2011 NBA Mock Draft - Underclassmen Declaring Deadline Edition

Sorry it has been so long since I have made a post on this blog. It's kind of hard to do mock drafts right now. In the NFL, nothing is happening, and in the NBA, the draft is expected to be so terrible. But here's my latest NBA effort. Next mock will probably be after the lottery has been conducted. Enjoy.


1. Minnesota Timberwolves - PF/C Enes Kanter, Turkey. I know I am alone with this pick, but let me explain myself. First, this is a terrible draft. One of the very worst in memory. The top two prospects, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, both have more question marks then other top overall picks. I just can't see David Kahn taking Irving when he is still dead set on convincing Ricky Rubio to come over. Plus, Irving lacks the size and skills of first overall John Wall and Derrick Rose. Williams is a stud but he is a bit of a tweener and his game is similar to Michael Beasley. There is a glut of wing players on this roster. For months I have said the Wolves would take Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania, even if they have the top overall pick. But he will probably require a steep buyout. You just can't draft a player first overall that won't come over for a year or two. So that leaves Kanter. I think the pick wouldn't be so ridiculous if Kanter was able to play for Kentucky. He lacks some athleticism but has the best body of any big men in the draft and, at 19 years old by the time the draft rolls around, is already to play good minutes in the NBA. Not surprisingly, Darko Milicic has been as mediocre as ever, so center is the one spot where a rookie could get some minutes right away on this team. That is the David Kahn thought process. Mine would be to take Irving, trade Rubio, dump Kurt Rambis, bring in a coach that would let these young kids run up and down the floor. If they are going to be terrible, they might as well be exciting. But I'm no David Kaaaaaahhhhnnn!!!!!! Regardless, by the time the lottery rolls around, Minnesota will probably end up with the fourth pick, so this will all be moot.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers - PG Kyrie Irving, Fr, Duke. Point guard is a much more difficult position to fill then a stretch 4 type, which is why I have Irving here instead of Derrick Williams. The Cavaliers are stuck with Baron Davis for a couple more years. But that shouldn't even to begin to matter, the Cavs have a chance to draft their floor leader of the future here. Irving isn't a physical freak like a Rose, Westbrook or Wall. But neither was Chris Paul. The NBA is a point guard and big man league, if you can find your point guard of the future, go that way.
 
3. Toronto Raptors - SF/PF Derrick Williams, So, Arizona.
Williams might not be the best fit for the Raptors, but the draft falls off so much after Irving and Williams, that they have to take Derrick here. Williams has an intriguing size/skill combo that really isn't seen in the NBA very often. Maybe Michael Beasley. Does that make him a tweener? Probably. But I think he has improved his shooting enough that he could hold his own at small forward on offense, which is probably where the Raptors will use him. He can also bang down low if need be. He could eventually be a 20 ppg scorer along with DeMar DeRozan for the Raptors. Getting him at 3 in a draft this weak would be a steal for the Raps.

4. Washington Wizards - PF/C Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania. This is where the mock draft becomes somewhat of a crap shoot to me. Already at pick 4. Well, actually the first pick was a crap shoot for me too, but I digress. I can't find out too much information about Valanciunas' buyout, but if it is not too high, I would swap him with Kanter. But I think he will go pretty high. Unlike so many other European big men, this guy plays a tougher game. He can bang down low, already has a 7'0, 240 pound frame at 18 years old, and should continue to grow. I think that is good enough to take him in the top five. Who else out there could the Wizards take? Sheesh, what a terrible draft. It's a chore to do this mock.

5. Sacramento Kings - PG Kemba Walker, Jr, Connecticut.
This pick will come down between Walker and Brandon Knight right now. Neither player would be a great fit with Tyreke Evans, as both are more of scorers then distributors at the moment. I go with Walker because of his resume. Sure, he's undersized but so is Ty Lawson, and he looks like a keeper. Walker has the speed to keep up with Ty.

6. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey Nets) - SG Alec Burks, So, Colorado.
This draft has a few talented point guard prospects, plenty of undersized American power forwards, and a few intriguing foreign big men. But what it completely lacks is talent at the wing positions, especially shooting guards. So the one true talent at the 2 position should go in the lottery, even though he is not much of a shooter right now. Burks is one of only a small handful of good scorers in this draft, so I think he has a shot to go pretty high. Even possibly squeaking into the top five. For as long as I can remember the Jazz have opted to go with spot up shooters at the 2 spot. But this is a new Jazz team, who would do well to go with a youth movement. It will be interesting for Jazz fans to cheer for a wing player who can actually get to the rim.

