NBA Mock Draft 2011: Has Jimmer Fredette Worked His Way into the Top 10?
There has been much debate over where Jimmer Fredette of BYU will be drafted in the 2011 NBA draft this summer, and from that, we have heard every possible side of the story.
One one hand, he is an amazing shooter that hasn't met a shot he wouldn't take or couldn't make. On the other hand, he is a slower point guard who doesn't do much of anything at all on the defensive end of the floor.
As expected, Jimmer has his lovers and his haters, and at this point, the lovers have seemingly won out, as Jimmer's name has been out there enough to garner him attention and possibly a top-10 draft spot to go along with that.
So, as the 392,303rd mock draft on the internet, I would like to throw my opinion into the ring on both Jimmer-mania and the rest of the potential draftees this summer.
I am an NBA man first and foremost, so I look at whose game will translate best to the NBA over what players have done in college.
The draft order I am using is as of the morning of Sunday March 27th, so don't yell at me if things are flipped around slightly when you are reading this.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Derrick Williams SF, Arizona
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for two things in this draft, a sure thing and a way to move on from the LeBron James Era that was the past eight years in the city (yes, this year counts as he impacted the team more than any other player on their roster this season).
Unfortunately for the Cavs, there are no sure things in this draft, so they will have to settle for a potential star player.
All the talk for the Cavs is around Jared Sullinger, the Ohio State big man, but Sullinger, however good he may have been, does not have the potential of some of the other guys in this draft. He is a safe pick and could end up being the Cavs' pick (if he ends up changing his mind and entering the draft), but I don't see him being as good as some of the others in this draft could be.
That leaves me at Derrick Williams, the forward from Arizona that can score with an ever-increasing number of moves.
He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and led the NCAA in true-shooting percentage and free-throw attempts.
Williams can be the man in the Cavs offense next season to demand the ball and give some purpose to the team.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Perry Jones PF/C, Baylor
The Minnesota Timberwolves already have one big man down low, but with Kevin Love and the Nikola Pekovic-Darko Milicic combo at center, they have a rather weak defensive frontcourt.
With Perry Jones added to the team, they would have an extremely hard-working power forward who can literally vacuum in rebounds, along with a guy that has the biggest upside in the draft.
Jones can score down low, and with a little bit of seasoning, could end up rivaling Dwight Howard in terms of physicality and scoring efficiency.
He would also give an edge to a defense that is nearly nonexistent, so long as he is given the proper coaching, as he is still young and not completely there defensively.
3. Washington Wizards: Harrison Barnes SF, North Carolina
The Washington Wizards currently have a point guard that is going to be the rock of their offense (John Wall), a power forward that can score, despite his occasional brain farts (I'm talking to you Andray Blatche) and a young center who is learning the ropes (JaVale McGee).
So, for this young Wizards team, the best thing for them would be a young, skilled wing with tons of potential—that is Harrison Barnes.
Barnes isn't the uber-athletic forward that the NBA has been flooded with in the past decade, but he is a polished scorer and a clutch player with lots of room to improve.
4. Sacramento Kings: Kyrie Irving PG, Duke
If there is one thing that this draft is saturated with, it is point guards with potential, which bodes well for the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings currently boast Beno Udrih and Pooh Jeter as their go-to point guards, which isn't exactly elite, so a good point guard would be a good pick for the Kings.
For Duke, Irving was the main facilitator and shooter, while running an offense that constantly kept defenses off balance.
Irving is the total package in terms of non-Derrick Rose style point guards, as he isn't the speedster or athlete that Rose is, but is extremely smart and good at getting everybody involved in the offense.
5. Toronto Raptors: Jared Sullinger PF, Ohio State
Jared Sullinger is probably the safest pick to be a good player in the NBA, but he isn't the extremely athletic type that the NBA is full of right now.
Sully is also a bit short for his position, listed as 6'8" or 6'9", which I think will keep him from being the No. 1 pick if he were to enter the draft.
