In anticipation of the draft on Thursday, the ESPN TrueHoop Network bloggers did our own mock one. No trades, we just picked who we thought was the best available fit for our team at our draft slot. The top four went like this:

  1. Kyle Irving (Cavs: The Blog)
  2. Derrick Williams (A Wolf Among Wolves)
  3. Brandon Knight (Salt City Hoops)
  4. Jonas Valanciunas (Cavs: The Blog)

There was lots of yelling in the RR war-room, but we settled on Kemba Walker for reasons that have been beaten over the head here. I found it interesting that Kanter dropped past five where we were picking. He’s a tough kid to pass on, and I’d be surprised if he was available after Truth About It picks for the Wizards at six. I’m also super interested in where Kawhi Leonard lands; I like his skill-set, and think he’s gonna be a nice player in the NBA. Dan Feldman from Piston Powered spear headed this whole venture, and will have a mock draft tracker up on his site.

UPDATES

I’ll be updating this throughout the day as the next pick in the Mock Draft gets selected:

  1. Cavs – Kyle Irving
  2. Wolves – Derrick Williams
  3. Jazz – Brandon Knight
  4. Cavs – Jonas Valanciunas
  5. Raptors – Kemba Walker
  6. Wizards – Enes Kanter
  7. Kings – Kawhi Leonard
  8. Pistons – Bismack Biyombo
  9. Bobcats – Marcus Morris
  10. Bucks – Alec Burks
  • Nilanka15

    I like it.  Although, lately I’ve been thinking Leonard might be our guy.  Bayless might be able to hold down the fort this season at PG, and depending on whether he sinks or swims, we can attempt to address the PG hole in the 2012 draft (if required).  Therefore drafting Walker may not be as much of a priority as once thought.

    Aside from Leonard’s skillset, he has that “motor” that doesn’t seem to stop.  The kid’s super hungry.  And with the unfortunate passing of his father, he seems to be very mature for his age.  The weakest part of his game (his jumper) has been miraculously transformed in a matter of 6 short weeks.  That kind of steep learning curve should not be overlooked, and speaks volumes of his work ethic.

    Plus he’s from Compton, which can only help his chemistry with DeRozan, lol.

    • Sam Holako

      I liked Leonard from the outset; he would nicely fill some holes for this team. I wouldn’t be adverse to trading down to get him, 5th is a bit high to get the kid (also we would save money if he drafted him lower).

      • Statement

        Kyle = Kyrie.

        • Sam Holako

          I stand by Kyle…

    • Toshmon

      I agree Leonard will be very good but he’s a project.

      Remember when jimmer dropped 40+ pts on him?

      We need a leader & pg asap
      This whole let’s wait till nxt year to get a pg way of thinking could turn out badly

      • Nilanka15

        “This whole let’s wait till nxt year to get a pg way of thinking could turn out badly”

        It’s a calculated move based on what Bayless has been working on during the summer to improve his game.  If Bayless can improve the way DeRozan did last year, we might already have our PG of the future (it’s a big “if” I know, but stranger things have happened…).

        And even if Bayless turns out to be a complete stiff, Calderon’s still capable of holding the fort while an anticipated lottery-bound season unfolds.  Unless Minny comes calling, it doesn’t seem likely that Calderon will field much interest elsewhere.

        Having said all that, I wouldn’t be disappointed if we draft Walker.  But it would mean that one of Bayless or Calderon would have to go.  They’re both too skilled, and in Calderon’s case, too expensive, to be 3rd stringers.

        • points

          sorry my man we don’t have our leader and starting point guard yet bayless is not the one!

        • Bigbalboski79

           If Bayless can improve the way DeRozan did last year…

          if if if…  howanout if bargs can become dirk?  if if if…

          we need a surest of sure thngs type pick.  kemba is that pick.  safe safe safe

    • WJF

      The only trouble with trying to address the PG situation (if need be) in the 2012 draft is that other than Myck Kabongo and Marquis Teague there is not really any other lottery caliber PG’s out there, none even in the top 20. This years draft there are 4 PG’s that should go in the lottery. I am not saying we pick a PG this because there are more to choose from, but I am saying next year will be tough to draft one. 

