2011 NBA DraftDownload App

NBA Draft 2011: Tristan Thompson and the Top 25 Best Big Men Prospects Available

Pat MarrujoContributor INovember 27, 2016

NBA Draft 2011: Tristan Thompson and the Top 25 Best Big Men Prospects Available

1 of 26

    TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns walks off the court after their 70-69 loss to the Arizona Wildcats in the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Pho
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    In a draft dominated by guards, there are plenty of teams who will still opt for a big man.

    There is a lot of doubt surrounding almost every post player available, and there is nobody who has separated themselves as the best yet.

    The thing that stands out the most is the amount of foreign big men available. Six of the top 10 big men are from overseas.

25. Jamie Skeen (VCU)

2 of 26

    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Jamie Skeen #21 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams reacts after hitting a three pointer and drawing a foul against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’9”

    Weight: 240 lbs

    Jamie Skeen is the sharp shooting big man that led VCU to their improbable Final Four appearance.

    Skeen is a solid scorer that can play both inside and outside. He is a smart player and rebounds the ball well.

    The issue with Skeen is that he is not a superior athlete, and he is one of the oldest players in the draft at 23 years old. His knee injuries of the past are something to be feared as well.

24. Robin Benzing (Germany)

3 of 26

    Position: Small Forward

    Height: 6’11”

    Weight: 223 lbs

    Even though Benzing has great size, but he is not a post player.

    Benzing is your classic small forward that likes to put the ball on the floor. He likes to run the court and has a solid outside game.

    The problem with Benzing is that he is too slow to guard most small forwards and lacks the strength to guard most big men.

23. Tomislav Zubcic (Croatia)

4 of 26

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 11:  Tomislav Zubcic of Croatia bites on the ball during the U19 Basketball World Championships Semi-Final match between Croatia and the United States of America at North Shore Events Centre on July 11, 2009 in Auckland, New Z
    Phil Walter/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 210 lbs

    Zubcic is similar to Benzing in that he is more of an outside player. However, Zubcic has much more post presence than Benzing.

    He is a very athletic big man that aggressively scores. The combination of his three-point shot and his ball-handling ability make him very difficult to guard.

    At the age of 21, NBA scouts would love for Zubcic to have a little more international experience. He is a few years away from being a legitimate NBA talent.

22. Joffery Lauvergne (France)

5 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 220 lbs

    Lauvergne is a solid outside shooter, but plays inside more than most of the other foreign big men on this list.

    His athleticism and ability to score facing the basket make him a solid pick and roll threat at the next level.

    Lauvergne is inexperienced and needs to add some size. Drafting him would mean a project for a few years.

21. Nikola Vucevic (USC)

6 of 26

    DAYTON, OH - MARCH 16: Nikola Vucevic #5 of the USC Trojans shoots over Juvonte Reddic #5 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Grego
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 260 lbs

    Nikola Vucevic is not the most explosive athlete at his position, but still has a very well-rounded game.

    He has a nice shot with range from deep and is one of the better rebounders available.

    However, his lack of quickness and athleticism could hurt him defensively at the next level. Vucevic needs to get quicker if he wants to succeed.

20. Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)

7 of 26

    TUCSON, AZ - MARCH 19:  Jon Leuer #30 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates during their game against the Kansas State Wildcats during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at McKale Center on March 19, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Phot
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 228 lbs

    Yet another sharp shooting big man here. Leuer can hit shots from beyond the arch, but has a limited game other than that.

    He is an underachiever when it comes to rebounding and does not have elite strength or athleticism.

    I see him as a less athletic Channing Frye. He has a great shot from deep, but other than that, there is not too much to be incredibly excited about here.

19. Keith Benson (Oakland)

8 of 26

    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Keith Benson #34 of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies goes up for a shot against Alexis Wangmene #20 of the Texas Longhorns during the second round game of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tuls
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Position: Center

    Height: 6’11”

    Weight: 230 lbs

    Benson has the makings of a solid NBA big man. He is athletic, quick and is a great shot blocker.

    Last season at Oakland he averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.

    If Benson can work on his attitude, he has some real potential. The measurables are all there, now it is just a matter of putting it all together.

18. Jeremy Tyler (USA)

9 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’11”

    Weight: 245 lbs

    Jeremy Tyler is a very interesting prospect. He was one of the top high school prospects in the country during his junior season, but dropped out of school to play professionally overseas.

