2011 NBA Mock Draft: Complete Mock Draft, Chicago Doubles Down with Late Picks
As you all know, the 2011 NBA Draft is quickly approaching.
All teams view the draft as a way to improve their current rosters. This can happen by either drafting in your place or perhaps trading up or down.
Picks No. 1 through No. 14 were determined by the draft lottery on May 17. The remaining picks were determined by the records of regular season.
And although the lottery is where the "best" players are chosen, the players drafted in the entire first round are world class.
The 2010-2011 season was a very successful one for the Chicago Bulls. The season saw them reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since the championship 1998 season.
The Bulls reached the Eastern finals on the back of a young roster, including NBA MVP Derrick Rose.
So heading to next season, the Bulls are simply looking to improve. With two draft picks late in the first round, they have the opportunity to do just that.
Will they pair them together to make a trade?
Or will they keep the picks and allow a young roster to become younger?
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving (Duke)
This draft class has been criticized endlessly for being weak.
Kyrie Irving may be the only franchise talent in the 2011 draft.
Although Irving played in only 11 games last season due to injury, he looked impressive when he played. Irving scored in double figures in all 11 games.
Irving is athletic enough to attack the rim or step back and hit a three-pointer. And with Cleveland lacking depth at point guard, Irving can step in immediately and make an impact.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams (Arizona)
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he did not believe the team would not be trading this pick. This comes as a shock to many who believe the Wolves are pushing hard to move this pick.
If by chance they do take this pick, they still will take Derrick Williams out of Arizona.
This will present a problem, however, for the Wolves.
Williams plays the same position as the teams two best players, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. Thus, a trade of one of the three becomes a possibility.
Trading Beasley or Love does not look probable. As a result, if Williams is drafted by the Wolves, Williams will quickly be moved by the Wolves to another team. In return, veteran help will be on its way to Minnesota.
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight (Kentucky)
This is another pick that may not remain with the same team come draft day.
The Jazz are trying to trade up or trade down right now, depending on who they receive in return.
As a result, it is anyone's guess as to who the Jazz will draft with this pick. They are in need of both a guard and a big man, so there are not many players who can be counted out.
The best bet for being chosen at No. 3 by the Utah Jazz Brandon Knight.
The Jazz have just recently become infatuated with Knight. The 6'3" point guard can defend many positions, can shoot the ball well and has no obvious character flaws.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter (Turkey)
The Cleveland Cavaliers have many needs. By drafting gaurd Kyrie Irving with the first pick, the Cavs next need is a big man.
Enter Enes Kanter.
The 18-year-old Kanter has amazing upside. He already possesses an amazing skill set. That skill set plus his high basketball IQ are just what the Cavs need right now.
Kanter is the best prospect in the draft. Right now, all he is only a prospect. No one knows how his game will translate at the NBA level. He could pan out and be like Dirk Nowitzki, or he could fizzle and end up like Darko Milicic.
5. Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Jonas Valanciunas is the best European player in the draft according to many NBA scouts.
Although Valanciunas is still under contract, he will fit in nicely with Andrea Bargnani once he arrives in Toronto.
The two things Valanciunas has going for him are his age and his amazing upside. Both of these things are loved by Toronto.
With Reggie Evans most likely leaving as a free agent, the Raptors have an open spot for Jonas Valanciunas.
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)
At 6'7", Kawhi Leonard can make an immediate impact as a rookie due to his strength and athleticism.
Leonard is a solid defender, who can make an a big difference on a weak defensive squad. His ability to rebound the ball is another attractive aspect for the Wizard.
With a good display at the combine, it is almost certain that Kawhi Leonard will become John Wall's newest teammate on draft day.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker (UConn)
The Sacramento Kings are in no position to take a risk with this pick. They need to improve, and they need to do it fast.
Kemba Walker is just what they are looking for.
Walker is a charismatic guard who makes all of those on the court play better.
The Kings are also a young team. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins both have questionable characters. Walker's character has none of those questions. As a result, he can lead this team for years to come.
8. Detroit Pistons: Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)
With Tayshaun Prince most likely on his way out of the Motor City, the Pistons need to find a replacement.
The 6'11" swingman, Jan Vesely, is a perfect fit for the Detroit Pistons.
