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While some mock drafts have Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks dropping out of the lottery and somewhere closer to where the Denver Nuggets will select, Tom Ziller released his latest 2011 NBA mock draft at SB Nation and Burks is still a lottery selection. The guard goes at No. 13 overall to the Phoenix Suns. But Ziller does mention that the Sacramento Kings at No. 7 could also be a possibility.
As for the Nuggets, Ziller goes back to Tennessee forward Tobias Harris after moving to Richmond's Justin Harper earlier in the week. Texas forward Jordan Hamilton and Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried both go a few picks ahead of the Nuggets, but that just means they could still be around when the Nuggets are on the clock.
Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks is sliding down in mock drafts just hours before the 2011 NBA Draft. How far down has he fallen? He's usually been projected in the 10-15 range, a player to be selected at the end of the lottery or just outside of it. The Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10 have been a popular selection, but now it appears that other players have moved ahead of him.
According to DraftExpress' mock draft for Yahoo! Sports, Burks could fall all the way down to No. 19 for the Charlotte Bobcats because Marshon Brooks, Jimmer Fredette and Chris Singleton have made those late charges up draft boards. Chad Ford's latest ESPN Insider mock draft also has Brooks dropping in the draft, snatched up by the Washington Wizards at No. 18.
Both of those mock drafts have the Denver Nuggets selecting Tennessee forward Tobias Harris with the No. 22 pick, but if Burks drops out of the lottery might the Nuggets try to move up for the in-state guard? He would be able to make up for the projected loss of J.R. Smith, and given time to develop his shooting Burks could turn into a big-time player for his home state team.
If the Denver Nuggets do make a trade during Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft, point guard Raymond Felton is the likely candidate to switch teams. Ty Lawson is firmly entrenched as the team's starting point guard, and Felton wants to be a starter. But Felton still has one year left on his contract and it seems he'll bolt after the season. Keeping him may provide the Nuggets with a better trade chip during the season.
"We're not in a hurry to do anything (in regards to a trade). And as much as teams call about our players, we call about other players, you have to do that. That's our job. The draft gives you different looks. . . . Instinctively, you have to see what's best for your team."
We saw something similar to this with the Denver Broncos back in April. Executive VP John Elway brought in a number of quarterbacks, fueling speculation that he wanted to draft a quarterback. Now in slightly different circumstances, the Nuggets have a player they could trade to several teams in the lottery.
If the Nuggets do trade into the 5-10 range of the lottery, Chris Dempsey believes the Nuggets could be looking for a guard like BYU's Jimmer Fredette, Colorado's Alec Burks or Washington State's Klay Thompson. But if they want to go big, Bismack Biyombo, Kawhi Leonard and Marcus Morris would be the targets. Burks would be a great homestate addition, but Leonard may fill the biggest need for the Nuggets in the front court.
In addition to Tom Ziller's mock drafts over at SB Nation, a bloggers' mock draft was held over the last few days. Andrew Feinstein of Denver Stiffs selected for the Nuggets and he selected a player rarely attached to the team in other mock drafts, Kansas forward Markieff Morris:
Even though all the "power" forwards the Nuggets are hoping to draft at No. 22 (like Chris Singleton, Kenneth Faried and Tobias Harris) have been drafted before the Nuggets' slot, my esteemed colleagues at SB Nation somehow managed to miss on Markieff Morris, the lesser talented but bigger of the two Morris twins.
Feinstein took Morris because he played at a major college program for several years, and looking at history those types of players are the ones who have an impact, even just as a backup, right away. And he's right that even if Kenyon Martin is brought back the team still needs to address the power forward position. There's no way to tell how long Martin will last.
Better to choose Morris for the present and the future than a European who may never even make it to the States, right? That's Feinstein's mantra with this pick, and the correct one at that.
The 2011 NBA Draft is just a day away and Tom Ziller of SB Nation has released his latest NBA mock draft (one more is coming on Thursday). This late in the mock draft process, it's nice to see a new name emerge, though how realistic it is one cannot know for sure. Ziller goes with Richmond's Justin Harper:
Underrated storyline/fear heading into the offseason: the Nuggets might be forced to start Timofey Mozgov and Chris Andersen on opening night. Nene and Kenyon Martin are free agents, and Derrick Favors isn't walking through that door.
