2011 NBA Mock Draft: Making the Picks from a GM's Shoes
I personally am not a big fan of mock drafts for a number of reasons, and a wise man I know a little bit is on board with my thinking for many of the same reasons (Brian’s Big Board).
Unless you talk personally to GMs or scouts like Chad Ford (ESPN), Jonathan Giovany (DraftExpress) or a couple other sites, then your are either just guessing, going with what everyone else is saying or "mocking" based of what you would do if you were in that position.
Even then, the draft is so unpredictable with trades, free agency and player movement that not even the experts can say for sure. In addition, it's not like teams are just going to give away information to media or their sources. They want to keep other teams on their toes and send out smoke screens if other teams are interested in a trade and keep information confidential so their guy doesn’t get taken before their selection.
That said, I chose the alternative that’s most appealing: a draft made up of "if I were drafting in the GM’s shoes," not realistically what we think the teams will actually do or what the popular pick is right now. Keep in mind that this is just a "mock," and nothing more. I guarantee it's not going to be correct on the day of, and anyone who knows the NBA and makes a "mock draft" can tell you an educated guess is just that: a guess.
If you think this is awful (which may be very possible), if not unconventional, keep in mind it's theoretical from my perspective, and my strengths lie in evaluating prospects, not "mocking."
Note: On every player, you can click their name or country to take you to a more detailed profile for an extensive scouting report and highlights on the respective prospect.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving (Duke)
Cavs need a franchise PG and Irving gives them just that with the first pick.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter (Kentucky)
Love Kanter and am a big believer in his talent. Wolves really need a legit center if they want to get better, and Kanter is just that. Better option than Williams here, who I don’t even think is much of an upgrade over Beasley or worth the No. 2 pick for Minnesota to draft Williams just for the heck of it.
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight (Kentucky)
Jazz are well anchored at forward and center at this point, so going off the assumption they are unhappy with Devin Harris, they will go PG of the future. Love Kemba Walker, who is an instant contributor, but if you are looking long term then Knight might be the better long-term solution for a "pick and roll" team.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Derrick Williams (Arizona)
There’s no way this would happen in reality, but for the sake of me drafting in a GM’s shoes, this is a no-brainer for the Cavs here in desperate need of a playmaking forward. Very convenient for the Cavs in their dream scenario.
5. Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Andrea Bargnani really isn’t a true center or the type of NBA prototypical big man that can make much of a difference in the paint, but Jonas sure can. Toronto can afford to take a chance on Valanciunas and should be happy with someone that should mesh well with their youth movement.
6. Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)
Perfect energy guy who gives the Wizards a dynamic playmaker and hustle guy that can complement the team’s talents nicely.
7. Sacramento Kings: Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
A team badly in need of PG, as Evans really isn’t the answer full-time at that position for them. Kemba makes sense and is a great value, dare I say a steal, at No. 7 for what he accomplished in the NCAA and future returns for the team.
8. Detroit Pistons: Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
Donatas is a very skilled seven-footer who can be an Andrea Bargnani-type player for this team and give them a badly needed offensive weapon.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)
A standout forward who can help this team in a number of ways, notably on the boards and gives them another creator.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Hamilton (Texas)
Bucks can use some perimeter firepower and Hamilton is as good a scorer as there is in this draft.
11. Golden State Warriors: Bismack Biyombo (Congo)
Biyombo makes a lot of sense here for the Warriors, and combined with Udoh, that Warriors frontline is tough defensively when David Lee is resting…and recent history suggests the Warriors love drafting PF with their first-round pick.
12. Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
Go ahead and call it a reach, but it makes sense for a lot of reasons. Team needs a legit perimeter shooting threat, scoring, playmaking and he would do wonders for their ticket sales by keeping him in Utah.
13. Phoenix Suns: Alec Burks (Colorado)
With Vince Carter likely on his way out, the Suns need a guy who can flat-out score for them.
14. Houston Rockets: Chris Singleton (Florida State)
Rockets can use a guy who can bring it on D and Singleton should be able to do a number on the other team's best guy on a nightly basis for them.
15. Indiana Pacers: Tristan Thompson (Texas)
Best player left on the board at this point and they could use another true post player as Foster continues to age.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Marcus Morris (Kansas)
Gives the Sixers great insurance for an aging Elton Brand and a versatile inside-out threat who can help man the paint as well.
17. New York Knicks: Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
Scrappy post player who brings a lot of energy, hustle, rebounding, D and can excel running the floor for the Knicks' "run and gun."
18. Washington Wizards: Tobias Harris (Tennessee)
Smart player who can be plugged into a number of positions for the Wiz and give them a nice inside-out threat.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Nikola Vucevic (USC)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Markieff Morris (Kansas)
Solid backup for Love and can still help spread the floor without giving up much when Kevin’s out of the game.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
Only the best for my hometown team at this point, and it’s no secret that I love Reggie as a sleeper and long-term solution for a team at PG.
22. Denver Nuggets: Klay Thompson (Washington State)
Welcomed shooter and scorer who can do a little bit of everything for them on the perimeter.
23. Houston Rockets: Darius Morris (Michigan)
Talented, natural distributor who is a great changeup to what Foye and Dragic bring to the table.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Travis Leslie (Georgia)
Thunder would love to have another guy who can step in and readily play excellent perimeter D off the bench.
25. Boston Celtics: Jeremy Tyler (Japan)
Celtics build for the future with big man that possesses unlimited potential to help an aging frontline.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Selby (Kansas)
Jason Kidd isn’t getting younger, but he sure knows how to play the game and could be a great mentor to Selby who needs all the help he can get on his path to development.
