PORTLAND OR - NOVEMBER 27: Kyle Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils goes for a layup against Tyrone Nared #31 of the Oregon Ducks on November 27 2010 at the Rose Garden in Portland Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

NBA Draft Update: Who Are The Latest Front-Runners For The Cavaliers At Numbers 1 And 4?

Follow the latest word about whom the latest mock drafts have the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting in the 2011 NBA Draft with this StoryStream.

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15 Total Updates since April 19, 2011
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NBADraft.net Projects Irving As Top Cavs' Pick, With Kanter Being Available At The 4

NBADraft.net, in its latest mock draft, has the Cavaliers taking Duke point guard Kyle Irving as the top pick in the 2011 draft, and forward/center Enes Kanter at number four.

The mock sees the Minnesota Timberwolves going with Derrick Williams as the second pick, and the Utah Jazz taking Brandon Knight with the third pick.

The site goes on to project the Cavaliers taking forward/center Jeremy Tyler with the 32nd pick.

The 2011 NBA Draft will begin in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Whether the Cavaliers are committed to Irving with the first pick is a matter that is open for some debate, as ESPN claims the Cavs might not be dead-set on the idea.

As the night gets closer, look for more updates (and perhaps more opinions) as they happen.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft Update: The Latest from SB Nation

Tom Ziller is back at it mocking the NBA draft again, and this time he has a little bit of a change with the Cavs’ second pick, though it’s a change I don’t think the Cavs would actually do.

At the top, he stays true to his initial projection, which was Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. Here is his explanation:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

Prediction: more people will complain that it’s unfair that Irving be held up to LeBron James standard than will actually assert or imply that Irving be held up to LeBron’s standard.

With their second pick, Ziller has been pretty consistent in predicting the Cavs to take Turkish center Enes Kanter, who worked out for the team last week. This edition has Kanter off the board to the Utah Jazz with the third overall pick, so he has the Cavs taking Lithuanian PF/C Jonas Valanciunas. Here is his reasoning for the pick:

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania

The buy-out issues could purportedly drop Valanciunas into a valley of despair, but indications are that this will get worked out. But will he arrive in the United States this year? If he decides to ultimately stay in Lithuania or move to Italy or Spain for 1-2 years, that could be another anchor for his stock. Too many GM’s jobs — Chris Grant’s included — are in too precarious a position to take risks on the next Ricky.

His analysis is spot on, and it doesn’t make me as a reader believe the Cavs would ever take Valanciunas. This team is in a total rebuilding mode, but they want two immediate impact players with these picks, or at least two players who can come in and start in 2011. This pick would not put Cavs fans at ease, given both the fact that he needs a buyout and a guaranteed top five contract as well as possibly a two year wait (see Rubio).

These mock drafts have proven to me that the best choice for the Cavs is to take Derrick Williams with the first pick and take whatever player is left at four between Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, and Kyrie Irving, all of whom are deserving players. It seems to simple to actually happen, but that’s just one man’s opinion. What do you fans want the Cavs to do?

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2012 NBA Mock Draft Update: SB Nation Mocks the Cavs Irving, Kanter

SB Nation’s latest mock draft compares the players in the draft pool to current NBA players, and if their predictions come true, the Cavs are getting two players comparable to Raymond Felton and Al Jefferson.

Tom Ziller has the Cavs selecting Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick, for which he gives this explanation:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, G, Duke

Kyrie has drawn Deron Williams comparisons. If that’s the case, let’s keep him away from all headbands. Until he proves he can shoot dependably, let’s err on the side of Raymond Felton and hope for the best. (Felton’s not bad! He got traded for Carmelo Anthony! Sort of.)

