Enes Kanter becomes the sixth player in the past year to be featured as the top pick in the draft. (Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving have all spent time there). Despite missing the entire 2010-11 season due to eligibility issues, Kanter is gaining steam as the potential top overall pick. What once appeared to be a two horse race now has a new candidate to go first overall. Lithuanian youngster Jonas Valanciunas has been placed in the 2012 mock draft as we project he will pull out at the deadline due to his contract buyout situation.

1.kanterEnes Kanter 6-11 259 C Kentucky Fr.

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.

williamsDerrick Williams 6-8 248 SF/PF Arizona So.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.
irvingKyrie Irving 6-3 191 PG Duke Fr.

After doing the right thing by cutting Deron Williams loose following his mistreatment of coach Jerry Sloan and likelihood that he would ultimately sign elsewhere, the Jazz could have the draft’s top PG fall into their laps. Irving still has a lot of fans and remains a candidate to go first. But choosing not to participate in the draft combine athleticism testing has left a bad taste in people’s mouths. This coming after looking a step slower upon returning from his broken foot. He’s a talent, but taking him first might be setting the expectation bar too high for a player coming off an injury.

knightBrandon Knight 6-3 177 PG Kentucky Fr.If Cleveland takes Kyrie one, and the Jazz don’t pass on whomever is remaining between Williams or Kanter, look for the Cavs to go in a different direction here with a forward. Vesely is probably a reach, but then again the talent level drops off after the first 3-4 players. Knight would give the Cavs one of this draft’s top prospects and an eventual high level lead guard to succeed Baron Davis.
veselyJan Vesely 6-11 230 SF/PF Czech Republic 1990Vesely finished the season strong with some nice playoff performances including a season high point total. Vesely shoots free throws about as well as Shaq, but his outside shot isn’t so terrible, so there’s hope he can improve upon it with work. Vesely is not a great defender but his length and athleticism gives him a chance to develop. Toronto would love to see Knight available here but that appears unlikely. They could also be tempted to select Kemba after his incredible season.
davisTristan Thompson 6-9 227 PF Texas Fr.Thompson has worked out extremely well and is showing tremendous hunger. The Wizards could use a PF and are showing interest in Tristan. Although Thompson is raw offensively, being on the receiving end of John Wall ally oops would certainly give his scoring a boost. One of the real boom or bust picks for this year’s draft.
walkerKemba Walker 6-1 184 PG UConn So.Walker brings exactly the type of mental toughness and leadership that the Kings need to surround their young talented players (Cousins and Tyreke) with. The NBA game has transitioned over to speed giving little point guards like Ty Lawson and DJ Augustin more value. Without question Walker has the scoring, leadership and cahones to be a lead guard in the league. The concerns surrounding Walker involve his ability to create for others and his shooting range.
morrisMarcus Morris 6-8 230 PF Kansas Jr.Marcus Morris is more of a power forward, but has the versatility to also play some 3. The Pistons don’t really need a forward after taking 3 SFs in 2009 and a PF (Monroe) in 2010. But Joe Dumars will look for talent and may consider Morris the best value left. After the Darko fiasco, Dumars might be gun shy to take a Euro this high, but Vesely or Motiejunas are options. Kemba Walker is also a possibility if he’s still on the board.
leonardKawhi Leonard 6-7 227 SF San Diego St. So.The Bobcats could plug Leonard in as a cheap replacement for Gerald Wallace. Leonard is at his best slashing to the basket and crashing the boards. He’s got enormous hands and long arms and plays the game with hunger. His ball handling is underrated and he also displays the ability to find the open man and set up teammates. He’s an athlete with a high motor, two excellent attributes to build from.
motiejunasDonatas Motiejunas 7-0 224 PF Lithuania 1990Despite receiving a lot of criticism for his perceived lack of intensity, Motiejunas had himself a very solid season. He’s a finesse forward and would work well alongside a center such as Andrew Bogut as rebounding, defense and toughness aren’t his strong suit. Does he want to be great? The Bucks had good fortune at the 10th pick two years ago.
hamiltonJordan Hamilton 6-8 228 SG/SF Texas So.The Warriors are said to be high on Hamilton but it’s debatable whether he has the talent to merit a lottery pick. He’s one of the draft’s top shooters and measured very well at a legit 6’8. He failed to impress athletically, however. After underachieving as a freshman, Hamilton stepped up his level of play considerably as a sophomore. His lack of quickness defensively is a concern and puts his ability to play the SG position into question.
