NBA Draft 2011: Derrick Williams and the 10 Best Wing Players in the Draft

Joe PetruloCorrespondent IIIJune 21, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Derrick Williams and the 10 Best Wing Players in the Draft

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    The 2011 NBA Draft is filled with prospects that are not expected to turn into stars.

    Still, it is spattered with a number of wing players that could play key roles on contending teams down the line.

    For purposes of analyzing the 10 best, we will consider "wing players" to be two-guards and small forwards, or power forwards who often play on the perimeter.

    Let's take a look at the 10 best wing players in the 2011 NBA Draft class.

10. Justin Harper, PF, Richmond

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    Justin Harper is an intriguing prospect out of Richmond.

    He could turn out to be the next Channing Frye.

    He could turn out to be a poor man's Lamar Odom.

    Obviously, he could turn out to be a huge bust as well.

    Still, Harper is one of the most efficient big man shooters in this draft. He tends to play outside-in, which is unique, but could help him find a role on an NBA team.

    Harper is projected toward the end of the First Round, and may find a role on a contender faster than most think.

9. Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida

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    Chandler Parsons has a big NBA body, and literally does not know how to use it.

    In fact, he could swap bodies with DeJuan Blair, drop quite a few pounds, and use his skills to be an effective two-guard. His skill set fit the position better, and I'm sure Blair wouldn't mind adding three or four inches.

    Nonetheless, Parsons is extremely talented. 

    The former SEC Player of the Year can shoot from outside, but needs work on creating his own shot.

    He scored a lot of his points at Florida within the offense, making the shot after a drive and kick.

    Still, he will find a niche in the NBA as a talented shooter. If he develops as a dribbler, he might turn into a nice starter someday.

    Right now, he is projected to come off the board at the end of the first round or early second round. The team that snags him will receive unique value that is hard to come by. 

8. Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State

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    Chris Singleton is a raw talent that is steadily moving up draft boards.

    He is a very versatile player in the Shawn Marion mold. Singleton is a renowned defender, can hit the open jump shot, and at times can get to the basket on his own.

    Still, he may be a bit overrated thanks to the word that scouts fall in love with: potential.

    Singleton's college track record may warrant a late first round selection. Yet, he finds himself as a lottery projection two days before the Draft.

    He has impressed in workouts, and sometimes, that is all that matters in improving your stock.

    Teams like to see players up close and in person, and Singleton definitely passes the eye test.

    He will be a solid player in the NBA, but may never develop into NBA champion Marion as some expect.

7. Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

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    Marshon Brooks out of Providence may be the best scorer in this draft, but his lack of other skills drops him on the list of best wing players.

    Brooks scored night in and night out for the Friars, but failed to show his other abilities.

    At times, he showed decent court vision and leadership. At other times, it felt as if scoring the basketball was his only above average trait while on the floor.

    Scoring is obviously important. Brooks will find a home, preferably on an offensively-challenged team that will allow him to focus on scoring.

    He is projected to go around the middle of the first round, where some potential suitors sit.

6. Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State

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    Klay Thompson has a beautiful jump shot.

    He has slowly developed a slashing game to compliment that world-class jumper.

    Last year, he put it all together at Washington State, averaging 21.6 PPG.

    Some feel that Thompson could turn into a solid starting two-guard in the NBA.

    Others feel that he is no more than a shooter off the bench.

    We are two days away from the draft, and he is projected to go toward the end of the lottery. 

    He will battle Alec Burks as the first two-guard off the board. It comes down to whether teams want a pure shooter learning to slash, or a true slasher working on his shot.

    We will see on Thursday night.

5. Marcus Morris, SF, Kansas

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    Marcus Morris had an outstanding college career at Kansas.

    Somewhere along the way in the draft process, it seems as if people have forgotten that.

    Scouts and the media get so into the buzz words like "potential," "upside," and "raw talent."

    During this process, at times it seems as if great college players no longer get credit for what they have done.

    Rather, it is all about analyzing the ins and outs of the player directly through workouts.

    This is how it is, and there is no sign of the draft process changing.

    Still, Morris has proven that he can handle the ball well and shoot well enough to be a small forward in the NBA.

    He is one of the more NBA-ready wings in the 2011 class.

4. Alec Burks, SG, Colorado

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    On this list, Alec Burks wins the shooting guard battle over Klay Thompson.

    Burks got to the basket whenever he wanted to at Colorado. He was playing against some good Big 12 competition, and continuously proved to be one of the best slashers in the country.

    It remains to be seen if his athleticism and ability to drive to the basket will hold up at the next level.

    The team that does think his game will translate and selects him could have one of the bigger risk/reward selections on their hands.

    Burks does not have the jump shot to consistently contribute if he can no longer get to the rim at will.

    Thus, he could turn into a huge bust.

    On the other hand, he could turn into one of the best players in the draft if he maintains his slashing ability.

    At the end of the lottery, where he is projected to go, the reward is definitely worth the risk.

3. Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic

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    Jan Vesely is the exact opposite of Marcus Morris.

    Morris has a great college career to back him up. Vesely is the player projected in the lottery that is most associated with the Draft buzz words.

    He does not have great numbers to go with his past play, but he definitely has potential, upside, and lots of raw talent.

    Vesely could end up being one of the more dynamic players out of this draft.

    He is 6'11'' and will play both the small forward and power forward positions.

    His athleticism is off the charts for such a big guy, but he has some work to do fundamentally.

    Vesely also needs to work on his shot. He is very good at being in the right place at the right time and at times, slashing to the basket off the ball and off the dribble.

    If he works on his jumper, his pump fake will be even more effective. 

    Vesely is projected to go in the top 10, and likely in the top five or six picks.

    His versatility could provide one of these teams with the steal of the 2011 Draft. That is, if his potential and upside ever turns into production.

2. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego St.

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    Kawhi Leonard's ceiling is not nearly as high as Jan Vesely's.

    We have seen a number of guys pass through the draft with the same body and skill set as Leonard.

    Vesely is a much more infrequent breed, but he is also not nearly as polished as Leonard.

    At San Diego State, Leonard proved to be a leader with very refined skills.

    He will not lead an NBA team in scoring. He will not shoot very well from long distance.

    He will play very stingy defense. He will hit the open mid-range jumper and finish at the rim.

    Leonard can come in and contribute as a role player immediately. Vesely will play only because he needs to develop, and his plus-minus will be far lower than Leonard's, depending on their team's success.

    Leonard gets the edge over Vesely because of his skills right now. 

1. Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Arizona

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    Most of the media thinks Derrick Williams should play power forward in the NBA.

    Williams is set on pursuing a career as a small forward.

    Either way, what he brings to the table is unique in this draft class.

    Statistically speaking, he was one of the better three-point shooters in college basketball last season.

    He also provided some of the most noteworthy dunks and blocks around the rim.

    Clearly, Williams can play both inside and out.

    He might be the most NBA-ready player in the entire draft.

    That's why he gets the honor of being named the best wing in the 2011 NBA Draft class.