2011 NBA Mock Draft - "No Early Entrants" Edition

Two updates in a week? Sure, why not? I have a little more free time, and of course that coincides with the two sports I talk about the most both being locked down. So I have to come up with some pointless articles. Like this one.

What would the draft be like if no one declared early? I decided to do that for the 2011 draft. I might do more here soon. Strangly, the draft would be almost as bad even if no one declared early. Of course, this draft doesn't include foreign prospects. There are some studs on the top, but the talent level falls off really quickly. Let me know how wrong I am and what you would do differently!


1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Clippers) - PG Derrick Rose, Memphis. The point guard or the big man? That is a tough decision. But considering Rose just came off of an MVP season and plays the most important position on the floor, I will go with him.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves - PF Blake Griffin, Oklahoma. Griffin was the unquestioned first overall pick of his draft class, and backed up those claims after missing his entire rookie season. He would give the Wolves their most exciting player since Kevin Garnett.

3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey Nets) - PF Kevin Love, UCLA. The Jazz front court isn't white enough, so they would love to add Kevin Love to the mix. He would start at power forward and give the Jazz three different power forwards in the starting lineup with very different skill sets. Sure, they will get destroyed defensively, but they will be fun to watch on offense.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - SG Eric Gordon, Indiana. This pick comes down to James Harden and Eric Gordon. I gave them Gordon because he is a superior shooter and would be a great backcourt fit next to Rose. The Cavs would definitely be back in the playoffs with this lineup.

5. Toronto Raptors - SG James Harden, Arizona St. Harden is the best player left, by a wide margin in my opinion. The Raptors take him and slide DeMar DeRozan over to the small forward position.

6. Washington Wizards - SG/SF Evan Turner, Ohio St. The draft falls off at this point, as no players left are unquestioned starters in the NBA. I think Turner had a decent enough rookie year playing for Doug Collins, who is always rough on rookies. I know we didn't already forget his amazing junior season. He could slide in at small forward and be a nice "do everything" player for the Wizards.

7. Sacramento Kings - SG OJ Mayo, USC. Mayo's numbers have gotten worse as the Grizzlies have gotten better. Does that tell us anything? Who knows. But the Kings would take him and pair him with Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Marcus Thornton. Sure, the team would average about 5 assists per game, but they would score the basketball.

8. Detroit Pistons - C DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M. DeAndre Jordan could have been a lottery pick had he stuck around and worked on his game. But he came out as a freshman after an average season at Texas A&M and wasn't taken until the second round. He has gradually improved his game and looks to be a long time starting center in this league. The Pistons would love to have a defensive minded banger at center to play next to the finesse Greg Monroe.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - PF Patrick Patterson, Kentucky. The Bobcats have a penchant for taking low upside, productive college players. Patterson would be just that. After a very solid college career, he should slide right into the starting power forward spot for the Bobcats and help them maintain their mediocre ways.

10. Milwaukee Bucks - SF/PF Michael Beasley, Kansas St. It's hard to imagine that we were once debating if Beasley should have been taken over Derrick Rose. Scott Skiles would immediately hate him but the Bucks could really use his scoring. They are deep enough defensively that they can hide his shortcomings. He would be a good fit here.

11. Golden St. Warriors - PF JJ Hickson, North Carolina St. The Warriors could use someone who can bang down low and grab some rebounds. Hickson does that in flashes, but is mostly a finesse big man like new teammate David Lee.

12. Utah Jazz - PG Jimmer Fredette, BYU. Kevin Love and Jimmer Fredette the newest members of the Utah Jazz? The Mormon nation is throwing a party tonight.

13. Phoenix Suns - SF Wesley Johnson, Syracuse. Johnson is a good all around forward who has been miscast horribly as a shooting guard in Minnesota. He would be a good fit with the Suns, who need a forward who can play some defense and provide toughness.

14. Houston Rockets - PF DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh. So what if Blair's knees might fall off in five or so years. He has been as good as can be hoped for so far for the Spurs and obviously was worth a first round pick. The Rockets are very deep so they don't have to play him 30 minutes per night.

15. Indiana Pacers - PG Jeff Teague, Wake Forest. The Pacers could use some competition for Darren Collison. Teague has the talent to be a great scoring compliment at point guard.

16. Philadelphia 76ers - PF Ekpe Udoh, Baylor. It is hard to tell how good Udoh really is. He had a good, not great college career with Michigan and Baylor. Injuries made his rookie year in the NBA useless. But the Sixers can really use some rebounding and shot blocking out of the power forward and center positions. Udoh would do well in spurts.

17. New York Knicks - PF Larry Sanders, VCU. Like the Sixers, the Knicks need some toughness at the 4 and 5 positions. Sanders is athletic enough to keep up on the break.

18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta Hawks) - PF Anthony Randolph, LSU. Randolph is more talented then some of the guys picked ahead of him, but three years and he has shown nothing but flashes, and is already on his third NBA team.

19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans Hornets) - SG James Anderson, Oklahoma St. Not surprisingly, Anderson did not do much on a deep veteran Spurs team his rookie season. But the Bobcats could really use some scoring, and Anderson was one of the best in the nation during his time at Oklahoma St.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies) - SG Marshon Brooks, Providence. The Timberwolves need someone who can score in the backcourt.

21. Portland Trail Blazers - PG Jonny Flynn, Syracuse. Flynn goes from one plodding offense to another with the Blazers. How good is he really? He can't be as bad as he was in Minnesota, but it's obvious he was taken over some superior options at point guard.

22. Denver Nuggets - PF Kenneth Faried, Morehead St. Why not stick with Faried, who will provide energy and toughness for the Nuggets front court.

23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando Magic) - C Cole Aldrich, Kansas. Aldrich was not heard of at all during his rookie year for Oklahoma City, but is a legit 7 footer with some skills, something the Rockets really need.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder - SF Austin Daye, Gonzaga. The Thunder take another tall, skinny small forward to back up Kevin Durant.

25. Boston Celtics - PF JaJuan Johnson, Purdue. The Celtics need big men and Johnson, their 2011 first round pick, is the best remaining.

26. Dallas Mavericks - SF/PF James Johnson, Wake Forest. Johnson has shown flashes during his career but has yet to put anything consistent together. He will likely be bench fodder for the champs.

27. New Jersey Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers) - SF Donte Greene, Syracuse. Scoring offense off the bench.

28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami Heat) - PG Jerryd Bayless, Arizona. Scoring offense off the bench.

29. San Antonio Spurs - SG Nolan Smith, Duke. Smith is a solid all around player, just the type of guy the Spurs could draft and stash on the bench.

 30. Chicago Bulls - SF Jimmy Butler, Marquette. The guy they took anyway. Eh.

Jonathan Carrano

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