He is a tough and physical guy who can score down low with great efficiency and plays an old-school style that isn't seen in big men as much these days.
The best thing about Sullinger is that he is a dedicated man who will do anything necessary to be the best player he can be, including slimming down (he lost nearly 30 pounds from his senior year in high school to his freshman year at OSU), and he has a flurry of low-post moves.
6. Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter PF/C, Kentucky...Kind Of
Enes Kanter is a guy who knows how to use what he has got in order to get to the rim or stop a driving player.
Kanter is 6'10", 260 pounds, so he is a big guy, but he has the eyes of a slasher, as he can find any angle to get to the rim.
The most disappointing thing about this college basketball season was the ruling that Kanter was permanently ineligible due to educational expenses he was given by the Turkish professional team for which he plays.
Kanter is an exceptionally smart player, but at the same time, he is quite mysterious, as he hasn't competed in America.
7. Detriot Pistons: Terrence Jones SF, Kentucky
Terrence Jones had a much better offensive output during the regular season, but his defense improved by leaps and bounds as the year went on, and it showed in the tournament.
He is a very smart player who does what is needed from him for his team to win, with the ability to drive, shoot and defend.
Jones is a thickly built player who knows how to use his body to his advantage without getting into foul trouble often.
He is a great option to replace the soon-to-be-departing Tayshaun Prince.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kemba Walker PG, UConn
Kemba Walker may be a bit of a stretch this high in the draft, but the Cavs have the leeway to go for Walker at this point, as this past season shattered expectations for the fans—which may be a good thing for the franchise at the time.
Walker has turned himself into an excellent shooter who has been quite clutch, an excellent ball-handler and a speedy guard with the ability to use the three at the same time.
With a little coaching, he could end up being an excellent distributor along with these things.
The biggest problem with Walker is his size, as point guards in the NBA are getting bigger and more athletic, but his speed, along with some NBA experience, should make him an acceptable defender.
Combining Walker with Derrick Williams would give the Cavs a great base to build from to try to get them back to respectability.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Donatas Montiejunas PF/C, Lithuania
Donatas Montiejunas was a guy who everyone thought would declare for last year's draft, but he surprisingly decided to stay in Italy, where he has taken the league by storm.
He has been criticized for being too skinny, which has led to him being a bit soft offensively, but over the past summer he added some weight to his lanky frame.
Montiejunas can shoot the lights out from anywhere on the floor, and he is exceptionally fast for a guy his size.
He is a terrific finesse center who can pass and move as smooth as anyone his size around the court, but he is a subpar rebounder and defender, needing work in both areas.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks SG, Colorado
Alec Burks went from an undersized winger with a good shot to a legitimate NBA-sized player who can create his own shot.
Colorado is currently being dragged through the NIT tournament by Burks, as he is shooting the lights out in the past three games.
Burks can shoot from anywhere on the floor, drive left or right, and rebound—three very valuable things for a guy his size.
11. Golden State Warriors: Jan Vesely PF, Czech Republic
Vesely is a confident shooting big man who can use his height to his advantage, but at times, he can be overconfident.
Vesely is a good shooter in his own right, but once he gets beyond the three-point line, his numbers go down—but he still takes the shots.
He can be a good NBA player, but he needs to be more disciplined than he is right now.
12. Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette SG, BYU
Every bit of me wanted to have Jimmer going to the Warriors, as he would fit right in with their free-shooting nature, but the Warriors will probably focus on becoming more defensively sound this summer in order for them to be actually threatening.
The Jazz, on the other hand, could use a guy that could play as either a big point guard or a small shooting guard who can create his own shot and make some ridiculous shots.
Fredette is an incredibly skilled shooter who has regressed on defense this season, but with some discipline, he could become at least an acceptable defender.
Plus, he could be put into the Jazz shooting guard depth, backing up C.J Miles, becoming a good scoring option in their second unit were he to become anything more than a freakishly good shooter.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kawhi Leonard SF, SDSU
The Mountain West Freshman of the Year and Mountain West Tournament MVP has become a great prospect for this year's draft.
