2011 NBA Mock Draft: Kyrie Irving Leaves Duke, Shakes Things Up
With the 2011 NCAA tournament and college basketball season in the books, it's time to talk about where the best college players will go in the NBA Draft.
With Kyrie Irving declaring, talk is heating up. He and Derrick Williams will battle for the No. 1 overall pick.
With that said, here's an NBA mock draft of the entire first round. Although some of these picks may surprise people, others are simply layups.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers, PG Kyrie Irving
Although Kyrie Irving was injured for most of his freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils, he proved to be one of the best point guards in all of college basketball.
When he came back from his toe injury in the NCAA tournament, he picked up right where he left off.
In his handful of games, Irving showed people his potential and how great of a player he can become.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF/PF Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams showed the nation why he is one of the best players in all of college basketball in this year's NCAA tournament. He managed to lead the Arizona Wildcats to the Elite Eight.
Williams is a very solid power forward, and can play small forward as well. He's the type of player the Timberwolves can build around.
3. Washington Wizards, PF Perry Jones
Perry Jones could be the most well-rounded player in this year's NBA Draft. Jones is a very versatile player who can do anything from playing two-guard to posting up as a center.
Jones is a monster on the boards thanks to his great size and leaping ability. Although he did not quite play up to his potential at Baylor, Jones shows signs of being a very good player at the next level.
4. Toronto Raptors, C Enes Kanter
Although Enes Kanter missed his entire first year for the Kentucky Wildcats, he is expected to declare for the 2011 NBA draft.
Kanter could very well be the best center in this year's class. He is a very dominant, physical player in the paint and also has shooting range that stretches all the way out to the three-point line.
5. Sacramento Kings, PG Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker led the Connecticut Huskies to five straight victories to win the Big East tournament, but he did not stop there. Walker also led the Huskies to victory in the NCAA championship game.
Without Walker, UConn simply would not have made it as far. Walker is one of the biggest names in all of college basketball, and rightfully so.
Walker is everything a team looks for in a point guard, and the Kings could really use a player like him to help rebuild their team.
6. Utah Jazz, SF/PF Jan Vesely
Vesely is a very lengthy forward who is currently playing small forward in the Euroleague but can play power forward as well. He stands at 6'11", and although he is known for his post presence Vesely is a very good shooter and ball-handler.
Vesely is very athletic and capable of running the floor and shooting from behind the arc. Adding some bulk will only make Vesely a better player and a more dangerous presence in the post.
7. Detroit Pistons, C Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas makes his living with dunks, rebounds and shot-blocks. If he could add some more strength, he would be a nightmare to guard and rebound over.
With some experience and time, Valanciunas will be a very good NBA player.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers, PG Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight's draft stock is on the rise due to Kentucky's performance in the NCAA tournament. Knight led the Wildcats to the Final Four, and they just came up short of the championship game.
Although Knight started the season slowly, he proved he was well worth the hype and a big reason why the Wildcats made it so far.
9. Milwaukee Bucks, PF Marcus Morris
Although Marcus Morris lacks size for his position, he makes up for it with skill.
Morris is a very versatile player who can post up or knock down shots from the perimeter. He is also a pretty good ball-handler, which makes him very good at attacking the basket.
10. Charlotte Bobcats, SF Terrence Jones
For his size, Jones is a very good ball-handler who can score from anywhere on the court. Jones is a very good shooter, but sometimes he does a little more shooting than he should.
If Jones becomes more of an inside presence, he will be a very hard player to stop in the NBA. All in all, Jones is a very good player and a big reason why the Kentucky Wildcats made it to the Final Four.
11. Golden State Warriors, PG Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer Fredette was simply one of the best, if not the best, players in all of college basketball this year.
Fredette was the best scorer in the NCAA, and can shoot from anywhere on the court. There's no telling how far his range extends.
Although some people think Fredette will be a bust in the NBA, I think he will be a very good player at the next level due to his great ball-handling, passing, amazing scoring ability and toughness.
12. Utah Jazz, SF Kawhi Leonard
Leonard is a very good rebounder due to his size and leaping ability. He can also be a very lethal scorer, as he led San Diego State with 15.4 points per game.
Although Leonard seemed to disappear at times, with some improvement he can be a very dangerous player on both sides of the ball.
13. Phoenix Suns, SG Alec Burks
Alec Burks was the 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and he did not disappoint in his sophomore year, leading Colorado in scoring with 20.1 points a game.
Burks is a 6'6" shooting guard, and very capable of being a great NBA player.
