2011 NBA Mock Draft: Perfect Choices for Every Team's First-Round Selection
The NBA Draft will be held in a little over a week. There will be many workouts with prospects hosted by teams in the coming days to get a better feel of who they want to select with their pick(s).
Here is a mock draft featuring reasons why each team should select the particular player projected in the mock.
1. Cavaliers- Point Guard Kyrie Irving from Duke
The Cleveland Cavaliers need some help at all positions. But the time to select a point guard of Kyrie Irving's caliber is now.
Their current point guard, Baron Davis, is still a decent player at this stage of is career, but he is most certainly not the long term option. He is both out of shape and on the wrong side of 30. With the new age of youthful and quick point guards in the league today, the Cavs must look to replace Davis.
Irving is by far the best point guard in the draft and arguably the best player overall. He brings everything you want in a point guard to the table. And that's a necessity in the modern NBA.
2. Timberwolves- Combo Forward Derrick Williams from Arizona
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been in a disarray for a number of seasons now. They have made numerous questionable decisions in that time span. They currently own the No. 2 pick in the draft, which is the highest they've ever had. The move they make in this position should be obvious: draft Derrick Williams.
Many feel that Williams is the best player in this year's draft class. He's a tremendous scorer on the wing with much potential. The Wolves definitely need some talent on their roster, and Williams definitely brings that.
He is expected to play the small forward position in the NBA, same as current Minnesota starter Michael Beasley. Williams has more upside than the dynamic Beasley, however.
Bringing in a prospect like Williams certainly makes Beasley expandable.
3. Jazz- Point Guard Brandon Knight from Kentucky
Brandon Knight is another prospect who is expected to be a premier point guard in the NBA. The league is filled with those currently. The Jazz traded away theirs in Deron Williams for the slight downgrade in Devin Harris.
Devin Harris is a really good point guard. However, the Jazz are in full rebuilding mode, and he might be a little too old for their plans. The 28-year-old could be used as trade bait to bring in young assets.
In the meantime, they should look to draft Knight, who will bring good point guard play for years to come as the team grows.
4. Cavaliers- Center Enes Kanter from Kentucky
The Cleveland Cavaliers need all the talent they can get. Having two top four picks, they are in prime position to do so.
Enes Kanter fills a need at center for the Cavs. He also has potential and brings talent to the table.
5. Raptors- Point Guard Kemba Walker from Connecticut
The Raptors probably have the dullest roster in the league. Looking at their collection of players, not many names excite you. Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan are probably the closest ones.
Kemba Walker is one of the most exciting players in the draft. He's super explosive, from his amazing foot speed to his ability to change directions in an instant.
With selecting Walker, the Raptors get a breath of fresh air at point guard away from Jose Calderon. He also gives them an athlete who is fun to watch. They have not had many of those the last few seasons.
6. Wizards- Small Forward Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State
The Washington Wizards have developed an athletic core of players over the last couple of seasons. John Wall, Nick Young and Javale McGee are all exceptional athletes and they play at a high pace.
Kawhi Leonard would add another young athlete into the mix for them. He gets up and down the floor very well and is exciting in the open court.
Rashard Lewis will most likely not be brought back after this coming season after the guaranteed years of his contract are finished. That leaves an opening at the small forward spot long term. That's where drafting Leonard comes in.
7. Kings- Point Guard Jimmer Fredette from Brigham Young
The Sacramento Kings could use a point guard. Jimmer Fredette would be a good pick for them.
Even though Fredette is not a 100 percent pure point guard, it is alright, because he will be placed alongside Tyreke Evans in the back court. Evans handles the ball a lot, playing shooting guard. He owns great ball handling skills as well as passing and court vision.
So it's no issue if Fredette looks to score the ball a little more than most point guards. Evans will help balance it out.
8. Pistons- Center Jonas Valanciunas from Lithuania
The Detroit Pistons are another team that desperately needs some talent and fresh blood on their squad. Whatever solid prospect with some promise is available will be a good selection for them.
Jonas Valanciunas is probably the best player still on the board at this point. The Pistons definitely need something to get excited about. Valanciunas is a very fluid big man who combines great size with a number of skills.
Bringing him to Detroit will help shake things up on that team that has been dry recently.