Ziller certainly hits a point here about having Andersen and Mozgov starting opening night, but is Harper good value here? In his previous mock earlier in the week, Ziller had Harper got at No. 27 to the New Jersey Nets, and Chad Ford's ESPN Insider mock has Harper off the board at No. 28 to the Chicago Bulls. Jumping up five to six spots is a tall order, but if that's how a team rates a player that's what happens: drafting him where they are, despite other evaluators holding a lower value on the player.
The NBA Draft begins at 5 p.m. MT on Thursday, June 23.
The San Antonio Spurs appear determined to move into the lottery of the 2011 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 23. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs have contacted teams in the lottery, though he is only able to mention the Toronto Raptors and the Sacramento Kings. Those are pretty high draft picks, fifth and seventh, respectively, so the Spurs would need to give up someone of pretty good value to move up that high.
Apparently, point guard Tony Parker is the player the Spurs want to move. The Kings have already discussed the availability of Denver Nuggets point guard Raymond Felton. The Spurs would be able to obtain a starter at the point in Felton, while the Nuggets would have a backup point guard who would like to start and would most likely bolt as a free agent after the upcoming season. Ty Lawson is the current and future star of the Nuggets' back court, and Felton has no place there, really.
If the Spurs do pull off a Parker-for-lottery pick trade, this draft will be a whole lot more interesting.
The 2011 NBA Draft is only two days away and ESPN's Chad Ford has released a two-round mock draft ahead of the real thing. However, the Denver Nuggets don't have a second-round draft pick currently since it was sent to the Detroit Pistons back in 2009 in the trade for Arron Afflalo.
Following Ford's mock drafts each week, it has become apparent that he likes Tennessee forward Tobias Harris to the Nuggets at No. 22, and in this week's edition it doesn't change. Here's what Ford has to say about Harris:
Analysis: Harris may be one of the more underrated players in the draft. He can play both the 3 and 4, and he has a very high basketball IQ and an NBA body. Harris doesn't do any one thing at an elite level, but he is one of the most well-rounded players in the draft.
Either Ford has some inside knowledge that he is disclosing or he he's conjecturing on everything here. Probably the latter, though we know some team is going to miss the layup when selecting and cause havoc down draft boards.
The NBA Draft is just a couple of days away, so ESPN turned to 14 players, each on a lottery team, to make a selection in a players-only mock draft. At No. 10, ESPN turned to Luc Mbah a Moute of the Milwaukee Bucks for the selection:
Alec Burks, Colorado G
"I like his natural ability to score at the 2 spot," forward Luc Mbah a Moute says of the 6-6 Burks, who scored 20.5 PPG last season. "He's going to be great behind John Salmons, by producing some scoring for a team that was last in the league last season [91.9 PPG]."
Maybe Mbah a Moute has been reading a number of mock drafts, because the Bucks have been the team Burks has been projected to since early May. It does appear to be a great fit. Burks still needs to work on his shooting to become an outstanding player in the NBA.
Chad Ford rates Burks as the No. 13 player in the draft and puts him in the fourth tier of players in this draft. The latter, according to Ford, means that Burks will a back-end lottery pick and could possibly fall out if it, depending on events.
The NBA Draft takes place on June 23.
While we wait for SB Nation's blogger NBA mock draft, Tom Ziller steps in with his latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Ziller joins the Chad Ford chorus at the No. 22 pick for the Denver Nuggets by giving the mile high team Tennessee forward Tobias Harris:
Picking Harris will earn a nod from me from about No. 14 on. Good prospect.
How does this selection come about? Let's see where some of the players the Nuggets have brought in for workouts go in this mock. Texas forward Jordan Hamilton is the final pick of the lottery at No. 14 to the Houston Rockets. Washington State's Klay Thompson goes at No. 17 to the New York Knicks; Florida State forward Chris Singleton is off the board at No. 19 to the Charlotte Bobcats; and Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried goes one pick earlier than the Nuggets' at No. 21 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
There does appear to be enough wiggle room for players like Faried, Singleton or Thompson to drop down to the No. 22 pick. We'll know for sure in June 23.