With the fourth pick, they have not wavered a bit either, where they still have the Cavs selecting center Enes Kanter of Kentucky/Turkey. Here is the comparison:

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter, C, Turkey

I feel a little Al Jefferson coming on …

If these two players turn out to be like Ray Felton and Al Jefferson, the Cavs will not be in great shape. Felton has vastly underachieved since coming to the league, and while he is solid, he would never be worthy of the top pick in the draft. Jefferson is a great post player offensively, but he is nothing special on the defensive end and has spent a ton of time injured.

Still, the upside of these players seems greater to me, but only time will tell.

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Will Enes Kanter Be On The Cavaliers' Radar? A Tuesday Workout Might Answer That Question

According to this report from Mary Schmitt Boyer, Enes Kanter, the 6' 11" center from Turkey, will work out for the Cavaliers on Tuesday in Independence, although no details have been released and no interviews have been scheduled.

Kanter, 19, was originally going to be a Kentucky Wildcat but was ruled ineligible for having received money to play in Turkey

Kanter might be in the running to be the fourth pick in the first round by the Cavs in the June 23 NBA Draft, and of course, if he does work out, and impresses, that would be more than an academic "might"..

But the talk is that he may not last until the fourth pick, although Cleveland will probably go with Kyle Irving at number one, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are likely to take Derrick Williams with the second pick. That would leave the Utah Jazz having to also pass on Kanter for Kanter to be available with the four.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft Update: SB Nation's Post Lottery Mock, Part II

The last SB Nation mock draft featured the Cavaliers taking a point guard an a European big man, and they didn’t waver from that stance in their latest crack at predicting the 2011 NBA Draft.

Tom Ziller, an SB Nation writer, thinks that it’s a near lock that the Cavs will take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

It’s fun to consider what excuse the Cavs could give for going with Williams over Irving. “We really like Ramon Sessions.” “We really like Manny Harris.” “We want to be back in the high lottery next season to grab Austin Rivers, so we’re going to pick some forwards this year and trade for Sebastian Telfair.” No offense to Williams, who is an excellent prospect, but to pass on Irving, there needs to be one helluva skeleton in his closet (or, again, X-rays).

The reasoning is sound. The NBA is quickly becoming a point guard driven league, and the Cavs don’t want to be left in the dust. Thus, they take Irving, the former prep-school superstar who only played in a few games last year for Duke. Irving is a guy who reminds me a lot of a young Chris Paul. He might not be the same kind of scorer at this point, but he definitely has that kind of a ceiling. The more I think about it, the more I think Irving is the smart pick for the Cavs.

With reports that Cleveland is dangling the fourth overall pick for Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay, it’s clear that not taking Derrick Williams is a tough decision for the Cavs. In an ideal world, they would have the 1st and 2nd overall pick and get both their guys, but they almost have to take the point guard first overall.

Even though I personally believe Williams to be the best overall player in the draft right now, I don’t think the Cavs are making a mistake by taking Irving. However, I’m not a big fan of taking Euro big men early in the draft, and it seems every mock has the Cavs doing so. Ziller’s latest is no exception:

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania

The Cavaliers would send <3s to the Heavens if they could land Irving and Kanter; as a back-up plan, Valanciunas could work beautifully. The next great Lithuanian has one predominant concern: his buyout in Spain. We’ll no doubt hear more as Eurocamp approaches; never underestimate the power of Fran Vasquez to kill a player’s draft stock. Other options here could be Bismack Biyombo or even Jan Vesely; the Cavaliers are thinnest at small forward, believe it or not.

The ideal scenario for the Cavs would be to nab a guy like Rudy Gay by dealing this pick and possibly future picks. However, if they are unable to do so, taking a Euro with size and upside isn’t the worst alternative. There are question marks surrounding most prospects in any draft, but for me, there’s just something about Euro big men that scares me off, especially in the top ten.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft Update: David Aldridge Takes First Ever Crack at a Mock

Long time NBA analyst, insider, and expert David Aldridge is one of the most respected and well-known men in the business, and he hates mock drafts. That being said, his employers told him to do one, and he had no choice but to oblige. We as fans benefit from this, because this is valuable information and much more than just an educated guess. David Aldridge has sources all over the league, and he knows what teams and executives’ tendencies are.