burksAlec Burks 6-6 193 PG/SG Colorado So.This pick is likely contingent on their pick at 3. If they select Irving or Knight then Jimmer Fredette doesn’t make much sense. But if either Kanter or Williams falls to them, Jimmer is a possibility here. Burks was one of the top performers in college basketball all season and is our top rated SG prospect. His versatility and ability to fill in at the point adds to his intrigue. He’s tremendous in the open floor, but struggles to beat elite athletes and get to the rim in the half court. A consistent outside shot remains the missing piece to his game. Has a very quiet personality/demeanor but is focused and driven.
fredetteJimmer Fredette 6-2 196 PG/SG BYU Sr.If Fredette can make it in the league as a full time PG, there would be nobody better to learn from than Steve Nash. He could develop for a couple seasons while Nash plays out his twilight years and hope to develop into a similar type of floor general. Fredette performed very well in the NBA athleticism tests which bodes well for his ability to at least hold his own defensively if he focuses on it.
morrisDarius Morris 6-4 190 PG Michigan So.After beating Fredette in his workout for the Knicks, Morris has established himself as a legit mid-first rounder. After moving Aaron Brooks during the season, the Rockets find themselves weak at the PG position. Morris could be the only "pure" PG in the entire draft. A big point that shows the ability to run a team and make those around him better.
15.tthompsonKlay Thompson 6-7 206 SG Washington St. Jr.No player in this draft resembles Reggie Miller more than Klay Thompson. The long, lanky 2-guard is an above average shooter who measured very well. Unlike many players in this year’s draft, Klay instantly has an NBA skill with his ability to shoot the ball. Very adept at coming off screens for shots. Lacks elite level athleticism but his length helps to make up for his lack of speed and leaping ability. His marijuana charge at the end of the season isn’t considered to be a huge detriment to his stock.
morrisMarkieff Morris 6-9 241 PF Kansas Jr.The Sixers are looking to add a 4 in this draft and will hope that a player such as Markieff Morris falls to them. Bismack Biyombo is also a possibility as the team is desperate for an athletic post. The Morris Twins have built a reputation for bringing intensity and toughness every time out. There is one school of thought that the less productive Markieff will end up the better pro (over Marcus) due to his size and better ability to fit a position (PF).
singletonChris Singleton 6-9 230 SF/PF Florida St. Jr.The Knicks would love to add an eventual PG replacement for Chauncey Billups, but Darius Morris might have worked out too well for them. They may decide to go with BPA instead of reaching on a PG here. Singleton is a player the Knicks are said to be targeting. One of the nation’s elite defenders, he was having a breakthrough junior season before breaking his foot. His shot improved, as did his his overall consistency. He wasn’t the same after returning from injury, showing less ability to be an offensive factor, but should still find a place in the late teens to early 20s on draft night.
harrisTobias Harris 6-8 223 SF/PF Tennessee Fr.Harris proved that he’s a lot more athletic than he looks with his combine athleticism numbers. The Wizards are thinking long term with John Wall in the fold and Harris is one of the youngest players in the entire draft. There aren’t many freshmen, much less players in the nation with the polish and feel for the game that Harris possesses. Tobias can do a little of everything with good vision, passing and ball handling abilities. He also gets good extension at the rim. His body needs better definition and his lateral speed isn’t ideal. But he is a bright kid with has a professional demeanor.
brooksMarshon Brooks 6-5 195 SG Providence Sr.Brooks proved to be a deadly scorer this year at Providence and a handful to guard with the ball in his hands. The Friar is being looked at by teams in the top 20 and would provide the Bobcats a nice wing prospect to groom for the future. He may remind some of Jordan Crawford with his unorthodox style and aggressive nature. His length (7-foot wingspan) allows him to play a few inches bigger than his 6’5 height.
biyomboBismack Biyombo 6-9 243 C Congo 1992Biyombo began playing at the senior level in the Spanish ACB league on January 9th. Since then he’s created a huge buzz about his NBA potential with the first triple-double Hoops Summit history, recording 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. A tremendous shot blocker using his quick reflexes, length (7’7 wingspan) and explosiveness to protect the rim. Scouts are intrigued with him as you don’t often find a combination of his physical attributes along with his energy level and motor.
coleNorris Cole 6-1 175 PG Cleveland St. Sr.Cole has a good shot to sneak into the first round with his tremendous speed, athleticism and scoring ability. The Blazers are an aging team and Andre Miller will need to be replaced before long. Portland is usually very aggressive no matter who is runnign the team and they could look to move up to grab the point guard they desire. Cole might be a reach here but he’s a prospect on the rise lately.