    Last we saw Tyler, he was freakishly athletic and nearly unstoppable while facing the basket.

    He has potential to be the next Amar’e Stoudemire, but will be a huge risk. A lot of NBA teams will be afraid to take him due to his lack of experience and the inability to evaluate him.

17. Justin Harper (Richmond)

10 of 26

    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Justin Harper #32 of the Richmond Spiders drives against the Kansas Jayhawks during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 25, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Kansas defeated
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Harper is a highly talented offensive player, but his game is less than impressive elsewhere on the court.

    He has been labeled as a “soft” player that does not like to do the dirty work inside. Don’t expect too high of rebounding totals out of this kid.

    However, when he has the ball, Harper is tough to stop. He possesses a shot that he can bury from anywhere in the gym. Along with his athleticism, he is one of the better scoring bigs in the draft.

16. Davis Bertans (Latvia)

11 of 26

    Position: Small Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 210 lbs

    Bertans is another big small forward that could be forced to move to power forward in the NBA.

    He has great height, but no size to go along with it. He definitely needs to gain some strength to achieve at the next level. 

    Bertans is an aggressive scorer who can beat you in multiple different ways. His weapon of choice is his three-point shot, but he also has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble.

15. Jordan Williams (Maryland)

12 of 26

    GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Jordan Williams #20 of the Maryland Terrapins shoots against Mason Plumlee #5 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Position: Center

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 260 lbs

    Jordan Williams is a bruiser of a center. He likes to play the game physical and close to the basket.

    His greatest strength is his ability to dominate the rebounding battle. Williams averaged 11.8 rebounds per games last season with Maryland.

    He has taken a lot of criticism regarding his athleticism and his conditioning, but some of it may be a little unfair. At times, Williams has shown that he can run the floor. He just needs to show it more often.

14. JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

13 of 26

    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20: JaJuan Johnson #25 of the Purdue Boilermakers shoots against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the first half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Il
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 221 lbs

    When I see JaJuan Johnson, I instantly think Hakim Warrick. Like Warrick, Johnson is very athletic for his position, but lacks the post moves to be an elite inside players.

    Johnson is a high-flyer who can kill you with his mid-range game, but his game may not work as well in the NBA.

    He lacks strength and is not always the smartest player on the floor. He relies almost solely on his athleticism.

13. Trey Thompkins (Georgia)

14 of 26

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Trey Thompkins #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs dunks the ball in the first half while taking on the Washington Huskies during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 245 lbs

    Trey Thompkins is not an excellent athlete, but he makes up for it with his crafty play.

    Thompkins has a good jump shot, but he also has the ability to finish close to the basket.

    His greatest strengths of all might be his rebounding and shot-blocking ability. Unlike a lot of the guys on this list, Thompkins is not a liability on the defensive end.

12. Nikola Mirotic (Serbia)

15 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 226 lbs

    Mirotic is one of the more NBA-ready foreign big men in this draft. 

    He is an aggressive player that can beat you in many different ways. His three-point jump shot is elite, and he is one of the best passers you can find at his size.

    Mirotic is not an elite athlete, so he might be forced to play power forward in the NBA and will need to get a little stronger before he can be effective.

11. Tobias Harris (Tennessee)

16 of 26

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Tennessee Volunteers shoots over Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines in the first half during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’8”

    Weight: 226 lbs

    It is debatable whether or not Harris even deserves to be on this list. He is a bit of a tweener, but I include him because he plays bigger than his size.

    Harris’s game is very well rounded. He can shoot, dribble, pass and play defense, but he does most of his scoring off the drive.

    The problem with Harris is that he is not an elite athlete and might not be strong enough for the next level yet. He is a risky pick.

10. Lucas Nogueira (Brazil)

17 of 26

    Position: Center

    Height: 6’11”

    Weight: 218 lbs

    The first player on this list with superstar potential, Nogueira is raw talent.

    He might be the most athletic player on the list and is an electrifying talent. His shot-blocking ability and rebounding is very solid, but his offensive game still needs work.

    Dunking is pretty much the only weapon that Nogueira has on the offensive end. If he can learn some post moves or develop a jump shot, he will be a stud.

9. Markieff Morris (Kansas)

18 of 26

    TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates after a dunk against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Position: Center

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 245 lbs

    Markieff Morris has yet to showcase a big time offensive game yet, but his defense and rebounding alone is good enough to get him in the NBA.

