The 2011 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching toward next Thursday night's judgement day. With that, of course, comes plenty of interesting rumors associated with all of the happenings that will take place on June 23. Most of those rumors are found in the NBA mock drafts however and, right on time, the two most important mocks were published Wednesday.
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express published his third mock for Yahoo! Sports late Wednesday evening. In it, the expert dropped a ton of juicy tidbits including possible Draft-day trading partners, the sliding stock of Enes Kanter and Donatas Motiejunas along with moving Marshon Brooks and Iman Shumpert up his draft board following impressive performances over the course of the last month.
ESPN's Chad Ford also released his mock, effectively titled version 5.0, on Wednesday. Since I assume the majority of the Ridiculous Upside readers don't have Insider accounts, I'll simply note that the biggest differences between his mock and Givony's revolve around USC's Nikola Vucevic. Ford has the big man going to the Houston Rockets at the tail-end of the lottery while Givony has him going to the Rockets as well -- except with their second first-round pick in the No. 23 slot.
One player not included in the mock drafts is Malcolm Delaney, but according to Italian basketball website BasketNews, the Virginia Tech guard has a back-up plan. Delaney has signed to play with Chalon in France's top league next season, though if he's drafted, the website reports he has an out-clause through the end of July. Considering the possible lockout, this was probably a good idea.
Next up on the agenda are the Cleveland Cavaliers -- the team with the first overall pick in next week's draft -- and their ability to keep the secret about which player they're leaning toward selecting next week. It seems as if head coach Byron Scott has his choice, however, he'd probably select Duke's Kyrie Irving.
"(Irving) has his head on right," Scott told Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. "He reminded me so much of my initial contact with Chris Paul. Kyrie was a lot like him. The thing that stood out to me when I met him was he was a lot bigger than I thought. He's a good-sized point guard. He's 6-3 and a legit 6-3, not 6-feet or 6-1.
That's pretty high praise.
Last, but not least, is a story with local interest to those in Bismarck, North Dakota, and the surrounding area. Anthony Moody will workout for the Minnesota Timberwolves today, along with a couple of other well-known participants, after playing against me at the local YMCA for the past few weeks.
I'm not going to say Moody will be drafted as his size limits him after playing at a Division 2 college, but I will note that he's athletic and Tracy McGrady'd me in 2-on-1 fastbreak. Here are some highlights not featuring me.