2011 NBA Mock Draft: What Will the Minnesota Timberwolves Do at No. 2?
The 2011 NBA draft is quickly approaching. Despite the perceived weak class of prospects, anticipation and excitement is building.
Maybe the craziest thing about this draft is that the Timberwolves hold a lot of power.
They hold the No. 2 pick, also known as Derrick Williams, and they are looking to move it.
Cleveland has been rumored to be in discussions with the Timberwolves in an attempt to grab the pick. That would only add to the pre-draft excitement if they ended up owning the first two picks.
This class has been said to have only two elite prospects. This may be true. Still, it is a deeper class that can provide teams with value late in the first round.
Here is a look at an early 2011 NBA mock draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
Kyrie Irving will almost certainly be the first pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
He would be a perfect fit for the Cavs. Whether he is capable or not, the Cavs need a new face of the franchise.
Fans were demoralized when the team traded for Baron Davis and his ugly contract. Irving can help to wash away the bad taste in their mouths from this trade. He can be a game-changer for this team.
He may not be Derrick Rose, but he is a stellar prospect that can bring Cleveland back to relevance.
Cavaliers Select Irving
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona
There could be a number of teams picking in the No. 2 spot.
The Timberwolves will almost certainly move this pick, and Derrick Williams will almost certainly be selected with this pick.
Names like Danny Granger and Marc Gasol have been tossed around in trade rumors involving the Timberwolves. Their best option may be to pursue Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia if the Sixers have any interest in Williams.
Williams has claimed that will be able to excel as a small forward in the NBA, but he measured out as a power forward at the combine.
He will provide value for the team that selects him, no matter what position he plays.
Williams is one of the few big-time clutch players in this draft, seen in his play in the tournament as well as big last-second blocks at the end of crucial regular-season games.
No matter where he goes, this is not the last we will hear from No. 23.
Timberwolves Select Williams (for Now)
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
Brandon Knight hit the biggest shot of the 2011 NCAA tournament when he eliminated the renowned favorite, Ohio State, in the waning seconds.
He has proven he can hit the big shot, and showed good development throughout his only season at Kentucky.
Knight has a lot of question marks, but Devin Harris is not the answer for the Utah Jazz. Clearly, they are entering rebuilding mode with the departures of both Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan.
It should be a little difficult for Knight to become a true point guard, but he will find success playing off the ball in certain situations as well.
They will consider a number of prospects here, but eventually decide on the versatile guard.
Jazz Select Knight
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter, C/PF, Turkey
Enes Kanter is the biggest question mark of the top prospects in this year's draft class.
He has size. He can play inside and out. He has all the physical tools.
These are all rumors that are based on word of mouth. Most scouts have seen him play live once or twice.
Yes, once or twice.
We all know about the European disappointments that have looked great in workouts, as Kanter did. Still, there is no doubt Kanter will be a risky selection at No. 4.
The Cavs need help down low, and they will hope Kanter can be a nice complement to Kyrie Irving.
Cavaliers Select Kanter
5. Toronto Raptors: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic
The Raptors have a lot of holes to fill.
The closest thing they have to a core is Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan. Adding another player from overseas may not be in their best interest due to the risk incurred.
However, Vesely is an interesting prospect.
He is 6'11'' with (supposedly) great athleticism. Now, it is difficult to tell if athleticism overseas will be considered enough to have an impact against the athletes of the NBA.
Still, the versatility of Vesely would benefit Toronto. A frontcourt of Vesely and Bargnani would pose a ton of matchup problems for opponents.
Raptors Select Vesely
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego St.
The Wizards are a small forward away from having a very promising, young starting five.
John Wall is a stud, and Jordan Crawford showed spurts of potential last season.
In the frontcourt, Andray Blatche continued to improve and Javale McGee has emerged as one of the best young centers in the league.
Kawhi Leonard can fit in the capital.
Although he is a bit overhyped as far as his athleticism, but he would definitely be able to run with Wall and finish on the break.
At No. 6, Leonard may never provide the type of value that is expected.
However, he is a great fit right now, especially due to the lack of other options at his position.
Wizards Select Leonard
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut
The Kings need a point guard. They haven't been above average at the position since Mike Bibby was in his prime.