      • Sek99

        Also, as much as I like Leonard, there’s going to be a crap load of SF’s next year in the draft, and Kemba Walker is better then Leonard right now. Besides, I think a PG with leadership skills like Kemba will have more of an impact and addresses more of a need on the Raps then a guy like Leonard. 

      • JezusP

        I want a Kabongo Jersey!!!!!!

      • TheR3dMenace

        Austin Rivers

        • ak

          i think doc himself said somewhere he sees austin as a shooting guard. size-wise he is already at 6’4” and 200 pounds.

          i am wondering about next year’s small forwards. are there any with superstar-type potential?

    • arif

      BRANDON KNIGHT a future ALL STAR mark my words i hope HE IS AVAILABLE AT 5 this kid CAN play  the next R,WESTBROOK  REMEMBER THIS

      • ak

        even if you are correct your statement at this point is pure speculation.

        you seriously do not expect people to remember that certain arif said good things about a player that turned out to be great. i mean thats lame is it not?

    • Nisanth G

      You do realize almost 8 of the top 10 picks next year are small forwards. Majority of them in the Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony style molds, large and strong, or large and quick swingmen. Why not draft one of the most proven PG’s in the NCAA and wait to fill our SF need next years draft?

      • Nilanka15

        You do realize that this “top 10″ you speak of will look dramatically different in 12 months than it does today, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/YungFlame613 Akuma Mill

    Nice work guys, I went to http://www.NBA.com and on the front page they it reads Will Kemba fit in with the Raptors? My answer is YES YES YES. He and DeRozan will be a great 1 2 punch. David Aldridge had Toronto Raptors picking Kemba Walker on his Mock draft. I trust D.A. so i’d be comfortable selecting Kemba @ 5

    • points

      tot dad better draft “you know who he is”

  • Rpsfan95

    Kemba’s babies or Leonard Part 6 would equal nice time

    if we get Yojimbo it better be with a second pick though

  • Rosatijoe

    I’m sorry but if Kanter is available at five he’s a no-brainer for me.

    • points

      you got to be sick in the head (no brain for you)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2DJNFKVBP3UURZLLWZVZ6U3ZGQ Bay Street Lawyer

    Well done. I noticed that RaptorsHQ did something similar and picked Knight.  I like Kemba over Knight.

    • Nilanka15

      Knight will be the next Larry Hughes

      • points

        while cardiac kemba will be the next allen iverson book it

        • ak

          knight as a larry hughes is a pretty good ceiling. remember hughes was terrific in washington. playing next to lebron was very enticing at a time.
          he should have never left washington though. arenas, hughes, butler, jamison was just pure hell.

    • Statement

      Why do people like Knight, outside of his size?

      • mountio

        Size, quickness, athleticism, defensive skills (some of which come from the previous 3). Hes not perfect, but has a lot of the makings to be a very good NBA player. Whether he will get there, polish his scoring and passing skills are other questions .. but physically, hes got the gifts.

        • Nilanka15

          I agree that he’s got all the physical tools.  But IMO, I’d rather have a player who knows how to play point guard.  It’s the one position on the floor where I wouldn’t want to draft a “project”.

          • mountio

            Dont disagree .. Id rather have a player who knows how to play PG too .. altough Im not sure Kemba does. He defintely knows how to “play” (overall game and polish) and how to “score” better than Knight … just not sure his game lends itself to the PG position as much as I’d like it to.

            • points

              you could even do what calderon do maybe even get more dimes so i the kemba should be ok.