fariedKenneth Faried 6-7 225 PF Morehead St. Sr.The Nuggets have a lot of free agents to decide upon this off season. How they see that playing out will likely factor into their selection here. Nene will be resigned if they can get him at a reasonable price. Faried is easily the best rebounder in the draft and would give Denver’s frontcourt a nice boost. Despite lacking much in the way of offensive skills, Faried’s freakish athleticism and relentless approach to rebounding is intriguing. His shooting ability and offense are way below average. Regardless, scouts love his demeanor and passion for the game and see him as a potential top 20 pick despite his shortcomings.
honeycuttTyler Honeycutt 6-8 187 SF UCLA So.The Rockets could decide to go PG here and take best player available at 14. It’s possible Honeycutt is being undervalued by teams due to his lack of standout numbers this year. Tyler’s 33 point breakout performance opened some eyes as scoring 20+ is never easy in Ben Howland’s methodical offense. He cooled off the second half of the year, but showed enough potential to land in the first round. He has surprising vision and passing skills for a SF and also possesses some ability to knock down shots off the dribble. Despite being slight of frame and having a perceived lack of toughness, Honeycutt crashes the boards hard.
harperJustin Harper 6-9 228 SF/PF Richmond Sr.OKC GM Sam Presti has had a very impressive track record of pinpointing talent, and they appear on their way to raising some banners. Harper is a late bloomer who can really shoot it and appears to have upside left to develop despite being a senior. He probably can become a forward that capable of playing both positions.
tylerJeremy Tyler 6-10 262 PF/C USA Sr.Moving Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green showed that Danny Ainge is not going to stand pat and allow his team to get old or players to move on without receiving talent in return. Granted that move may have come at the expense of giving his aging core one final chance at a title. Ainge has proven himself as a top notch talent evaluator twice by landing excellent late picks in Kenbdrick Perkins (2003) and Rajon Rondo (2006). This is a draft filled with mystery guys (Kanter, Biyombo, Valanciunas) but none is more enigmatic than Jeremy Tyler. Tyler blew away the combine with incredible numbers including a 7-5 wingspan and a solid 33.5 inch vertical. Tyler fits into Ainge’s strategy of looking for players that have been undervalued (Jefferson, Perkins, Rondo, Gerald Green) because of their lack of maturity and experience. Obviously that sometimes works and soemtimes doesn’t.
harperNolan Smith 6-3 189 PG Duke Sr.The Mavericks find themselves a win away from their first NBA title. With Dirk they have a team that should be in contention for another couple of years so adding a senior that can contribute something right away makes sense for them. Nolan Smith is a little similar to Rodrigue Beaubois in the sense that neither are a true point guard, but he’s ready to contrubute now.
selbyJosh Selby 6-3 195 PG Kansas Fr.Selby could come off the bench and play off the ball alongside Deron Williams. He’s a combo rather than a true point. He struggled to live up to the his hype, but got caught in a situation where older players received playing time over him and could never get into the rotation. He’s an ultra-competitive kid who just needs to mature.
thompkinsTrey Thompkins 6-10 239 PF Georgia Jr.A player who entered the season as a projected lottery pick has not gotten great reviews and finds himself fighting to stay in the first round. Thompkins is a highly skilled offensive player with range out to college three. He doesn’t wow you with athleticism, but his skill level is that of an NBA vet. He never seems to be in a rush, very patient and level headed. He struggled this year without a playmaker setting him up. Needs to cut out the fast food. Questionable motor, toughness, and work ethic (15% body fat) have him sliding.
johnsonKyle Singler 6-9 228 SF Duke Sr.While Singler’s combine athleticism numbers (30 inch vertical) didn’t help his cause, his feel for the game, skill level and toughness should make him a mainstay in the NBA for years to come. Playing the SF position, his lack of athleticism won’t be as big a factor as it might at other positions, and look for his shooting numbers to end up being better than what he showed this season. San Antonio has long been a place where lesser athletes can thrive playing alongside Duncan in their system. Duncan’s time left is fleeting, but Singler would give the team an instant contributor off the bench.
30.umackShelvin Mack 6-2 205 PG/SG Butler Jr.Mack could add the type of scoring punch off the bench that Chicago needs. He scored extremely well in the athleticism tests with an eye popping 39 inch vertical. Mack led Butler to back to back title games, putting up numerous clutch performances along the way. Is he a true point guard? No. Is he a clutch basketball player? One of the best in the country. He’s not a lock for the first round, but his stock wasn’t going to get any higher. He’s a Vinnie "Microwave" Johnson type who could be a valuable asset to a winning team with the ability to score clutch baskets.