The Denver Nuggets continued to bring in more prospects for predraft workouts before the big day on June 23. The headliner on Friday was Florida State's Chris Singleton. Other participants, reports the Denver Post, included Colorado State's Andy Ogide, Georgia's Travis Leslie, Texas' Cory Joseph, Kansas State's Jacob Pullen and North Carolina's Will Graves.
Singleton, the 2010-11 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 13.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.5 steals last season. The Nuggets could use a powerful defensive player with the possible departures of Kenyon Martin and Nene.
But just as with many of the other players the Nuggets have brought in recently, there are questions as to whether Singleton will be available at No. 22. In Chad Ford's latest ESPN Insider mock draft, Singleton is a lottery selection at No. 12 to the Utah Jazz. SB Nation's Tom Ziller projects him as the last pick in the lottery at No. 14 to the Houston Rockets.
Unless the Nuggets are willing to make a trade to get a player like Singleton, they may just sit at No. 22. Other players the Nuggets have brought in for workouts include Texas' Jordan Hamilton, Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, Tennessee's Tobias Harris and Washington State's Klay Thompson.
The Denver Nuggets held more predraft workouts on Thursday and Texas' Jordan Hamilton was the center of attention for the team. According to the Denver Post, there were five others attending the event: Michigan's Darius Morris, UCLA's Malcolm Lee, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore, Marquette's Jimmy Butler and Florida's Chandler Parsons. Out of those five, Morris is the only other player likely to find himself taken in the first round.
As we saw earlier in the week, Hamilton was projected to the Nuggets in SB Nation's latest NBA mock draft, mostly because Tom Ziller believes, likely correctly, that Hamilton is a far better option than Wilson Chandler. Hamilton averaged 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Longhorns during the 2010-11 season.
DraftExpress and NBADraft.net each place Hamilton to the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 19, while Chad Ford has him go one pick earlier to the Washington Wizards at No. 18. Certainly it is within the realm of possibilities to see Hamilton fall to the Nuggets.
Darius Morris is a 6-foot-5 point guard who averaged 15 points and 6.7 assists last season. He would fit in as the third point guard and eventual backup to Ty Lawson.
For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs.
While ESPN's Chad Ford is unwavering over the weeks in Tennessee forward Tobias Harris as the Denver Nuggets' selection at No. 22, not all mock drafts have come to that consensus. Still, some of the other players Ford suggests the Nuggets could look at appear elsewhere.
NBADraft.net projects UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt at the selection. In this scenario, Tobias Harris goes No. 18 overall to the Washington Wizards. Morehead State's Kenneth Faried is another possible selection for the Nuggets, but he goes one pick before the Nuggets to Trail Blazers at No. 21.
In DraftExpress' latest mock, Georgia Tech point guard Iman Shumpert has been a favorite of theirs for the Nuggets. Both Tobias Harris and Kenneth Faried go in the preceding two selections. Tyler Honeycutt goes No. 25 overall to the Boston Celtics.
The Nuggets really can go any number of directions with the No. 22 pick so these wide projections aren't off the wall.
Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks has consistently found himself around the 10th pick in early 2011 NBA mock drafts and now he's likely to be found a few picks later, right on the edge of the lottery. In Chad Ford's fifth mock draft (Insider required), Burks goes No. 13 to the Phoenix Suns:
But if Burks is on the board, he may be very hard to pass up on. He has star potential if he ever learns how to shoot. With Vince Carter likely out of the picture in Phoenix, Burks also fits a need.
Tristan Thompson is also mentioned as a possible pick for the Suns here, but Ford has him drop out of the lottery and into the waiting hands of the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 16.
Ford might have had Burks go to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10 overall, but according to the people he has spoken with the Bucks want to stick with Brandon Jennings as their point guard. Klay Thompson, therefore, would fit better with the Bucks because he is going to be able to shoot.
While we saw SB Nation's latest NBA mock draft go with Texas small forward Jordan Hamilton for the Denver Nuggets at No. 22, who else might we see the team look at? Over at ESPN Insider, Chad Ford continues to project Tennessee forward Tobias Harris as the picks selection at No. 22. Explaining this pick, Ford writes:
He can play both the 3 and 4, and he has a very high basketball IQ and an NBA body. Harris doesn't do any one thing at an elite level, but he is one of the most well-rounded players in the draft.