So who does he predict the Cavs will take?

Not surprisingly, his first pick for the Cavs is point guard Kyrie Irving of Duke, so in case you are keeping track at home, that’s three mock drafts and three Irving projections, and there are likely many more. Aldridge’s analysis is short and sweet:

Rebuilding starts in earnest with the quicksilver point guard.

Aldridge also hints that the Cavs could be the first team in line to trade down in the first round, with Enes Kanter on the board at four overall and a multitude of other needs. The Cavs could move down and acquire more picks and/or veteran players, or they could stay put and get an impact player like Kanter, a guy who can play either power forward or center for them. Aldridge has the Cavs taking Kanter, and here is his explanation:

The line to move up to get Kanter or Jan Vesely starts here. But Cavs may not be able to pass up on a big who can come in and play right away.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft Update: Chad Ford Has Cavs Taking Irving, Kanter

Chad Ford, basically the Adam Schefter of professional basketball, has all but declared Kyrie Irving a Cleveland Cavalier. He said last night on the ESPN NBA Draft Lottery special that barring a medical check (foot) Irving would be the top pick to the Cavs. He is already getting excited about the possibility in his latest mock draft on ESPN.com:

What a big win for Cleveland — it trades away Mo Williams and gets back No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving. Yes, the Cavs have Baron Davis, but he’s not a big part of their future plans. Irving can come in and immediately give them a backcourt foundation to fit with J.J. Hickson and the No. 4 pick.

Ford also has the Cavs taking Turkish center and former Kentucky basketball player Enes Kanter with the fourth overall pick. He believes Kanter, while raw, can bring some much needed toughness and an inside-out game to the Cavaliers’ offensive attack:

Few teams watched Kanter play during the past year unless they saw a Kentucky practice, so they are projecting Kanter’s potential largely on the strength of a stellar performance at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit. But if Kanter plays the way he did at the Hoop Summit and in workouts in Chicago (where I saw him for several days last week), he’s a good fit for the Cavs and worthy of this pick.

Kanter is tough, can play inside and out, rebounds the basketball and has a higher basketball IQ than most other players his age. While a bit undersized for a center, his toughness in the paint would be very welcome in Cleveland.

Stay tuned, as SB Nation Cleveland will have all major NBA Mock Draft updates from around the web for your viewing enjoyment. If you believe what you hear, it’s all but a lock that the Cavs will take Kyrie Irving with the first pick, but the 2nd pick—at least according to Ford—is where things could get really interesting. Who the Cavs wind up with at number four overall is anyone’s guess.

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Latest SB Nation 2011 NBA Mock Draft Has Cavs Taking Kyrie Irving First, Jonas Valanciunas Fourth

They call it a “no brainer” but this year I’m not so sure. Kyrie Irving appears to be the front-runner to be the number one overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and is so according to the latest SB Nation mock. However, I’m not so sure he is a no-brainer like the author says he is.

The Cavs do have a need at the point guard position, and Irving is probably undoubtedly the best point guard available, which would lend credence to his “no-brainer” theory. Here is his reasoning for the Cavs taking Irving number one overall in the 2011 NBA Draft:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Los Angeles Clippers): Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

The L.A. Clippers wanted to get rid of their point guard Baron Davis, and needed to add in their first-round pick to make him disappear. Little did they know they’d be throwing away Kyrie Irving, too. Cleveland will take Irving with glee; while the point guard won’t make anyone forget about LeBron James, he fills an immediate need at a vital position and injects a dose of excitement to a bad roster.

The Cavs also struck lottery gold with the fourth overall pick in the draft. Had they only had one selection, this would be a massive disappointment, but paired with the top overall pick, it’s a very nice asset to have, even in a shallow talent pool. With their second first round selection, SB Nation has the Cavs taking Jonas Valanciunas, a big man from Lithuania. This selection doesn’t exactly make people giddy, but the Cavs have a long way to go, and they need as much talent as they can get. Valanciunas is considered one of the top Euro prospects in the entire draft. Here is the reasoning:

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania

After landing a franchise point guard in Irving up top, the Cavaliers can further bolster the backcourt by choosing Kemba Walker here or go big. Given that Walker has been fashioned an NBA point guard — we’ll see — I’ll guess big man here. Valanciunas isn’t close to a finished product, but Cleveland is in full-on rebuild mode. (They’d probably prefer Kanter, should he drop.)

My reaction to these picks is simple—I don’t like them. If I am a Cavs fan, I’m not jumping for joy at the selection of Kyrie Irving. Even though Irving is a top of the line point guard prospect, Byron Scott is a top of the line point guard coach, and I think the Cavs could get much more bang for their buck if they were to take Derrick Williams with the first pick, then Brandon Knight (3rd ranked PG in the nation coming out of high school, Irving was 2nd) or Kemba Walker (If you didn’t see him in the tourney, you’ve been living under a rock) with their second selection.

If the Cavs do take Irving, which again appears to be the popular opinion as of right now, then I would not expect them to take a major developmental guy like Valanciunas and go for a swingman with upside like San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard, who I’ve heard they also really like.

Obviously, this is not my selection to make. I almost entirely disagree with the author that his is a no-brainer pick for the Cavs, because my thought process all along has been to take Williams and the best PG available with their next pick. They have a rare opportunity here, and they need too look at the board and judge what TWO players will finish with the most upside, not which player will have the most upside with the top choice and then hope the next best guy falls to them at four overall.

Even if this isn’t a heavy talent draft, there are still good ball players, and the Cavs need to come away with two of the best.

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Latest SB Nation NBA Mock Draft Has Cavs Taking Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo

As you can see from the thread below, not much has changed in the NBA mock draft world, as the SB Nation crew still has the Cleveland Cavaliers taking Arizona forward Derrick Williams (2nd) and forward Bismack Biyombo (8th) in their latest 2011 NBA mock draft.

Here is the reasoning behind the picks:

The Cavs are the opposite of the Wolves: for Minnesota, neither of the top pick options make total sense. For Cleveland, “both please.” I think very few teams would take Williams over Irving at the very top, the Cavs included. A common thread among the worst teams in the NBA is the lack of a top-flight point guard. The Cavs are thin at forward, too — Antawn Jamison is on skates out of town, and J.J. Hickson is a solid but unspectacular option. The small forward spot is destitute in C-Town.

And on Biyombo:

I’m not going to lie: when I first heard about Biyombo, I was convinced he was a hoax, like that soccer player some enterprising kids dreamt up a few years ago. Only Ben Golliver’s live reports on Bismack’s existence convinced me he’s real.

I see the reasoning behind both picks here. The Cavs need to add a dynamic athlete like Derrick Williams at the 3/4 spot who can shoot threes and make plays with the ball in his hands. Williams is probably the most complete player in the draft in that regard. He has fantastic size, athleticism, and is somewhat of a poor man’s LeBron James.

As far as Biyombo goes, he is a freakish athlete but a very raw basketball player. Is he more hype than substance? He seems to be mocked to the Cavs quite a bit from what I can see, but I’m not sure I buy that he is a real option at this point. This team does lack for talent in a lot of areas, and like I have stated before, it would probably for the best if the Cavs could get a little stroke of luck and be in position to take one of the top point guards available in this year’s class.

Would the Cavs take a guy like Jimmer Fredette at 8 overall? It’s certainly possible, and they would be getting a dynamic scorer but would probably be reaching a bit for him.

Either way, this is going to be an intriguing draft because of the overall lack of star power and depth, and the Cavs really need to make good on their two lottery picks.

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