The offseason has been more kind to the Cavaliers than the entire regular season was. They have the opportunity to get their franchise back on track after their former star LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. This year's class isn't loaded with sure-fire stars, but Cleveland and everyone else will find plenty of talent to add to their respective causes.
Though the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the talk of the draft with two picks in the top five, the Washington Wizards present an interesting story for this year's draft.
With John Wall established as the future of the franchise and enough firepower around him, the Wizards need to fill in the blanks. Here's a look at every team's first-round pick for the 2011 draft.
The Cavaliers are ready to start their post-LeBron James rebuilding and have two top-five picks to work with. Franchise point guards don't grow on trees, so the logical first step for Cleveland is drafting Kyrie Irving. While this draft is full of risks outside of the first five picks, Irving is a safe bet and will lay the foundation for the future of the Cavaliers.
Irving is deceptively quick despite not have eye-popping athleticism. He is a good decision-maker and one of the few true point guards in this year's draft class.
Hopefully, the injury that shortened his lone college year isn't a sign of durability issues. He is a good shooter with good form, and that translates to efficiency. Experience is a concern, as he played in just eight games his freshman year.
The Timberwolves have an abundance of forwards on their roster, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to squeeze Derrick Williams into the mix. However, he doesn't have ideal size for a power forward and wouldn't have to shoulder the load right out of the gate. He may benefit from playing some small forward as part of a rotation with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love at power forward.
Williams has good fundamentals and a big wingspan that contributes to his excellent rebounding and defensive presence.
Since Minnesota doesn't have an immediate need for another forward, it is likely that they will trade out of this spot. With Ricky Rubio signed for next season, it doens't make sense to grab either Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker, and Enes Kanter may be more of a power forward than a center.
The Utah Jazz got a lot of resources from the New Jersey Nets in the Deron Williams deal but gave up one of the best point guards in the game. Devin Harris is a suitable starter but has yet to make it through an entire season without injury. If and when Harris goes down, Brandon Knight will be there to run point.
Knight has the skills to succeed as both a shooting guard and point guard, which makes him more valuable to the Jazz.
Knight is quick, and showed great ability to get by defenders and finish at the rim. He will have to adjust to the aggressiveness of defenders around the rim at the NBA level if he wants to hone his slashing skills. He is a great defender, a smart player and can hit shots off the dribble and from three-point range.
Having already chosen Kyrie Irving with the first pick in the draft, the Cavaliers need to look at improving their interior. Anderson Verajao is a good power forward but is not a center in this league or any other. Enes Kanter is billed by some as the best big man in this year's draft, and Cleveland needs that type of talent to bring their for the future into focus.
Kanter has good size for the NBA and is surprisingly polished for having spectated in his one-year college career at Kentucky.
Though he didn't play for Kentucky due to eligibility issues, head coach John Calipari saw Kanter as a power forward rather than a center. That may change the way the Cavaliers view him, but regardless of his position, he has tremendous upside as a post player. Kanter's knees are the biggest concern, though they checked out at combine workouts.
The Raptors have some roster decisions to make during this offseason, and they start with this draft pick. Kemba Walker made headlines with his performance throughout the NCAA tournament and onto Connecticut's National Championship victory. He is dynamic and has a name that people will know and grow to love.
Walker is capable of being the draw the Raptors need in the wake of Chris Bosh running to Miami last offseason.
He may be small in stature, but Walker is big on heart and quick as a whip coming down the floor. He can blow by defenders in the blink of an eye and doesn't shy away from contact around the rim. He is a creative scorer, capable of hitting shots from just about anywhere on the floor.
The Wizards should be considered the unquestioned winners of last year's draft after landing John Wall with the first overall pick but also working their way toward three other first-round picks. This year, Washington needs to fill a gap at small forward and have expressed interest in several top prospects. Jan Vesely is long small forward with great athleticism and an improving offensive game.
While Vesely is a bit of a risk, he has a ton of upside as well as a dynamic running mate for Wall to hit in transition.
Unlike typical international prospects, Vesely is good in transition. He hustles at both ends of the floor, even though he doesn't have physique to contend with bulkier forwards. He needs to work on being a more consistent scorer and continue to develop his offensive skills. He scores a lot of his points the way JaVale McGee does, in transition, off of putbacks and dunks.
Sacramento has some talented, young players in DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, but Omri Cassipi hasn't been the player he was expected to be. Kawhi Leonard is a high-energy forward who will do all the dirty work Cousins and Evans won't bother with.