Ford also offers three possible players who could also go to the Nuggets: Nikola Vucevic, Charles Jenkins and Tyler Honeycutt. Vucevic is a 7-foot center out of USC who has improved his stock during predraft workouts. He averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his junior year in 2010-11. Charles Jenkins is a Hofstra point guard who can also move over to the 2. He's getting late lay as a late-first-round pick. UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt has been a late selection in the first round, but here he is one of Ford's next five in.
The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 23.
With nine days to go until the 2011 NBA Draft, SB Nation's Tim Ziller puts on his serious face for his latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft. For the Nuggets at the No. 22 pick that means no more Jeremy Tyler as the selection (though this time he is from the Land of Oz, not the sea. Still need to put in joke somewhere, right?)
While Morehead State's Kenneth Faried has become a player of interest for the Nuggets, in this mock draft the defensive stalwart goes one pick before the Nuggets'. Left with seeking other choices in this scenario, the Nuggets turn to a small forward:
22. Denver Nuggets: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
It's unclear how wedded to spending to keep Wilson Chandler the Nuggets will be; Hamilton might be a better young player in short order.
Chandler, if he is brought back, is likely coming off the bench, as Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari, acquired with Chandler and Raymond Felton in the Carmelo Anthony trade, are projected to start. Chandler averaged just 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21 games for the Nuggets.
Jordan Hamilton has the potential to be a big-time scorer and the Nuggets' offense could help him meet that. How much playing time he would receive as a rookie, though, is a question saved for the next season?
With the 2011 NBA Finals in the books, all attention turns to 2011 NBA Draft, especially for Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl. While the Nuggets currently hold the No. 22 pick, Karl thinks the Nuggets will use the week leading up to the June 23 draft to seek a move up in the order. As he recently told Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post:
"The bottom line is we have a first-round pick that we think is going to be a pretty good player," Karl said. "But the possibility of maneuvering and putting yourself in position to see what else happens is I think what (team management) is going to be doing in the next 10 days."
And they will likely need to move up in the draft if they want to select someone like Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, whom Dempsey suggests in the article. Mock drafts have had Faried go a few picks ahead of where the Nuggets draft, but he could even win up going toward the very last few picks of the lottery.
If one wants to read into Karl's later comment about the team being a "solid, fundamentally sound basketball team" at the end of the season, one can see Karl is quite glad to have Carmelo Anthony off the team. With that distraction gone, the Nuggets could concentrate on the court. While they fell in the first round of the playoffs, the issue is to return there and advance with a reconfigured team.
The Denver Nuggets held predraft workouts on Wednesday for six players they would likely pursue in the 2011 NBA Draft. But as Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post points out, those players may not be available when the Nuggets are on the clock at No. 22. Those players are: Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, Tennessee's Tobias Harris, Washington State's Klay Thompson, UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Purdue's JaJuan Johnson and Nigeria's "Chu Chu" Maduabum. The first four are the best bets to go before No. 22.
Faried and Harris have been connected to the Nuggets in several mock drafts already and both would fill a need up front for the Nuggets, though Faried is basically going to be on the court for his rebounding ability. Harris is young and could use some development time. Honeycutt would give the Nuggets a wing player. Thompson can play as a 2-guard or small forward and is being discussed as a lottery pick.
In SB Nation's latest 2011 Mock Draft, Thompson goes to Phoenix at No. 13. Harris and Honeycutt go toward the end of the first round, while Faried is the Knicks' selection at No. 17. Over at DraftExpress, Thompson goes two picks higher at No. 11 to the Warriors. Harris and Faried find themselves off the board at Nos. 18 and 20, respectively. Honeycutt goes one pick after the Nuggets at No. 23.
As with the rules for any sports draft, nothing is going to go as predicted.
Tom Ziller of SBNation.com released his latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft in which he makes fun of all those player comparisons that are thrown out by analysts and draft experts. As he writes:
Consider this mock draft our attempt to put together a definitive list of comparisons for the 2011 set of prospects. And by "definitive list of comparisons", I mean that this is definitely a list of comparisons. Let's mock.
As for the Denver Nuggets at the No. 22 pick, Ziller has Jeremy Tyler going there again. As we went over last week. Tyler has played in Israel and Japan over the last two years after skipping his senior year of high school. Ziller throws out a Brandan Wright comparison, which wouldn't be a good one for Tyler. Wright has never played a full season and for his career he has averaged 5.4 points.
