2011 NBA Mock Draft: How the Entire First Round Will Shake Out
The 2011 NBA draft order is set, and now, we have to determine who is the biggest star of this draft (besides Nick Gilbert).
The most difficult thing in determining what teams will do in this draft is figuring out what teams will draft for need or for skill level.
The No. 1 pick is typically a consensus pick, but in a weak draft and with few standouts, you can throw typical out the window when it comes to this draft.
So, without further ado and fresh on the heels of tonight's draft lottery, here is my first NBA mock draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG Duke
This is such an easy pick, I don't know exactly how to disqualify it. Cleveland is set for next year at point guard with Baron Davis, but not for the next 10.
Irving is easily the most gifted player in this draft and a no-brainer for a team that is severely lacking in talent.
Irving can either step in immediately and push Davis over to shooting guard, or he can come off the bench and allow the aging California native to run the team and learn from him.
Great pick and a future star.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter, C Turkey
The Timberwolves love to draft point guards, so they will be disappointed that Kyrie Irving is off the board.
However, they will be more than willing to select Kanter, who is unequivocally an improvement over Darko Milicic.
Kanter dominated at the Hoops Summit last year and could be the most complete center on the market.
He isn't the greatest athlete, but he does have an NBA body, superb footwork and a penchant for grabbing rebounds in traffic.
Paired with Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, this could be a scary frontcourt.
3. Utah Jazz: Derrick Williams, SF Arizona
Utah has two major problems on their roster—their shooting guard and their small forward.
Luckily for Jazz fans, one of those problems has been answered.
Derrick Williams is a perfect fit for Utah.
He is a coachable player with a high basketball IQ and polished skills on both ends.
He might be a tweener, but with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap roaming the paint, he can be himself.
Overall, this might be the best fit in the entire draft, and Utah fans are going to love this kid.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jan Vesely, SF Czech Republic
So the Cavs already have their playmaker, now they need someone to get butts in the seats.
Enter Jan Vesely.
People that aren't familiar with the Euro game might ask "who," but Vesely is an electric player.
Nobody else in this draft class has had his name mentioned in the same breath as Blake Griffin, and with good reason.
Vesely plays with a mean streak, has great length and puts together highlight reel dunks.
The people of Cleveland are going to love this kid.
5. Toronto Raptors: Brandon Knight, G Kentucky
The Toronto Raptors need a playmaker—and quickly.
Good thing they have the right to draft Brandon Knight.
The heir to John Wall's throne, Knight showed elite quickness, playmaking ability and serious range.
While he isn't an elite athlete, he will make this a better team.
6. Washington Wizards: Bismack Biyombo, C
The Wizards are in a unique position in that they don't need a point guard.
That opens up their options quite a bit, and when you have that kind of flexibility, you need to swing for the fences.
In that sense, Biyombo is a home run.
He has perhaps the most lethal combination of athleticism and strength in the draft, and while his defense is elite already, he needs some time to figure out the offensive end of the court.
7. Sacramento Kings: Jonas Valanciunas, F Lithuania
The Kings have a serious dilemma here. On the one hand, they can draft the point guard that they need, or they can draft a huge upside Euro player in Valanciunas.
Here is putting the smart money on the huge upside.
Valanciunas has great length, athleticism and a strong work ethic.
He needs to bulk up and show more discipline on defense or else he is going to foul out more than Amir Johnson and Rasheed Wallace combined.
Luckily, the Kings are set for next year up front so they can take their time developing this kid.
8. Detroit Pistons: Kemba Walker, PG UConn
The Detroit Pistons are a franchise that only does well when they have a strong-willed, hard-working point guard as their leader.
They won with Isiah Thomas, Chauncey Billups and, to a lesser extent, Dave Bing.
Kemba Walker, if he slips past Sacramento, will be the next.
Walker would bring to Detroit a strong leader with the will and toughness needed to turn around this franchise.
Here's hoping the Kings pass.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Donatas Montiejunas, PF
The irony that the player that most resembles Darko Milicic should be drafted right after Detroit.