        • Sek99

          A lot of the experts say that Kemba is the best defensive guard in the draft. Knight is overrated IMO. I like him, but Kemba to me is definitely the better player. If you watched the NCAA tournament, you saw knight have some pretty awful games on a way better team as a PG. He should have had way more assists with the talent around him, opposed to Walker who didn’t have much to defer to throughout the tournament. Knight has the athletic gifts, but so does Patrick O’Bryant, Hasheem Thabet, Jeff Teague, etc. I take Bball IQ and talent over athleticism and physical gifts all day. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/YungFlame613 Akuma Mill

    I wouldn’t be so keen on getting Kanter. At the Nike Hoops summit the guy was playing against younger competition. Which made it “look” like he dominated. For all we know he could be Rafeal Aruajo 2.0

    • Mediumcore

      Kanter is pretty polished around the rim from what I’ve seen. Good foot work and likes to throw his weight around.  He reminds me a bit of Al Jefferson. I can’t see the Cav’s passing up on him with the 4th pick for Valanciunus whom is by most accounts a project.

      • Sek99

        A lot of people believe Valanciunas could be something special in a few years, and I’ve heard a bunch of analysts say they think that he may end up being the best player in the draft, except he’s a project right now and doesn’t have an NBA body. I’d still take Kanter, but just making an argument for the other side. The Kanter Jefferson comparison is pretty spot on except I think Kanter is a better shooter.

        • mountio

          I think Big Al is a HUGE stretch for Kanter. You’re talking a guy whos been rougly 20 and 10 for the last 5 years. Kanter’s upside seems like 12 and 8 to me.

          • http://twitter.com/See_ten See Ten

            And of course, this is based on your vast knowledge of basketball, and your scouting of the vast stock of game tape you have on Kanter.

            • mountio

              Which differs from Sek99’s, Mediumcore’s Akuma Mill’s and yours in what manner?

              If you are referring to 12 and 8 .. thats meant to be symbolic. Ill put it words if you prefer – “not a very good scorer and a solid rebounder who wont get a tonne of minutes due to lack of overall skills”

              • http://twitter.com/See_ten See Ten

                The experts are saying he has a well developed post game, including post moves, and a soft touch around the basket. To wit, I watched the MacDonald’s All American game where he lit up Jared Sullinger and co. for 34 and 16 in 22 minutes, so while I dont claim to be an expert, or an NBA scout, I think, in this draft, he’s as good a risk as anyone else.

                I’d personally take Kemba Walker, but its a question of relative value. I’d trade down if I could so someone else could take Kanter at 5 if I thought I could still get Kemba at 6, or 7.

              • Sek99

                They have similar games. Not necessarily are going to average the same. I didn’t state numbers. Lots of people have similar games. . . Kobe has a similar game to Jordan. But Jordan is by far the better player. 12 and 8 are similar to Tyson Chandler statistics on a championship team so I’m not sure who would complain about that. Besides, the scouts are saying Kanter is a guy with bulk, not a lot of athleticism but a good touch around the basket and strength to rebound. Sounds a lot like AJ to me. . .

                • mountio

                  Im not necessarily sayin 12 n 8 is terrible .. just that its not Al Jefferson. Fair point on comparing their styles vs statistical output – usually comparisons are reffering to the potential output capabilities … assumed you were doing the same.

          • Mediumcore

            I wasn’t referring to his numbers, but Jefferson’s game is what I see from Kanter. Good low post moves, and bangs. I don’t think that Kanter is a 20 and 10 guy, but I can see jim as being 15 and 8 which is more than solid for a starting Centre.

  • Juicey

    I would be surprised if the Raps let Kanter pass them if things played out like this.  He seems like he might be one of those “you have to pick him if you get the chance” players, even if he might not be the right pick for you.  Not to mention if you are drafting by BPA, that might be Kanter. 

    But I’m sure you’ll make a lot of people happy with your pick.