Leonard is not a big-time offensive threat and could stand to develop at that end of the floor to complement his defensive and rebound capabilities.
He is great at keeping the ball alive off of the rim, displaying a distinct relentlessness on the boards. He has solid instincts that could ultimately aid him in being a better defender. He needs to work on defensive discipline and taking better shots.
Ben Wallace made a career out of being an excellent defender with the Detroit Pistons. Bismack Biyombo is in the same mold as Wallace, except more explosive in every way. Though he is severely lacking on offense, his potential to be a game-changing defensive presence more than makes up for it.
He is a great athlete and displays great quickness, which add to his defensive prowess.
Biyombo has a wingspan over seven feet and has an NBA-ready body already. He is mature and willing to learn, which will help his development. The complete lack of offensive fundamentals are his biggest issue, and he has not faced elite-level post players yet.
Charlotte should be worried that their starting center last season was Kwame Brown. Jonas Valanciunas is a young center with room to grow both as a player and as a physical presence. He has has good frame to add muscle to without affecting his quickness.
Valanciunas plays smart and is a good passer for a center at any level.
He will need to develop a wider array of post moves to work against the better centers in the NBA, but he is both willing and able to put the work in. He is an aggressive defender, almost to a fault, and will need to control himself on that end of the floor.
With Michael Redd heading for free agency, Milwaukee will need to fill the void left in his wake. Klay Thompson, while not an exceptional athlete, is a natural shooter who can pour in points from three-point range and everywhere else.
His average athleticism doesn't lend itself to high-flying dunks or exciting play, but pure shooters like Thompson are hard to come by.
He showed improved effort on the defensive end of the floor last season but is not going to win any track meets after getting steals. His one-game suspension for possession of marijuana hasn't deterred scouts from praising him as a player and a shooter.
The Warriors need size to go along with all the speed and scoring ability in their back court. Tristan Thompson is a slender 6'9" but has room to grow into a more traditional power forward if he puts the work in. He plays his game close to the rim but doesn't have the bulk to push defenders around.
Thompson is young and shows some immaturity in his game but has a good base of skills to grow into a good forward for the Warriors.
The hot topic lately is the trade rumor surrounding Warriors guard Monta Ellis. If Ellis is dealt, it would leave a hole in the backcourt. Expect this pick to change in the coming weeks.
The Jazz need help in their frontcourt, and Brandon Knight at least gives a suitable option behind Devin Harris. But Utah needs a shooting guard, which could lead them to draft Alec Burks in an effort to use the versatility he and Knight possess.
Burks may be more of a rotation guy, but he is an excellent scorer with a willingness to distribute as a point guard.
He is still young and has the opportunity to develop his skills for both guard spots. His mechanics are inconsistent on shots outside of 15 feet, and he shot just 26 percent from three. He is a good rebounder but doesn't have the physique to really fight for the tough boards.
The Suns need to consider that Steve Nash isn't really ageless, and he will be gone in a few years. Jimmer Fredette has drawn comparisons to Nash, though he is more of a scorer than a passer at this point. He is a clutch performer and a hard worker on and off the court.
Fredette is undersized and lacks great athleticism for a guard but makes up for it with a scorer's mentality and deceptive quickness on his way to the basket.
He wasn't asked to pass much at BYU, but is more than capable of being a good point guard in that fashion. He shot well from beyond the arc and knows how to sink his free throws. Fredette is tough and won't back down from contact.
The Rockets make the most out of versatile players, and with no centers in range of this pick, they keep with that trend. Jordan Hamilton is a volume-shooting swingman with good instinct in the open court.
Hamilton is a good rebounder and an efficient shooter, making him a good option at small forward and shooting guard if need be.
He needs to work on getting to the free-throw line with more regularity and find ways to get teammates involved when frustrated on offense. Hamilton can score in a lot of different ways, which makes him a defensive nightmare if he can translate it to the NBA.
The Pacers need a power forward to take the pressure off of Roy Hibbert in the post, and Tyler Hansbrough can only do so much. As such, Marcus Morris can provide the necessary toughness to fight for rebounds while imposing his will on defense.
He is undersized for a power forward, but doesn't have the quickness of a small forward. His unique skills make him more of a tweener in the NBA.
Morris isn't a big shot-blocker on defense but has a mean streak to keep the opposition at bay. Indiana needs a shooting guard and may consider Morris's Kansas teammate Josh Selby here.