14. Houston Rockets, SF Markieff Morris
Although Markieff Morris is not as good as his brother, he is still a very solid player. With more work on his offense in the NBA, he could become a very productive scorer.
Morris is already a great defender and rebounder. Not to mention he has good height at 6'10".
15. Indiana Pacers, PF Donatas Motiejunas
Motiejunas is very athletic for his size. He runs the floor well, and is a great passer and very quick. He is also a very good shooter.
If Motiejunas can bulk up he will be very hard to cover in the post, and anywhere on the court for that matter.
16. New York Knicks, Trey Thompkins
Trey Thompkins is a very versatile forward who can play both forward positions. He is also capable of knocking down threes and driving to the basket with his good ball-handling skills.
He is also pretty good on defense. Thompkins is a monster on the boards and is a very good shot-blocker.
17. Philadelphia 76ers, SF Jordan Hamilton
At 6'7", Hamilton plays more like a guard than a forward. He is a very good passer and an even better scorer. Not to mention a very good ball-handler.
Hamilton is an excellent shooter with very deep range.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves, SF Tyler Honeycutt
Honeycutt's strengths come on defense, and he also has a high basketball IQ.
He's a very good passer and shot-blocker. With good athleticism, Honeycutt put up some decent numbers this year. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Although Honeycutt is a very smart basketball player, he needs to look for his shot more in the NBA and be more selfish with the ball.
You can't say that about too many players in this day and age.
19. Washington Wizards, PF Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried led Morehead State to the Sweet 16 this year. Morehead State had a great run in the NCAA tournament that led to people noticing how good the team was, and how good Kenneth Faried is.
Faried averaged a double-double with 17.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
20. New Orleans Hornets, PF Tobias Harris
Harris averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his first year with the Tennessee Volunteers.
With great athleticism and a high basketball IQ, Harris can play just about anywhere on the court. If he needs to post up, he is very capable of doing so. If he needs to shoot the long ball, he can also do that.
21. Portland Trail Blazers, SF Chris Singleton
Chris Singleton is known for his defense. He was arguably the best defender on the best defensive team in college basketball.
What people may not know about Singleton: he's a great shooter from mid- and three-point range.
22. Denver Nuggets, PF/C Patric Young
Although Patric Young did not have the greatest stats on offense at Florida, he was a great defensive player. His body type is perfect for the NBA and he also has great athleticism.
With some development on offense, Young could be a very good player in the NBA.
23. Houston Rockets, PF Mason Plumlee
Plumlee is very athletic for his size. He is also a very explosive leaper, which helps to make him a great rebounder and shot-blocker.
Plumlee is good at knocking down mid-range shots, which are very tough to guard thanks to his 6'10" frame.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder, PG Shelvin Mack
Shelvin Mack led the Butler Bulldogs to another magical run in the NCAA tournament. So magical that the Bulldogs played in their second consecutive championship game. Unfortunately, just like last year's championship, they came up short.
Mack is the perfect point guard. He has great ball-handling skills and is a good shooter with range. Mack is also a good passer and leader.
25. Chicago Bulls, PF JaJuan Johnson
JaJuan Johnson was the Big Ten Player of the Year. This is saying a lot since everyone thought Jared Sullinger was the best player in that conference.
Johnson is a complete scorer. He can knock down threes if he needs to, and he can also post up and hit mid-range shots. Not to mention Johnson is just as good on defense as he is on offense.
Johnson is a complete basketball player, and will be a great player in the NBA.
26. Boston Celtics, PG Reggie Jackson
27. Dallas Mavericks, PG/SG Nolan Smith
As soon as Nolan Smith took over at point guard for the Duke Blue Devils, he became one of the best players in the nation.
Smith is a very good guard and gets his team involved. He is also a really good shooter.
However, when he is not knocking down shots he can get to the hoop and make baskets.
28. New Jersey Nets, PF Jon Leuer
29. Chicago Bulls, SF Kyle Singler
Although Singler's numbers were down from last season, he still averaged 16.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Singler had a great season with Duke, but Nolan Smith outshined him. This is not to take anything away from Singler, because he is one of the most versatile players in college basketball.
He can literally do anything on the basketball court.
Kyle Singler had an amazing career with the Duke Blue Devils, and he is going to take his skills to the next level.
30. San Antonio Spurs, SF Chandler Parsons
Chandler Parsons was not only the most well-rounded player on the Florida Gators, he was also one of the most well-rounded players in all of college basketball.
Parsons is a great shooter with range, can drive the ball to the hoop and is an amazing passer. The best part about Parsons is the fact that he is 6'10".
Parsons is a good player with a high basketball IQ.