  • mountio

    While Im not the biggest Kemba fan .. it would be hard to be that dissapointed if we get him. One way or the other, he will be entertaining to watch and keep us in probably more games this year than any other rookie would. Long term, Im just not sure he amounts to that great of an NBA player. Personally, Id rather roll the dice with Knight (if hes around) .. since we are going to suck next year anyways. I also worry about what Kemba’s defense (vs Knight, where I worry more about his offense).
    As to whether Kemba or Kanter (which would be the real decision if the draft plays out as above) .. I guess Im marginally more positive on Kemba .. I think people are too enthralled with Kanter being the anti AB and dismissing what are a lot of question marks about his lack of a body of work..

  • Bendit

    Imo, Kanter would be the bpa @ 5. The position he plays is also more valuable acquisition wise as well as a more immediate area of concern. Thus he becomes a combo bpa and fills a position of much need. Walker would be the next bpa/fallback preferred choice.  

  • TMF

    FYI– I already drafted Walker for the Raps in my NBA 2K11 franchise.  It’s worked out very well.

    • Juicey

      Well then case closed.  I can only hope Colangelo does his due diligence, and takes the time to read all comments on the thread.

    • points

      you got yourself the ROY and the best player in the draft my man. cheers

    • points

      HUSSKIES IN THE HOUSE  JUNE 23

  • http://twitter.com/See_ten See Ten

    Kemba would be my pick, if Kanter is gone.

    • points

      even if the kunt is gone he would be my pick

  • WJF

    If Kanter is still on the board at 5 you may see lots of teams calling to make a deal with the Raps, it could be a crazy draft night. 

    • Jimmy

      It  is insane if Kanter is on the board at 5 and we do not pick him. This will send the franchise back 5 years. why give up on a legitimate center for an undersized scoring guard is beyond me ?

      • Mediumcore

        Kanter is an undersized centre as well. He measured at 6′ 9″ 3/4 without shoes I beleive.

        • barenakedman

          Since when is 6’9” 3/4 or 6’11” 3/4 with shoes – 265 lbs undersized? He’s 19 and could still be growing [he grew almost an inch last year].Also he can easily add weight if he has to [he was up to 280lbs]. 

          • Mediumcore

            I think 6’9″ 3/4 is undersized for a centre when you’re playing in a league of super athletic bigs which Kanter is not. He’ll be facing power forwards like KG, Bosh, Stoudamire, Dirk, Duncan, and Centres like Howard, Bynum etc.. It puts him at a severe disadvantage.

            • Juicey

              Well in that case I hope they let him wear shoes.

      • points

        size size we’re talking about size howabout HEART i would take nate robinson as my rebounder over raptors 7ft pg,sf,c,pf you know the guy who does the complicated stuff for the raptors.

  • Nilanka15

    As per Dallasnews.com:

    “Just got a call from a Toronto source saying that Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey is expected to be announced as head coach of the Raptors. It could be announced this afternoon”

  • O D

    Raps Big Board:
    1. Irving
    2. Williams
    3. Kanter
    4. Valanciunas
    5. Knight
    6. Walker
    7. Leonard

    I hope we get a second top ten pick, or worst case a mid teen to take a shot at any high risk / high reward players that drop ie.. Biyombo.

    I also like the idea of drafting a center and a PG, and using our cap space / trade to land us a talented leader at SF this year or next.
    If were still in the lotto next year after picking up say Valan and Knight this year we could save the money and draft a high quality SF,
    sounds like there a glut of those next year

  • dalmatino

    I would approach to this year’s draft as a ” first stage ” of a rebuilding process in Raptorland. The ” second stage ” in next year draft. So, in this first stage, the Raptors should pick at 5, if he is still available – Kanter, without any doubts he is the one. If BC can obtain another pick around 10 -15, we should go after Leonard or Biyombo.
    Now, next year – ” second stage “, plenty of a very good or even excellent small forwards and point guards in the draft and Raptors will probably have another high pick for this draft to pick a better coice of small forward or point guard than in this year’s draft.
    The rest of the team should be ” cleared ” through the coming 2011/12 season and with additions of free agent(s) or via trade(s), by the beginning of the 2012/13 season we could have a completed rebuilding process and a very competitive team and I mean a very competitive team and not a bottom feeder in playoffs.

