2011 NBA Mock Draft - v ?

Not sure what version it is. First or second. Anyways, enjoy.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - SF/PF Perry Jones, Fr, Baylor.  This is a bad year for the Cavs to have the first overall pick. There is no LeBron James, Derrick Rose or John Wall in this draft. Harrison Barnes has been extremely mediocre, Kyrie Irving suffered a serious injury, Enes Kanter has not played all year. And there are three international big men who are currently projected to go in the top 10, and we know how many question marks those guys have. So this is a good year to reach for potential #1 overall. Jones has a great skill set, and if he learns how to not play like a shooting guard all the time, he could be a future monster. Of course, he could simply be serviceable like Andrea Bargnani, who was the #1 pick in a draft like this without a standout guy. The Cavs need to come out of this draft with a future star though, because this franchise is in serious trouble.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - PF/C Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania. We never know what David Kahn will do. But I don't think this would be a horrible selection. Valanciunas is only 18, but unlike pretty much every foreign player, he actually plays a decent bit for his EURO team, averaging 8 points in 14 minutes per game. Unlike most euro mystery men, he "supposedly" has a strong post up game, and can bang down low. He's not strictly a shooter. Again, everything I am typing are just things I am reading. He is reaching 7 foot with the body to add more strength, so he looks like a future center. Maybe he will be ready to step in for Darko in a few years. Center is really the only position on the team that is not littered with young prospects. I dunno. They'll probably take Kyrie Irving. And that actually wouldn't be a bad pick with Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio really struggling.

3. Sacramento Kings - PG Kyrie Irving, Fr, Duke. This is the first no brainer pick of my mock. I think Irving would be the #1 pick if he didn't get hurt. But I can't see him dropping past the Kings. Sacramento has really struggled without a true floor general. Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih have done pretty well, but both are more scorers. Irving would be a great fit. He's no Rajon Rondo, as he can put the ball in the basket as well. This would be the only no brainer among my top 5.

4. Toronto Raptors - PF/C Enes Kanter, Fr, Kentucky.
Unfortunately Kanter will not play for Kentucky this year, and perhaps never. He may be the only player in this draft capable of playing center right away, meaning he won't fall too far. The Raptors have a couple decent power forwards, but both are pretty undersized by NBA standards. They could use a down low player who is near 7 foot. Andrea Bargnani really has no business playing center.

5. Washinton Wizards - PF Jared Sullinger, Fr, Ohio St.
Looking at the Wizards roster, it is easy to see where they should target in the draft. John Wall is entrenched at point guard. Nick Young looks like he could be a future 20 point scorer. JaValle McGee and Andray Blatche are a pair of young, intriguing big men. So small forward makes sense, right? Well, I just can't see Harrison Barnes being taken this high at this point in time. He has looked lost for a North Carolina team that is somewhat a mess. I think he is still a top ten pick, but there are just better players available right now. Sullinger is one of those guys. He isn't that 6'11, 240 pound beast teams would like to draft and plug into their power forward hole, but he is getting the job done big time in college. The Wizards could try to trade Blatche for a small forward, especially since the guy has been a bit of a headache since he stepped his game up late last year.

6. New Jersey Nets - SF Terrence Jones, Fr, Kentucky. The Nets need a lot of help. And they need to draft a player who can help now. Jones is only 19 years old but has played a huge role for the Wildcats and is not slowing down. He has developed much quicker then thought. I think he can step into the Nets starting lineup next year. I'd take him over Harrison Barnes right now.

7. Detroit Pistons - SF/PF Derrick Williams, So, Arizona. Hey look! An upperclassmen! Technically. The Pistons are a mess. They are composed of players who lack a defined position (Stuckey, Daye), overpaid veterans (Gordon, Villanueva) and washed up former stars who helped the Pistons win a title 84 years ago (Wallace, Hamilton, Prince). I really think they could just go best player available here. Williams has taken his game to the next level this year and has shown enough shooting ability that he should be able to be a pretty good small forward.

