks will get his first serious look from the Wizards at No. 6. After that, he'll get a look from the Bobcats and Bucks. The Bucks really like Burks and are likely to take him at No. 10 if he's still on the board.
Klay Thompson could go as high as No. 9 to the Bobcats but is unlikely to get past the Warriors at No. 11. This is a small range, but the Warriors are really hoping Thompson is available when they are on the clock.
Marcus Morris is a strong possibility for the Bobcats at No. 9, but then again the Bobcats are looking at almost everybody. If Morris doesn't land in Charlotte, he could slip past the next few teams and end up in Phoenix, Houston or Indiana.
Tristan Thompson could find himself in the top 10 but it's tough to pinpoint a particular team that is in love with him. He wouldn't be an ideal candidate to team with Greg Monroe down low in Detroit. Charlotte will likely have better options and it doesn't appear that Thompson is high on their list. The Bucks need perimeter players more than a big man and there are a few options there. The Warriors and Suns would be good fits for Thompson, but both teams have more pressing needs than a big man. The Rockets and Pacers are likely Thompson's floor, and if he slipped past both teams the Sixers would take him in a heartbeat.
Jordan Hamilton will get serious consideration from the Bucks and Warriors, both of which need a wing player. The Jazz, Suns, Rockets and Pacers will all strongly consider Hamilton, so it's unlikely he gets past the Pacers.