Kawhi Leonard is a high-energy winger with a huge wingspan with a bit to be desired when it comes to athleticism (think Tayshaun Prince).
Leonard is excellent off the dribble-drive, with the ability to cut either way to the rim and a knack for hitting wild shots.
He can be a bit wild at time and will need to tighten up the screws at the next level.
14. Houston Rockets: Jonas Valaciunas C, Lithuania
A big man with a lot of potential is exactly what the Houston Rockets need with Yao Ming's contract expiring, and it looking like he will never be the player he once was.
Houston otherwise has Brad Miller, a guy who is too old, Chuck Hayes, a guy who is undersized, and Hasheem Thabeet, a guy softer than a bag of cotton balls.
Valaciunas is a steadily improving big man who has shown the ability to compete with NBA-level talent, as he has averaged 20-10 and three blocks in two matchups with Enes Kanter.
15. Indiana Pacers: Marcus Morris PF, Kansas
The Morris brothers are starting to remind me of the the Lopez twins when they were at Stanford a few years back.
One, Marcus, has shown a lot more NBA potential (like Brook Lopez) than his brother Markieff (Robin Lopez).
Both are outstanding collegiate players, but it seems that Marcus will be the better professional, as he has shown a blend of skill and strength, along with the ability to guard the biggest of the bigs and the littlest of the littles.
16. New York Knicks: Tristan Thompson SF/PF, Texas
Tristan Thompson is another guy who has said he won't be declaring for the draft, and one that I am inclined to believe for the time being—meaning the NBA could be missing out on a good player.
Until the draft declaration deadline passes, however, he will continue to be listed in mock drafts, so here he is.
Thompson could play either the 3 or 4 spot in the NBA, and do so effectively at either spot.
He is an excellent rebounder with arms long enough to rival JaVal McGee, and insane athleticism that allows him to score in bunches.
The biggest problem with Thompson, however, is his inconsistency, something which he will have to work on at the next level.
17. Philadelphia 76ers: Jordan Hamilton SG/SF, Texas
Another Texas player who is planning on returning to college next season is Jordan Hamilton, but he would have a good shot at being a good NBA player.
Hamilton would fit right in with Philadelphia, coming off the bench behind either Jodie Meeks or Andre Iguodala.
He has improved by leaps and bounds since his freshman season, emerging as one of the best scorers in college basketball. His shooting is best from the jump-and-shoot, and he is an improving slasher but isn't great at creating his own shot.
Hamilton also has the tendency to get down on himself as he goes into slumps and stays in them, so his head needs to be fixed once he gets into the NBA.
18. Memphis Grizzlies: Brandon Knight PG/SG, Kentucky
Knight can be a terrific shooting point guard or just a great shooting 2-guard who has been quite clutch this season.
He is a dedicated player who is always working on his game, and a good passer who has a terrific first step on the drive.
Knight could end up being one of those underrated shooters who always shows up when his team needs him, like Jason Terry.
19. Washington Wizards: Kenneth Faried PF, Morehead St.
Kenneth Faried nearly broke Tim Duncan's career double-double record this year and should end up a decent NBA-er at the very least.
Faried is an adamant pursuer, constantly hustling and working for every rebound, something that any team in the NBA would want.
In Morehead State's upset of Louisville, he tallied 17 rebounds and blocked Louisville's final shot attempt of the game, which should end up helping his draft status.
20. Charlotte Bobcats: Trey Thompkins PF, Georgia
Trey Thompkins is a guy that could end up growing into a good NBA player, but his frame needs to be filled out a bit.
He isn't as strong as a scout would want a power forward to be, but he definitely has room to add muscle to his body.
