2011 NBA Mock Draft: Complete 1st-Round Picks, Brandon Knight Set for Utah?
The NBA Draft lottery complete shook up the schematics of the draft order. The Cavaliers have two picks in the top four, the Kings drop all the way to the seventh pick and suddenly teams have been dealt a completely different hand than they anticipated.
Now that the order is set, we have a much better feel for which players are going to be available to which teams. Disregard any mock you have seen prior to the lottery. Here is the way the chips may fall in the first round.
1: Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is a point guard in the Chris Paul mole. He is dangerous in the lane as a scorer but lethal as a passer from anywhere on the court.
He's got the vision and the ball skills to be an elite point guard at the next level. The Cavs probably didn't anticipate being in this situation, so just having the opportunity to choose between Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving has to be invigorating for their franchise.
They are rebuilding. They need a point guard, and a point guard just so happens to be the best player available. He's going to need some other pieces to maximize his potential and start bringing in wins, but he's a great starting point in their rebuilding project.
2: Minnesota Timberwolves, Derrick Williams
The Timberwolves have a tendency to gamble on draft day and completely whiff. It's going to be hard for them to justify passing on Derrick Williams here.
Williams may be the early favorite for rookie of the year honors. He's a great shooter with underrated range. He's not afraid to go into the lane and is the most explosive player in the draft.
At 6'8", his size is a bit of a concern, but he's still a safe pick. Minnesota gets arguably the best player in the draft here and fills seats in the process.
3: Utah Jazz, Kemba Walker
The Jazz need to figure out if the frequently injured Derrick Williams is the answer at point guard. If the answer is no, this draft is laden with point guard talent like no draft in recent memory.
Kemba Walker may not even be the choice here if the Jazz decide to take a point guard. Brandon Knight could also make his case for this spot.
Walker is a great scorer, which tends to turn some teams off. He isn't a pure point guard, however, he has the ability to completely take over a game and has the ability to will his team to victory like no one in the class.
4: Cleveland Cavaliers, Enes Kanter
The Cavs may be presented with the unique opportunity to bring in the best guard and best big man in the draft. Enes Kanter is a Turkish center who can bring Euro fundamentals to the center position.
What sets Kanter apart is his physicality in the paint, a trait that is somewhat uncommon amongst big men from overseas. He's slightly undersized, but he isn't soft. He can shoot, rebound and pass.
There is no Dwight Howard or Tim Duncan in this draft. Kanter is the best center this year. The Cavs should tack on at least 15 wins if they are able to bring in Kanter and Irving.
5: Toronto Raptors, Tristan Thompson
A lot of people have Jonas Valanciunas going here, but I see him as too risky to be a top-five pick. His current contract conditions make him suspect, and he may go down as a wasted pick.
The Raptors don't want to end up with a Ricky Rubio situation on their hands. Tristan Thompson could be the most underrated player in the draft. They get a great rebounding forward here who is active on both ends of the court.
They could go after the third best point guard in the draft here. If Brandon Knight is still available, they will seriously weigh their options.
6: Washington Wiizards, Kawhi Leonard
The Washington Wizards have an outstanding up and coming point guard in John Wall. By bringing in the versatile Kawhi Leonard from San Diego St., they become one step closer in their quest to build a team from the ground up.
They could use a dominant big man, but Leonard gives them someone for Wall to get the ball to. He gets after rebounds and plays above the rim. The Wizards aren't looking for a quick fix here, they are looking for another piece.
7: Sacramento Kings, Brandon Knight
This could be the steal of the draft if Brandon Knight falls here. He could be the missing piece in Sacramento that finally gets them out of the lottery picture.
With Demarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans already on the floor, Knight wouldn't be coming into an inept lineup. He's got the tools to be a great NBA point guard and could go as high as third overall. He doesn't have the polish of Kyrie Irving or the upside of Kemba Walker. He could be the best of both worlds, though.
8: Detroit Pistons, Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valančiūnas is a risky pick, regardless of where he goes. He's got contract issues that may bind him from playing in the NBA next season and potentially beyond. The Pistons don't have time to blow a pick, but they aren't in a position to pass up a guy with the potential Valančiūnas has.