With Elton Brand injured all too often, the Sixers need to find someone who can be productive without incurring too many injuries. Markieff Morris may not have the flashiest game in the draft, but he is efficient and works hard when he's on the floor.
Morris has a reputation as a bully on defense, which is exactly what Philadelphia needs in a young forward.
Morris is an enigma on offense in that he can finish around the rim and hit from distance, but can't seem to hit anywhere in between. He is not much of a ball-handler, which could affect how many opportunities he gets for outside shots. Like his twin brother, he is a solid defensive presence and a strong rebounder.
The Knicks saw in their brief playoff appearance this season that they need more than just Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. They got solid, but inconsistent guard play and need to upgrade too have a fighting chance next season. Landry Fields is a good defender but lacks explosiveness on offense.
Marshon Brooks is great at creating his own shot, and his length allows him to get shots off comfortably over defenders.
He put up big numbers as a senior, but mostly because he had to. Brooks wasn't asked to be much of a passer at Providence but needs to learn to defer to his teammates if a shot isn't right or there is a better option. He is surprisingly active on the boards for a shooting guard.
With a new small forward, the Wizards need to think depth and decided if they are fully committed to Andray Blatche at power forward. Chris Singleton could be the solution to both problems under ideal circumstances.
He isn't the biggest power forward or the quickest small forward, but he is a solid defender and can impact the game away from the ball.
Singleton isn't a natural wing and hasn't shown the ability to create for himself, However, he has three-point range and attributes his tame scoring to his focus on the defensive end of the floor. He could surprise on offense if given the chance.
The Bobcats have plenty of talent in their backcourt, but depth is always a concern. Josh Selby is a combo guard who can score when he's on. Having already addressed their need for a center, Charlotte will look to help their bench scoring while adding versatility and depth.
Selby has good length for a guard and could be productive on or off the ball depending on how he is developed.
Consistency is an issue with Selby and doesn't have excellent shooting numbers from mid-range or beyond though he displays a good stroke from beyond the arc. He uses his strength and athleticism to get to the basket and scorer but doesn't know how to pass himself out of trouble when necessary.
The same rumor around Monta Ellis and the Warriors may affect the 76ers and Andre Iguodala. No matter who the franchise scorer is when the season comes around, Philadelphia needs to stock up on talent for the future. Elton Brand has been inconsistent since arriving in 2008, and Donatas Motiejunas may be his future replacement at power forward.
Some predictions have Motiejunas going in the lottery, but he doesn't have the hype behind his name to crack the top 15.
Motiejunas has a ton of potential the Sixers can only hope he achieves. For a player of his size, he plays like Andrea Bargnani, which works with the style the Sixers seem to play with on offense. However, he doesn't always play focused and does not have the polish or muscle to excel when he isn't 100 percent interested.
Portland needs to find their replacement for Andre Miller, who doesn't have many good years left as an NBA starter. Darius Morris has good size for a point guard and displays good defensive awareness to go along with his wingspan.
Morris isn't a great athlete and doesn't have great range but is one of the better passers in this class with plenty of time and room for improvement.
He does not excel at catch-and-shoot and hasn't developed an understanding of how to work in transition. He has great court vision and could easily put some muscle on and become a better scorer at the rim. Morris will work well in pick and roll situations.
The Nuggets didn't fall apart the way everyone expected after Carmelo Anthony was traded. They have plenty of talent at point guard but could stand to beef up their interior. Nikola Vucevic is a big prospect with a high basketball IQ.
Vucevic has modeled his game after Tim Duncan but also displayed surprising range for a player his size.
He was the tallest measured player at the combine at nearly 6'11" without shoes and already has the look of an NBA center. He is an improved shot-blocker but has the skill set of a power forward, which may be an issue if the Nuggets intend to use him as a center. Vucevic will need to develop his post game more if he wants to have a shot at being an offensive force at the next level.
The Rockets have needs at center and small forward, even though they played remarkably well with players out of position. While Chase Budinger is still young and improving, it doesn't hurt to add a depth to a thin position. Kenneth Faried is a monster on the glass, and the Rockets could use another tenacious player to frustrate opponents.
Faried is a high energy player with a great athleticism and rebounding ability, but doesn't get the credit he's due because he played at Morehead State.
Yao Ming's status is still up in the air, and the Rockets wouldn't mind adding a future replacement for the big man in the draft. However, the talent at center is thin and Faried is too good to pass up, even if he translates as a small forward more than a power forward. Houston has made it commonplace to put players in the best position to succeed, which may not always be their natural position.