Oh, and the Patrick O'Bryant comparison, well, he was an even bigger bust with 2.1 point per game in his four-year career.
Mock drafts? Player comparisons? It's all in the wind.
Right in the background of the 2011 NBA Draft is a possible labor impasse between the league and the players, possibly resulting in a lockout. That would end free agency and trades, slated to begin in July. But the Denver Nuggets may choose to move point guard Raymond Felton, whom they picked up in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
In a recent chat on ESPN.com, John Hollinger tackled this question:
Nate (Denver, CO)
Can the Nuggets move Ray Felton for any sort of decent package? What could they get for him (since he wants to start)?
I think they will move Felton, and I think they want to get a rotation big man in return. Felton could be productive as a third guard there but I'm told he really wants to start.
Acquiring a big man would offset the potential loss of Kenyon Martin or Nene through free agency (whenever that starts) and then allow the team to pursue a backup for Ty Lawson. DraftExpress' latest mock draft (June 1 release) has the Nuggets taking Iman Shumpert, a combo guard out of Georgia Tech. Though a point guard in the long term, he could also help out at the 2-guard spot if J.R. Smith is not brought back.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation has released his latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft and there are some changes for Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks and for the Denver Nuggets. At No. 22 Ziller has the Nuggets taking center Jeremy Tyler:
22. Denver Nuggets: Jeremy Tyler, C, The Sea
The Nuggets could lose Kenyon Martin and Nene this summer. Is everyone prepared for a Birdman-Mozgov starting frontcourt? I didn't think so.
His reasoning for taking a big man up front makes sense, but the player maybe not so much. Tyler left high school after his junior year to play professionally overseas. While many thought Europe was his destination, he spent 2009-10 in Israel and then moved to a Japanese league for the last year. He may very well be a first-round pick. Tyler is still quite raw and will need time to adapt in the NBA. If the Nuggets lose both Martin and Nene, Tyler may be asked to do too much early on. But then it may be no different than asking a soon-to-be 19-year-old like Tobias Harris out of Tennessee to do that as well.
As for Alec Burks, he falls out of the lottery to the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 16, giving the team a replacement for Andre Iguodala. DX and NBADraft.net both have Burks still in the top 10 picks or so.
When we last saw a mock draft from ESPN's Chad Ford, Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris was the Denver Nuggets' selection at No. 22. In Ford's latest mock, nothing changes for the Nuggets as Tobias is the selection again, but let's take a look at who could be around at that pick.
One pick ahead of the Nuggets at No. 21, the Portland Trail Blazers take Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, a defensive specialist who could help the Nuggets with the likely exits of Kenyon Martin and Nene. One pick after the Nuggets, the Houston Rockies selected Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson, a Colorado Springs native. He could give the Nuggets three quality point guards.
Colorado Buffaloes shooting guard Alec Burks, though, does slip a little in the lottery. Previously, Chad Ford had him going to the Milwaukee Bucks, like most mock drafts, but this time Burks falls to the Phoenix Suns at No. 13. This happens because Texas' Tristan Thompson slides to the Bucks, and the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz take front court and defensive help. This leaves Alec Burks for the Suns, who could rebuild around him.
Brooks is a riser, but gunners never rise too much. This seems like the appropriate range.
Before the NBA Draft combine last week, Brooks was a fringe end-of-the-first-round, solid second round pick, but now the talent evaluators are rethinking his NBA potential. A senior shooting guard (6-foot-5, 195 pounds), Brooks really stepped up his game with the Friars in 2010-11. He averaged 24.6 points per game and did that on 48.3 percent shooting.
According to ESPN Insider, NBA teams may be discounting Brooks because he is a 22-year-old senior and Providence played poorly this past season. Still, teams like his ability to score and are impressed by his 7-foot-1 wing span.
DraftExpress' latest mock draft has Brooks going No. 28 overall to the Chicago Bulls, while the Nuggets take Boston College's Reggie Jackson, a point guard who comes from Colorado Springs. Jackson could be the long-term backup to Ty Lawson if Raymond Felton leaves after next season.
If the Nuggets decide to pass on bringing back J.R. Smith, Brooks appears to be a suitable replacement and not "difficult" player like Smith has been.