9. Bobcats- Power Forward Donatas Motiejunas from Lithuania
Due to a string of questionable trades over the last year, the Charlotte Bobcats are another team desperate for some talent. Many of the names on the roster are so stale and bland.
They need to get really creative this summer.
Drafting Donatas Motiejunas could be a start. He's a prospect with many attributes with much room to grow. He is a scoring threat when close to the basket as well as from the perimeter. His size and agility makes him a compelling player.
I'm not sure you can say that about anyone on the current Bobcat roster.
10. Bucks- Combo Forward Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic
The Milwaukee Bucks struggled on offense last season. While they put up good defensive efforts from game to game, scoring points was often a challenge.
Drafting Jan Vesely could help them out in that department a little.
To begin with, he fills their current hole at power forward that they have. He also has a lot of offensive skills, inside and out.
He's a hard worker on both ends of the floor, so he should not have trouble getting along with head coach Scott Skiles.
11. Warriors- Combo Forward Marcus Morris from Kansas
The Golden State Warriors have lived off of the identity of high scoring offense in the recent years. They are also known to be lacking in the defense and rebounding departments.
Marcus Morris is a tough nosed, dirty work kind of player that the Warriors lack. He works hard to get rebounds and score in the low post. Pairing him with David Lee and Andris Biedrins could really help alter their identity a little and make them a more physical presence.
12. Jazz- Shooting Guard Alec Burks from Colorado
As the Jazz look to retool their roster, some help on the perimeter is needed.
Gordon Haywood and C.J. Miles do not match the talent level of Alec Burks. He is a scoring machine who can play with the ball, off the ball, from the perimeter or penetrate to the hoop.
He is also a good athlete who plays well in the open court.
13. Suns- Combo Forward Chris Singleton from Florida State
Chris Singleton is a combo forward with immense upper body strength. He plays great defense, which is something that is always needed by the Phoenix Suns.
His versatility ad athleticism will help him fit in the Suns' system well. He should really thrive playing with Steve Nash, as he will get many open looks.
14. Rockets- Center Bismack Biyombo from the Congo
There is so much uncertainty with the health of Yao Ming. His return to the basketball court is in serious question right now. It is a good time for the Houston Rockets to try to bolster the center position in case he never makes it back.
Bismack Biyombo has become a sensation in European leagues. He is a strong shot blocker who has a good deal of potential. With the right coaching, he can become a dangerous force and help strengthen the center spot for the Rockets.
15. Pacers- Combo Forward Tobias Harris from Tennessee
The Indiana Pacers could use some addition to their front court. They worked by committee last season, and Tobias Harris would fit in nicely.
He is a nice, thick framed big who uses his power and speed to get things accomplished down low. He will add to their hard working group of big men.
16. 76ers- Power Forward Markieff Morris from Kansas
The Philadelphia 76ers lived by their hard work and hustle last season. Coach Doug Collins motivated them to do so.
Markieff Morris provides those things. He is really physical in the paint, as he does things like defend, rebound and cleans up misses. These are the things that Collins like, and he would certainly welcome Morris.
The big man rotation for the Sixers was a little short this season as well. They well certainly look to expand.
17. Knicks- Point Guard Darius from Michigan
The New York Knicks decided to bring back Chauncey Billups for at least another year. The aging point guard's only backup under contract is Toney Douglas. Douglas can play, but he is not a pure point guard.
That is why they should draft Darius Morris. He is tall and has great playmaking ability, so Billups would be a good mentor for him. Eventually, he could become a starter for New York when he gets some experience.
18. Wizards- Power Forward Tristan Thompson from Texas
The Wizards' current power forward, Andray Blatche, could be on his way out this summer. Whether they want to replace him or give him a backup, they should look to draft someone at his position with the No. 18 pick.
Tristan Thompson is another athletic player that would fit in with the Wizards. He's quick, long and he works hard.
19. Bobcats- Shooting Guard Klay Thompson from Washington State
As stated before, the Charlotte Bobcats critically need talent. Klay Thompson may be the best player available at this point.
The junior shooting guard is a great shooter who has a feel for scoring the basketball. There's no question his shooting ability will translate in to NBA play. The scoring that he brings to the table is something that most Bobcats do not do.