7. Detroit Pistons - PG Brandon Knight, Fr, Kentucky
. I really have no idea what Joe Dumars is doing in regards to building this team. So this is a very difficult pick for me to predict. I know that for some reason the head coach is going to return next year, and Rodney Stuckey and him have clashed several times, so drafting his potential replacement could light a fire or run him out of town. Knight has been all over the draft boards this year but Kentucky's NCAA Tournament run has solidified Knight as a lottery pick. He is more of a scorer then a distributor at this point, so he should fit in quite nicely with the other Pistons shoot first, second and third guards.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers - SF/PF Terrence Jones, Fr, Kentucky.
Jones has the talent to go in the top three of this draft, but the effort is not always there. The Cavaliers are a terrible team with next to no talent on the roster, and with two high first round picks, they would do well to go talent and potential here. Jones has been compared to Marvin Williams and Lamar Odom, because of his unique skills at his size but also his demeanor. He seems to not care a lot of the time, and can coast through games. He is also a bit of a tweener, as are most players in this draft.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - PG/SG Jimmer Fredette, Sr, BYU. The Bobcats have always chosen college productivity in the draft over potential. From Emeka Okafor to Adam Morrison to Gerald Henderson. And it has been a failure more often then not. But I don't see why they would change now. They would probably go well to take someone like one of the Morris twins who can help on the glass, but Fredette could be the white friendly fan favorite the Carolinas could root for. Unlike Morrison, he will actually put some effort out on the floor. His stock seems to have tumbled after his terrible game against the Gators, but I still think he will wind up going in the 8-13 range. After the Cougars tossed one of their best players off the team, Fredette knew he had to do everything himself for BYU to have any chance of winning. I think he could be a fine first guard off the bench and have a Jason Terry like career.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - PF Donatas Motieunas, Lithuania. The Bucks would love to land Alec Burks here, but he is off the board in this mock draft. Scott Skiles style seems to work well at first, then wear off quickly, and it looks like that was the case once again for the Bucks. They played well over their heads in 2009-2010, and that came crashing down this past year. A team full of role players can only win so many games. So I have the Bucks taking potential here. Motiejunas is compared to Andrea Bargnani, both because of his shooting and scoring talent, but also his complete disinterest on the defensive end and on the glass. The Bucks are pretty deep with mediocre role players who can play some defense and rebound. What they really need is more offense.

11. Golden St. Warriors - SF/PF Jan Vesely, Czech Republic.
Vesely is not the typical European prospect. He is more dunker and high flyer then basketball player at this point. He will have no problem keeping up with Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis on the fast break and throwing it down Blake Griffin style. He is not much of a rebounder and can't play a ton of defense, but he should be worth it at this point in the draft because of his dunks alone. His offensive game hasn't expanded much beyond that.

12. Utah Jazz - PF Markieff Morris, Jr, Kansas.
The Jazz opt to go the safe route here and take the bigger Morris twin, who might not ever be a starter in this league but is very solid and could be a role player immediately. I think he is near a lottery lock because it will be next to impossible to find a 6'10 player who is a "safe bet" to be a productive part of your team in this draft.

13. Phoenix Suns - SF Kawhi Leonard, So, San Diego St. Leonard would be a good fit on a team that doesn't really use set positions. He is somewhat of a hybrid forward, think Gerald Wallace or Shawn Marion, who can shoot pretty well but also fly to the rim for a thunderous dunk. But he is definitely a project, who could take a few years to find a role in the NBA, similar to Wallace.

14. Houston Rockets - SF Tyler Honeycutt, So, UCLA.
If Austin Daye can go around this spot, I think Honeycutt can as well. UCLA players tend to be better in the NBA then they are in college. Honeycutt has a chance to be a pretty good defender at the NBA level, and can pour some offense in as well. The Rockets are deep enough that they can take him and develop him for a couple years.

