2011 NBA Draft: Top 10 Potential First Round Draft Busts

Evan HowardCorrespondent IIMay 26, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Top 10 Potential First Round Draft Busts

0 of 10

    LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs appears on the court during a quarterfinal game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament against the Utah Utes at the Thomas & Mack Center March 10, 2011 in Las
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Every year there is a handful of players that enter the NBA Draft as highly touted young men with extremely high potential.  They all get drafted, and certain players become stars, while many fall to the wayside. 

    Wasting a first-round draft pick on a player that becomes a bust is an immense waste of money, but it also brings embarrassment to the franchise.  Here are 10 players not to draft at their speculated draft position if teams want to avoid picking the next Kwame Brown.  

10. Kyle Singler: Duke

1 of 10

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots over Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte,
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Kyle Singler has always been regarded as a golden boy.  He was the star small forward at Duke and helped lead them to over a hundred wins and national fame.

    The one problem I have with Kyle Singler is that he was never a very talented basketball player, yet he always worked the hardest.  This strategy works very well at the college level, but in the NBA, he will be swallowed up. 

    He is a wonderful college story and will forever be regarded as a legend at Duke, but he will not end up becoming the NBA star that he once was in college. 

9. Nikola Vucevic: USC

2 of 10

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Nikola Vucevic #5 of the USC Trojans shoots over Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half in the semifinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 11, 2011
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    This Trojan junior is a very risky pick at the end of the first round.  Vucevic has always had the potential, but he has never proven he can play at the NBA level. 

    He was constantly pushed around in the post in the Pac-10 conference and although he averaged 17 points a game, he will have a very hard time scoring in the NBA. 

    He is not a good defender and lacks the ability to take over a game at either end of the floor.

8. Tyler Honeycutt: UCLA

3 of 10

    LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 02:  Tyler Honeycutt #23 of the UCLA Bruins in action during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on December 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Tyler Honeycutt is not first-round draft pick material.  I have seen him play in person and by no means was he the best player on the floor during the game. 

    He easily gets lost in the crowd and regularly put up less than 10 points in a game.  He is a very good shot blocker, but outside of his solid defense, he will never be a force on the offensive end of the floor.

7. Nolan Smith: Duke

4 of 10

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils calls a play in the second half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in C
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Nolan Smith is one of the best college basketball players of the past 10 years.  As so many players have proven, college basketball success doesn’t always translate to the NBA. 

    He is very skilled and has the tools to perform in the NBA, but I think he has reached his max potential. 

    I think Smith would be a good second-round pick, but as for him improving any area of his game to adapt to the NBA, in my opinion, is very improbable. 

6. Jordan Williams: Maryland

5 of 10

    COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Willaims #20 of the  Maryland Terrapins celebrates against the NC State Wolfpack at the Comcast Center on February 20, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    This former Terrapin was a very good college basketball player, but his college style of play will not translate well in the NBA. 

    He is undersized at 6’9’’ and is too slow to play any position other than center.  He has numerous problems keeping himself in shape and has a hard time getting to the rim. He most likely will get drafted in the first round due to the lack of quantity of experienced centers, but by no means does that mean that he will perform up to that level. 

    I would steer clear of Jordan Williams and wait for a more talented and better athlete such as Oakland’s Keith Benson.

5. Tobias Harris: Tennessee

6 of 10

    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 10:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Tennessee Volunteers shoots against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Georgia Dome on March 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Tobias Harris is the typical freshman that jumps at the chance to make money in the NBA when he truly needs at least a year to work on his game. 

    He is going to be a role player in the NBA, coming in at the end of the quarter and playing between seven and 10 minutes per game.  He is not a true power forward, but because of his inability to shoot the three and his lack of speed down the court, he is confined to playing in the post. 

    He will not amount to anything more than a mid-range jump shooter that has a slow first step to the basket.

4. Jonas Valanciunas: Lithuania

7 of 10

    This Lithuanian native has draft bust written all over him.  He has very little experience at the professional level and lacks a mid-range game.  He only averaged 7.6 points per game in a little less than 15 minutes per game this past year in Europe. 

    Jonas Valanciunas reminds me of the Clippers 12th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, Yaroslav Korolev.  He ended up averaging 1.1 points per game and was out of the league within two years of being drafted. 

    I don’t think he will have the exact same fate at Korolev, but he is not worthy of a lottery pick and certainly will not improve the unfortunate team that drafts him. 

3. Jan Vesely: Czech Republic

8 of 10

    Jan Vesely has the ability to become a decent power forward, but with averaging only 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in a much softer and less physical Euroleague, he will have a very hard transition into the NBA. 

    He lacks the ability to score at will, a key attribute needed in a lottery pick.  He is very young, but I don't think Vesely will make an impact on the team that drafts him until year three or year four of his career. 

    For now, he will be a waste of a pick for the team that drafts him, especially since every team that picks in the lottery is in need of immediate help.

2. Kawhi Leonard: San Diego State

9 of 10

    LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 12:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs passes the ball during a game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center February 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. San Diego State won 63-57.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Gett
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Although he has the potential to become an excellent rebounder in the NBA, he will not live up his hype as a future lottery pick.  He is still 19 years old, lacks a perimeter game which is crucial for a small forward and he has very little down low presence. 

    He will end up becoming a sixth or seventh man on most teams, and after four or five years he will most likely disappear from the league.  Kawhi is not worthy of getting picked in the top 10 of this year's NBA draft.

1. Kyrie Irving: Duke

10 of 10

    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils holds the ball in the second half while taking on the Hampton Pirates during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in C
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    We all know Kyrie Irving has the ability to play in the NBA, but I believe he doesn’t have the talent deserving of a top three pick in the draft.  He will not fulfill the responsibilities that are required to be drafted in the top three picks and at best, he is a less athletic John Wall

    To get drafted in the top three, you must be a true star in the making, and Kyrie Irving will not become that.  I think Kyrie Irving will be the biggest draft bust of the 2011 NBA Draft.