NBA Draft Mailbag 6/18/11

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With the NBA Draft now five days away, it is time to break out my second 2011 NBA Draft mailbag in which I answer some of your e-mails or comments.  In this edition, we talk Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Isaiah Thomas, whether the Cavs would be smart to not draft Kyrie Irving, and compare the top of this draft class to year’s past.

If you have a question about the draft or my 2011 NBA Mock Draft, leave a comment at the bottom of this page and I will try to get to it in my next mailbag (I plan on doing one every day during the draft week.)  Go here to check out my previous mailbag.

By: David Kay

I doubt that Knight will fall to 7th But as a Kings fan I would hope he and reke would work successfully together.  -Bettyann

(DK) Yeah, more than likely Knight is off the board third to the Jazz or fifth to Toronto.  But if the Jazz go with Kanter at three and Toronto likes Kemba Walker more than Knight, the Kentucky point guard would likely slip to the Kings at seven since Cleveland would have taken Kyrie Irving at one and not needed a point guard at four, and obviously Washington is not selecting a point at six since they drafted John Wall last year.

It is interesting because I think Kemba is a better fit than Knight in Toronto but the other way around in Sac-town since Tyreke Evans is a ball dominant off guard and Knight is able to move well off the ball and a better outside shooter than Walker.

This draft class is, too say the least, bad. Historically bad however, I believe that the top two prospects Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving both have a good chance to be good if not great NBA players down the road. My question is basically, how do those two stack up against the top prospects from previous drafts? Do you believe these guys are legit top three picks, or are they just mid-lottery picks in a really weak draft? -Austin

(DK) This gets my first Wedding Crashers, “great question, love where your head’s at.”

I think Kyrie is a legit top three prospect, it is just that his injury stunted his exposure a bit so there is that tiny question about his lack of experience.  He is obviously not at the level of a point guard prospect that John Wall was last year or Ricky Rubio in 2009 or Derrick Rose in 2008, but he should very well become a franchise point guard one day.  Is he ever going to be an All-Star though?  Possibly not since there are some extremely talented young point guards in the league right now, especially in the Eastern Conference (Rose, Rando, Wall.)  But he will be in the tier just below those guys.

As for Williams, I am still not sure.  I watched just about every Arizona game the past two seasons and LOVED him as a college player.  But his transition to the NBA game and whether he is really a small forward or a power forward at the next level that concerns me.  If he finds his true position and excels, he could be a franchise player, but part of me worries he becomes a Josh Smith type tweener forward and ends up being the third best player on his team.

Don’t you think it would be smarter for Cleveland to take Derrick Williams at #1 and then get their PG at 4? I feel like Cleveland wants Kanter, but how likely is it he’ll be there at 4? The sure thing would be to pick Williams and Knight/Walker. What’s your opinion? -Big Dan

(DK) If you read my previous answer, I think Irving is the safer pick at one and more likely to be a franchise player than Williams.  And let’s face it, the Cavs sorely need a franchise player.  There has been a lot of buzz lately about going the Williams/Knight or Walker route but I think it is smarter to take the Irving/Kanter or Valanciunas or Vesely or maybe even Leonard path.

Kanter’s availability will depend on what the Jazz do at three since they will likely decide between him and Brandon Knight.  The T-Wolves could shock people though if they do not trade the second pick and instead take Kanter due to their stockpile of forwards.  In the end, I say Kanter is still there at four.

alec burks nba draft

I was just wondering what your opinion on Alec Burks is. Some have compared him to an early Tracy McGrady. Do you think he will even have half the career T-Mac has had? Thanks! -Corey

(DK) Because of his versatility, the fact that he is a bigger guard, and struggles shooting the ball from distance, the Burks/T-Mac parallel makes some sense.  Will Burks average 25+ plus a game like McGrady did during his prime?  Highly, highly unlikely.  Although Burks’ landing spot could play a huge part in his early career production.  If he ends up going tenth to Milwaukee, he won’t score a ton.  But if he goes 13th to Phoenix and gets to play in an up-tempo attack, his production will definitely be increased.

how would you compare darko m. and enes k.? In your opinion who is a better center. -DJ

(DK) The easiest comparison between the two is their “unknown commodity” status that they will enter the league with.  Kanter is more of a banger than Darko who was probably more athletic than Kanter.  I would be shocked if Kanter does not turn out to be a better NBA center than Darko.  Kanter’s name would enter biggest draft busts ever debates if that were the case.

So Isiah Thomas won’t be drafted right? -Danny

(DK) He is very much on the bubble.  There are a ton of point guard prospects in the second round and right now I am leaving Thomas and Illinois’ Demetri McCamey out of the top sixty picks.  Obviously, his size is a huge concern but I think he will definitely earn a chance to make a roster.  If Thomas does go undrafted, expect him to have an even larger chip on his shoulder than he already has in wanting to prove the doubters wrong.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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