He is a rangy big man who could be a force on the glass. He's has underrated athleticism and can throw it down in traffic. His shot doesn't have range, but he fills a need for Detroit and gives them length in the frontcourt.
9: Charlotte Bobcats, Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo remains a mystery. He has all the tools to be dominant. He's incredibly athletic, a ruthless defender and rules the paint. The Bobcats need to establish themselves down low, and Biyombo may be the answer to their problems.
He's not refined by any means, but he has characteristics that are simply uncoachable. Cue the video.
10: Milwaukee Bucks, Jan Vesely
The Bucks have the makings of a legitimate team. Andrew Bogut is solid and Brandon Jennings could be an All-Star point guard one day.
They could go a number of different directions, as the rest of the team is expendable. Jan Vesely is 6'11". By paring him with Bogut, the Bucks have the groundwork of a dominant front court. He's got the length and the athleticism to be a stellar power forward.
They could use another guard, but Vesely is too good of a player to pass on.
11: Golden State Warriors, Marcus Morris
12: Utah Jazz, Alec Burks
13: Phoenix Suns, Jimmer Fredette
The Phoenix Suns didn't cash in by trading away Amar'e Stoudemire. Now they have a bleak future facing them, as the Steve Nash era comes to a close.
Jimmer Fredette has major holes in his game. He can't defend whatsoever, and he may just be another shooter who can't hack it at the next level. That's perfect, for a Phoenix Suns team who loves to run the floor and can't defend anyone as is.
He can take over a game, and he has great court vision. His game may have limitations, but he can also drop 40 on any given night. It's a good start to the rebuilding process.
14: Houston Rockets, Markieff Morris
With no Shane Battier, the Rockets need to find a guy to fill the void in the frontcourt. Markieff Morris is the best big man on the board at this point, and he should be able to help out their rebound numbers immediately.
He fits in nicely to the system and has crazy range on his shot to boot. He's solid on defense and would be a great addition if someone doesn't make a play for him earlier.
15: Indiana Pacers, Kenneth Faried
Ideally, the Pacers would see Alec Burks drop to them here. Since that probably won't happen, Kenneth Faried is a much more realistic scenario.
Faried isn't the prototypical size for a power forward, but he lays bigger than he is and can jump out of the gym. He's only 6'8", but he's rangy and it doesn't affect his rebounding. Faried would be an impact player from the get go.
16: Philadelphia 76ers, Jordan Williams
This is a huge stretch. I just feel that the need for a guy who can dominate the paint could be too great for them to pass up. With Markieff Morris off the board, the next best center is Jordan Williams. They may go with a power forward here, but if Williams can prove he is conditioned, they could make a play for him.
He's a big, physical guy who can be a cookie monster on the glass. He's not going to put out a ton of minutes, but he's going to own the paint while he's in the game.
17: New York Knicks, Josh Selby
The New York Knicks made blockbuster moves that have given them championship caliber pieces. Now they need a point guard to make all of it really start coming together.
Josh Selby is a slasher guard who can attack the basket and create his own shot. He plays hard on both ends of the court and is a serious competitor. He has a hard time giving up the rock at times, which isn't a good trait for a point guard to have. Even so, he is a good fit here.
18: Washington Wizards, Marshon Brooks
Marshon Brooks and John Wall could develop into one of the best back courts in the entire league. Brooks is a highly productive scorer and would excel on the same floor as Wall.
With Kawhi Leonard also being selected in this draft, the Wizards are starting to look like a real basketball team. They could land two solid pieces in this draft.
19: Charlotte Bobcats, Chris Singleton
If Chris Singleton manages to fall all the way here, he's an absolute steal. He hustles and puts up maximum effort on both ends of the floor. He's one of the best defenders in the draft, and he can shoot the ball.
He gets ice cold at times, but when he's on, he's on. He's an oversized 3 but may be too small for the 4. He's a great athlete, and the Bobcats almost have to take him here.
20: Minnesota Timberwolves, Charles Jenkins
The Timberwolves actually have a fairly bright future. They are almost guaranteed to land a superstar with the second overall pick. Now they need a shooting guard. Charles Jenkins is a great shooter and would be an immediate improvement to the position.
