2011 NBA Mock Draft: Derrick Williams, Kyrie Irving and the Other Round 1 Picks
Kyrie Irving announced last week that he is declaring for the NBA draft, and by doing so, he made himself one of the top athletes available.
There are many things about Irving that make him an elite prospect, including his high basketball IQ and his quickness. In fact, Irving may be the quickest player in the entire draft class.
Along with him, Shelvin Mack, Brandon Knight and Nolan Smith are also highly rated speedy prospects.
With just over two months remaining until the draft, things can still change at any moment. Here's how it should look based on current projections.
No. 1 Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, SF/PF
All-Star Kevin Love has become the centerpiece of the Timberwolves franchise, and their young players, like Michael Beasley and Ricky Rubio, are looking to make names for themselves in the NBA.
Derrick Williams would have to earn a spot in Minnesota, but he has the potential to be an elite player, and the Timberwolves shouldn't pass on him.
He was a beast in the NCAA tournament, and he has the ability to bring Minnesota to new heights if he can play the same way in the NBA.
No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG
Cleveland has already expressed interest in Irving, and the Cavaliers will definitely select him if he's available.
They did just recently trade for Baron Davis, but he doesn't have too many years left, and Irving would be a great replacement. Plus, with the loss of LeBron James, the fans in Cleveland need another star to cheer for.
No. 3 Toronto Raptors: Enes Kanter, PF/C
Enes Kanter is considered by most to be the top international prospect in the 2011 draft class.
Kanter was originally supposed to play at Kentucky last season, but was declared ineligible by the NCAA and was forced to play overseas. He dominated there, and has the potential to be great in the NBA.
Toronto still has a hole to fill after the loss of Chris Bosh, and Kanter would be an excellent choice.
No. 4 Washington Wizards: Donatas Motiejunas, PF
The Wizards can go one of two ways with their first pick in the first round, and Donatas Motiejunas looks like the most likely option.
Motiejunas has looked sharp playing overseas and could really help out a young Wizards squad. Taking a guard in this spot would make sense too, but there seems to be a bigger selection of quality guards later in the first round.
No. 5 Sacramento Kings: Brandon Knight, PG/SG
The Kings have decent young players, with Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins leading the way.
They most likely won't be playing in Sacramento anymore, and bringing Brandon Knight along with them to Anaheim would be a good treat for the fans.
Knight and Evans shouldn't have to compete with each other for playing time, because both can play either guard position. Almost like the Monta Ellis and Steph Curry duo in Golden State, the two in Sacramento (or Anaheim) could be a dangerous pair.
No. 6 Utah Jazz: Kemba Walker, PG
The Jazz have two picks in the top 12, so they can really take a chance here on whomever they want.
Kemba Walker's stock has soared ever since the conclusion of the NCAA tournament, when he led the UConn Huskies to a victory in the national championship game.
Walker is one of the quickest players in the draft, and would be a good fit in Utah. The Jazz traded for Devin Harris, who is pretty decent, but Walker has the potential to be just as good if not better than Harris.
No. 7 Detroit Pistons: Jan Vesely, SF/PF
Detroit could really use a small-forward replacement for Tayshaun Prince if he leaves in free agency.
Jan Vesely is another international prospect who could make it big in the NBA, and the Pistons would love it if he would fall to seventh.
No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C
Jonas Valanciunas would be the obvious choice for Cleveland here, assuming they take Kyrie Irving with the second overall pick.
The Cavs don't have any great big men, and Valanciunas has the potential to be very good. I would be shocked to see him fall past this point.
No. 9 Charlotte Bobcats: Alec Burks, PG/SG
The Bobcats are in a tough spot here, because they could go in so many different directions.
I think it's most likely that they'll look for a guard, and Alec Burks is the most NBA-ready. He has an excellent jump shot and knows how to get to the rim.
The Bobcats definitely need another scorer, and Burks should have a good opportunity to provide.
No. 10 Milwaukee Bucks: Terrence Jones, SF
Milwaukee has found an All-Star guard in Brandon Jennings, so the Bucks will be looking elsewhere with their pick in the first round.
Terrence Jones performed well in the NCAA tournament, and will get rewarded with a top-10 pick in the draft. He might need a year before he is NBA-ready, but he has the potential to be a good forward in the future.
No. 11 Golden State Warriors: Marcus Morris, SF/PF
Golden State actually has quite a few building blocks to work with, but the Warriors primary need probably lies at small forward.
Marcus Morris is the best forward left at this point, and the Warriors would be a great option for him. He would find playing time as soon as he gets there, and shouldn't have any issues transitioning to the NBA.
No. 12 Utah Jazz: Markieff Morris, PF
Twin brother to Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris also has a great shot to contribute in the NBA as soon as he arrives.
Assuming Utah takes a guard with its first pick, the Jazz would be looking for a big man at this spot. Morris has strongly developed skills, a high basketball IQ and should fit nicely in Utah.
No. 13 Phoenix Suns: Jimmer Fredette, PG
Jimmer Fredette's stock has fallen a bit, but he should still be a mid-first-round pick.
Who knows how many more years Steve Nash has left in Phoenix, and there really isn't anyone who is ready to replace him on the roster.
There have been questions surrounding Fredette and his defense, but he definitely has the potential to be good in the NBA, and the Suns should take a chance on him if he's still available.
No. 14 Houston Rockets: Tristan Thompson, PF
Houston mostly needs depth, so taking the best player available is as good an option as any.