Otherwise, he is a good height at 6'9", can score in the post, and at one point, could shoot the long ball, something that seemed to have left him this season but he can probably get back at some point.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Nikola Mirotic PF, Yugoslavia
The biggest reason I want to see Nikola Mirotic become a good NBA player is to hear Marv Albert stretch out the word "Yugoslavia" so that it sounds a bit like "Youu-gohh-shhlaaav-iaaahhhh"—oh, and he is a smooth-shooting big man, which is always fun.
In 15 games in the Euro League this year, Mirotic is shooting 43 percent from downtown, as he worked his way up from being the 12th man on the team to one of the most productive players on one of Europe's best teams.
He's a young big man with many post moves and a confident and quick shooting stroke that could kill in the NBA.
22. Denver Nuggets: Chris Singleton SF, Florida St.
Chris Singleton became the go-to guy for Florida State this season, but an injury derailed the end of his season as FSU went 3-3 without the tweener forward.
Singleton is an athlete comparable to Rudy Gay with a big frame and long arms that allow him to be a defensive monster.
He has had his struggles on the offensive end of the floor, but he is rapidly improving and could be a steal this low in the draft.
23. Phoenix Suns: Markieff Morris PF, Kansas
I didn't realize it until after I was done that I put Markieff Morris, the seemingly lesser of the Morris twins, on the same team as Robin Lopez, the lesser of the Lopez twins.
Markieff is slightly bigger than his brother, but he isn't as versatile as Marcus and needs to work to better utilize his athleticism on offense.
He can shoot from the three-point line when he is on a roll, but he needs to be more aggressive down low at the next level to be a true threat.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: John Henson PF, North Carolina
John Henson is a guy that gets overlooked on a great North Carolina team, even though his improvement from last season is quite remarkable.
He is an incredibly mobile power forward with the athleticism and terrific motor that allows him to have a shot at every rebound that careens off the rim.
25. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Honeycutt SF, UCLA
Honeycutt is a very smooth and long scorer who should be able to make a living as a spot-up shooter and good defender at the next level.
He can do everything on defense and shoot from almost anywhere on the offensive end of the floor, which should lead to him getting some looks in the late first round.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Tobias Harris PF, Tennessee
Upon first glance, Tobias Harris is a chunky, undersized forward who would need hard work and a little luck to make it at the next level—and in some sense, he is exactly that.
However, he is a strong young man who can post up nearly anyone while also handling the ball like a much smaller man, creating a mismatch for many defenders in the long run.
27. New Jersey Nets: Jeff Tyler SG/SF, Vanderbilt
Jeff Tyler is the kind of player who will be able to have a shot at the next level based on his knowledge of the game alone.
He is good at dissecting defenses, something that is extremely desirable from a backup shooting guard or small forward.
Aside from that, he is a good shooter that can always be better with a little hard work.
28. Boston Celtics: Nolan Smith PG, Duke
Nolan Smith could be the steal of this draft, considering his skill set and the fact that he is projected to go in the bottom half of the first round of the draft.
Smith has experience as the point guard on one of the best teams in the nation while Kyrie Irving was out.
There have been questions as to how well he can run the point, and if he can do it with any bit of skill, he could end up being the steal of the draft.
29. Chicago Bulls: Lucas Nogueira C, Brazil
This late in the first round, teams should be more willing to stretch for talent, as a pick that hits is more surprising than one that flops.
Here, Lucas Nogueira would be a good pick-up for all of the upside that he has.
He is too skinny and unrefined, but with a few years in Europe or after staying in Brazil for a bit longer mixed with a few Summer League stints, he could end up being a good center.
30. San Antonio Spurs: JaJuan Johnson PF/C, Purdue
JaJuan Johnson seems like a player that was tailor-made for the San Antonio Spurs.
He is a big man that can rebound and score down low, and really, just do what a big man is supposed to do.
Additionally, with Robbie Hummel out for the previous season, Johnson thrived when asked to take on an additional role in the offense.
Johnson has become more well-rounded on each side of the ball, and is a smart, defensively solid player, meaning he would slide right into the Spurs organization with very few problems.