  1. No

    No he has not pulled out of the draft, but there is specualtion from scouts that he will be forced to because of the fears involving his contract situation. If his agent can get that sorted out then a team could decide to pull the trigger on him in the top 10. If teams know he won’t come over for 2-3 years, how early can any of these GMs realistically draft him? Look at all the heat that Kahn has taken for the Rubio pick. The deadline for International players to pull out is 3 days away, so we will know soon.

  2. I highly doubt the Cavs pass

    I highly doubt the Cavs pass on both Williams and Irving to take Kanter, I really just don’t see it happening.  Nor should it happen in my opinion.

  3. Irving will be the first pick

    Irving will be the first pick in the draft. No one has a bad taste in their mouth. No one cares. He’s been the first pick since the end of his junior year of high school.

    The Cavs lost MONEY and the fans aren’t going to be excited by Kanter’s game or even Derrick "There’ll be a new tweener next year" Williams’ game. Irving will put butts in seats and Gilbert doesn’t care about anything in the immediate future but MONEY.


  4. I understand

     I understand the reasoning behind taking Kanter first so as to ensure a quality pg with the 4th pick…but why not take DEREK WILLIAMS number 1???…of course Im not behind the scenes…I dont get to see Kanter on a regular basis….from what Ive seen he could be considered number 1 pick easily, but there just seems to be too many un-answered questions about him as opposed to Derek Williams, who is more of an "open book".

  5. This mock draft…

    Is this a joke? This is awful.

    Kanter has raised major concerns and most teams hate how he has lead them along without giving much info.

    Wizards already have a hyper athletic big man who has no offensive skill.

    All the info coming from Detroit has suggestd either Vesely, Valanciunas, Thompson or Biyombo. Not a tweener in Morris.

    Biyombo is way too low.


    Where the hell is Valanciunas?

  6. If this happens then I love
    If this happens then I love this draft for Minnesota. Derrick Williams and Biyombo would be
    great additions to Kevin Love on the front line. Rubio will have some guys to pass to.

    I can kind of see the Kanter pick. If the Cavs think he can be an all-star center then why not take him?
    Then get a pretty good point guard at 4.

  7. Like it.

    I’m liking this mock. Some bold changes.

    – Kanter makes strategic sense for the Cavs at 1. He has arguably more upside than Derrick Williams, and center is a simply a very scarce position. With 2 PGs in the next 3 picks, they probably end up with Brandon Knight as well. I think Irving is the best prospect in the draft, so I would take him if it was my choice. But I can’t fault the logic here

    – As a raptors fan, I can definitely see us taking Vesely. One of the most athletic euros I’ve ever seen. Fits into Colangelo’s drafting style. Raptors better be working their butts off to get the #2 pick from Minnesota though.