20. Timberwolves- Shooting Guard Marshon Brooks from Providence
The Timberwolves are not exceptionally strong at the shooting guard slot. It would not hurt to bring another one in from the draft this year.
Marshon Brooks is a good name. He's a tough prospect with nice length. He fights hard on both ends of the floor. His size allows him to create his own shot, whether it is squaring up for a jump shot or getting into the paint. Stout defender as well. He definitely has potential to start for the Wolves.
21. Trail Blazers- Center Nikola Vucevic from USC
With Marcus Camby aging and Greg Oden's future in question, the Portland Trail Blazers could use some retooling at the center position. Camby did a great job holding down the position for most of the year, but they definitely need some help there for the future.
Nikola Vucevic is a good name. He should fit into the Blazer's scrappy roster well. He's good around the basket scoring and rebounding wise and can shoot from distance as well.
22. Nuggets- Power Forward Kenneth Faried from Morehead State
It is highly likely that free agent Kenyon Martin will not return to the Denver Nuggets for next season. He's getting older and may want more money than what he's worth.
Kennth Faried does a lot of the things that Martin has done. He is real tough and has a high motor. He lays it all on the line when it comes to dirty work. Even with his 6'7" frame, he is a rebounding machine.
He should be a great replacement for Martin when he gets some time to learn.
23. Rockets- Small Forward Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA
The Rockets' small forward spot may be a little shaky. All of their options there may not be starting material. They should bring in another to further evaluate their group of wings.
Tyler Honeycutt is a good choice for them. He's really lanky and has used that to his advantage in a couple of ways. He's good on defense and can defend up to three positions. Without the ball, he can move well to get open. Shooting from outside is a skill of his also.
24. Thunder- Power Forward Trey Thompkins from Georgia
The Oklahoma City Thunder have a number of quality big men. However, that group does not have many offensive skills.
The Thunder severely lacked a post up presence last season. Bringing in Trey Thompkins can provide that. He is one of the premier low post scorers in the draft.
25. Celtics- Power Forward Justin Harper from Richmond
The Boston Celtics are old across the board. But it seems to be the biggest issue among their big men. Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal desperately need some relief, as they really looked tired in the playoffs.
Justin Harper brings in a breath of fresh air to the power forward spot for the C's. His shooting ability is his most notable skill, but he can do a number of other things too. His overall knowledge on how to play the game is why he should fit in well with Boston.
26. Mavericks- Power Forward Jordan Williams from Maryland
Not much can be offered to the world champion Dallas Mavericks draft wise. They probably will not look at it as an major part of the offseason.
A backup for Dirk Nowitzki could be found in the draft, though. Jordan Williams could be that guy. He's a tough cover when he's in the paint because of his size and soft touch. He should be effective in spot minutes playing behind Dirk.
27. Nets- Shooting Guard Shelvin Mack from Butler
The New Jersey Nets' worse positions are the small forward and shooting guard slots. The players there are decent, but not guaranteed starters. They will probably look to improve that aspect in the draft.
Shelvin Mack is a solid prospect. His strength allows him to be an elite defender as he overpowers his opponents. That same strength allows him to muscle his way into scoring baskets.
The Nets are still rebuilding, and they just need to stockpile more talent.
28. Bulls- Shooting Guard Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech
The Chicago Bulls are a little weak at shooting guard. They will definitely work on correcting that this summer.
Iman Shumpert is a quality off guard in the draft. He can score the ball, as he slashes to the rim easily. More notably, he is arguably the best perimeter defender in the draft. Defense is how the Bulls made their mark this past season. He would definitely fit in.
29. Spurs- Small Forward Kyle Singler from Duke
Kyle Singler has a very high basketball IQ. He has an immense understanding of the game and what to do in different situations.
The San Antonio Spurs have been built on that kind of play for over a decade. They always look for smart, experienced players to add to the team. Singler certainly brings both of those characteristics, as he spent four seasons at Duke.
30. Bulls- Point Guard Nolan Smith from Duke
Derrick Rose is the best point guard in the NBA, but his reserves are not that great. The draft could help them improve that area.
Four-year Duke guard Nolan smith could better fill that backup role in Chicago. He knows how to run an offense well and has great ball control. He is also a threat when shooting open jumpers.