Vesely is ready to play right now in the NBA. On top of that, Vesely also has tremendous opportunity to improve in Detroit where he will play almost immediately.
The swingman is very athletic and is known in Europe for his ability to dunk the ball. Overall, his style of play will fit in nicely with the Pistons.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Bismack Biyombo (Congo)
The Bobcats biggest need is an interior defender, especially if Kwame Brown leaves as a free agent.
Not much is known about the 18-year-old Bismack Biyombo other than he plays with tremendous strength and athleticism.
Bottom line is Biyombo is a project and a huge risk. A risk the Bobcats are likely to take.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Alec Burks (Colorado)
The Milwaukee Bucks desperately need scorers.
Alec Burks led the Big 12 in scoring last season and is working hard to improve his three-point shot.
Brandon Jennings will be the perfect complementary player to Burks, who will see immediate court time with the Bucks.
11. Golden State Warriors: Marcus Morris (Kansas)
Marcus Morris was a very good impact post player at Kansas.
And with a Golden State team that has a variety of solid guards, an impact post player is exactly what they need.
Morris can score the basketball from the perimeter or the post, providing Golden State with flexibility. He has also matured nicely during his three years at Kansas and is a good fit on a Warriors team.
12. Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
This pick is a total gamble.
There are rumblings among the league that the Jazz are ready to draft Fredette with this pick.
While Fredette does boast an amazing offensive game, his defense is poor at best. There is no doubt about his ability to score, and that will translate to the NBA.
With Jerry Sloan out of Utah, Fredette will most likely play early and often.
13. Phoenix Suns: Markieff Morris (Kansas)
For the first time in a long time, Markief Morris will not be wearing the same uniform as his brother Marcus Morris.
Markief Morris will most likely be headed west to Phoenix.
The Suns are in desperate need of a power forward. And although Markief is not as good as Marcus, Markief is still a solid power forward.
Markief is a good defender, who will make a big difference on a Phoenix team that needs defensive help. He also is a solid shot-blocker and great rebounder.
A bit more of a project than his brother Marcus, Markief can become a solid NBA player with a little help.
14. Houston Rockets: Chris Singleton (Florida State)
Last year the Houston Rockets were 22nd in points allowed.
Chris Singleton will make a big difference in that.
Singleton is a versatile defender who can defend many positions. While he may not be the best offensive player in the draft, his prowess on the other end of the court more than makes up for it.
15. Indiana Pacers: Tristan Thompson (Texas)
Tristan Thompson is a very athletic power forward. The Pacers need a legitimate power forward threat to become a better team.
While is offense still needs improving, his offensive rebounding may be the best in the draft. On the other end of the floor, Thompson's defense is solid.
Being selected with the pick No. 15 is a bit late for someone of Thompson's talent. The Pacers are getting a very good deal with this pick.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
There is a good chance Motiejunas may be drafted earlier. If not, the 76ers are the perfect candidate to pick him.
The 7'0" European has a great offensive ability. The only problem is his work ethic. Lately, he has been moving the wrong way on the draft board as many question his drive.
17. New York Knicks: Josh Selby (Kansas)
Last year in Kansas, Selby had trouble finding his role. He will find his role quickly in New York.
Selby will thrive under Mike D'Antoni's system. He will have the freedom to do what he does best: one on one. Selby thrives off attacking the rim, and in New York, he will have ample opportunity to do so.
Selby has tremendous upside but is also a bit of a risk taking him this early.
18. Washington Wizards: Klay Thompson (Washington St.)
Washington State product Klay Thompson has the NBA in his blood. The son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, Klay is a 6'6" shooting guard with excellent range.
Thompson was one of the best shooters in college basketball, has outstanding range on his jump shot and, to top it all off, has a tremendous basketball IQ.
And with Nick Young headed to the free agency markets, the Wizards are looking for another shooter.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Jordan Hamilton (Texas)
If Jordan Hamilton falls this far, there is almost no doubt the Bobcats will scoop him up.
Hamilton is a versatile offensive player who can drive and score or step back and hit a three-pointer. His offensive is greatly needed on a weak Bobcats team.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
It is a big stretch to imagine David Kahn selecting Morris with No. 20. If he actually cared about the future of the team, he would do it.
The reality is no one knows when Ricky Rubio will head to the NBA. With Johnny Flynn not panning out to be the player anyone expected, Morris would be a great fit for the Wolves.
