Jonas Valanciunas, Hottest Unknown NBA Prospect

You may not have heard of his name before, but Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas has become a bit of hot commodity. He's got a top-five pick of a game (at least in this draft), hops for days, and has room to grow. The issue is his availability. The buyout issues following the 19-year-old center have some mock drafts pushing him nearly out of the lottery. After all, why select someone that you might not see until the 2012-13 season, at best?

Then again, with a player with Valanciunas' athleticism, skills and drive in question, why not wait until 2012? Especially when there might not be much of a 2011-12 season. And especially if you're a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers, finally fully committed to rebuilding, and possessing two of the top four picks in Thursday's draft? With the first, sure, they're taking Kyrie Irving. They'd be Kahn-ish not to. But with the fourth, in a limited draft like this? With Enes Kanter an odd thing to bank on? With Jan Veesly not really offering immediate answers? With Brandon Knight all Brandon Knight-ish?

Why not go with Jonas? Even if you have to wait a year?

Cavs the Blog's John Krolik wants to go with Jonas. And John agrees with my personal draft sage, who handed me his mock draft the other night, which in turn has me agreeing with John when he writes this:

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Photo credit: Associated Press