2011 NBA Draft: Top 10 Potential First Round Draft Busts
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.