2011 NBA Mock Draft: Top Prospects and Potential Trades
There are only a few more hours until the NBA Draft gets underway.
While the top two selections seem to be foregone conclusions, that doesn't mean they're going to be the right ones.
As for the next 28 selections, those are much harder to get a handle on, but I gave it a shot here.
Now, these are less predictions of what WILL happen and more of what SHOULD happen...that's the ancient, time-tested ambiguity of a mock draft, isn't it?
No matter what anyone says—whether it's Jay Bilas or some random dude at the end of the bar—no one knows for sure what's going to happen an hour or so into the evening.
Selections 30 Through 26
30. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Honeycutt, SF
Put him in the weight room with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and he's got tremendous upside.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Josh Selby, SG
The physical talent is obviously there, now he needs a mentor. They don't come much better than Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, or (maybe) Tony Parker.
28. Chicago Bulls: Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF
If he can gain some weight, he makes for a nice heir apparent to Carlos Boozer alongside Taj Gibson.
27. New Jersey Nets: Justin Harper, PF
If Kris Humphries leaves as a free agent, Harper has the outside game to be an upgrade rather than a replacement.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Reggie Jackson, PG
With J.J. Barea likely commanding a huge raise and Jason Kidd turning 39 before the end of next season, they need another point guard.
Selections 25 Through 21
25. Boston Celtics: Justin Tyler, PF
Not unlike Josh Selby, Tyler has the skills to play. Doc Rivers, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett (who he would eventually take over for) will help him develop.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Iman Shumpert, PG
All they talk about in OKC is getting a "true point guard", and they might have one here.
23. Houston Rockets: Tobias Harris, PF
If he is, in fact, versatile enough to play the three, he can provide a huge boost to the Rockets' long-term plans.
22. Denver Nuggets: Marshon Brooks, SG
With Aaron Afflalo (restricted) and J.R. Smith (unrestricted) about to be free agents, there could be a huge need for a scoring guard.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Donatas Motiejunas, PF
If there's any chance he can play inside at the center position (he is 7'0) maybe he can offset the injuries to Greg Oden...well, probably not.
Selections 20 Through 16
20. Los Angeles Lakers: Trade w/ Minnesota: Kyle Singler, PF
Can't have a draft without a trade! Maybe the Lamar Odom deal comes through and the Lakers will pick up a player who can improve their needy defense.
19 Charlotte Bobcats: Alec Burks, SG
It isn't quite Jordan going after Hakeem and Sam Bowie, but MJ should be thrilled if Burks falls this far.
18. Washington Wizards: Kenneth Faried, PF
Put him on the floor with John Wall and (wait 'til you get to the slide with their #6 pick) and the Wizards' future looks bright.
17. New York Knicks: Chris Singleton, SF
This is a perfect addition for the Knicks, who need a defensive presence alongside Carmelo and Amare.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Jordan Hamilton, PF
The scoring and rebounding combination will benefit Evan Turner and offset any of their impending free agent/trade losses.
Selections 15 Through 11
15. Indiana Pacers: Marcus Morris, PF
They may be set up front right now with, but it's just too hard to pass on a player with Morris' upside.
14. Houston Rockets: Nikola Vucevic, C
This isn't a replacement for Yao Ming—far from it. But it's a start, and he brings a very different skill set if Yao is brought back.
13. Phoenix Suns: Markeiff Morris, PF
The extra size and physicality lands him two spots ahead of his brother. For the offensive-minded Suns, his presence will be a major bonus.
12. Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette, PG
If he's still available, it's going to be too hard for the Jazz to pass on a hometown favorite, especially since he can contribute a ton on offense...having that third overall pick helps as well.
11. Golden State Warriors: Tristan Thompson, PF
If Mark Jackson is going to preach defense above all, Thompson's shot-blocking ability will clinch this selection, assuming he falls out of the Top 10.
Selections 10 Through 6
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Klay Thompson, SF/SG
Thompson's ability to score from anywhere on the floor will let Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings start playing up to their potential.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Bismack Biyombo, PF
It's going to be hard for the Bobcats to pass on Tristan Thompson in this spot, but Biyombo's size is really intriguing on the defensive end.
8. Detroit Pistons: Kawhi Leonard, SF
With Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey's contracts up and Rip Hamilton's future in limbo, the Pistons need a scorer with Leonard's versatility.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker, PG
This pick allows the Kings to move Tyreke Evans to the two, giving them a dynamic backcourt to complement DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Washington Wizards: Jonas Valanciunas, PF
John Wall needs another option near the basket, and Valanciunas has the moves and touch to create his own offense.
Selections 5 Through 1
5. Toronto Raptors: Jan Vesely, PF
Pairing him with Andrea Bargnani would make for a powerful duo inside, and let Raptors fans forget about Chris Bosh.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Brandon Knight, PG
Dan Gilbert and co. doing a 180 with the first pick shakes everything up, but they still land a top-tier point guard to go with their prize at the top of the Draft.
3. Utah Jazz: Kyrie Irving, PG
The Jazz have to be thrilled to see the prohibitive top player fall to them here. His ability to score in addition to running the point will be the cornerstone of the club for more than a decade.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter, C
Here's where Ricky Rubio had better pan out in the minds' of T-Wolves fans: they really have no choice but to pass on Irving. Right?
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Derrick Williams, PF
He's simply the most NBA-ready player available, and that has to account for something when you're starting over from scratch.