2011 NBA Mock Draft: Cheerleader Edition
The NBA draft is one of my favorite times of year, and while the big day is still a couple of months away, it's never too early to bust out a mock draft and try to figure out who's going where.
There's just one problem with mock drafts—they're boring.
You get sick of the same talking heads going on and on about upside and wingspan, so we had to find a way to spice things up a little bit.
Since reading about the draft is much more enjoyable when you're looking at attractive women, I've decided to include a cheerleader from the NBA team in each slide.
This way you can still get all the pertinent information about the future NBA stars but also have something nice to look at.
Obviously the draft lottery hasn't happened yet, so we'll just go in the order of worst to best. If your favorite team isn't on the list, it's because your idiot GM traded your first-round pick because he wanted to free up cap space for LeBron James.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams
While you look at Jacqueline, I'm going to talk about the probable No. 1 pick in the draft, Arizona's Derrick Williams.
Williams' status skyrocketed when he led his team all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. The Wolves have been stockpiling point guards for the past few years, so that may lead them away from Kyrie Irving.
Williams played power forward for Arizona but is viewed as more of a small forward in the NBA, so he would fit in well with established star Kevin Love.
In what many people consider to be a weak draft, Williams is about as close to a sure thing as you're going to find.
Photo courtesy of maxim.com.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving
Usually when a team's trying to decide who to draft, it looks at what it needs. In Cleveland's case it needs pretty much everything, so why not start at what has become the most important position in the game: point guard?
Despite missing a chunk of games for the Duke Blue Devils this season, Kyrie Irving is still the top point guard in the draft.
Some think he has Chris Paul potential, while others think he's more of a Mike Conley type. Either way, he's a safe bet to be a starting point guard in the league in the near future.
3. Toronto Raptors: Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter was one of the top high school players in the nation and started his season as a Kentucky Wildcat.
After some digging, the NCAA found out that Kanter had played some professional games in his native Turkey and deemed him ineligible.
There are still a lot of question marks around the 6'11" center, but his skills are good enough that teams will be willing to take a chance on him.
The Raptors have a serious need for low-post scoring since the departure of Chris Bosh, so Kanter seems like the logical choice.
4. Washington Wizards: Donatas Motiejunas
It's probably safe to say that the Wizards are in rebuilding mode. They have one piece in place, standout point guard John Wall.
JaVale McGee seems to be their center of the future, but the Wizards lack perimeter scoring. That's while they'll look towards Europe for a shooter.
Look for them to take seven-foot Lituanian Donatas Motiejunas. He may be huge, but he doesn't play like a center. He's been compared to the Raptors' former #1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani-- a guy that has size but plays mostly on the perimeter and has a great stroke.
The Wizards aren't going anywhere any time soon, so they won't mind leaving the 20-year-old Motiejunas overseas for a few years for some seasoning.
5. Sacramento Kings: Brandon Knight
It appears that the Kings will remain in Sacramento...for now. They have a lot of needs, but since Tyreke Evans has turned out to be more of a 2 guard, they will probably be in the hunt for a point guard.
Brandon Knight was one of the top recruits in the country out of high school and capped a strong freshman season at Kentucky with a fantastic NCAA tournament that included two game-winning shots.
At 6'3", Knight has great length at the point guard position and is known as a good on-ball defender. He has tremendous quickness on the offensive end and can finish at the rim.
His shooting tends to be streaky, but that's something that he can work on as he matures and develops. The Kings will be happy to take Knight if he's still around by the time they pick.
6. Utah Jazz (From New Jersey): Jan Vesely
Vesely is a small forward in a center's body. At 6'11" he has great size and length but can also put the ball on the floor and knock down jumpers.
The Jazz got the pick from the Nets and are rebuilding after the departure of franchise player Deron Williams, so they're not necessarily looking for a player to contribute immediately.
The Czech-born Vesely is a project, but he could flourish in Utah's system.
7. Detroit Pistons: Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer Fredette's pro potential was discussed countless times during the NCAA tournament, and with good reason.
He's a pure scorer, but scouts wonder whether he's quick enough to get his shot off against quicker, more athletic defenders.
He'll have to play the point in the NBA, so some have questioned whether he has the ball-handling skills to run a team.
When the Pistons traded away Chauncey Billups, they hoped that Rodney Stuckey could be their point guard. That hasn't really worked out, so the Pistons will take a chance and hope that Jimmer can live up to his NCAA Player of the Year status.
Plus Detroit has a great history of white rappers, so Jimmer's brother TJ will be right at home.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (From Clippers): Jonas Valanciunas
Unless they trade one of them, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have two out of the first 14 picks in the draft, so they might use their second pick on a project.
That's exactly what 18-year-old Jonas Valanciunas is. The 6'11" Lithuanian moves well for a big man and has soft hands, but his offensive game needs to be refined.
The Cavs can draft him and stash him overseas while he matures.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Marcus Morris
One of the famous Morris twins out of Kansas, Marcus is the better pro prospect of the two. Morris showcased a more well-rounded game in the NCAA tournament, proving that he could score facing the basket as well as in the post.
Morris is seen more as a small forward in the NBA, so his shooting will have to improve for him to have a huge impact in the league.
Look for the Bobcats to take a chance on him, as they could use a nice swingman with some size.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks
The Bucks went from a contender to missing the playoffs in the matter of a year, and injuries played a big part in their decline.
With Brandon Jennings emerging as a solid point guard, the Bucks will now look to find a replacement for aging shooting guard Michael Redd.
Burks, out of Colorado State, fits the bill. At 6'6" he has prototypical shooting guard size, and his athleticism is off the charts.
Burks will have to improve his jump shot at the NBA level, but if he does, he will be a dangerous asset for the Bucks.
11. Golden State Warriors: Markieff Morris
The Warriors are in a great spot to take the other Morris twin, Markieff. He lacks the offensive polish of his brother, but with Monta Ellis, Seth Curry and Dorell Wright, the Warriors have enough scoring.
What they need, and have needed for years, is a solid big man. At 6'10", Markieff has an NBA body and will be able to provide rebounding and defense at the power forward position.
He's not going to be a star, but he could help the Warriors play some form of defense for once.
12. Utah Jazz: Terrence Jones
Utah is another team that could potentially have two lottery picks. Look for the Jazz to use their second on Kentucky's Terrence Jones.
The SEC Freshman of the Year led his conference in rebounding and showed the ability to score both inside and outside.
A classic "tweener," Jones lacks the athleticism to play small forward at the NBA level and lacks the size to play power forward.
He needs to carve out a niche and figure out how he can contribute to an NBA team, but his skills and basketball knowledge are undeniable.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kemba Walker
Nobody is quite sure where the NCAA tournament MOP will fit in when he gets to the NBA. An undersized shooting guard, Walker will have to prove that he can play the point guard position if he's going to contribute in the NBA.
Walker's scoring ability is among the best in the draft, and Phoenix's up-tempo system would be the perfect environment for his skill set.
If Steve Nash ends up being traded, the Suns might give Walker a shot at the reins of the team for a while.
14. Houston Rockets: Tristan Thompson
A native Canadian, Thompson showed excellent rebounding and scoring skills in his freshman year at Texas.
Thompson initially announced that he would be returning to UT for his sophomore season, but there have been some reports that he has hired an agent and plans to enter the draft.
He could very well go higher, but the uncertainty made him fall to the Rockets at 14.
He's a 6'9" power forward with an upside similar to another former Texas player, LaMarcus Aldridge. He could definitely help out the Rockets' weak front line.
15. Indiana Pacers: Trey Thompkins
After the lottery, the Pacers will lead things off with the 15th pick. They unexpectedly squeaked into the playoffs this season, but they still have a lot of improvements to make.
Thompkins, a 6'10" power forward out of Georgia, would add some size and scoring off the bench. Thompkins has a polished offensive game and a soft touch, but there are questions about whether he has the athleticism to compete at the NBA level.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Kawhi Leonard
The Sixers put together a strong season and earned the No. 7 seed in the East. They'll look to bolster their bench in the draft, and San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard is a good place to start.
The 6'7" small forward has good length and energy and has a good first step on the perimeter. Leonard's shooting ability will have to improve if he's going to play small forward in the NBA, and his ball-handling has been called "shaky" by some scouts.
17. New York Knicks: Tyler Honeycutt
The Knicks landed the steal of the draft last year in Landry Fields, and they will be trying to strike gold again this year.
They may find it if they're able to draft UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, who came on strong towards the end of the college season.
At 6'8" Honeycutt possesses guard skills, which should allow him to play either the 2 or the 3 in the NBA. He has tremendous athleticism, which will allow him to thrive in Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo system.
He'll need to improve his jumper and ball-handling skills, but Honeycutt has a lot of potential to be a contributor on the Knicks.
18. Washington Wizards (From Atlanta): Jordan Hamilton
The Wizards acquired this pick from the Hawks. The Wizards are rebuilding and looking to add assets, and that's exactly what Jordan Hamilton is. A tremendous shooter and scorer, there is little doubt as to whether Hamilton will be able to score at the next level.
His defensive ability, however, is a huge question mark, and he doesn't rebound as well as his 6'7" frame should allow.
Still, Hamilton would be a steal for the Wizards at this point in the draft.
19. Charlotte Bobcats (From New Orleans): Tobias Harris
Harris is a 6'8" freshman small forward out of Tennessee. He has great athleticism but needs to polish his offensive game.
