Who wins Jimmer-Kemba faceoff in Utah?

June, 23, 2011
6/23/11
10:15
AM ET
Ford By Chad Ford
ESPN.com
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We just published our Mock Draft 7.0, where a number of areas are still a bit hazy. Although I'm feeling pretty solid on picks 1-3, the Cavs are still trying to decide between Jonas Valanciunas and Tristan Thompson at No. 4. They had both players in town this week to meet with owner Dan Gilbert.

Picks 5 and 6 also feel very solid right now depending on what happens at the top. The Raptors have been high on Brandon Knight for weeks, and the Wizards have been high on Jan Vesely for months.

To me, the biggest wild card right now is with the Kings at No. 7. I don't think they are in love with anyone on the board. Not Kemba Walker. Not Kawhi Leonard. Not Jimmer Fredette. They're clearly talking to a number of teams about a trade. Walker is our default pick right now, but there's a good chance he won't be the pick.

If Walker doesn't go No. 7, he could slide ... but how far? The Bobcats will look at him at No. 9. But to me, the most intriguing scenario of the entire draft will happen if Walker and Fredette are both on the board for the Jazz at No. 12. If the Jazz take Enes Kanter at No. 3, they are likely to go with a guard here.

There will be enormous pressure on Utah to draft Fredette here and good reasons to do so. But would the Jazz really pass on Walker, a guy whom they seriously considered at No. 3, to take the hometown hero? I don't think so. I think if both players are on the board, the Jazz would take Kemba. It wouldn't be a hugely popular decision in Utah, but Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor isn't afraid to do the unpopular thing.

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Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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