Kemba Walker can provide some interesting value for Sacramento. He could be a big-time player. A national championship with little help is extremely impressive.
Something tells me this guy is a can't-miss prospect that scouts are indeed "missing."
His value has risen throughout the season, and at No. 7, he would be a great value pick for the Kings.
Kings Select Kemba (the First of Two First-Name Basis Players)
8. Detroit Pistons: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Detroit has a number of issues at multiple positions.
They overpaid for both a frontcourt and a backcourt player a couple of years ago. Ben Gordon has played far below the Pistons' expectations, but up to just about everyone else's.
Once they get rid of Rip Hamilton, there will be a hole at the shooting guard position. They have a bright spot in the frontcourt in the form of center Greg Monroe.
They need to add a bright spot to the backcourt.
Alec Burks can shine with his slashing ability that is rare in this draft class. He has proven to be an above-average scorer that can get to the line—something that is extremely valuable in the NBA.
It may be a bit of reach at this point, but the Pistons need to take a sure thing.
Even if he only turns out to be an average starter, it will be more beneficial than a risky big man like Jonas Valanciunas.
Pistons Select Burks
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
Jonas Valanciunas is a risky pick. Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats are known for a porous drafting history.
So, maybe this is a perfect marriage.
Charlotte's frontcourt is in need of help desperately. DeSagana Diop is the only center under contract for next year.
Valanciunas is a great athlete for his size, and could pan out to be a phenomenal player in the NBA.
Alongside the energetic, defensive-minded Tyrus Thomas in the coming years, Valanciunas could bring in his offense down low to form a stellar frontcourt duo.
Bobcats Select Valanciunas
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
John Salmons is the starting shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is signed on for three more years guaranteed, with a team option in the fourth year.
Salmons is a serviceable starter, but he is not giving fans championship hopes anytime soon.
Klay Thompson may not either. However, he has proven to be able to make big shots. He has shown he can carry a team offensively in college at Washington State.
Thompson may not be as good as his father was supposed to be. Mychal Thompson was supposed to be what Michael Jordan turned into until things went awry.
Still, the younger Thompson can be an impact player, and the Bucks definitely need one at shooting guard.
We already know what Salmons can do. Bucks fans would be happy to give Thompson a chance to show what he can do.
Bucks Select Thompson
11. Golden State Warriors: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
Golden State can score. They have proven that they can run up and down and score possession for possession with any team.
The problem is, they have proven that when they start missing shots, they cannot match a team defensive stop for stop on the other end.
The Warriors have a very nice backcourt, although they might end up breaking it up in the future.
However, they are lacking defenders up and down the roster. The biggest need is a versatile defender that can guard multiple positions.
Chris Singleton can provide that in relief of Dorell Wright.
The best part is, Singleton may be the closest thing this class has to a defender that can slow down the stars of this league.
Namely, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Warriors Select Singleton
12. Utah Jazz: Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas
Assuming the Jazz have already taken their point guard of the future in Brandon Knight, they will look for a guy that can play on both ends of the floor.
Their frontcourt is a unique mix of a couple of proven veterans, and a high-potential power forward in Derrick Favors.
Marcus Morris can provide the flexibility that the Jazz need.
C.J. Miles has shown bursts of play that add up to a starting small forward, but he is wildly inconsistent.
Morris will be able to step in right away, contribute as a small forward on the outside, as well as bang down low.
At the No. 12 spot, the Jazz would be happy to have him.
Jazz Select Morris
13. Phoenix Suns: Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU
The Phoenix Suns need some excitement.
They used to be one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA with Steve Nash throwing alley-oops to Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson emerging as a star.
With pieces to the puzzle slowly dropping around Nash, he may be on his way out.
Jimmer Fredette may be the most exciting player in the draft. He can learn behind Nash, and eventually take over the reins in Phoenix.
The Suns will consider a multitude of options with this pick, but if they choose to try to put fans in seats next year, they will select Jimmer.
Suns Select Jimmer (the Second of the Two First-Name Basis Players)
14. Houston Rockets: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
Jordan Hamilton could turn out to be a star. He has the size, scoring ability and intangibles to develop into one.
He could also turn into a huge bust. Hamilton has often been criticized for his attitude and inconsistency.
At the end of the lottery, it is not a bad idea to risk a bust for a guy that could turn into a solid starter.
Especially for the Rockets, who currently sport Chase Budinger and Terrence Williams at the small forward position.
Rockets Select Hamilton
15. Indiana Pacers: Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo
I am not convinced that Bismack Biyombo is a center in the NBA. If he falls to the Pacers, he could be a perfect fit at power forward.
Tyler Hansbrough is nothing special, although he did play very well last year.
Biyombo can be a game-changing defender in the paint, blocking shots and cleaning up the glass. If he were to rotate with Hansbrough, alongside Roy Hibbert, that is a pretty nice young frontcourt in Indiana.
If Jimmer Fredette falls to them, they will almost certainly take a chance on the point guard.
Aside from Jimmer, there is probably not enough value in another point guard to pass on Biyombo.
Pacers Select Biyombo
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
Tristan Thompson is a vastly overrated prospect.
He is given too much credit for his athleticism, and lacks an offensive game in the post. He is a very good shot-blocker, however. His anticipation and ability to react quickly are very useful.
Philadelphia needs a big man. Elton Brand is still a decent NBA player, but he is not the 20-and-10 guy he was before injuries began to plague his career.
They have a lot of money invested in him over the next couple of years, but Brand could be a very valuable mentor to a young power forward like Thompson.
76ers Select Thompson
17. New York Knicks: Josh Selby, PG, Kansas
This is truly a perfect fit.
The Knicks need a point guard to distribute to Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony if Chauncey Billups is not in their long-term plans.
Selby is not the best distributor. Yet, he can turn into a third impact player for the Knicks.
This kid just reeks of New York demeanor. He is not shy about his confidence and despite a shaky season at Kansas, he showed his abilities in the clutch.
In his first game of the season, he made the game-winning shot against USC. After injury, however, he did not have the same impact for the Jayhawks.
Selby might have top-five talent in this class, and the Knicks might just have a steal on their hands.
Knicks Select Selby
18. Washington Wizards: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Marshon Brooks is one of the best scorers in the draft.
Washington's roster is not filled with talented scorers.
If they end up with Kawhi Leonard at No. 6, he will not provide the needed scoring help. He will provide assistance in other areas.
Brooks can be the scoring option they need off of the bench. He will also be able to put pressure on Jordan Crawford, and position battles always push players to improve.
At No. 18, Brooks is a nice selection that may turn into a top-tier scoring sixth man.
Wizards Select Brooks
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF, UCLA
Assuming the Bobcats make the risky selection of Jonas Valanciunas with their first pick, Honeycutt would fit well here.
They need a true shooting guard. Gerald Henderson cannot be their long-term option. Honeycutt is not a true shooting guard, and has a body that might be more suited for a small forward.
Still, he can bring a ton of raw talent to the team that they can mold over time.
With this pick, Charlotte gets younger, more athletic and fills a need.
Bobcats Select Honeycutt
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
David Kahn is at it again.
The Timberwolves are likely to go European with this No. 20 pick.
If Donatas Motiejunas is available, it is likely the Timberwolves will select him. Kahn loves athletic players, and he also loves giving young players a few years to develop before joining the team.
That makes this pick seem like a perfect fit.
They can give Motiejunas a couple of years to grow, while they decide what they want to do with Kevin Love and Anthony Randolph.
It may not excite 'Wolves fans, but the opportunity at this guy definitely excites Kahn.
Timberwolves Select Motiejunas
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
LaMarcus Aldridge needs some help.
He needs a solid big man to spell him. Portland will almost certainly look for an energetic big man off of the bench.
Morris proved to be a great energy player at Kansas. He was the best rebounder on the team, and showed improvement offensively in each of his three years.
He finally has the touch to be able to handle contact and finish down low.
Morris will be ready to come in right away and take the pressure off of Aldridge.
Trail Blazers Select Morris
22. Denver Nuggets: Tobias Harris, SF/PF, Tennessee
Tobias Harris has one of the most NBA-ready bodies of the freshmen in this draft class.
He is one of the more high-potential players that will be a project, but given time, might turn into a piece of a successful team.
Kenyon Martin, a staple in Denver's starting five, may not return this season with his expiring contract.
