As soon as the NBA finished unveiling its top 13 choices in the 2011 NBA Draft via the annual lottery, held just last night, draft analysts were busy posting revised mock drafts that they even had up before the order was finalized. And in nearly every single one, the Cleveland Cavaliers — winners of the first overall selection — choose Kyrie Irving, the point guard from Duke University.
Whether it’s the Sporting News, ESPN, Hoopsworld or other media outlets, Irving is the overwhelming favorite to be the first choice in the draft. The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney makes the interesting observation, “Oddly enough, the trade that brought on PG Baron Davis’ salary will get the Cavs their point guard of the future.” Chad Ford agrees with the pick and says a backcourt of J.J. Hickson and Irving would bode well for Cleveland’s future success.
However, CBS Sports Dave Del Grande offers a different take, with Arizona forward Derrick Williams taking over the No. 1 spot. He’d be a great addition as a scoring small forward who is a tremendous athlete and more of a sure thing over other international prospects. Yet even Williams isn’t as sure and smooth as Irving.
Of course, weeks of projections are still to emerge and this is only the first wave of several mock drafts from each of these sites and analysts. Perhaps Irving’s stock will fall, but for now it seems he’s the odds-on favorite.