The one major difference is that Montiejunas has a much higher basketball IQ and desire to win.
The biggest flaw with this athletically gifted lefty is that he knows just how good he is. Beware of a big head, Charlotte.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks, SG Colorado
Milwaukee should have been a playoff team this year. Instead, they took a major step backwards and are in the lottery.
They are set up front, but they need a slashing shooting guard/small forward.
Enter Alec Burks.
Burks is athletic, a great leaper and a slashing scorer. He also is very coachable and has a high motor.
Sure, he needs to improve his three-point shooting, but who doesn't?
11. Golden State Warriors: Marcus Morris, SF Kansas
I will admit, I have no clue what Golden State is doing.
They have essentially the same player playing point guard and shooting guard, they have like five power forwards, and they still can't win.
What they don't have is a lot of winners.
This is where Marcus Morris fits in. He isn't athletic, but they have Biedrins and Udoh for that. He isn't a good shooter from outside, but that is where Curry and Ellis come in.
What he is is a professional player with a strong offensive post game. He also is a strong worker who will only make this team better.
12. Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette, PG Brigham Young
Now, Phoenix is hoping that he falls to them, but once they look at the draft order, they will know that it is impossible.
Utah has had their worst year from a public relations standpoint since they lost John Stockton and Karl Malone.
First, there was the drama of Sloan v. Williams, then there was the fallout of both leaving the team.
This team needs some fan love in a major way.
Sadly, they really can not afford to pass on Jimmer.
There is no person more popular than Fredette in Utah these days, and if the Jazz pass on him they will have a fan revolt.
This is an obvious pick.
13. Phoenix Suns: Kawhi Leonard, SF San Diego State
With Fredette and the hope of the next Steve Nash off the board, Phoenix needs to look at their roster. It is old.
Their biggest need is on the perimeter, and Leonard is the best player available.
He is a slasher who can score in bunches and brings a lot of energy.
He struggles with his decision-making, but that is why you have Steve Nash.
14. Houston Rockets: Lucas Nogueira, C Brazil
I uploaded a picture of Yao for a reason. This is the end of the Ming Dynasty.
The Rockets need to move on, and they know it. That is why Nogueira makes so much sense.
He is a project but with huge upside.
Given their investment on Ming and the fact that they have Luis Scola in the meantime, it makes so much sense to take a chance on the huge Brazilian.
15. Indiana Pacers: Nolan Smith, PG Duke
I know, I know, this is a bit high for Smith.
But one thing we know is that Indiana wants high-character guys that come from winning programs.
Smith fits in that he can play either point guard or shooting guard, and Indiana needs both.
Best-case scenario would be that Darren Collison steps up, and Smith plays combo guard off the bench. But don't count out this Blue Devil.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Tristan Thompson, PF Texas
Philly has a huge need up front, and Thompson helps there.
He has a huge wingspan, a good post game and he is a solid rebounder and defender.
He can lack focus, but that is why this team has Doug Collins.
17. New York Knicks: Markieff Morris, PF Kansas
For New York, the two players that fit them best that are on the board are both named Morris.
But for the Knicks, Markieff is better than Darius from a pure need standpoint.
Morris is a bruiser up front, with a great NBA body and the potential to become an excellent defender.
Sure, a Morris/Stoudemire frontcourt will be undersized, but Morris' bulk should help this out.
18. Washington Wizards: Tyler Honeycutt, SF UCLA
Washington needs a small forward in a desperate way, and given that they will address their needs up front early on, Honeycutt is an obvious choice here.
Honeycutt has been compared to Tayshaun Prince due to his length and athleticism, and he could be an elite defender at the next level.
I personally like his nose for the ball.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF Texas
Charlotte is about a swing man or two away from contention. Okay, maybe they need a bit more than that, but a shooting guard wouldn't hurt.
The Bobcats will no doubt be thrilled that Hamilton falls to them at 19.
Hamilton can score, has a good NBA body and plays with a mean streak.