He could lead the team in the future as one of the few pure point guards in the draft class. With Kyrie Irving off the board, the Wolves would be smart to scoop up Morris with No. 20.
21. Portland Trailblazers: Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
Kenneth Faried is the best rebounder in the 2011 draft class. The Trailblazers loved Faried last year but then Faried withdrew from the draft, leaving the team hanging.
All the Trailblazers need is a second chance to get Faried, and he will be in Portland come next season.
Faried broke Tim Duncan's NCAA rebounding record, showing he knows how to control the glass. Even if he is half as good as Duncan, Faried will be a very good professional.
22. Denver Nuggets: Marshon Brooks (Providence)
After a great performance in the Chicago combine, Brooks has been climbing up many draft boards. Just a few weeks ago, many NBA GMs had Brooks as a bubble first-round pick, and some said he wouldn't be drafted at all.
An aggressive scorer who will fill the void left by J.R. Smith, assuming he leaves in the offseason.
Brooks is crazy athletic. He boasts a 7'1" wingspan. That reach combined with his explosive first step allowed Brooks to average 24.6 points per game in his senior season at Providence.
23. Houston Rockets: Tobias Harris (Tennessee)
Tobias Harris went under the radar for most of the season. A one-and-done player out of Tennessee, Harris is a very well-rounded player.
Harris is the type of player who can do a lot of things well, but nothing spectacular. At this point, teams will need to look at him as a project player who needs time to develop into an NBA player.
The Rockets are in need of a 3 or 4, both of which Harris can play and play well.
24. Oklahoma City: Davis Bertans (Latvia)
Davis Bertans is a relatively unknown at this point. The 6'10" small forward has a great ability to create his own shot off of the dribble, and also has excellent range for someone of his size.
Like all European big men, Bertans is already being compared to Dirk Nowitzki. Before he is to become a player of Nowitzki's caliber, Bertans needs to add a lot of strength.
Davis can play behind Kevin Durant and slowly get acclimated to the NBA game. Overall, he would be a good fit in OKC.
25. Boston Celtics: Nikola Vucevic (USC)
Kevin Garnett is on the tail end of his career, and the Celtics need size.
Enter Nikola Vucevic.
Nikola is another player who saw his stock soar is Chicago. His measurements were well above average, leaving many teams with the feeling that Nikola's upside is worth the risk of taking him in the first round.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Nikola Mirotic (Serbia)
This selection is a big stretch. Mirotic has a huge buyout that may prevent him from playing in the NBA for a couple of years.
That being said, Mirotic has lottery pick talent.
While he is a BIG gamble, Mirotic may payoff down the line. And with Dirk Nowitzki retiring eventually, Mirotic may be just what Dallas needs to replace him.
27. New Jersey Nets: Justin Harper (Richmond)
After experiments with Yi Jianlian went south, the Nets need a player to pair with Brook Lopez.
Justin Harper is their man.
Harper can shoot the ball well. That coupled with his athleticism fill a big hole for the Nets. While Harper can take the ball to the block to score, he is also capable of stretching the court. It is often surprising how much damage he can do away from the hoop.
Harper should be able to make an impact as a rookie and is exactly what the Nets are looking for.
28. Chicago Bulls: Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
There is a good chance Jackson may be gone by this pick. If not, he will become the newest member of the Chicago Bulls.
Jackson is a 6'3" point guard who will be a nice backup to league MVP Derrick Rose.
As if Rose were not athletic enough, Jackson boasts an amazing 7'0" wingspan and an sharp-shooting ability. He may be the future sixth man in Chicago.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Tyler (Japan)
Jeremy Tyler may be the biggest mystery in the draft.
At one time, he viewed himself as a lottery pick. As a result, he left high school in the U.S. and headed toward professional ball in Israel and Japan.
Now Tyler has a lot to prove.
While his upside is tremendous, teams will need to work with him. Tyler is incredibly athletic and has tremendous size, something the Spurs are looking for with an aging roster.
30. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)
The Bulls are desperately seeking ways to secure their 2-spot.
Honeycutt would be a great pick here if he were to slip this far.
Honeycutt is a solid defender, something the Bulls could use. On the other end of the floor, Honeycutt is good shooter who can help create space on the court by drawing an extra defender.
He may be the player the Bulls need to win their next championship.