The Denver Nugget will likely have holes up front if both Kenyon Martin and Nene leave via free agency this summer, so it would make sense for the team to draft a power forward in the 2011 NBA Draft to hopefully fill in any gaps there. Over at Denver Stiffs, Nate Timmons wonders if the Nuggets should draft Morehead State's Kenneth Faried.
Timmons is non-committal on Faried, but does think the Nuggets would need to trade up to get him. Taking a look at some mock drafts, Faried goes as high as No. 11 to the Golden State Warriors in SB Nation's mock draft, No. 17 to the Knicks in DraftExpress', No. 18 in two CBS Sports ones, No. 19 according to Sports Illustrated and as low as No. 24 in NBADraft.net's mock. At this point, his draft stock appears fluid, but it does appear that Faried could fall slightly to the Nuggets at No. 22.
Faried gained national attention during the 2011 NCAA Tournament when he led the Morehead St. Eagles to a 62-61 upset over Louisville. Faried, 6-foot-8, averaged 17.3 points and 14.5 rebounds in his senior season. No one questions his ability to rebound in the NBA, but how much of an offensive impact he will have is open for debate.
While not quite the event that the NFL Draft Combine has turned into in recent years, the NBA Combine gets underway on Thursday in Chicago.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks has decided to opt out of the predraft drills conducted during the event. However, a number of other top prospects are also not participating, including the top two projected picks in Duke's Kyrie Irving and Arizona's Derrick Williams. An up-to-the-minute updated list of who will be attending (though not necessarily taking part in any drills) can be found at Ridiculous Upside.
Players who have been projected to the Nuggets that will attend this event include Georgia's Trey Thompkins, Kansas'Josh Selby and Tennessee's Tobias Harris. But just as likely, the Nuggets future selection could be someone else, or it could be traded if Masai Ujiri finds the right deal.
Tune into ESPNU and ESPN3.com for live coverage of the Combine on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. MT. The NBA Draft takes place on June 23.
Just like NFL mock drafts, everyone and anyone puts out their own NBA mock draft because it's the thing to do while the NBA Playoffs finish and not everyone wants to see their conference rivals play for a championship. But NBA.com's David Aldridge writes what so many others believe: "I hate mock drafts."
That being said, Aldridge still puts one out since his employers want it. He makes no bold move with Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks when he has him go 10th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks. He'll definitely be able to help the Bucks score, but he'll also need to become more of a shooter.
Aldridge would seem to favor the Nuggets trading the No. 22 overall selection to a team without a first-rounder because the team has restricted free agents to deal with, but should the Nuggets use the pick Georgia's Trey Thompkins, a power forward, would be Aldridge's choice right now. A 6-foot-9 or 6-foot-10 power forward who put up 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a junior in the SEC is nothing to scoff at.
Deservedly so, much of the attention in the 2011 NBA Draft will be on the No. 1 pick, which the Cleveland Cavaliers own as a result of a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavs will then choose three picks later at No. 4 with their own selection. The question is whether the Cavs will select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the top pick.
As ESPN's Chad Ford writes in his first post-lottery mock draft (Insider required), camps, interviews and workouts will juggle things around. For those following in Colorado, Buffaloes guard Alec Burks' journey will require close attention, and the Nuggets will have the No. 22 selection.
In a perfect world, Alec Burks to the Nuggets would happen, but he appears headed for a selection in the lottery. The consensus right now is that Burks to the Milwaukee Bucks (No.10) is a great fit, and that's where Ford has him going. As for the Nuggets' selection, former Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris could help up front, Ford says, as either a power or small forward. He averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2010-11. NBADraft.net also has Harris going to the Nuggets, while DraftExpress has Harris as the final lottery pick at No. 14 to the Rockets.
The Nuggets could go in any number of directions. Could they use a shooting guard if J.R. Smith leaves? Yes. A third point guard who can backup Ty Lawson after Raymond Felton is a free agent in 2012? Sure. But with Nene looking more and more like he will opt out of the final year of his contract and Kenyon Martin a free agent, drafting a big man up front may be the best choice.