Tristan Thompson's stock has been on the rise, and he just might land in the top 15. He has the size and strength to be good in the NBA, but it wouldn't surprise me if he needs a year or two to develop before he is good.
No. 15 Indiana Pacers: Trey Thompkins, PF
Indiana has a good, young team, with Danny Granger, Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert leading the way.
They could use another big man who can get to the rim, and Thompkins has shown he has the ability to do just that.
Thompkins played three season at Georgia, so he shouldn't have too much trouble asserting himself in the NBA.
No. 16 Philadelphia 76ers: Kawhi Leonard, SF
Philadelphia could use another all-around scorer, and Kawhi Leonard fits that role perfectly.
The Sixers have been lurking around the middle of the Eastern Conference for a few years now, and Leonard may be the guy to make them into a real contender.
While they still revolve around Andre Iguodala, Leonard could be a good complementary piece for him and the team.
No. 17 New York Knicks: Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF
Again, the Knicks don't have any pressing needs to address, so taking the best available player on the board is probably the best option.
Jordan Hamilton may need a year to develop, but that shouldn't really matter, because New York won't have any need for him right away. He has a lot of potential, and that's all that does matter.
No. 18 Washington Wizards: Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF
Assuming the Wizards take Kanter with the first pick, they'll be looking for more of a scorer with their second pick.
Tyler Honeycutt decided to forgo his junior and senior seasons at UCLA, and will be taken somewhere around the middle of the first round. If he's available for Washington at the 18th pick, the Wizards won't think twice about taking him.
No. 19. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nolan Smith PG/SG
Minnesota is in a really interesting position with their second pick.
They already took Derrick Williams, filling the need for a big man. they could still use a quality center, but there aren't any good ones worth taking just yet.
It might be a stretch to take Nolan Smith here, but guard seems to be the biggest need, and Smith is ready to step up and contribute in the NBA.
No. 20. New Orleans Hornets: Tobias Harris SF
One option for New Orleans is drafting a guard, because there is no certainty that Chris Paul will be around for much longer.
It would be too big a reach to draft any point guard, so Tobias Harris looks to be the best option. He is a good scorer out of Tennessee, but is only a freshman, and may not be ready to contribute right away.
No. 21. Charlotte Bobcats: Kenneth Faried PF
Going with Burks with their first pick, Charlotte will be looking for a big man at this spot.
Kenneth Faried and Chris Singleton are the two best options, but Faried is more offensive minded and will fit in well for the Bobcats.
If his performance in the NCAA Tournament means anything, he will be an exciting player to follow in the NBA.
No. 22. Denver Nuggets: Chris Singleton SF/PF
The Nuggets have been playing well without All-Star Carmelo Anthony, but they are eventually going to need someone to replace him.
Chris Singleton is much more defensive minded than Anthony, but he is still going to be the best choice with the 22nd pick.
Singleton isn't going to be the guy to carry you to a victory day in and day out, but he will provide good minutes when he gets the chance.
No. 23. Phoenix Suns: Jordan Williams PF
We've already covered their need for a point guard with the selection of Jimmer Fredette at pick 13.
Jordan Williams is a great scorer for a big man, and shouldn't have to wait too long to get playing time. He's also plays great defense, which is something the Suns could really use.
No. 24. Boston Celtics: Shelvin Mack PG/SG
Another tremendously quick point guard, Shelvin Mack would be a good fit in Boston.
He wouldn't need to play immediately, and would get a chance to learn behind Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. It would probably be an ideal situation for both Mack and the Celtics.
He's shown through the NCAA Tournament that he has the ability to play in big games, and Boston won't let him slip past this spot.
No. 25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Bismack Biyombo C
Oklahoma City is obviously set at forward and guard with Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook leading the way.
Drafting a true center should be a priority, and they may very well take a chance on the big man from the Congo. Bismack Biyombo is definitely a project, but he'll still probably get a first round look, and the Thunder would be an excellent spot for him to go.
No. 26. Dallas Mavericks: Kyle Singler SF
Dallas is nearly set at every position, and will be looking for depth in the 2011 draft.
Kyle Singler is just as good as anyone else left on the board, and has a great shot to be taken by the Mavericks.
Singler developed his skills over his four year career at Duke, and could contribute immediately if it was necessary. Fortunately for him, he'll be able to learn behind the veterans that currently start for Dallas.
No. 27. New Jersey Nets: JaJuan Johnson PF
New Jersey locked up the point guard spot for the future by trading for Deron Williams. Williams, along with center Brook Lopez make the Nets look dangerous.
They are still at least one piece away from being a contending team in the East, and a player like JaJuan Johnson fits their mold. He would play immediately, and should be perfectly fine doing so.
No. 28. Chicago Bulls: Norris Cole PG
Chicago has two picks out of the final three, so they can take a chance here on whoever they want.
At some point they will have to find a guard, so Norris Cole shouldn't be out of the question, even though he might be a stretch.
No. 29. San Antonio Spurs: Jon Leuer PF
Jon Leuer had a great career at Wisconsin, and should transition well into the NBA.
The Spurs are set all around, but may be looking for a future replacement for Tim Duncan. They do have Dejuan Blair, but Leuer could still compete for playing time.
No. 30. Chicago Bulls: Travis Leslie SG/SF
Travis Leslie is a very versatile player who would be good at guard or forward.
The Bulls already took Norris Cole to fill up the point guard spot, so taking Leslie here would make perfect sense.
Leslie is a good scorer who could provide an extra threat from the bench in Chicago.
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