    He is big and athletic, so he can hang with just about any big man in the league. He would be a perfect fit on a team like the Knicks who need a defensive center.

    His offensive game has improved during his time at Kansas. His jump shot is respectable and he can sometimes muscle his way to high percentage looks.

8. Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)

19 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 7’0”

    Weight: 220 lbs

    Motiejunas is not as much of a long distance shooter as the other foreign players in this draft. He scores more in the post and off the dribble.

    The main problem with Motiejunas is that he is very thin and has shown a lack of confidence at times.

    He has all the talent in the world, but mainly just needs to improve his attitude. Do not be surprised if Motiejunas gets snagged somewhere in the top 10.

7. Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)

20 of 26

    DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  Kenneth Faried #35 of the Morehead State Eagles dunks reacts after a play against the Richmond Spiders during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Pho
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’8”

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Kenneth Faried is my favorite player in the draft. His work ethic and motor will make him a great pick up for whoever drafts him.

    Faried was the best rebounder in college basketball last season. His elite leaping ability and good shot-blocking ability have teams excited at the next level.

    He is a little small for his position and has yet to develop a go-to offensive game yet, but I feel Faried is worth the risk.

6. Marcus Morris (Kansas)

21 of 26

    SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27:  Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes to the basket against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Anto
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’9”

    Weight: 235 lbs

    Marcus Morris is the more skilled of the Morris brothers.

    Marcus is a good defender and rebounder like his brother Markieff, but is a more versatile scorer. He has a solid shot from beyond the arch and has the ability to handle the ball and attack the basket.

    He is not an out-of-this-world athlete and is a bit small for the power forward position. However, I feel he is one of the most NBA-ready big men available.

5. Tristan Thompson (Texas)

22 of 26

    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 11:  Tristan Thompson #13 of the Texas Longhorns dunks the ball against the Texas A&M Aggies during their semifinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 11, 2011 in Kansas City,
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’8”

    Weight: 225 lbs

    Tristan Thompson has been on the fence about the draft for a while, but has finally decided to enter.

    He should find himself drafted in the top 10 and he has plenty of potential. He is a good all-around scorer and a very impressive athlete for his position.

    However, his size is a concern and he is not particularly great at any one thing. I doubt that he will be a super star, but Thompson will be a very solid NBA player.

    Very similar play to Charlotte’s Tyrus Thomas.

4. Bismack Biyombo (Congo)

23 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’9”

    Weight: 243 lbs

    As the draft nears, you will see a lot of people comparing Bismack Biyombo and Lucas Nogueira. They are very similar in that they are both athletic, good shot blockers and excellent rebounders.

    However, I like Biyombo more for a few reasons. He is bigger, at 243 pounds, and he has a slightly more developed offensive game.

    Biyombo is still somewhat of a project player, but he has a lot of upside. With a more reliable offensive game and experience, he could be a star.

3. Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)

24 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’11”

    Weight: 240 lbs

    Jan Vesely is probably the most athletic big man available. He would be a perfect fit at the 4 or 5 spot on a fast break team.

    His offensive game is very well rounded. He can shoot, run, dunk and can even handle the ball a little.

    The things Vesely needs to work on are his strength and his ability to score with his back to the basket. He has very good size, so these things should be easy to develop.

2. Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)

25 of 26

    Position: Power Forward

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 230 lbs

    Jonas Valanciunas is a highly talented inside player with his only real weakness being that he is not quite strong enough yet.

    Valanciunas does work inside. He has multiple weapons he can beat you with.

    He is probably most known for his electrifying dunks, but he has underrated back-to-the-basket scoring skills.

    Not only is he an offensive threat, but he can also do the dirty work on the defensive end. Valanciunas is solid at both rebounding and shot blocking.

1. Enes Kanter (Turkey)

26 of 26

    Position: Center

    Height: 6’10”

    Weight: 255 lbs

    No real surprise here.

    Enes Kanter finds himself being drafted third overall on most 2011 mock drafts. His size and versatility has teams around the league very excited.

    Kanter can do just about anything. He rebounds great, blocks shots, can dominate the paint and he is even known to fire up long-range shots from time to time.

    The only red flag with Kanter is that he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA all last season. If he can overcome this lack of experience, I feel he has as bright of a future as any player in the draft.

     

    With the NBA Draft approaching, NBA Mock Draft season is here. Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for updated mock drafts, along with the latest NBA Draft news, analysis, rumors and predictions.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices