The 2011 NBA draft is exactly two weeks away and the excitement level is continuing to rise. We are in the midst of a heavy week of workouts as teams are starting to make their final decisions regarding who they want to draft.
Not much has changed atop the projected top-picks list. Duke’s Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams of Arizona are still seen as the No. 1 and No. 2 guys available, but nothing is set in stone after that, so we may see a few surprises early on in the draft.
Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker are presumed to be battling for the No. 3 spot, which belongs to the Utah Jazz. Both are set to work out for the team on June 15th in what should be an intense day for all parties involved.
The Euroleague seasons are nearing their end, so players like Donatas Motiejunas (Italian League) and Jan Vesely (Serbian League) will be able to focus exclusively on the draft. Their projected spots have fluctuated anywhere from No. 3 to No. 20 at various points over the past month. Regardless of where they go in the first round, European talent is being coveted this year after only one international player (Kevin Seraphin) went in the first round in 2010.
It’s important to note that, unlike the NFL, the NBA draft (June 23rd) will be conducted before their collective bargaining agreement expires (July 1st), so veteran players can be moved for draft picks. As a result, trade rumors are starting to heat up.
Barring any speculation on trades, here is my current mock draft.