He'll need to put on more weight to be competitive at the next level and will probably take a few years of seasoning before he becomes a real contributor.
The Bobcats are on the verge of being a playoff team, so they wouldn't mind taking a project in Harris, who could turn out to be a starter somewhere down the line.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Memphis): Chris Singleton
Singleton is a 6'9" small forward out of Florida State, and he's one of the most athletic players in the draft.
His length and leaping ability translate immediately to the NBA, but the rest of his game needs polish. The Wolves will draft Singleton for his defensive ability and hope that he can improve his offensive game enough to be a contributor down the line.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Kenneth Faried
Faried ended his career at Morehead State as the NCAA's all-time leading rebounder. Not surprisingly, he has drawn comparisons to Dennis Rodman.
While Faried rebounds like Rodman, some scouts think he can actually contribute on the offensive end in the NBA.
That being said, whoever drafts him will not be expecting much scoring, but the guy certainly knows how to clean the glass.
The Blazers already have a scoring power forward, so an energy rebounder off the bench could be the perfect complement.
22. Denver Nuggets: Jordan Williams
Williams is a 6'10" power forward from Maryland who has drawn comparisons to Carlos Boozer. Williams has an NBA body at 260 pounds, but his conditioning has been an issue.
If he manages to get into playing shape, he could help bolster the Carmelo-less Nuggets and their up-tempo attack.
23. Houston Rockets (From Orlando): Shelvin Mack
Anyone who watched the NCAA tournament knows all about Shelvin Mack. The junior guard from Butler hit big shot after big shot as he led his team to its second straight NCAA title game.
At 6'2", Mack is an undersized shooting guard who will have to shift to the point. He's a smart player who can absolutely fill it up when he's hot.
The Rockets need a point guard and will take a chance on Mack with the late first-round pick they acquired from Orlando.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Nolan Smith
Smith turned the corner in his senior year at Duke and became one of the best players in the country. He ran his team well and scored when he needed to, proving that he knows how to be a point guard.
Smith lacks the explosiveness of his teammate Kyrie Irving, and scouts don't know if Smith will be able to compete at the NBA level.
Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti has built his team with strong character guys with leadership skills, and Smith is definitely that.
Photo courtesy of maxim.com.
25. Boston Celtics: Bismack Biyombo
Easily the best name in the 2011 draft, Bismack Biyombo is a 6'9" center from the Congo.
Biyombo has been playing in Spain and possesses a freakish 7'7" wingspan. Biyombo is a shot-blocker with little offensive game, but he could anchor the middle on the bench unit for the Celtics.
With the departure of Kendrick Perkins and the age of Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal, the Celtics need to find their center of the future.
27. Dallas Mavericks: JaJuan Johnson
After looking at the picture, I bet you wish the Mavs had more than one first-round pick. With their late first-round selection, look for the Mavs to take power forward JaJuan Johnson out of Purdue.
The 6'10" senior has a long wingspan and can contribute with this rebounding and shot-blocking. He improved his offensive game over his college career, but don't expect him to be scoring much in the NBA.
The Mavs are looking for a body to send in there against the big men of the Western Conference, and Johnson might be the guy.
28. New Jersey Nets (From Lakers): Jeremy Tyler
Tyler was a can't-miss prospect who committed to Louisville but decided to go the Brandon Jennings route and play overseas rather than go to college.
The move clearly backfired, as Tyler ran into problems and his draft position slipped considerably. Tyler has tremendous skills, but his conditioning and attitude have been called into question.
Look for the Nets to take a chance on him with their late first-round pick.
29. Chicago Bulls (From Miami): Kyle Singler
The Bulls went from a solid team to the NBA's best in a single season. At this point their core is in place, so they will be looking for a specialist.
Singler looks like he will develop into a spot-up three-point shooter in the pros, so the Bulls will be likely to accept his services.
Singler was one of Duke's leaders as a senior this past season, so his maturity might allow him to fit into an already established Bulls team.
30. San Antonio Spurs: Jon Leuer
The Spurs are known for finding diamonds in the rough. It started with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker and continued recently with DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal.
This year the Spurs will hope that Jon Leuer, a 6'10" power forward from Wisconsin, will turn into a key contributor.
An heir apparent to Matt Bonner, Leuer has the size and shooting ability to be able to make threes and extend the defense. Leuer lacks strength and explosiveness, so he seems to have three-point specialist written all over him.
31. Chicago Bulls: Travis Leslie
With the final pick in the first round, the Bulls will take freak athlete Travis Leslie out of Georgia. At 6'4", 202, Leslie has a powerful frame and tremendous speed.
Leslie's problem is that he's not a strong shooter, which you need to be to thrive as a shooting guard in the NBA.
His athleticism could help the Bulls off the bench, and if they taught Derrick Rose to shoot, why couldn't they teach Leslie as well?