2011 NBA Mock Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers Will Draft Derrick Williams at No. 2
In the 2011 NBA Draft, many players have used the 2011 NCAA Tournament to help improve their draft status. Some players will ride a deep tournament run right into the draft, and Derrick Williams of Arizona is one of those players.
Williams saw his draft stock rise with each passing game. He developed into one of the most impressive players in the country as the season progressed, and he could be a top pick if he decides to come out after his sophomore season and declare for the 2011 NBA Draft.
Although they could use some improvement at the guard position, drafting Williams would be so tempting for the Cleveland Cavaliers that it would be almost impossible to pass him up, unless Kyrie Irving of Duke was still on the board when they pick. And even then, Cleveland may prefer to select Williams with the No. 2 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Chad Ford of ESPN says that Williams improved with every game toward the end of the season and 2011 NCAA Tournament.
"Derrick Williams has been steadily rising in our rankings all year," said Ford. "He began the season ranked No. 26 on our Big Board. In late December he cracked the lottery. In January we moved him into our Top 10 and in February we moved him all the way to No. 4 on our Big Board and we raised the possibility of Williams being the No. 1 pick in the draft."
Some may criticize that Williams did not play against some of the toughest defenders in the country during a weak Pac-10 season, but he proved in the 2011 NCAA Tournament that he can play against the best. It may take him a year or two to polish some of his skills, but there is very little reason to believe why he could not dominate at the next level as well.
Besides, that argument is old. It is the same one that people will use against players from non-power conference schools. Talent is talent, regardless of where it shines in college. Williams shines at Arizona for the past two seasons.
Williams is just two seasons removed from high school, so it may be good for him to return to school for one more year. But it will not likely improve his draft stock all that much, because it is almost as high as it can go right now. He may get better after one more year in college, but he won't get selected much higher.
That is what leads me to think that he will throw his name into this year's draft pool.
For more on the 2011 NBA Draft, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Correspondent Jason Heim, who takes a look at the 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Which Wildcat Goes First, Brandon Knight or Terrence Jones?
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