The Timberwolves could actually be a contender if they fix some of the glaring holes on their roster. Derrick Williams is step one, Jenkins would be step two. They have a tendency to draft off the wall players, but hopefully for their future, they take a more conservative approach.
21: Portland Trailblazers, Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is a lights out shooter, potentially the best one in the entire draft. He is a huge point guard at 6'6", which may lead to him moving to the 2-guard spot. The Trailblazers need help in their backcourt, and Thompson would be able to be a point guard in their system.
He's got the presence to be a point guard and shouldn't be written off for being too big and shooting too well. It doesn't take away from his passing, and he has NBA lineage to boot.
22: Denver Nuggets, Donatas Motiejunas
The Denver Nuggets would be getting a huge boost in their front court by selecting Donatas Motiejunas. He's a 7'0" forward and would give them some much needed help in the rebounding department as well a scorer down low.
He's only 220 pounds, which could be an issue in the paint. He'll need to bulk up, but with the 22nd pick, he's got a ton of potential.
23: Houston Rockets, Reggie Jackson
If the Rockets take Markieff Morris earlier in the draft, it only makes sense to draft the best available point guard with their second pick. Reggie Jackson has good size at 6'3" and has the longest arms you've ever seen on a person his size.
He gets to the basket well and takes high percentage shots. He improved every year while he was in college and should continue his progression at the next level.
24: Oklahoma City Thunder, Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris can play either the 3 or 4. Obviously in OKC, he would be playing the 4 or riding the bench. Harris doesn't jump off the tape, so to speak. He's not a flashy basketball player, but he doesn't have any real holes in his game.
He simply does his job and is going to get overlooked by more athletic guys and bigger specimens. He's a bit undersized for his position, but he is a good value here.
25: Boston Celtics, Lucas Nogueira
The Boston Celtics missed Kendrick Perkins in the playoffs. They are about to fall apart, as their core group of guys that made them so dominant a short while ago is aging out of the league.
Lucas Nogueria is a big time basketball player. He's aggressive on both ends of the court and extremely productive. He hauls in a ridiculous amount of boards and is a force in the paint on defense. He's what the Celtics are missing and could be a piece to the new wave of Celtics.
26: Dallas Mavericks, Davis Bertans
This is a recipe for disaster. Davis Bertans would draw comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki immediately and will never measure up to the standards created for him. He's big but not as big as Dirk. He can shoot but not like Dirk.
The Nowitzki era will end in Dallas in a few short years. Bertans could be a legitimate contributor, but he's never going to be their franchise player.
27: New Jersey Nets, Trey Thompkins
Trey Thompkins is a banger in the paint. He's a terrific rebounder and can help the Nets set a tone down low. They need an identity in their front court and Thompkins fills the void.
He's aggressive and creates position for himself down low. He can contribute a fair number of points as well, but they would be drafting him for what he could on the boards.
28: Chicago Bulls, Nolan Smith
Derrick Rose and Nolan Smith in the backcourt. That has a nice ring to it, no? Maybe Smith passes too well to be a pure shooting guard, but Rose isn't exactly a pure point guard himself.
The two fit perfectly together. He can play Bulls defense and is unselfish with the basketball. He isn't an elite scorer for the position, but he wouldn't need to be in Chicago. It's Rose's team. Smith would be an excellent addition there.
29: San Antonio Spurs, Nikola Mirotic
If all goes well with Nikola Mirotic's contract issues, he will be the steal of the first round. He's not Tim Duncan by any means, but the Spurs could use him right away.
He's a solid defender and he's versatile. He can play the fundamental basketball necessary to be on the Spurs, and it doesn't take away from his physicality. He's an above average shooter with great size. Hopefully everything works out with his contract overseas.
30: Chicago Bulls, Justin Harper
The Bulls are loaded all of a sudden. They could use some depth in their front and backcourt. Justin Harper would be great coming off the bench for them. He's not big in the paint, but he could be good for 15 off the bench, and he knows how to take advantage of slower big men.
He can shoot the ball and has great range for his size. The Bulls would obviously like to see him crash the boards harder, but they already have guys who can do so.