2011 NBA Mock Draft: NCAA Tournament Jumped Derrick Williams to No. 1. Overall
With outstanding performances that led the Arizona Wildcats to the Elite Eight in this year's NCAA tournament, Derrick Williams' draft stock may have shot all the way up No. 1 overall.
Williams showed explosiveness getting to the rim, and came up clutch in big situations for the Wildcats. Other top draft options, such as Kyrie Irving, failed to solidify themselves as the No. 1 pick due to below-average play.
Jared Sullinger declared he was going to return to Ohio State for his sophomore season, which shrinks the field of who the Cavaliers (most likely) will pick even further.
No. 1. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF/PF Derrick Williams
Although Cleveland has shown interest in Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams' performance in the NCAA tournament should lead them to choose the big man.
Cleveland really doesn't have any long-term assets on their roster, so they might as well take the best overall player in the draft class. Williams definitely has a lot to learn, but he should be able to improve quickly, and help a Cavs team who desperately needs him.
No. 2. Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Kyrie Irving
Assuming he decides to declare for the NBA draft, Kyrie Irving shouldn't have to wait to long to hear his name called.
Minnesota has a lot of guards on their roster, including Ricky Rubio who still plays overseas. Still, there is no guarantee that any of them will be great in the NBA, so taking Irving here would make sense.
No. 3. Washington Wizards: PF/C Enes Kanter
What do Enes Kanter and John Wall have in common?
They both decided to play basketball at Kentucky, although Kanter was declared ineligible by the NCAA committee.
Washington's future lies in the hands of Wall at the moment, but bringing in a big man like Kanter could help them tremendously in the future.
No. 4. Sacramento Kings: SF/PF Perry Jones
This is a tough call here between Perry Jones and Harrison Barnes.
Both could help out a young Sacramento Kings squad, but I think Perry has a little more potential. He would need a year or two to develop in the NBA, but the reward would be worth the risk for the Kings.
No. 5. Toronto Raptors: SF Harrison Barnes
The Raptors would love to see Harrison Barnes slip to No. 5 overall.
Barnes is considered by some to be the most talented player in the draft, and would fit in well in Toronto. The absence of Chris Bosh leaves a huge hole in the roster, and taking a guy who knows how to score is exactly what the Raptors need.
No. 6. Utah Jazz: SF/PF Jan Vesely
Jan Vesely has potential top 10 talent, and the Jazz should take him with the sixth pick if he's around, considering they have an extra pick from the Deron Williams trade,
Utah doesn't really have a pressing need at power forward, but they still need to pull the trigger on Vesely.
No. 7. Detroit Pistons: PF Donatas Motiejunas
Detroit could go after size here or maybe a replacement for Tayshaun Prince.
Motiejunas has looked like a great NBA candidate in his games overseas. He could really help the Pistons, who are looking to get back to their winning ways.
No. 8. Cleveland Cavaliers: PG Kemba Walker
Along with Derrick Williams, Cleveland would love to take home Kemba Walker at the NBA draft.
The Cavaliers recently acquired point guard Baron Davis, but he's certainly not the guard of the future. Walker put on a show in the NCAA tournament and has a lot of potential to be a good NBA player.
No. 9. Milwaukee Bucks: SF Terrence Jones
If Terrence Jones falls to the ninth spot, there is no way the Bucks don't take him.
Milwaukee could lose Redd to free-agency, which would leave a lack of depth in the roster. Williams would be a good replacement, although he probably needs a year of development.
No. 10. Charlotte Bobcats: PG/SG Alec Burks
The Bobcats have a lot of needs to fill, and the point guard position is a top priority.
Alec Burks is a dynamic scorer who could benefit playing in Charlotte. The Bobcats have to choose between Burks, Jimmer Fredette and Brandon Knight at this spot, but Burks seems to be the guy who can transition the fastest.
No. 11. Golden State Warriors: C Jonas Valanciunas
The Warriors don't have a pressing need, besides finding someone to replace Andris Biedrins.
While Biedrins has been on Golden State for a while, it has become clear that he isn't the center of the future. Jonas Valanciunas would be a good fit for the Warriors, but he does have a similar playing style to Biedrins which may haunt them later.
No. 12. Utah Jazz: PG/SG Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight, along with leading the Kentucky Wildcats to the Final Four, has seen his draft stock shoot upward.
The Jazz have Devin Harris at guard, but Knight could easily contend with him for playing time in the next couple years.
No. 13. Phoenix Suns: PG Jimmer Fredette
If Jimmer Fredette can improve his defense, he could be a really good player in the NBA.
Steve Nash only has so much time left on the Suns, and there aren't any good options to follow him. Fredette has the jump shot and technique to help them immediately, but learning behind Nash for a year may be the better option.
No. 14. Houston Rockets: SF Kawhi Leonard
The Rockets don't have huge needs, but could use depth everywhere.
Kawhi Leonard is a guy who can give Houston solid minutes, and can contribute right away. The size and strength of Leonard is also a plus.
No. 15. Indiana Pacers: SF/PF Marcus Morris
The Pacers are in need of a versatile frontcourt player, who can provide solid minutes.
Marcus Morris has matured throughout his career at Kansas, and would be a good fit around the core of Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert.
No. 16. New York Knicks: PF Markieff Morris
The Knicks are another team that needs frontcourt depth, and Markieff Morris would be perfect to fill that spot.
Both Morris twins have strongly developed skills, and although Markieff has the talent to play right away, he probably won't need to.
No. 17. Philadelphia 76ers: SF/PF Chris Singleton
The 76ers need size, but there aren't any great centers worth taking at this spot.
Chris Singleton is known for his defense, which could help the Sixers a lot. Philadelphia has Brand, Young and Iguodala on their roster, which would mean Singleton doesn't have to play right away. Having time to develop behind any of those players would be a good thing for everyone.
No. 18. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Tobias Harris
Minnesota has two first-round picks after they dealt Al Jefferson at the deadline.
Assuming they took Kyrie Irving earlier in the draft, they would most likely look for a forward in this spot. Tobias Harris has a good inside/outside game that looks promising at the next level, and could work out well for the Timberwolves.
No. 19. Washington Wizards: PF Kenneth Faried
Taking another big man at this spot wouldn't be a bad thing, because there's no guarantee that Kanter, or anyone on the current roster is fit to lead the team in the future.
Kenneth Faried looked great in the upset victory over Louisville in the NCAA tournament and is a beast against the glass. Playing alongside John Wall would probably help Faried transition quickly into the NBA.
No. 20. New Orleans Hornets: SG/SF Jordan Hamilton
New Orleans needs another contributor to their offense besides Chris Paul.
Hamilton is a top 10 talent who would be able to step up right away for the Hornets. There is a chance he could return to Texas for another season, but it's doubtful he'll fall past this spot if he declares.
No. 21. Portland Trailblazers: SF Kyle Singler
With Brandon Roy possibly having only a year or two left in his career, the Blazers need a scorer to replace him when he's gone.
Singler has shown he knows how to score, and has really grown over the course of his career at Duke. He wouldn't have to wait behind Roy, because he can come in and contribute right away.
No. 22. Denver Nuggets: PF Trey Thompkins
There is a good chance the Nuggets won't have Nene for too much longer, and they really need to get size with their pick here.
Trey Thompkins is very athletic and has the size Denver is looking for. He's played three seasons at Georgia and can help the Nuggets immediately.
No. 23. Phoenix Suns: SG William Buford
The Suns already have a lot of size on their roster, although they don't really have a dynamic scorer under the hoop.
William Buford is a scoring threat, that could provide another good option in Phoenix.
No. 24. Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Jon Leuer
With the loss of Jeff Green, Oklahoma City could really use another forward on their roster.
Jon Leuer has developed his skills throughout his four-year career at Wisconsin. Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka are already on the roster, but Leuer could still find his way into the starting mix.
No. 25. Chicago Bulls: PG/SG Nolan Smith
The Bulls need an upgrade at the shooting guard position, and Nolan Smith would be a good fit.
He has the same style of play that Chris Duhon had when he was at Chicago. The Bulls are already a very talented team, so Smith wouldn't have to be relied on too much at the start.
No. 26. Dallas Mavericks: PF JaJuan Johnson
If the Mavericks need anything, it's probably help in the frontcourt.
JaJuan Johnson is very athletic and could be a steal if he plays up to his potential. The Mavericks really have no need for any more starters right now, so Johnson would have time to learn before getting into the action.
No. 27. New Jersey Nets: SG/SF Tyler Honeycutt
The Nets have a strong foundation after they traded for Deron Williams at the deadline last season.
Brook Lopez is definitely going to be an elite center soon, and Williams has been elite for years. They still need another scoring option besides those two, which Tyler Honeycutt could provide.
No. 28. Boston Celtics: PG Norris Cole
Norris Cole has a similar playing style to Nate Robinson, who was traded away to the Thunder.
Cole would love the opportunity to watch and learn behind Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, and could help them in the future once the older players leave.
No. 29. Chicago Bulls: SF Jeffery Taylor
The Bulls already addressed their main need of a guard by picking Nolan Smith.
Taylor is a versatile and athletic forward who knows how to play strong defense. The Bulls can take a chance on whoever they want with this pick, and Taylor might be the best available.
No. 30. San Antonio Spurs: PG/SG Malcolm Lee
The Spurs don't have any pressing needs to fill, and Lee has the potential to be a good player in the NBA.
Lee has shown consistency in his college career, but needs a little time to develop. He can wait for his turn behind Parker and Ginobili.