    – I can’t see Hamilton going that high with Alec Burks on the board.

    – I was thinking the same thing… Celtics will take Jeremy Tyler if he’s there. It’s a gamble worth taking because it’s exact position they need… looks like a DeAndre Jordan type, perhaps more upside.

    – Spurs might take Kyle Singler. It would probably be a good pick at that point.. but I also see them recognizing the need for athleticism, it’s their biggest weakness right now

  8. I feel like i like this mock

    I feel like i like this mock a lot more than a majority of the people on here.. only thing i really disagree with is I don’t think there’s any way the wolves will pass on honeycutt if he’s available at 20.. they need players who can create their own shots and he has the potential to develop into a good one.. I don’t think singler will crack the first round (let alone do anything once he’s drafted).. Selby and his jason terry style game will go earlier.. Kawhi is gonna slip out of the top ten ( I don’t think his offensive skills merit top ten)… meanwhile burks I don’t see sliding out of the top ten.. he has too many weapons/explosiveness, he’s a marshon brooks who plays with his head up… 

  9. im pretty positive the cavs take kyrie with 1st

    kanter would be taken with 4th. i think u have darius morris and montiejunas too high. otherwise decent mock

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  11. Always surprised not to see

     Always surprised not to see jon leuer taken in the first round, a 6’11” guy who can handle like a guard, hit nba 3’s and still have great touch around the rim are tough to come by.. same goes for jajuan johnson.. I think they will both be taken before justin harper and trey thompkins at any rate… they all have similar skill sets and leuer and johnson are just flat out better.. also they are proven winners/competitors.. 

  12. River09
    What have Johnson &


    What have Johnson & Leuer won? Have either of them been to a final four?

    Logan joy

    If Singler wanted to be drafted in the top 10 he should’ve declared last year. Instead he let coach K talk him into coming back so he can get drafted in the 2nd round and end up out of the NBA in 2 years. Hope he learned to read at duke.

  13. @BeckPI didn’t know that


    I didn’t know that winning a NCAA championship or playing the final four was a requisite for being drafted in the 1st round?

    • topotamolder
      I never said it


      I never said it was, I was wondering what makes them winners since someone said they were "winners".


      Warrick is way more athletic then JJ. Winning in a watered down Big 10 isn’t a huge accomplishment. By that logic Etwan Moore should be a 1st rounder. Bo Ryan’s system is not very endering to NBA style, thus he doesn’t churn out pro (NBA) players. His players are great team defenders, but great individual defenders they are not. Leuer is not fast enough on the offensive or defensive end.

  14. @BeckP..

    Johnson and Leuer



    Johnson and Leuer were top scoring options on winning teams against reputable competition for 4 years.. Their teams may have never made it to the final four but each year they were in the top 25, top 10 teams.. Leuer put up impressive numbers considering how few points there were to go around in bo ryans system, and he was even a consistent iso player.. Johnson is a taller maybe even more refined hakim warrick who was taken 19 overall in a pretty impressive draft 5 years ago(?).. 


  15. mock

    Kanter is clearly a top prospect and the only big man who isnt a project. But Im not sure I buy the Cavs taking him number one.  IRving or Williams probably makes more sense….although neither of them are really franchise guys either. Its a weak draft at the top, but deep in the quality of the second round. I think the Jazz will take Kanter if he is there at 3. They want a space eater in the middle…..and unless they fell in love with knight, I think Kanter is the guy. Cavs take Vesely maybe at four. He’s the best Euro prospect in a few years. My guess is that Reggie Jackson goes mid first round, not in the second. I think some of the second round guys like Ben Hansbrough and DeAndre Liggens, and Justin Holiday may turn out to be pretty good players. Too much emphasis is placed on metrics. Biyambo for example….yeah, freaky size and length, but he is beyond raw, with no handle, and is for certain destined for the d-league for a while. Id rather take Leonard or even Faried. I like Singleton, too, a guy who is NBA ready.

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