Harris could be very helpful to the Nuggets, playing both the small forward and power forward positions.
He has been a bit disappointing in workouts, but at No. 22 it would be worth the risk for Denver.
Nuggets Select Harris
23. Houston Rockets: Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland St.
Norris Cole is skyrocketing up draft boards.
He may turn into the next Eric Maynor.
Cole comes from a small school, and could be a high-caliber backup point guard to Kyle Lowry, as Maynor provides for Russell Westbrook.
Lowry has turned into an impressive player for the Houston Rockets.
Every quality point guard seems to have a useful backup: Derrick Rose has C.J. Watson, Russell Westbrook has Maynor and Tony Parker has George Hill.
The Rockets will hope to find one of these point guards at No. 23, and Cole could be their man.
Rockets Select Cole
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia
Kevin Durant needs a backup.
The Thunder lack a true small forward to spell Durant. With the loss of Jeff Green, they are less flexible when KD hits the bench.
Davis Bertans is a great shooter. He may turn into a Vladimir Radmanovic-type role player for the Thunder.
It is a risky pick, but not as risky as a Nikola Mirotic selection. This small forward has buyout problems, which may turn him into the latest version of Ricky Rubio.
Bertans is the guy for the Thunder.
Thunder Select Bertans
25. Boston Celtics: Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
Shaq is retiring.
The Celtics are left with Jermaine O'Neal and Nenad Krstic at the center position. Boston needs a center badly.
Lucas Nogueira may be a more raw, talented, project of a center that may pan out to have a better career than Nikola Vucevic. Still, Vucevic is more ready right now.
The Celtics are going to make a couple more runs with their aging Big Three.
They need to take a chance on a big man that can potentially help right now, and Vucevic can do that.
Celtics Select Vucevic
26. Dallas Mavericks: Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Jason Kidd is old—very old.
J.J. Barea is breaking out in this year's NBA playoffs. He is also in the last year of his contract. Another team may overpay him, or Dallas will invest in him for the future.
Either way, Dallas is going to need a point guard. There are some surprisingly interesting point guard options at the end of the first round.
Reggie Jackson may be the best one available.
Mavericks Select Jackson
27. New Jersey Nets: Justin Harper, PF, Richmond
Justin Harper might have been a one-hit wonder at Richmond.
His numbers exploded last season, as he shot phenomenal percentages from all over the floor.
He is a big man that extends the floor and improved his outside shot immensely throughout his time as a Spider.
New Jersey already has a big man to clean up the glass and work inside. Kris Humphries had the best season of his career and will look to continue to improve this season.
Alongside Kim Kardashian's future groom, Harper can create a nice one-two punch at the power forward position.
Nets Select Harper
28. Chicago Bulls: Charles Jenkins, PG, Hofstra
Charles Jenkins will be a steal if his stock does not rise before the June 23rd draft. He is a true diamond in the rough.
Jenkins sported some of the best numbers in the country last season, albeit playing against mediocre competition at Hofstra.
The Bulls need a scoring 2-guard off of the bench, and this is exactly what Jenkins can provide.
Scoring is his forte. Jenkins is in the mold of a poor man's Jason Terry.
The Bulls would have loved to have any form of Terry in the playoffs this year.
Bulls Select Jenkins
29. San Antonio Spurs: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St.
Kenneth Faried is not a great offensive player.
He has trouble finishing around the rim, and struggles to take contact and make shots.
However, he is a high-energy guy that plays solid defense. Plus, he might be the best rebounder in the draft.
The Spurs always seem to find value with their picks, despite the fact that they are usually drafting in the end of the first round.
If Faried slips to them, they will snatch up another role player—this time, a great rebounder, who can log high-energy minutes for an aging team.
Spurs Select Faried
30. Chicago Bulls: Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia
The Bulls will spend the second of their two first-round picks pulling the slot machine on another shooting guard.
Travis Leslie is a freakish athlete. He has been compared to Tony Allen, and by looking at their collegiate track records, it is a fair comparison.
Leslie may be an even better athlete than Allen, although it is tough to project him as quite the defender Allen has turned into.
Still, Chicago might as well take a flier on a player that could solve a long-term problem for them.
Bulls Select Leslie