2011 NBA Draft: 5 Potential Busts in This Year's Class
This year's draft class was one of the weakest in recent memory, mostly because of the uncertainty of a majority of the prospects. Kyrie Irving, the first overall pick, played in only 11 games at Duke, while Derrick Williams, the second pick, only really had one great season at Arizona. Uncertainty galore.
In every draft, there are busts---players who don't meet their potential. It's always fun to predict which players will be busts in the future. It's even more fun doing so for this year's draft class because of the uncertainty.
Here, I have created a list of the top 5 potential busts in this year's draft based on the team that the player is on and the amount of uncertainty that each player carries.
Note: The list is in no particular order.
It seems that the Toronto Raptors expect a lot from the Lithuanian center.
Many have compared Jonas Valanciunas's game to that of Pau Gasol. Valanciunas certainly doesn't have the post skills nor the jump shot of Gasol. In fact, what I took away from the highlight videos I've seen of him is that he's a good dunker---that's all. I haven't seen any sort of solid offensive skills that he's expected to have.
In addition, Valanciunas is only 240 lbs. If he doesn't add more strength, it's possible that he will be a defensive, and maybe even an offensive, liability.
Valanciunas has the potential of having a better offensive game because he has a couple of years to develop in Europe, but from what I see right now, he has a lot of potential being a bust.
This addition may be a surprise to many. However, I feel that it's appropriate.
Brandon Knight certainly isn't your prototypical point guard. In fact, he's more of a shooter than a passer. In addition, he didn't show much promise of being a consistent point guard while playing at the University of Kentucky.
Thus, Knight will be forced to learn the position in the NBA, which isn't an easy task. In my opinion, this will be even more difficult in Detroit. First, the Pistons already have a player like Knight in Rodney Stuckey. Second, the Pistons don't have a veteran point guard that can teach Knight the NBA game.
Jimmer Fredette has been continuously doubted throughout the draft process. Sorry, Jimmer, but you have yet another doubter.
I mainly put Fredette on the list because of the team he is on now---the Sacramento Kings. The Kings drafted Fredette because they need a point guard so that Tyreke Evans can switch over to the shooting guard position. A pairing of Evans and Fredette may cause problems.
As evident from his past two years in the NBA, Tyreke Evans likes to have the ball a lot. While at BYU, Fredette handled the ball for the majority of the game. Fredette will have to learn to give up the ball and become a better facilitator to mesh with Evans.
This will be difficult, however. Fredette has to learn the point guard position by himself without a veteran leader.
In addition, Fredette's defense comes into question. I'm not confident that he will be able to guard opposing point guards in the NBA after showing the nation a less-than-average defensive performance during this tenure at BYU.
In my opinion, Derrick Williams is the best player in this year's draft class and I like him a lot. However, I still think he has the chance of being a bust in the NBA.
I'm concerned by how the Timberwolves will utilize Derrick Williams. Williams is a tweener---he plays both SF and PF positions. The Timberwolves already have a tweener: Michael Beasley. I compare this situation to that of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James' situation in Miami. Both Wade and James are very similar players and, at times, this caused problems. Something similar can happen in Minnesota with Williams and Beasley. Although the pairing looks good on paper, it can be damning and limit Williams' potential.
The main reason why Kyrie Irving is on this list is because of the single fact that he played in only 11 games at Duke. He doesn't have the experience, and possibly even the mental toughness to play in the NBA, as a result.
In addition, the Cavaliers seem to expect a lot from Irving, similar to how the Raptors expect a lot from Valanciunas. Irving didn't have a lot of time to develop into a promising NBA point guard while at Duke. At Cleveland, he'll have to learn the position. He does have Baron Davis to mentor him, but that seems troubling mostly because Davis doesn't have a good work ethic himself.
Irving is certainly a gifted player and I still think it's possible that he'll be successful in the NBA, but he has the potential of being a bust because of his lack of experience and his situation in Cleveland.