The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

NBA Draft Predictions: Lottery Picks

With the luck of the draw, Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers have something to scream about: two of the top four picks in the upcoming NBA draft. With game-changers like Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams on the board, only time will tell who they will take with their two picks — a vital draft to what will again be a rebuilding year. Also interesting is to see who will fall at spots two and three — will the Jazz and T-Wolves draft for need, or draft for the best-available player? Here’s my take on this year’s lottery.

No. 1 Cleveland Cavaliers — PG Kyrie Irving, Duke

Irving is a young player with extreme versatility. He has elite court vision and is great at getting to the rim. The Cavs are in desperate need of a PG, as Baron Davis is aging, and Irving is a great fill for that void. He is very coachable and is known for his toughness and work ethic.

No. 2 Minnesota Timberwolves —  C Enes Kanter, Turkey

Story continues below advertisement

Kevin Love needs big help under the boards, and Kanter fills that role greatly. The team’s major need is not at guard, assuming Ricky Rubio wakes up in the next four months. But drafting Kanter gives the T-wolves an elite frontcourt.

No. 3 Utah Jazz — PG Brandon Knight, Kentucky

The Jazz need to fill the point guard slot to fill Deron Williams’ role, and it’s safe to assume that Devin Harris will be gone soon. Knight showed great potential during the later rounds of the NCAA tournament, as he carried Kentucky to the Final Four with an upset over Ohio State, a game where Knight hit the game winner in the closing seconds.

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers — SF Derrick Williams, Arizona

This is a major surprise to most people, but the only way this pick doesn’t work is if Williams goes at No. 2 to the Timberwolves, in which case Kanter would fall here. The Cavs could use an explosive slasher-type player, and Williams is both that as well as great spot-up shooter. He has good size, and his athleticism is unmatched.

No. 5 Toronto Raptors — PF Jan Vesely, Czech Republic

Vesely, like Kanter, has dominated the European circuit. Although undersized, Vesely makes up for it with soft hands and good agility. He is fundamentally sound, and can fill the void left by Chris Bosh when he bolted for Miami last offseason.

No. 6 Washington Wizards — SF Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State

I still imagine the Wizards trading up their sixth and 18th picks for a shot at Derrick Williams, but if that doesn’t work out, then Leonard is the next best option here. The Wizards are rebuilding, and desperately need to fill their slasher role. They have an elite point guard in John Wall, they have a solid shooting guard in Nick Young and their front court is better than people give them credit. They have good prospects, and are starting to build talent to draw Dwight Howard to the nation’s capital next summer.

No. 7 Sacramento Kings — PG Kemba Walker, Connecticut

Walker had a stellar postseason, carrying his team to the national title, and is in my opinion the most pro-ready player in the league. His ability to create shots for himself and his teammates will provide a serious boost to a team filled with young potential.

No. 8 Detroit Pistons — C Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania

I’ll be honest when I say that I’m not in favor of European players majority of the time. Anyone who shows promise on that side of the Atlantic seems like a big fish in a little pond to me, and I usually doubt them all. That being said, Valanciunas is one of the few who has impressed me with his ability to control the low post. He’s great on the boards, and has a spin-move-to-hook-shot combo.

No. 9 Charlotte Bobcats — PF Bismack Biyombo, Spain

As previously stated, I don’t normally agree with the European picks, but the Bobcats GM has expressed major interest in Biyombo’s size and athleticism. His basketball fundamentals are solid, but Biyombo’s shooting consistency (or lack thereof) could raise some eyebrows.

No. 10 Milwaukee Bucks — PF Tristan Thompson, Texas

Thompson should fit right into the Bucks’ scheme, both offensively and defensively. I consider him to be a small forward in a power forward’s body, which works to his advantage because his aggressive, slasher-type playing style could come in handy when he needs to gain position down low.

No. 11 Golden State Warriors — SF Chris Singleton, Florida State

One of the more underappreciated athletes in the college game coming out of the tournament, Singleton has quieted all criticisms and is climbing up the draft boards as the big day approaches. He singlehandedly got FSU into the Sweet Sixteen, and is about to receive his due with a lottery pick on draft day.

No. 12 Utah Jazz — SG Alec Burks, Colorado

Easily the most underrated player in this draft, Burks has no problem getting to the basket and is solid around the perimeter. If my predictions are correct, expect Knight and Burks to be a great tandem for the Jazz in years to come.

No. 13 Phoenix Suns — PF Marcus Morris, Kansas

It’s been a while since Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire played in Phoenix, and since then, no effort has been made to fill that four spot. Marcus Morris was the main catalyst for a No.1 seed and is a hybrid of a finesse-shooter-type forward, and a crash-and-bang-type forward.

No. 14 Houston Rockets — SF Jordan Hamilton, Texas

The Rockets have been in a huge disarray over the past two years, with the anticipated departure of Yao Ming in the near future, as well as most of their roster being filled with would be benchwarmers. Hamilton led Texas this year in points, and is a crafty shooter, as well as extremely active in off-ball play.

0
0
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Pitch
$940
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Walter Johnson High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Pitch
$940
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Pitch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *