2011 NBA Mock Draft: Can the Portland Trail Blazers Finally Get a Healthy Stud?

Kristian Winfield@@KrisWinfield_Correspondent IIIJune 18, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Can the Portland Trail Blazers Finally Get a Healthy Stud?

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    With some of the most unfortunate NBA Draft luck, the Portland Trail Blazers have managed to draft three severely injured players in the past five years.

    Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and Elliot WIlliams have been a burden that the Blazers have had to carry this entire season. But with all three returning to the rotation for next year, maybe Portland can finally draft a health player to bring them to championship contention.

With the First Pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers Select

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    Needs: Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, Center, Bench
    Kyrie Irving: Point Guard 

    Kyrie Irving is known as the best talent in the NBA Draft. Irving's season, unfortunately, was severely shortened due to a right toes injury, but he still managed to average 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He's incredibly quick and has a great feel for the game.

    Irving is an excellent shooter and possesses the uncanny ability to create his own shots within the flow of the offense. He's a pretty solid defender that plays the passing lanes, getting off-ball steals at a high rate. He only played one year at Duke, but Kyrie Irving appears to be ready to take his game to the next level.


The Minnesota Timberwolves Select Derrick Williams

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    Need: Everything but a Power Forward
    Derrick Williams: Small/Power Forward 

    Easily the best player in the NBA Draft, Derrick Williams averaged 19.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and one steal per game. His post game is incredible, but what sets him apart is his 56.8 percent shooting from downtown. The explosive forward out of Arizona, Williams calls himself the most NBA ready player in the Draft. 

    The T'Wolves are already stacked at Williams' position. With Love and Beasley in the rotation, they'll need to make a trade to keep their rookie prospect happy, or maybe shop their pick for some veteran talent.

Brandon Knight to the Utah Jazz

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    The Utah Jazz appear to be shopping for a point guard for the future. That makes Brandon Knight almost a definite pick at #3.

    A natural scorer, Knight has an incredible jump shot and finds ways to finish at the rim. He's not the flashiest guard in the Draft, but he definitely has enough ball handling skills to protect that ball and get by his man. Knight averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 assists, and four rebounds per game, and shot 37.7 percent from three. Maybe he can be the Derron Williams replacement that Utah so desperately needs

Enes Kanter Brings Cleveland Back to Relevance.. for Now

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    With the young, new tandem of Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter, Cleveland just might be able to make some noise in the East again.

    The international talent, Kanter brings solid athleticism and size to the Cleveland rotation. He makes the game look easy with his sweet, European jumper, and he brings a true center to the Cavaliers. The only thing he lacks, however, is experience. He played less than 100 minutes in the 08-09 season in Europe, and missed the entire 2010-2011 season at Kentucky due to ineligibility. 

    If the Cavs are willing to roll the dice on him, it could turn out to be a big win.

Jan Vesely to the Toronto Raptors

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    Needs: Power Forward, Small Forward, Point Guard
    Jan Vesely: Small/Power Forward

    After losing Chris Bosh in the free agency, Toronto was in complete disarray. Jan Vesely is the first step to rebuilding their playoff contention.

    At 6'11, Vesely has great size to play either forward position in the NBA. He's an above average post scorer and uses his height to score over defenders. He's a great athlete and rebounder, and shows his worth by hustling for all of the loose balls.

    The Raptors do have a history of drafting international talent. Jan Vesely wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Tristan Thompson to the Washington Wizards

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    Needs: Power Forward, Small Forward
    Tristan Thompson: Power Forward

    Though he's rather undersized for the power forward position at 6'9, Tristan Thompson is a perfect fit for the Washington Wizards.

    With John Wall and Jordan Crawford running the show at the guard position, and JaVale McGee cleaning up and dunking everything, the Wizards need one of those glue guys to complete their starting rotation.

    Tristan Thompson could be that guy.

    Thompson might not have the greatest offensive repertoire—he lacks both a working post game and a sufficient mid range jumper—but what he does have is the quickness to run the floor, the toughness to bang down low for rebounds, and the wingspan to play superb defense.

Kawhi Leonard to the Sacramento Kings

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    Needs: Small Forward, Power Forward, Bench
    Kawhi Leonard: Small Forward

    Kawhi Leonard is the missing link to a playoff berth for the Sacramento Kings. With the one-two punch of Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton, the Kings need someone who will be a defensive stopper, grab boards, and score in transition. Leonard is their guy.

    Leonard averaged pretty good numbers for San Diego State. He put up 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. His offense was severely limited due to his lack of range on his jumper, but he used his athleticism and his quickness to score at the hole. With the potential to become the next Gerald Wallace, maybe the Kings will find a way to hold onto this pick.

Jonas Valanciunas to the Detroit Pistons

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    Need: Everything
    Jonas Valanciunas: a good place to start

    Ever since they traded away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, the Detroit Pistons simply have not been the same. They've got great talent in Rodney Stuckey and Greg Monroe, but the rest of their team needs to be upgraded.

    Jonas Valanciunas can help begin that process by bringing his international talents to MoTown.

    He's very lengthy and can put the ball in the basket when he needs to. His post game needs developing, but he's got a solid mid range jumper to help him along the way. With his rebounding prowess and his defense, Valanciunas could bring the Pistons back into the realm of conversation.

Kemba Walker to the Charlotte Bobcats

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    Needs: Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Power Forward, Center, Bench
    Kemba Walker: Point Guard

    The Charlotte Bobcats were so confident in D.J. Augustin's scoring ability that they allowed Raymond Felton to walk to the New York Knicks last offseason.

    Not only has Augustin not produced, he's been detrimental to the team.

    The Bobcats need to start from the beginning once again, and Kemba Walker is the player they need to build their franchise around.

    Walker was in the higher echelon in terms of scoring in the NCAA at 23.5 points per game. He also contributed by facilitating the offense with his 4.3 assists and he grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game as well.

    Walker led the Huskies to an NCAA Championship last year. He's the perfect fit for a team that never really left the rebuilding phase. He's an incredible scorer who possesses the uncanny quickness to get to the lane and the cotton-soft touch to finish at the hole. He's got a pretty good jumper, shooting 33 percent from deep, and he plays the passing lanes well, averaging 1.9 steals per game.

    If Kemba Walker gets drafted at the ninth pick, the Bobcats will be able to build a team around him and finally return to the playoff setting. 

Alec Burks to the Milwaukee Bucks

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    Needs: Shooting Guard, Power Forward, Bench
    Alec Burks: Great Shooting Guard

    Alec Burks WILL be the player to bring the Milwaukee Bucks back to the playoffs.

    As a member of the Colorado Buffaloes, Burks completely dominated at the shooting guard position, averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Clearly the best 2-guard in the Draft, Burks' scoring ability will help fill the gap that Michael Redd's injury left.

    Burks isn't the greatest three-point shooter, but the Bucks definitely need his scoring to be a factor in the Eastern Conference once again. 

The Golden State Warriors Select Jordan Hamilton

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    Need: Shooting Guard, Center, Bench
    Jordan Hamilton Shooting Guard

    With all this speculation around a possible Monta Ellis trade, the Warriors best bet is to go pick up Jordan Hamilton. He's no Alec Burks, but he can definitely get the job done.

    Hamilton averaged 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. A sharpshooter from deep, he also shot 38.5 percent from beyond the arc. If the Warriors are truly looking to part ways with Monta Ellis, Jordan Hamilton is the way to go. 

The Utah Jazz Select Marcus Morris

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    Needs: Shooting Guard, Small Forward
    Marcus Morris: Combo Forward

    The NBA comparison that NBADraft.net made between Marcus Morris and Al Harrington were spot on. Both players aren't exceptional at any one thing, but are somewhat efficient at everything.

    Morris was a combo forward for Kansas, finding himself in the post or on the perimeter. He averaged 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and shot a decent 34.2 percent from deep. Morris' versatility makes him a valuable asset for any team, and his soft touch around the rim makes him a nightmare to guard. He's a pretty good rebounder and his work ethic is close to that of a Kevin Durant type of player.

The Phoenix Suns Select Jimmer Fredette

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    Take a backseat Aaron Brooks, the Jimmer's coming to Phoenix!

    Who better to take Steve Nash's throne than Jimmer Fredette a.k.a the National Player of the Year for NCAA Basketball?

    Jimmer's got unlimited range; he's ready to shoot as soon as he enters the parking lot. The only reason he's dropping this far, in my opinion, is because he's not a distributing point guard. 

    Jimmer led the NCAA in scoring at 28.9 points per game. He shot an incredible 39.6 percent from deep—astounding for someone who takes so many shots—and also averaged 4.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. Jimmer's ball handling skills are sick and his crossover can put even the staunchest defender on his back. 

    Like Nash, however, the biggest question he raises is his defense. Fredette struggles on the defensive end of the ball, especially when it comes to closing out on shooters. He's not as athletic as many other guards in the Draft, and his assist to turnover ratio is 4.3:3.7, which is understandable for the role he played at BYU. 

    Phoenix needs someone who can do the load of the scoring for them. Without Stoudemire, they seem to be floundering slowly to the bottom of the league. If Steve Nash can train Jimmer to be both a distributor and a scorer, we could be looking at the next Deron Williams.

The Houston Rockets Select 6'9 Center Bismack Biyombo

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    Needs: Center, Small Forward, Bench
    Bismack Biyombo: Power Forward/Center

    Without Yao Ming in the middle, the Houston Rockets look like a set of bowling ball pins. When you think about it, all Yao Ming was was a giant bowling ball pin, but you get the idea.

    With Bismack Biymobo in the middle, life for player like J.J. Barea and Russell Westbrook, who attack the lane for a living, will instantly become harder. Regaining a stable inside defense with Biyombo at the helm will help the Rockets get to the post season next year.  

The Indiana Pacers Select Klay Thompson

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    Needs: Shooting Guard, Power Forward, Bench
    Klay Thompson: Shooting Guard

    The second best pure shooter in the Draft behind Jimmer Fredette, Klay Thompson will definitely help give Indiana the scoring punch they so desperately need to  take their team to the next level.

    Thompson averaged 21.6 points per game at Washington State shooting 39l.8 percent from three. The 6'6 guard also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 0.9 blocks throughout his junior year.

    Thompson should be able to crack the Indiana starting rotation on day one. If he can bring his power-packed scoring to the Pacers, they could become a team to fear in the East. 

The Philadelphia 76ers Select Markieff Morris

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    Needs: Small Forward, Bench Depth
    Markieff Morris: Combo Forward

    Just like his twin brother, Markieff Morris can beat his opponent in a variety of ways.

    This twin might not have averaged as many points as the other, but Markieff put up a solid 13.6 points per game. To accompany those points, Morris grabbed 8.3 rebounds, swatted away 1.1 shots, averaged 0.8 steals per game.

    He might not be an immediate game changer for the Sixers, but he might be able to bring some type of help off the bench. 

The New York Knicks Select Chris Singleton

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    Needs: DEFENSE
    Chris Singleton: DEFENSE

    Chris Singleton is the clear-cut best defender in the Draft.

    At 6'8, unless the Knicks look to go big, Singleton will come off the bench, but his defense is extremely necessary for a team that allowed 111 points per 100 possessions.

    With the potential to become the next Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Singleton's athleticism and shooting ability—Singleton shot 36.8 percent from deep last season—will make him an immediate threat for the New York Knicks. 

    Could Chris Singleton be the answer the all of the New York Knicks' questions? 

Washington Wizards Select Tobias Harris

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    The Washington Wizards will be directly addressing their need for a Forward by picking up Tobias Harris.

    Known as a combo-forward, the 6'8 big man out of Tennessee will look to make a direct impact once he sets foot in the nation's capital. He's very undersized to play the big man role, but Harris is a hard worker and has great touch around the rim. He's also got a working mid range jumper; something that will take him far in this league.

The Charlotte Bobcats Select Donatas Motiejunas

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    Needs: Center, Bench Depth
    Donatas Motiejunas: Small/Power Forward/Center

    There are two situations for Donatas Motiejunas. He can work diligently, putting his hours in the gym and become the next Dirk Nowitzki, or he could get lazy and become Matt Bonner.

    Either way, this kid has a jump shot unlike any other. He's a bit weak in the upper body, but he's definitely got the toughness to bang on the inside.

    Motiejunas is extremely versatile, being able to transition between the Small Forward and Center, which makes him a great pickup. It has, however, been written that he exhibits laziness in practice, and it's that kind of lack of diligence that will make him unsuccessful in the NBA.

    Regardless he's a great pickup for the Charlotte Bobcats. If he can start over Tyrus Thomas and put some points on the board, their first round picks might get them back into the Playoffs.  

The Minnesota Timberwolves Select Marshon Brooks

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    Needs: Shooting Guard, Center, Bench
    Marshon Brooks: Shooting Guard

    Marshon Brooks is a pure scorer, and that's something that the Minnesota Timberwolves desperately need. Wesley Johnson's been nothing short of disappointing, and Kevin Love simply can't do it all by himself.

    Brooks was second in the NCAA in scoring last year, averaging 24.6 points per game. He also used his length and athleticism to grab seven boards each game and his size and quickness helped him on defense where he averaged 1.5 steals per game.

    Brooks' stock skyrocketed when he scored 52 points—a Big East record— against the Notre Dame fighting Irish. He excels at creating his own shot and he's an efficient shooter at 34 percent from deep. If he can learn to get the ball out of his hands, Brooks could be the difference maker for this Minnesota T'Wolves squad.

The Portland Trail Blazers Pick Up Kenneth Faried

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    After being haunted by draft pick injuries, the Portland Trail Blazers are praying that they can finally cash in on Draft day. With both Elliot Williams, Portland's first round pick last season, and Greg Oden both suffering season-ending injuries, the Trail Blazers have been short-handed for most of the season. And Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby's knee injuries didn't help the situation.

    Portland is going to use this draft pick to attack their biggest problem: Bench Depth

    The Blazers are deep at the shooting guard position, with Roy, Wesley Matthews and Rudy Fernandez, and they've got two efficient Small Forwards with Gerald Wallace, who was acquired at the trade deadline, and Nicolas Batum. But the Point Guard, Power Forward, and Center positions look very shallow with almost no backups for their starters.

    This draft will assess that particular need. 

    Kenneth Faried put up completely ridiculously insane numbers last season. Leading his team to the biggest upset over Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, Faried averaged 17.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.9 steals per game all while shooting 64.4 percent from the field.

    At 6'7, Faried is very short to play the Power Forward position, but he makes up for it with his insane athleticism and his high-energy approach to the game. His post game is rather limited, but he has a good mid range jumper, can finish at the rim and is explosive off the ground. He's an incredible rebounder, but you knew that already. 

    Kenneth Faried is arguably the biggest sleeper in the Draft. If he can transition his energy from Morehead State to Rip City, he can provide a solid backup for LaMarcus Aldridge, who's been playing an average of 39.6 minutes per game, and Portland will finally be able to make that push for championship contention. 

Denver Nuggets Select Tyler Honeycutt

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    Needs: Shooting Guard
    Tyler Honeycutt: Shooting Guard

    With J.R. Smith most definitely being ousted from Denver in the offseason, the Nuggets will need someone to replace his offense off the bench.

    Tyler Honeycutt might not be the high-octane scorer that Smith is, but he certainly has great athleticism to fill in his position.

    Six-foot-eight Honeycutt only averaged 12.6 points per game last season, but he made up for his lack of scoring in the rest of the stat sheet. The wing man from UCLA also averaged 2.1 blocks, 0.9 steals, and 7.2 rebounds per game, all while shooting 36.2 percent from three.

    He certainly won't crack the starting lineup, with "The Assassin," Aaron Afflalo still there, but he can be a great role player and help the Nuggets get out of the first round of the Playoffs next season. 

Houston Rockets Select Davis Bertans

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    Needs: Small Forward, Bench Depth
    Davis Bertans: Small Forward

    The sharpshooter from Latvia, Europe; Davis Bertans has the potential to be the next Kyle Korver for the Houston Rockets.

