NBA Draft 2011: Prospect Profiles and Bios for the Top 30 Big Board Players

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistMay 24, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Prospect Profiles and Bios for the Top 30 Big Board Players

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    With the NBA Draft Combine in the books and June 23rd drawing ever closer, let's take a look at the top 30 prospects in the 2011 draft class. 

    With a bevy of international players, more than our fair share of young college athletes and a couple grizzled veterans, the class is weaker than many before it, but don't discount the talent. 

    Many of the players you're about to see will be able to create immediate impacts in the NBA once they're drafted. 

    Read on to see some key information about each top prospect, including stats, strengths, weaknesses and a brief description. 

30. Tobias Harris (Tennessee)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 15.3 points, 1.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.7 steals

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    Strengths: Versatility, basketball I.Q.

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, post moves

    Brief Bio: Only spent one season at Tennessee, where he got better and better as the situations got tougher and tougher. 

29. Reggie Jackson (Boston College)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 18.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 1.1 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Athleticism, wingspan

    Weaknesses: Jump shot, court awareness

    Brief Bio: Former Colorado high school player of the year has all the physical tools necessary to succeed. 

28. Josh Selby (Kansas)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 7.9 points, 2.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 0.0 blocks, 0.8 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Athleticism, offense

    Weaknesses: Maturity, defense

    Brief Bio: Incredibly talented Kansas freshman with major red flags sent up by his maturity, or lack thereof.

27. Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 12.8 points, 2.8 assists, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 0.9 steals

    Position: Shooting guard and small forward

    Strengths: Athleticism, size

    Weaknesses: Ball handling, passing

    Brief Bio: An incredibly athletic 6'8" tweener, this UCLA Bruin could use some work on the consistency of his offensive game. 

26. JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 20.5 points, 1.0 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 0.9 steals

    Position: Power forward

    Strengths: Athleticism, size

    Weaknesses: Strength, age

    Brief Bio: An All-American in his senior season at Purdue, the 6'10" power forward with the seven-foot wingspan has the potential to be a draft day steal. 

25. Trey Thompkins (Georgia)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 16.4 points, 1.4 assists, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.1 steals

    Position: Power forward

    Strengths: Post moves, jump shot

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, mental game

    Brief Bio: As talented as they come, Trey Thompkins never lived up to his potential at Georgia because of a tendency to become disengaged at crucial moments. 

24. Nikola Vucevic (Southern Cal)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 17.1 points, 1.6 assists, 10.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 0.5 steals

    Position: Power forward and center

    Strengths: Height, post moves

    Weaknesses: Strength, athleticism

    Brief Bio: The tallest player at the NBA combine, the Trojan was impressive enough that one NBA executive said, "If you were watching Enes Kanter or Nikola Vucevic for the first time yesterday, close your eyes and pick one of them from 10-20."

23. Malcolm Lee (UCLA)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 13.1 points, 2.0 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, 0.7 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Defense, basketball I.Q.

    Weaknesses: Strength, jump shot, passing

    Brief Bio: A lot of UCLA players have gone on to have success in the NBA recently and Lee, who had a great showing at the combine, hopes to be the next such story.

22. Darius Morris (Michigan)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 15.0 points, 6.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 0.0 blocks, 1.0 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Physical traits, passing

    Weaknesses: Jump shot, decision making

    Brief Bio: Publicly stating that he wants to be a true point guard, the much-improved sophomore from Michigan can back up that statement after being the exclusive ball-handler in Ann Arbor. 

21. Marshon Brooks (Providence)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 24.6 points, 2.5 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.5 steals

    Position: Shooting guard

    Strengths: Shooting, ball handling, size

    Weaknesses: Passing, shot selection

    Brief Bio: A great scorer who improved during each of his four seasons with Providence. 


20. Lucas Nogueira (Brazil)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Center

    Strengths: Size, upside, defense

    Weaknesses: Inexperience, offensive skills

    Brief Bio: A high-risk, high-reward player from Brazil, Nogueira is 7'0" with a 7'6" wingspan and has performed quite well whenever in front of NBA scouts. 

19. Chris Singleton (Florida State)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 13.1 points, 1.2 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 2.0 steals

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    Strengths: Defense, defense, defense

    Weaknesses: Jump shot, ball handling

    Brief Bio: The best defender eligible to be drafted, Chris Singleton also is a competent offensive player. That said, there is no denying what his calling card is. 

18. Jordan Hamilton (Texas)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 18.6 points, 2.1 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 0.6 blocks, 0.9 steals

    Position: Shooting guard and small forward

    Strengths: Jump shot, versatility

    Weaknesses: Strength, ball-handling

    Brief Bio: A gifted scorer from Texas, Jordan Hamilton has the potential to become one of the biggest steals in this draft. 

17. Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 17.3 points, 1.1 assists, 14.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.9 steals

    Position: Power forward and center

    Strengths: Athleticism, energy, rebounding

    Weaknesses: Height, offense

    Brief Bio: College basketball's all-time leading rebounder is a bit undersized and relies on his offensive rebounding to get points, but Kenneth Faried might be the best pound-for-pound rebounder since Dennis Rodman. 

16. Markieff Morris (Kansas)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 13.6 points, 1.4 assists, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 0.8 steals

    Position: Power forward

    Strengths: Overall skills, low risk

    Weaknesses: Low upside

    Brief Bio: An incredibly balanced player, the "worse" of the Morris twins will have to get over his separation anxiety but should be able to make an immediate impact on any NBA roster. 

