NBA Draft 2011: 10 Players Who Will Change Positions in the NBA
College studs are commonly asked to change positions at the next level. Whether it's Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans or Charlie Villanueva, players are commonly asked to swap positions in the NBA.
Some transitions, like Beasley's, can go somewhat smoothly. Unfortunately, guys like Jeff Green and Julian Wright seem to be stuck with the "tweener" label forever.
This draft has plenty of questionable transitions to be made. Whether guys like Derrick Williams are able to make that transfer is entirely up to them and what they do this summer.
Let's get down to it. Here are 10 players who will be asked to change positions in the NBA.
10. Shelvin Mack
With the Bulldogs on their way to the national title game for the second year in a row, combo-guard Shelvin Mack has seen his stock rise.
Last night, head coach Brad Stevens praised Mack for his play, saying that he will be a big-time player at the next level.
For that to happen, Mack needs to find an identity at a position.
Mack is decent when running the point and undersized at shooting guard. However, with Mack's great scoring ability, shooting guard will likely be the position teams place him at.
Though Mack will be at a disadvantage defending shooting guards in the NBA, his scoring prowess makes up for it.
9. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes won’t be asked to change positions, but instead he will be asked to play two or three of them.
Barnes will be playing on the perimeter in the NBA, all but guaranteeing he will play both wing spots. Barnes has the versatility to play both shooting guard and small forward, making this transition that much easier.
Barnes has the potential to impact the game in several ways, meaning his versatility is that much more important.
8. Brandon Knight
Knight made the full-time transition to point guard, which he will need to continue to do in the NBA.
The Kentucky freshman is a great shooter, but he won’t be drafted strictly for that.
Knight has the speed, athleticism and quickness to excel at point guard in the NBA. Like point guards before him under John Calipari, Brandon Knight has the opportunity to be a stud in the NBA.
Knight will have a learning curve in the NBA, followed with a long and successful career.
7. Chris Singleton
Singleton will most certainly be asked to move to the wing in the NBA. He has the height to play power forward, but he doesn’t have the muscle, post moves or rebounding prowess to do so.
The team drafting Singleton will have to evaluate how smoothly he can transition to small forward. His lack of foot speed, dribbling skills and streakiness from the outside makes him a risky pick.
On the offensive end, Singleton is a liability. However, his defensive prowess can make up for the lack of offense.
Singleton could have a tough switch to the perimeter in the NBA, which causes major concern for the team drafting him.
6. Terrence Jones
Jones has played mainly on the interior for Kentucky this season. In the NBA, teams will want his versatility all over the floor.
He will likely start his NBA career on the wing, playing small forward primarily.
Jones has the versatility to play positions one through four with his outstanding dribbling skills.
Anticipate Jones playing a multitude of positions at the next level, much like Lamar Odom in his career.
5. Jan Vesely
At 6’11”, Vesely has the height to play power forward in the NBA. However, with his blend of energy, defense and athleticism, Vesely will be best suited to play small forward in the NBA.
Vesely has been improving his offensive game over the years, something scouts really want to see him progress in.
Vesely will be drafted with the upside of playing small forward. Even if Vesely’s run on the perimeter doesn’t work out, he still has the size and energy to play on the inside.
4. Marcus Morris
The versatile Morris twin will certainly be asked to play small forward at the next level. While he is able to play the post in college, the perimeter is Marcus’ true calling.
Over the past season Marcus has shown his ability to play on the perimeter. He has improved his dribbling skills, three-point shooting and ability to defend quicker players.
While Marcus is a future small forward, his ability to rebound and use an array of post moves make him that much more versatile. Depending on the matchup, Marcus could be available at the power forward spot.
3. Alec Burks
Everyone who has seen Burks play knows where he needs to play. The slender Colorado guard would be most effective at shooting guard in the NBA.
His athleticism, shooting stroke, leaping ability, quickness and soft touch make him a viable shooting guard.
However, what position he plays depends on who drafts him. Burks point guard level dribbling skills make him an interesting prospect.
At 6’6”, Burks could be a very intriguing player at point guard considering his height and athleticism.
2. Perry Jones
Perry Jones is easily the biggest prospect in this draft. His blend of size, athleticism, quickness and potential makes him the most intriguing pick in the field.
Jones is seen as a point-forward, being able to dribble like you wouldn’t believe. For being 6’11", Jones dribbles like he is a 6’1” point guard.
He has the potential to be a Kevin Durant/Tracy McGrady type. His shooting skills are average, and easily something he can improve.
Ideally Jones will be drafted to play small forward. If he isn’t successful on the wing, he could end up being the next Anthony Randolph playing on the block.
1. Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is generally regarded as the first pick in this year’s draft. For being a top pick, Williams sure has his areas of concern.
Williams can be seen as a “tweener,” able to contribute in both small forward and power forward roles.
He reminds scouts of Michael Beasley in college. Beasley was listed at 6’9” in college, before measuring in at 6’7” at the combine.
When Beasley’s height was revealed, scouts freaked out. Beasley was easily regarded as the top pick, and then slipped to second after the height concerns.
For Williams, he will face the same challenge when converting to the NBA. He is a better banger than Beasley, but he still needs to play small forward to maximize his skills.