Now that the NBA draft lottery has concluded and the Cleveland Cavaliers will select No. 1 overall, the complete draft order is set. As a result, SB Nation has released its first 2011 NBA Mock Draft. Down at No. 22, the Denver Nuggets select Kansas Jayhawks shooting guard Josh Selby:
22.: , SG, Kansas
Ifreally leaves the Nuggets, is going to miss having a "difficult" two-guard gunner. Enter Selby.
Selby missed the first nine games of the season due to an NCAA rules violation suspension and then scored in double-digits in nine of 14 games. At that point, he missed three games to injury and lost his scoring touch over the rest of the season. Is he the kind of player who should have returned to school to improve his stock after a second year in college?
One player the Nuggets would likely wish they could have but won't be in a position to draft is Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks. In this mock, Burks goes where he's placed in several other mock drafts: No. 10 to the Milwaukee Bucks. Burks' projection is around picks 10-14.
If the Nuggets want to look at another position, maybe in the front court, Brazilian Lucas Nogueira (No. 24 to the Thunder in this mock) could be a viable selection. If the Nuggets are able to retain fellow countryman Nene, there could be a strong combo up front.
The NBA Draft takes place on June 23.
The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery is just a few hours away, though we already know that the Denver Nuggets will hold a non-lottery selection at No. 22. Over at DraftExpress, a pre-lottery, team needs-based mock draft was released on Tuesday morning, and it may lead some Nuggets fans to wonder what is going on with it.
Without adding any explanation for the pick, DraftExpress goes with Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson as the selection. The Nuggets are already well-placed at the position with Ty Lawson, who emerged as the starter after the Carmelo Anthony trade, and Raymond Felton, who arrived as part of that deal. Adding another point guard would likely mean riding the bench for at least one season (Felton's contract ends after the 2011-12 season).
Jackson averaged 18.2 point, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 34 games as a junior in 2010-11. What does play in his favor (well, in the mind of the mock drafter) is that Jackson is a Colorado Springs, CO native. But the Nuggets needn't look for a local player to draft. With Nene likely opting for free agency and Kenyon Martin also a free agent, the Nuggets need help in the front court.
While Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks has declared for the draft and is a likely lottery selection, his teammate Cory Higgins will attempt to work his way into the second round. As part of that, Higgins will be one of 44 players to participate in a pre-draft combine (of sorts) this Saturday and Sunday in New Jersey because the Nets, the Houston Rockets and the New York Knicks are hosting the workout.
None of these players is a big-time name to the basketball world at large, but a good showing could have teams interested in them during the second round.
Higgins played in 132 games (a school record, as well as his 131 starts) over his four-year career and averaged 15.2 points and 2.4 assists per contest. He averaged a career-best 18.9 points as a junior in 2009-10. Even if he goes undrafted, there will likely be a team willing to bring him into camp in the fall (provided there's no lockout).
For more on Colorado Buffaloes basketball, visit Ralphie Report.
Though there are still almost two months left in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, the NBA Draft season is heating up as the lottery is determined on May 17. SB Nation has its latest 2011 NBA mock draft--well, just the lottery selection again. Duke point guard Kyrie Irving is still the No. 1 overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Arizona forward Derrick Williams could be a challenger.
Colorado Buffaloes guard Alec Burks is nowhere to be found in SB Nation's lottery mock draft, but he is a top-10 selection in both DraftExpress' and NBADraft.net's mocks. In the former, Burks goes 10th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks and No. 9 to the Charlotte Bobcats in the latter.
As for who the Denver Nuggets might select, both of those mocks go with big men up front. DraftExpress predicts Lucas Nogueira, an 18-year-old center from Brazil. At 6-foot-11, 225 pounds, Nogueira could bulk up some. NBADraft.net sees Maryland's Jordan Williams as the pick there. The Nuggets could use help up front as Nene is likely to opt out of the final year of his contract, and Kenyon Martin is a free agent.
Just like the NFL Draft, let months of wild speculation begin for the NBA Draft.
University of Colorado basketball star Alec Burks has officially declared himself eligible for the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft. Burks announced his decision in a press conferencee held at the University on Thursday afternoon.
Even with an impending labor dispute threatening to postpone the upcoming NBA season, Burks decided that he is an NBA-ready player right now. Few would dispute him. The Buffs star led the team to their best season ever, with a school record 24 wins and a trip to the National Invitational Tournament. He was an unanimous Big-12 selection, and a finalist for the John Wooden Award this season as a sophomore.