8. Indiana Pacers - PF Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania. If there is a team that just needs to flat out tank, it's the Pacers. Years of picking in the 10-14 range has left the team starved for talent. Paul George, Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush are simply average. Star Danny Granger needs some help around him. Not to mention the power forward rotation of Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts is simply embarrassing. Motiejunas might not be the best fit for what they need, but he's the best player here. He has a nice inside/outside offensive game, but not much of a defensive game to speak of. Should fit right in with the rest of the Pacers.

9. Los Angeles Clippers - PG Kemba Walker, Jr, Connecticut.
The Clippers are playing very well right now, and it seems that all they need is time. Their best players are youngsters Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. All draft picks the last few years. They also have Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu producing when they are given limited minutes. So they are the rare team picking in the top ten that can afford to take a "luxury" pick of sorts. Walker is having an out of this world college season, and could be a perfect scoring guard off the bench. The Clippers really don't need another rookie though. This would be a good pick to trade for a veteran small forward though.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - SF Harrison Barnes, Fr, North Carolina. The Bucks are under performing this season, but a lot of that has to do with numerous injuries. Losing Brandon Jennings really hurt, because he is the closest thing they have to a scorer who can create his own offense. The Bucks are one of the lottery teams who can afford to take a chance on Harrison Barnes. The talent didn't vanish, but he is just having a miserable season for the Tar Heels. Then again, so is pretty much everyone else on that team. This would be a good fit for Barnes. He would get to blend in with the deep Bucks and not feel the pressure to produce like he is feeling right now. The #10 pick has delivered in recent history, including Jennings just a couple years ago.

11. Golden St. Warriors - SF Jordan Hamilton, So, Texas. If the Warriors were in the East, they would probably be a playoff team. But they never seem to have quite enough to compete in the tough Western Conference. They keep adding youngsters who just do not provide any production. Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright, Patrick O'Bryant, Ekpe Udoh, the list goes on and on. Stephen Curry and was a real find, however. I really don't know what they need, but I think Hamilton can be a future 17-20 ppg scorer, and the Warriors always seem to want scorers. Defense optional in Oakland.

12. Houston Rockets - SF/PF Jan Vesely, Czech Republic. The Rockets are a pretty deep and talented team that simply needs to move on from Yao Ming. After a disastrous start they are playing much better. Vesely is a talented player who could possibly vie for a top 5 selection if it wasn't for an ugly buyout. I don't think he will be over here for a couple more years. The Rockets can afford to wait on him, they are a couple deep at every position except center. But this draft is devoid of any 7 footers whatsoever.

13. Phoenix Suns - PF John Henson, So, North Carolina.
There seems to be one extremely skinny power forward in every draft. And the Warriors usually end up taking them. Henson has gathered a reputation as a good and pesky defender, and he has some Marcus Camby qualities. He could eventually develop into a player who can give the Suns 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

14. Memphis Grizzlies - PG/SG Jimmer Fredette, Sr, BYU. Fredette's draft buzz is shooting through the roof right now. People are comparing him to Stephen Curry. Probably cause they are both tweeners who are tearing up the college basketball world. I don't think Fredette is nearly the athlete that Curry is, but some team will take him in the teens because you cannot have enough shooters in the NBA. The Grizzlies seem like a good fit, as they seem to be overcompensating for the disastrous Hasheem Thabeet pick by drafting productive college players.

15. Charlotte Bobcats - SF Kawhi Leonard, So, San Diego St. The Bobcats draft strategy of drafting college stars has been worthless. Look at the lottery draft picks Charlotte has had since they entered the league. Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, Sean May, Adam Morrison, DJ Augustin, Gerald Henderson. These guys were all great college basketball players, but none of them are anywhere near All Stars at the NBA level. In fact, two of those guys are already out of the league. They can thank the Kings giving them Gerald Wallace in the expansion draft for what little success they have had. Stephen Jackson has also been a great pick up. I think Leonard could have a Paul George like rise on the boards.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - PG/SG Josh Selby, Fr, Kansas. The Sixers have an interesting collection of players, and it is somewhat working. They don't have a guy averaging 15 points per game, though. Selby is very talented but has seemed lost with the veteran Kansas Jayhawks. I think he will rise up the boards some once he has a chance to shine in the draft workouts. But these days teams seem to look at production over potential at this point in the draft. There is no way Jimmer would be drafted higher then Selby 6 or 7 years ago.