15. Klay Thompson (Washington State)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 21.6 points, 3.7 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 1.6 steals

    Position: Shooting guard

    Strengths: Size, jump shot

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, speed, maturity

    Brief Bio: A citation for marijuana possession sent up red flags, but don't let that fool you into thinking that Klay Thompson can't shoot a basketball. 

14. Tristan Thompson (Texas)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 13.1 points, 1.3 assists, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 0.9 steals

    Position: Power forward

    Strengths: Quickness, rebounding

    Weaknesses: Size, jump shot

    Brief Bio: Tristan Thompson, though undersized, has been able to score in the paint, but please don't ask him to do anything outside of it. 

13. Jimmer Fredette (BYU)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 28.9 points, 4.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 0.0 blocks, 1.3 steals

    Position: Point guard

    Strengths: Shooting, scoring, jump shot

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, defense

    Brief Bio: The reigning National Player of the Year is an incredible scorer, but no one is quite sure how his defensively lacking game is going to translate from BYU to the NBA. 

12. Marcus Morris (Kansas)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 17.2 points, 1.6 assists, 7.6 rebounds, 0.6 blocks, 0.8 steals

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    Strengths: Jump shot, overall skills, NBA-readiness

    Weaknesses: Size, free throw shooting

    Brief Bio: One of the most complete and NBA-ready players in this year's draft class is the better of the two Morris twins. 

11. Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Power forward

    Strengths: Size, jump shot, potential

    Weaknesses: Defense, mental game

    Brief Bio: A very skilled big man, much like Andrea Bargnani or Dirk Nowitzki, Dontas Motiejunas is good and he knows it. Once he stops being quite so cocky he'll be even better. 

10. Bismack Biyombo (Congo)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Power forward and center

    Strengths: Athleticism, defense, wingspan

    Weaknesses: Offense, age?

    Brief Bio: We're still not quite sure if Biyombo is really 18 and he's as offensively raw as they come, but the upside here is tremendous, as his triple-double at the Nike Hoops Summit proved. 

9. Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 15.5 points, 2.5 assists, 10.6 rebounds, 0.6 blocks, 1.4 steals

    Position: Small forward

    Strengths: Athleticism, versatility

    Weaknesses: Jump shot, ball handling

    Brief Bio: Kawhi Leonard was the do-everything forward that led San Diego State in what seems like every single statistical category. He's very versatile but lacks any one elite skill. 

8. Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Small forward and power forward

    Strengths: Height, attitude

    Weaknesses: Offensive skills, strength

    Brief Bio: A 6'11" small forward, Jan Vesely can competently play both in the paint and outside the three-point line. He has a lot of potential but needs a good bit of work. 

7. Alec Burks (Colorado)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 20.5 points, 2.9 assists, 6.5 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, 1.1 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Athleticism, size, guard skills

    Weaknesses: Jump shot, strength

    Brief Bio: One of my favorite players in the draft, I think Alec Burks, a relatively unheralded guard from Colorado, has the potential to become the best player in the draft class if he can add a consistent jump shot. 

6. Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Power forward and center

    Strengths: Size, athleticism, potential

    Weaknesses: Strength, NBA-readiness

    Brief Bio: The 6'11" big man from Lithuania has an incredible amount of talent, but it remains to be seen whether he'll even enter the draft, much less make an immediate impact. 

5. Kemba Walker (Connecticut)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 23.5 points, 4.5 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, 1.9 steals

    Position: Point guard

    Strengths: Athleticism, scoring ability

    Weaknesses: Height, passing

    Brief Bio: We all know the story by now. Kemba Walker carried his team to the Big East Conference Tournament title and the NCAA Championship, at times all by himself. He was by far the most impressive player during college basketball's postseason and should be successful at the next level. 

4. Brandon Knight (Kentucky)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 17.3 points, 4.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, 0.7 steals

    Position: Point guard and shooting guard

    Strengths: Quickness, scoring ability, attitude

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, passing

    Brief Bio: While definitely not a true point guard by any stretch, Brandon Knight proved to be a great scorer while a freshman at Kentucky and displayed his penchant for making the big shot over and over. 

3. Enes Kanter (Turkey/Kentucky?)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: Did not play college basketball

    Position: Power forward and center

    Strengths: Size, strength, all-around offensive game

    Weaknesses: Knees, lack of competition, athleticism

    Brief Bio: Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible at Kentucky and didn't play competitively for the last year, but the Turkish big man is unbelievably skilled and would be a potential No. 1 pick if he had a different set of knees. 

2. Derrick Williams (Arizona)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 19.5 points, 1.1 assists, 8.3 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.0 steals

    Position: Small forward

    Strengths: Athleticism, jump shot, NBA-readiness

    Weaknesses: Defense, strength

    Brief Bio: Derrick Williams was the most efficient player in college basketball during his sophomore season and always seemed to be involved in the big moments. He's as NBA-ready as they come but might lack the ability to become a true superstar. 

1. Kyrie Irving (Duke)

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    2010-2011 Per Game Stats: 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 1.5 steals

    Position: Point guard

    Strengths: Quickness, jump shot, guard skills

    Weaknesses: Lack of experience, strength, injuries?

    Brief Bio: With a chance to become a true star, Kyrie Irving has emerged as the front-runner for the first overall pick despite missing the bulk of his freshman season at Duke with a fluky toe injury.