The University of Colorado will now make the transition into the Pac-12 Conference next season without his services, though they still have many talented young players on the roster including Andre Roberson and several young guard transfers that will become eligible for the 2011-2012 season. Head Coach Tad Boyle should have no lack of qualified players, though it will be difficult to replace Burks' production.
Multiple mock drafts project Burks to be a lottery selection in the upcoming draft, held on June 23.
The Colorado Buffaloes and NBA teams will need to wait an extra 24 hours to find out Alec Burks' decision on entering the 2011 NBA Draft early. Originally scheduled to announce his future plans on April 20, the sophomore guard will now do it on Thursday, April 21.
Burks is headed to be a lottery pick whenever he comes out, but according to 2011 mock drafts he could go in the back end of the lottery. NBADraft.net projects Burks to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10, while DraftExpress has the Utah Jazz taking Burks with their original first-round draft pick at No. 12.
The NBA Draft early entry deadline is set for Sunday, April 24. Should he elect to enter the draft but not hire an agent, Burks will be able to pull out of the draft until May 8 and retain his collegiate eligibility. The NBA Draft is set for June 23.
While the 2011 NBA Playoffs are underway, the NBA Draft Lottery teams will be getting into high gear to figure out who they will be able to draft. In SB Nation's latest 2011 NBA mock draft, Duke point guard Kyrie Irving once again goes No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves. With Jonny Flynn not working out and Ricky Rubio not looking to make the NBA jump anytime soon, the Wolves could try for another point guard--or they could have kept Ty Lawson instead of trading him to the Nuggets. Ah, forget about that.
Anyway, Kyrie played just 11 games as a freshman, missing the vast majority of the regular season due to injury. But he was impressive in three NCAA Tournament games, capping it with 28 points against Arizona. As for other picks in the lottery, BYU's Jimmer Fredette seems destined to go to the Utah Jazz.
Right now the Nuggets hold the No. 22 pick, but we'll need to look elsewhere for a complete mock to see who they could draft. In DraftExpress' latest mock, Richmond power forward Justin Harper is the Nuggets' selection. He helped the Spiders reach the Sweet 16, but lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in that round. He put up 22 points and nine rebounds against a tough Kansas team. A 6-foot-10 power forward, Harper is not out of the realm of possibilities for the Nuggets.
NBADraft.net projects a center/power forward as well: Jordan Williams from Maryland. Williams, a sophomore, has already declared for the draft, but has not signed with an agent. He has until May 8 to stay in the draft, as result.
Colorado's star point/shooting guard Alec Burks will announce his decision on the draft on Wednesday, April 20.
The 2011 NBA Draft is over two months away, but, much like the NFL, that won't stop the mock drafts from coming. Luckily, the NBA Draft is only two rounds long, so fans don't need to dig deep to find "sleepers." And SB Nation has its first 2011 NBA mock draft out. Thanks to the Nuggets clinching a playoff spot for the eighth year in a row, they do not appear in this mock because it covers just the lottery selections (top 14 picks).
Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, despite playing only eight regular season games, is the first pick overall. He returned for three NCAA Tournament games and looked good out there. He capped off the season with 28 points in a loss to the Arizona Wildcats. He's the top point guard should he enter the draft, which is a good bet to happen.
Absent from these lottery selections is Colorado Buffaloes sophomore Alec Burks, who should be a lottery pick whenever he declares for the draft. He led the Buffs to the NIT semifinals on the strength of his 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds this past season. In DraftExpress' latest mock draft (April 1), Alec Burks is the No. 14 overall selection to the Houston Rockets. In NBADraft.net's mock (March 31), has Burks as the fifth overall pick to the Sacramento Kings. Burks could be one of the more intriguing players in 2011 if he declares.
As for the Nuggets, they would probably like Alec Burks, but picking in the 20s will put him out of their reach. While SB Nation has yet to go beyond the lottery, the other two mocks both have the Nuggets selecting a small forward--what with Carmelo Anthony gone. Right now Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler have played the position for the Nuggets. DraftExpress has Vanderbilt's Jeff Taylor go to the Nuggets at No. 22, but believes he is a role player in the end with a better defensive game than scoring one.
The 2011 NBA Draft takes place on June 23.
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