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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?

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.