    • Bendit

      You make a good point about next year’s draft. There are no real big man/centre prospects next year and are laden with quality smalls.

  • Pierre

    Raptors has to pick kawhi. The guy avg 10.6 rebounds per game as a SF and we know that rebounding is something that always carry on from college. If we get this guy and he gets to start and we keep ed davis amir and evans we automaticly become one of the best rebounding teams.Some of us are a bit worried about his scoring but the raptors are a team that runs the floor and since kawhi is very athletic he’ll manage to get his points. On the defensive end the guy is a monster. Since Casey is the new coach if we look at his Dallas Kawhi can play similar defense as Marion and I think offensively Kawhi is even better than Marion. Kawhi is the biggest sleeper in this draft.

    • Nilanka15

      A Carolina newspaper has Leonard dropping to 13th in their mock draft.

      • Pierre

        Some of the best player were picked in the second round, a major part of a player’s success is the work ethic and this guy he has the biggest motor in this draft.

  • points

    Google that: Kemba Walker black and yellow

    • ak

       one of the worst highlight compliations i have seen.

  • Raptoronto

    This draft will be a GM killer…there will be more wrongs then rights in the lottery.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    My monies on Simba

  • Bigbalboski79

    if kanter is around at the 5, and if sacto, detroit or wizards want him, we cold be trading down. not out of the question to get kemba plus a player. 

  • Ho Tep

    There is a chance that Utah think Jimmer is their point guard later on and leave Knight on the board. Tyrone Corbin’s Jazz might not be your Daddy’s Jazz.

    (a boy can dream)

    • Nilanka15

      They’re looking at Jimmer with their 12th pick.  No chance he goes 3rd.

      • yertu damkule

        i think that’s the implication…they’ll pass on a PG with their 3rd pick & take a big (kanter?) & take jimmer with their 2nd lottery pick.

  • Raps4Ever

    IMO the Raptors should draft Kanter or Val. The fact that Val is a project is ok because if we ever want to be a contender than we need a high pick next year as well. Then we can start adding vets to our stockpile of young talent!

  • KJ-B

    Bizmarkey–Is Not going Top-10 and Vesely isn’t going past #6… AND another thing–Tristan Thompson is going Top-10… I’d say the last 6 names are kinda off…but it’s not about where u get drafted but how u play in the L! Leonard is Joey Graham 2.0 — It’d be a basketball sin to get rid of Weems, as much as I didn’t rate his Jamario Moon 2.0 impression this yr, to make room for an “average 3″ at best–he doesn’t strike me as a hi iQ player–he’s kinda like cream paint… does the job, but who notices?!

    • yertu damkule

      IMO, leonard is nothing like graham, not only in physicality, but in what’s between his years (not to mention heart, or in JG’s case, lack thereof).

  • D-money

    Drafting Kemba Is A Must..He Will Put Fans In The Seat’s..Then Hope We Can Draft Harrison Barnes Next Year.

  • Balls of Steel

    If Kanter’s available, I cannot see picking Kemba. I just can’t see it.

    • Bigbalboski79

      we will not draft kanter.  this team does not need another PF!!!  we need a SF or a PG.  if kanter is there, we trade down a spot or two and take kemba at 6, 7 or 8.

  • KanterKembaKawhi

    If Bosa opts out or gets traded does anyone think we should resign Sonny and have him play as a backup 2?  He’d come relatively cheap and he could play decent to good D next year considering Casey will be our new HC.  He does have good chemistry with the team and seems to love Toronto.

    • Bigbalboski79

      i think sonny sealed his fate with a string a performances where he jacked up shot after shot.  he then sat quietly on the bench, seemingly unbothered by losing his role.  i doubt we redign him.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    Kanter was available and you passed on him?  Are you drunk?

    I don’t think Walker is a bad pick, but I also don’t think he’s got a very high ceiling.  Still, I like him better than Knight.