15. Indiana Pacers - PF/C Bismack Biyombo, Congo.
Any time you are compared to Ben Wallace, that is a very nice way of saying you have no offensive game to speak of. Unlike the other European prospects that I have been reading about for the past year or so, I haven't heard of this guy until about a week ago. So what do I know? He is a physical freak with a sick wingspan. He loves to run the court, attack the rim, tear down rebounds. Think Chris Andersen's non stop motor. Those are good traits, but it makes me think he will be strictly a 20 minute per game player, at most. I just can't put him in the top 10 like other mocks are doing right now. But hopefully he will be more Serge Ibaka and less Sear sene.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - SF Jordan Hamilton, So, Texas.
The Sixers are like the Nuggets of the East. They are a deep team, without any real stars. So I think they should just go best player available and develop him. Hamilton is one of the only players in this draft who has the ability to create his own offense, but he is probably a couple years away from contributing at the NBA level. Fully expect Doug Collins to bury him on the bench.

17. New York Knicks - SF/PF Marcus Morris, Jr, Kentucky.
Assuming Mike D'Antoni returns to the Knicks next year, Morris would be a pretty good fit. He is undersized at power forward, not quite quick enough for small forward, but he has a good offensive game and could be a good fit as backup to both Carmelo and Amar'e. Of course, D'Antoni ran Corey Brewer and Anthony Randolph out of town in favor of Jared Jeffries, so he might just bury Morris on the bench.

18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta Hawks) - SF Chris Singleton, Jr, Florida St.
The Wizards might not have a problem putting the ball in the basket next season. John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Andray Blatche and Nick Young have all shown great scoring potential. But can they play a lick of offense? Singleton is one of the best lockdown defenders in this draft and could be a big help for Washington.

19. Charlotte Bobcats (from Portland Trail Blazers) - PF Tristan Thompson, Fr, Texas.
The Bobcats really don't have any talented big men on the roster. Thompson will be a big time project but has the potential to be one of the best players in this draft.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies) - SG Klay Thompson, Jr, Washington St. I don't know where the Timberwolves will go with this pick. They aren't three deep with mediocre shooting guards yet so they'll take Thompson.

21. Portland Trail Blazers - C Lucas Nogueira, Spain.
The Blazers could use a big man that can provide depth right away, but there just isn't anyone like that in this draft. They have been successful with overseas players in the past. Nogueira is a huge project though and may never become anything.

22. Denver Nuggets - PF JaJuan Johnson, Sr, Purdue.
Yet another undersized big man, seems to be the main theme in this draft. Johnson is not much of a rebounder but is a pretty good scorer who can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. Should be able to run up and down the court in the Nuggets super up tempo scheme. Even though he played 4 years at Purdue, is still a project.

23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando Magic) - SF Tobias Harris, Fr, Tennessee.
I know I already had the Rockets taking a small forward but at this point you are just going best player available. Harris has some Shane Battier to his game, he won't wow you in any one area but could be a solid all around backup.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder - PF Nikoola Mirotic, Serbia. It will probably be a few years before Mirotic comes over to the states, but the Thunder will be okay with that. They currently have 13 players under contract for the 2011-2012 season.

25. Boston Celtics - PF Kenneth Faried, Sr, Morehead St. The Celtics curious decision to trade away most of their young depth could be their undoing this playoff season. They really could stand to develop some young players to be a part of the rotation. Faried can do one thing extremely well, and that is rebound the ball. That usually translates well to the NBA.

26. Dallas Mavericks - PF Trey Thompkins, Jr, Georgia.
Depth for Dallas, who will be losing quite a few backups to free agency this off season.

27. New Jersey Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers) - SF Kyle Singler, Sr, Duke. It is amazing that Travis Outlaw will make 7 million dollars for the next three years. Yes, a lockout is a good idea. Anyways, Singler had a weak senior season but he can still shoot the ball, and that should land him in the tail end of the first round.

28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami Heat) - PG/SG Josh Selby, Fr, Kansas. Selby was a top recruit who had a terrible loan year for the Jayhawks. The Bulls have two first round picks at the very end of the first round and could do worse then gamble on some talent here.

29. San Antonio Spurs - PF Jon Leuer, Sr, Wisconsin. Leuer might not be a first round talent but he is a smart basketball player and has some range on his jump shot. If Matt Bonner can carve out an NBA career, so can Leuer. I think he's a good fit with the Spurs, who like their big men to take jump shots.

30. Chicago Bulls - PG/SG Shelvin Mack, Jr, Butler.
Like Selby, he is a tweener. But he can shoot the ball, and the Bulls are always looking for shooters.

Jonathan Carrano

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1 comment:

raquelle said...

The last thing the 6ers need is another 6'7 swingman