His ball-handling needs work, and he can be inconsistent, but they will take him.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Darius Morris, PG Michigan
Did you really think that Minnesota would go an entire first round without drafting a point guard?
Morris is a natural fit for this team in that he is such a point guard.
All joking aside, Morris is an Andre Miller clone with a knack for getting to the hoop and finding his teammates.
This actually could be a good pick.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Nikola Mirotic, PF
There is a reason I chose to post a shot of Greg Oden with this article.
The Blazers need frontcourt help as a result of the failed experiment which was Greg Oden.
They are set at power forward, but Mirotic is just too talented to pass up.
This kid is a defensive stalwart, which is a rarity among European players.
He has great length and size, and he is young as all get-out.
Portland would prefer to draft Darius Morris, but Minnesota will render that obsolete.
22. Denver Nuggets: Trey Thompkins, PF Georgia
Denver has a stud up front in Nene and the makings of a good backcourt.
What they don't have is a strong power forward now that Kenyon Martin seems on the downside of his career.
Trey Thompkins has a polished offensive game, excellent footwork and great length.
He is not explosive, however, and his athleticism leaves a lot to be desired.
That being said, he is a perfect fit for this Nuggets team.
23. Houston Rockets: Reggie Jackson, PG Boston College
Now that Houston is going to commit to the post-Yao era, they will need an up-tempo point guard to push the pace.
Jackson is a gamer and will help the team move the ball and forget about Aaron Brooks.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
Of all the players that OKC could draft, few fit them better than Thompson.
He is a pure shooter with a high basketball IQ, and he is a good defender to boot.
The only knock on him is his athleticism, but with Durant and Westbrook, they are more than set in that regard.
25. Boston Celtics: Kenneth Faried, PF Morehead State
One of the biggest problems with Boston this year was their lack of toughness on the defensive end once they dealt Kendrick Perkins.
Faried, while not ideally sized, immediately helps them in that regard.
Faried is a tough player that can rebound and has a great nose for the ball.
Boston needs to get younger quick, and Faried helps them with that.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Kyle Singler, SF Duke
Sure, he lacks ideal athleticism. Sure, he lacks ideal quickness. Heck, with his complexion, he may in fact be a vampire.
But Singler is a winner, and he knows how to play basketball.
And that is exactly what Dallas needs. They also need a small forward, and that just so happens to be his best position.
27. New Jersey Nets: Josh Selby, SG Kansas
The problem with Josh Selby is that although he has a strong offensive game, he does not have elite shooting guard size.
Therefore, it is important that he is paired with a big point guard.
As far as big point guards go, few are better than Deron Williams.
So wouldn't it figure that Selby would be paired with Williams.
Williams will allow Selby to defend point guards instead of shooting guards and will also allow him to develop his perimeter game instead of worrying about helping out with ball-handling duties.
28. Chicago Bulls: Tobias Harris, SF Tennessee
The Bulls have very few weaknesses. But one of those weaknesses is small forward depth.
Tobias Harris has a high basketball IQ, can score from anywhere, and can play either forward spot.
He might be a tweener, but few teams can handle having someone of that ilk like the Bulls can.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Davis Bertans, SF
The Spurs are at a crossroads.
They still have the legendary Tim Duncan and their core of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but they need an infusion of youth in the frontcourt.
They also have some time to develop that youth, which is where Davis Bertans fits in.
Bertans has great length and athleticism, and could develop into a good offensive player, especially on the break.
30. Chicago Bulls: Chris Singleton, F FSU
It's a good news/bad news situation for Chicago.
The bad news is that the Bulls have very few needs, and so the 30th pick does them little good.
The good news is also that they have very few needs, and so the 30th pick does them little good.
Chicago needs to upgrade their swingmen, and Singleton is the best forward still on the board.
They could choose to go with a project like JaJuan Johnson or a big man like Jordan Williams.
But Singleton could step in and play the 3 or the 4, and with his defensive ability, he will fit in well with this team.