27. New Jersey Nets: Marshon Brooks (Providence)
Excellent perimeter player who brings immediate help to a team that needs creating ability and can get buckets.
28. Chicago Bulls: Nolan Smith (Duke)
Bulls badly need assistance on the perimeter and Smith is about as good as they come this late in the draft.
29. San Antonio Spurs: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)
JaJuan is a very refined player who can step in and bring immediate contributions to a veteran team likely on its last legs.
30. Chicago Bulls: Charles Jenkins (Hofstra)
At this point, the Bulls can use all the help they can get at guard and Jenkins brings a lot of toughness and scoring to the table.
31. Miami Heat: Keith Benson (Oakland)
Miami needs size to help support Bosh and they might want to look at Benson with his size, length, athleticism and solid post play.
32. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)
The UCLA forward is a terrific, multi-talented player and a perfect piece to add to the Cleveland rebuilding equation.
33. Detroit Pistons: Jordan Williams (Maryland)
While undersized, Williams can flat-out board up for a team that could use another center.
34. Washington Wizards: Malcolm Lee (UCLA)
With no real reliable backup at PG, makes a lot of sense to take a guy who could fill that roll in a talented Lee.
35. Sacramento Kings: Michael Dunigan (Oregon)
The best pure center left on the board, Dunigan has shown some nice upside and an improving post game that would help when Dalembert is out of the game.
36. New Jersey Nets: Trey Thompkins (Georgia)
Great option this late in the draft and would be an excellent complement to Lopez and Humphries with his ability to stretch the floor.
37. Los Angeles Clippers: Nikola Mirotic (Serbia)
The Clips go with the best available and can afford to wait for the buyout with their youth movement.
38. Houston Rockets: Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
The former Wisconsin big fits what the Rockets need, and that’s indefinite size in the middle with Yao's uncertainty, Miller on the tail end of his career and who really knows with Hasheem Thabeet?
39. Charlotte Bobcats: Scotty Hopson (Tennessee)
The Bobcats could use an explosive scorer who has plenty of NBA skills and talent, but will be an issue of if he can pan out.
40. Milwaukee Bucks: Davis Bertans (Latvia)
41. Los Angeles Lakers: Shelvin Mack (Butler)
Point guard help is needed, and Mack is the perfect replacement for Fisher, a player who he could end up being the "next" of.
42. Indiana Pacers: Kyle Singler (Duke)
Singler may be from the great state of Oregon, but he sure has a Hoosier-type game, and why wouldn’t Larry Bird want a very poor man’s Larry Bird?
43. Chicago Bulls: Jereme Richmond (Illinois)
Bulls stay with a local Illinois kid in Richmond who has the makings of a potentially great defender in the league with his athleticism.
44. Golden State Warriors: Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
If Monta Ellis is on his way out, Thomas can pack a punch with that Warriors offense, buckle down on D and bring some competitive fire that new head coach Mark Jackson would love.
45. New Orleans Hornets: Jimmy Butler (Marquette)
Butler is a solid perimeter player who brings great toughness, hustle and playmaking off the bench.
46. Los Angeles Lakers: Justin Harper (Richmond)
Finesse forward could be a good fit with the Lakers and is a nice choice if he indeed drops this far, which is unlikely.
47. Los Angeles Clippers: Norris Cole (Cleveland State)
Athletic PG with a similar-type build and game as Bledsoe and gives LA solid insurance if they want to get rid of Mo Williams down the road.
48. Atlanta Hawks: Chandler Parsons (Florida)
Not a lot of guys can give the Hawks serious help here, but Parsons is a do-it-all forward worth a shot this late in the draft.
49. Memphis Grizzlies: Greg Smith (Fresno State)
The Grizz could use another post player in the mix, and while Smith is far from developed, he’s a big body who can play limited minutes while the others get some rest.
50. Philadelphia 76ers: E’Twaun Moore (Purdue)
Proven NCAA product, very under the radar in this draft and a nice grab this late to help the Sixers at guard.
51. Portland Trail Blazers: Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington)
The 'Zers can benefit with size and athleticism in the paint; MBA can provide it.
52. Detroit Pistons: Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)
A big combo guard who can help the Pistons immediately by providing impact perimeter D with his size, length and athleticism.
53. Orlando Magic: Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia)
Solid scorer who can light it up in the fashion of the Magic's style of play, but probably won’t come over to the league for another year or two.
54. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cory Joseph (Texas)
Solid backup PG for the Cavs and gives them flexibility to deal Sessions and Davis.
55. Boston Celtics: Justin Holiday (Washington)
Legit perimeter defender with pretty good upside this deep in the draft and he could be a good fit off the bench to support Rondo and the Big Three.
56. Los Angeles Lakers: David Lighty (Ohio State)
If Mike Brown wants a can flat-out D up for the Lake Show, they needn’t look any further than Lighty at this point.
57. Dallas Mavericks: Jamie Skeen (VCU)
Solid pick-and-pop forward that gives the Mavs some grit and added post play.
58. Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Goudelock (Charlestown)
LA could use some help shooting the ball from deep, and no one can shoot deeper than Goudelock in this draft.
59. San Antonio Spurs: LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor)
Explosive scorer who can get in the zone shooting the ball and plays with great intensity, and there’s a good chance Pops can gear that fire in the right direction.
60. Sacramento Kings: Demetri McCamey (Illinois)
I doubt McCamey somehow takes a fall this far, but if he does, then he’s a solid second-round option as a potential backup in the league.
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