The Thunder are set at most positions but could use depth behind their franchise players. Tyler Honeycutt is an athletic swing man with great rebounding numbers and above-average defensive presence for a player with relatively average wingspan. He plays smart and unselfish when he needs to.
Honeycutt needs to bulk up to be able to improve his offensive repertoire to more than just spot shooting.
With stars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shouldering the offensive load, Honeycutt will have to learn to create for himself. He is an excellent shotblocker for a wing and could be a better defender with some more weight to allow him to bang with bigger opponents.
The Celtics have to start thinking about life after their Big Three and took a step in the right direction with Jeff Green likely being Paul Pierce's successor at small forward. They need a center to fill the void left after the team traded Kendrick Perkins, but true centers aren't particularly abundant this late in the draft. Trey Thompkins is a power forward with good post skills and dangerous range.
Thompkins may not be a bruiser but could be the next piece in a puzzle that excels at transition scoring with Rajon Rondo at point guard.
Boston is in a tough spot in this draft because they are desperate for a post presence, but Thompkins is a good player for the future. He has a Channing Frye-like game, and that could open things up for the Celtics offense. Thompkins has good length but doesn't excel on the defenseive end of the floor, and that needs to change if he wants to stick around in Boston.
While the Mavericks are content to ride the Dirk Nowitzki train until its last stop, the fact remains that Dirk isn't going to be around forever. Caron Butler suffered an injury in his first full season with Dallas and is no longer the youthful forward he once was. Tobias Harris is a forward who could provide solid depth at both power and small forward for the aging Mavericks.
He's undersized for a power forward and isn't as quick as most NBA small forwards but is still early in his development.
Harris needs to work to either gain a step on his game or bulk up to handle the rigors of a standard NBA power forward. His frame can easily support a good deal of muscle without compromising any of his other skills. His solid ball-handling skills should allow him to create for himself once he develops his offense more.
The Nets gave up a lot to bring Deron Williams to New Jersey with the hope that he will be the face of the franchise when it moves to its new digs in Brooklyn. Brook Lopez has established himself as a franchise center, but he will need some help. JaJuan Johnson is one of the top seniors in this year's draft, boasting impressive versatility, great athleticism and defensive ability.
Johnson has seen his stock rise in recent weeks as he steadily improves his offensive game leading up to the draft.
Though he is capable of playing an position in the frontcourt, Johnson's lean frame puts him as more of a small forward, while his length puts him at power forward. He has the physical tools to be a good small forward but doesn't have the range on his shot to be a threat anywhere outside of the paint. He is great in transition and has a vulture mentality around the rim on offense.
Beyond needing to get younger and deeper at key positions, Chicago lacked a consistent scoring presence in their backcourt, leaving Derrick Rose to pick up the slack that Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver left behind. Charles Jenkins is an instant-offense guard with range who could add the necessary offense the Bulls lacked from the bench play in the playoffs.
Jenkins is one of the older prospects in the draft, having spent five seasons at Hofstra but spent that time polishing his game to where it is now.
While he lacks tremendous athleticism, Jenkins is a smart player with a passion for the game. He will never have to be coached on motivation, and it shows. He's a clutch player with a solid overall package of skills made for the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs ran into problems on the boards last season, and Tim Duncan looks to be on the downside of his career as a consistent double-double forward. Jordan Williams isn't as tall as advertised but makes up for it with a nose for the ball and effort around the rim. Williams has a solid offensive game but needs to work on hitting shots to go along with his natural shooting motion.
Williams needs to work on conditioning to keep up with the NBA pace, but he will rarely quit on the floor, even when visibly tired.
Williams averaged a double-double last season for the Terrapins, displaying tremendous effort at both ends of the floor. He needs to refine his skills and develop more offensive moves to keep from being predictable. Getting to learn behind a future Hall of Fame power forward should do wonders for Williams, even if he doesn't have the same style as Duncan.
The Bulls need to get younger and deeper, and that's about the only thing late first-round picks are good for. Shelvin Mack can play both guard spots and has great strength for a guard, though he lacks elite speed. Mack's versatility will be the key to getting minutes if Chicago finds a suitable shooting guard between now and next season.
Mack is more a pure scorer than a distributing point guard, but his strength and above average wingspan make him an asset on defense.
Coming in with quality experience in three years at college will help Mack at the next level, even coming out of Butler. His strength and build allow him to absorb and finish through contact at the rim. Mack is an efficient shooter from range and shows good shot selection.