17. Portland Trail Blazers - PF Trey Thompkins, Jr, Georgia. It's easy to figure out why I pegged Thompkins to the Blazers. Marcus Camby. Joel Przybilla. Greg Oden. The Blazers have the most fragile group of big men in the league. They need depth behind LaMarcus Aldridge and _______ in the worst way.

18. New York Knicks - PF Mason Plumlee, So, Duke. Plumlee is more athlete then basketball player right now, but the talent is there for him to be productive in Mike D'Antoni's system.

19. Utah Jazz - PF Marcus Morris, Jr, Kansas.
I will resist the temptation to put Kyle Singler here. Morris is undersized for the power forward position but gets by on hustle and determination. Sounds a bit like Paul Millsap to me, so why not?

20. Denver Nuggets - SG Alec Burks, So, Colorado. If (when) the Nuggets lose Carmelo Anthony, they will have to find somewhere to replace his scoring. Burks is one of the best scorers in college basketball, dropping 20 points per game for the very bad Buffalos. He could give the Nuggets the only two Buffs in the NBA.

21. Atlanta Hawks - PG Demetri McCamey, Sr, Illinois. It has been half a decade, but I still cannot get over the fact that this team passed on both Chris Paul and Deron Williams. They would be up there with the Celtics and Heat. Mike Bibby is still plugging along as one of the worst starting point guards in the league, and it seems the team has lost faith in Jeff Teague.

22. Portland Trail Blazers (from New Orleans Hornets) - PF/C Lucas Nogueira, Brazil. 18 year old big man from Brazil. The Blazers probably won't want to add two more rookies, so they are the team in the 20's that takes the "stash and wait" guy.

23. Oklahoma City Thunder - PF Kenneth Faried, Sr, Morehead St. Like I said, 5 or 6 years ago Faried would have been your prototypical mid 2nd round pick. An undersized big man for a mid major school who is leading the nation in rebounds. But rebounding is usually a trait that translates well to the NBA. I bet teams wish they would have taken Paul Millsap and DeJuan Blair in the first round.

24. Phoenix Suns (from Orlando Magic) - SF Chris Singleton, Jr, Florida St. As long as Steve Nash is with the Suns, and it looks like he will be for a while, they will have no problem scoring. So they add another player who can play some defense.

25. Dallas Mavericks - PG/SG Brandon Knight, Fr, Kentucky. I think the Mavericks will wind up trading Roddy Beaubois for a more established shooting guard/small forward. So they will need to replace his scoring (and frequent DNP's) with Knight, a good scorer who really has no clue how to play the point guard position, with as many turnovers as assists.

26. Los Angeles Lakers - SF Tyler Honeycutt, So, UCLA. Honeycutt is a talented player who is not ready to play in the NBA. Of course, how many UCLA players have we said that about, only for them to be much better pros?

27. Toronto Raptors (from Miami Heat) - SF Kyle Singler, Sr, Duke. Singler squeaks into the first round due to his good shooting. I just can't see him being an NBA player though.

28. Chicago Bulls - PF Patric Young, Fr, Florida. Young is this years Daniel Orton, a top recruit big man who has done next to nothing for his college team, but will probably declare for the NBA anyways. I think he will manage to be picked in the first round, because this draft is so weak on big men.

29. Boston Celtics - PG/SG Nolan Smith, Sr, Duke. Smith has gotten twice as better every year he has played for the Blue Devils and could wind up a first round pick. He is having an amazing senior season.

30. San Antonio Spurs - SF Bojan Bogdanovic, Serbia. Ehh.

Jonathan Carrano

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