    • Malefax

      Kanter is a better player playing a more difficult to fill position that we have a bigger need at.

    • Toshmon

      you have to think about team chemistry. Kanter and or Bargnani?

      …aka taking kanter and trading down

      • Jimmy

        How about Kanter at Center and you let the boys ( Amir , Ed and AB) fight for the starting PF position and let the Best man win !!!

        With Casey in charge, BC will be Dumb ASS to pass on AB now and not give it another year especially if he manages to get a defensive starting Center and …

        Lets face it we are a team in the making and will not compete fo another 2-3 years so why not really evaluate what we have under a RIGHT Coach and a RIGHT System which Casey will be able to implement.

        • points

          liston man, tot dad can draft any centre or get any centre he wants,just not with the 5th pick that pick is for the roptors leader the motherjumping,anklebreaking,clutchshooting,5 games in 5 days little engine.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          I see it differently.  If Colangelo doesn’t trade Bargnani this summer, we’re going to see his stock plummet if Casey really does intend to sit anyone who doesn’t give full effort on defense.  

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        If I’m thinking about team chemistry, then I’m trading Bargnani.  

        Besides, if Bargnani isn’t a center (which he claims he isn’t), and the team already had Davis and Amir, he doesn’t seem to have a place on the team.

        • Dan

          It was sort of amazing how Casey constantly talked about DD and AB and not even once mentioned Amir !!!!

        • points

          but he’s a 7fter who shoot 3s run the floor,block shots,scores 20 point per game and if davis and amir stop stealing his rebound he would be getting double doubles like bosh did just look for him to be a allstar next season  book it

  • Jimmy

    Is James Johnson Really as Good defender as some Raptor fans try to make him to be or the guy is pure Lucky 

    • yertu damkule

      no, he’s not as good as some think…he’s got the physical ability, but doesn’t seem to ‘get it’…at least consistently.  for instance, he routinely let’s his man get by him & plays for the weakside block instead of playing solid fundamental D.  maybe a nit-pick or a pet-peeve of mine alone, but whatever.  i’ve seen enough to think he’d be a solid back-up & rotation player, but not a guy they can count on for solid minutes game-in & game-out.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    @thechrispalmer The 2006 NBA draft holds the distinction of being the worst draft in 25 years. 

    @thechrispalmer Though 2006 is not without its gems: LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Rajon Rondo and Rudy Gay.

    @thechrispalmer 2006 loses significant points for a No. 1 pick who hasn’t made an All-Star game. Not a good look. Not to mention busts at 3, 4, and 5.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    Do not underestimate Kemba.

    • points

      our leader

  • Ajkdfadfh

    raps should draft Walker and let him grow into a “true pg” under Calderon’s wing. there arent very many lottery-type gaurds in the coming years, with the leadership skills that Walker has. we can package bayless and get somesomething out of him. the center position can be filled this offseason (deandre jordan, nene, chandler, m.gasol). finally, next years lottery is filled with forwards that have high ceilings

    walker
    demar
    (barnes, mcadoo , quincy miller, gilchrist)
    barg
    free agent center (chandler, nene gasol, d.jordan)

  • rob

    I don’t see why the Raps wouldnt pick Kemba, he’s almost for sure gonna be available with 5.  He’s a natural leader, and he can bring some nice swag to Toronto.  And in his workout interview he said it was a great city and he’d love to play here.  And to the peoplee that don’t think he’s a true PG that he scores too much, the only reason he scored so much is because he was UCONN’s best scoring threat, which shows he knows when he has to lead his team, he still averaged 4.5 assists, and 5.1 assists the year before when he didnt have to score as much…Chris Paul one of the top assist guys in the league only average 5.9 and 6.6 assist in his 2 college years so that doesnt mean as much as some people think.

  • generic white name

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/30332/get-to-the-point-knight-vs-walker   in terms of the Knight vs. Kemba debate i think this makes it veryy clear the better, and safer pick