    He's not a great defender, nor is he a staunch defender or incredibly quick, but you can guarantee if he gets an open look at the basket; the ball is going in.

    Bertans is very young, 19 years old to be exact. He's got a lot of room to develop as a player, and he's got potential through the roof. For a 6'10 Forward, Bertans is a great passer and an even better ball handler.

    Houston could use his talents to rebuild their franchise. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder Pick Up Trey Thompkins

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    Needs: Post Scoring
    Chandler Parsons: Small Forward

    Chandler Parsons may not fill a direct need for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he would fit well in an offense including two explosive scorers in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

    Parsons plays a bit lazily, mainly taking what the defense gives him instead of forcing the issue, but he's got a smooth jumper and great passing skills. He's not the greatest athlete, nor is he a lock down defender, but Parsons makes great cuts to the hole, especially along the baseline, and can knock down the three with ease. 

Boston Celtics Grab Darius Morris

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    Needs: Scoring Punch
    Darius Morris: Point Guard 

    It would almost be like drafting a second Rajon Rondo, but if Darius Morris falls this far down in the Draft; the Boston Celtics absolutely cannot pass him up.

    Morris averaged 15 points, 6.7 assists, four rebounds, and one steal per game. He shot a miserable 25 percent from three, making the comparison to Rajon Rondo/Andre Miller even more definite. He also led the Big Ten in assists per game with the Michigan Wolverines. 

    At 6'5, Morris used his size and strength to score over and through other defenders. Maybe Boston can trade him for a scoring punch off the bench? 

Dallas Mavericks Select Justin Harper

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    Needs: Young Talent
    Justin Harper: the perfect fit

    The Dallas Mavericks did beat the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, but they do have a very old team. Adding some young talent is something they need to do, and adding Justin Harper does just that.

    The sharpshooter out of Richmond, Harper shot 44.8 percent from downtown. He averaged 17.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. 

    If he can provide some solid minutes off the bench for the Mavericks, they just might be able to repeat.

New Jersey Nets Add Chandler Parsons

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    Needs: Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Bench Depth
    Chandler Parsons: Small Forward

    The New Jersey Nets need all the help they can get, and Chandler Parsons isn't a bad place to start.

    Parsons plays a bit lazily, mainly taking what the defense gives him instead of forcing the issue, but he's got a smooth jumper and great passing skills. He's not the greatest athlete, nor is he a lock down defender, but Parsons makes great cuts to the hole, especially along the baseline, and can knock down the three with ease.

Chicago Bulls Take Reggie Jackson

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    Needs: Another Scorer
    Reggie Jackson: Point Guard

    C.J. Watson played pretty okay as a backup to Derrick Rose, but there's always room for a backup.

    Reggie Jackson averaged 18.2, 4.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. The best part was that he shot 42 percent from downtown. Jackson also used his size; his seven-foot wingspan, to average 1.1 steals per game.

    If he can bring his talents to Chicago, Jackson might find a role in the future championship contender's team. 

The San Antonio Spurs Grab Duke Alum Kyle Singler

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    Needs: Youth Talent
    Kyle Singler: Seasoned College Veteran

    Kyle Singler will be ready to step in and play for the Spurs. They fell prey to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, but their team is relatively solid for now.

    Singler averaged 16.9 points per game his season year at Duke. He has a great jumper and is a very smart NBA player.

    He'll fit right into their system.  

The Chicago Bulls Select Shelvin Mack

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    Needs: Second Scorer
    Shelvin Mack: Scoring Point Guard 

    Built like a Ford F-150, Shelvin Mack could be a nice little acquisition for the Chicago Bulls. He plays excellent defense, fitting himself right into coach Thibodeau's system, and he uses his body to create shots around the basket. Mack also has a great jump shot and above average ball handling skills. Above all, the Jeep Van Cherokee is a great decision maker, especially in traffic.

    Mack averaged 16 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 35.4 percent from deep; a great percentage considering the fact that he attempted 246 threes last season. If he can bring a little bit of scoring off the bench behind Derrick Rose, the Bulls might be able to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals next season... possibly.