2011 NBA Mock Draft: Minnesota Timberwolves Looking to Shake Up Draft Order
The 2011 NBA Draft will begin in less than an hour and the Minnesota Timberwolves have the chance to shake up everyone's mock drafts should they decided to trade the No. 2 pick to another suitor.
As of now, it seems like everyone has been involved in trade talks with the T-Wolves. The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks have all expressed interest and, in some cases, have reportedly attempted deals with Minnesota for the second overall pick.
While no one is certain about what Minnesota will do with their draft pick, there is an obvious interest from the Timberwolves to trade down.
It's possible that none of the teams mentioned above will present an offer attractive enough to Minnesota to get a deal done, but the team that seems most likely to persuade the Timberwolves is the Phoenix Suns.
The suns have reportedly presented two trade scenarios to the Timberwolves, one of them being to send veteran point guard Steve Nash to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 2 pick. However, this deal doesn't seem likely to get done because of Nash's desire to play for an immediate title contender.
The other reported offer from the suns involves center, Marcin Gortat and the suns first-round pick at No. 13 for the No. 2 pick.
So, if the Suns end up getting a deal done and landing the No. 2 pick with one of these two scenarios or another one, here's what the draft might look like:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers Select: Kyrie Irving, Point Guard, Duke
No surprise here. The Cavaliers have made several indications that this is where they want to go with the first overall pick. Irving is the best point guard available in the draft and is a safer pick at no. 1 than Derrick Williams.
2. Phoenix Suns (via Minnesota Timberwolves) Select: Derrick Williams, Small Forward, Arizona
If the Suns can land this pick it would be to get local star, Derrick Williams. The Suns need help at the small forward position, but they also need to get younger and more athletic. Williams helps them do both.
3. Utah Jazz Select: Enes Kanter, Center, Turkey
The Jazz have been projected to draft Brandon Knight here for the last few weeks by most experts, but now those same experts seem to be changing their tune. With the injury issues and inconsistency that Utah experienced in their front court in 2010-11, Kanter makes sense here.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers Select: Jonas Valanciunas, Center, Lithuania
5. Toronto Raptors Select: Brandon Knight, Point Guard, Kentucky
This is another pick that doesn't necessarily meet a need for the team drafting. The Raptors would prefer to draft a defender with the 5th overall pick and may do so in Biyombo or Leonard, but should Knight be available to them here, they won't be able to pass.
6. Washington Wizards Select: Jan Vesely, Power Forward, Czech Republic
Ideally, the Wizards would like to get Kanter, but he probably won't be available to them at No. 6. If Washington cannot get a deal done with Minnesota to move up to No. 2, they will likely take Vesely here.
7. Sacramento Kings Select: Kemba Walker, Point Guard, Connecticut
The Maloof brothers lose this battle. Despite reports of Jimmer Fredete or Kawhi Leonard being taken here, the Kings will likely stick with the next best available point guard in Kemba Walker. If they don't, Walker could slide all the way to the Knicks at No. 17. The Kings will consider a trade with their pick as well.
The Washington Wizards might take Thompson with their pick at No. 6, but if they don't he shouldn't slide past Detroit. The Pistons are also seriously considering trading this pick to the Rockets in exchange for both of their first-round picks (14th and 23rd), but if they stay at eight Thompson is the probable option.
9. Charlotte Bobcats Select: Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward, San Diego State
There's a great chance that Leonard will be off the board by the no. 9 pick, but if he's available the Bobcats won't be able to pass on him.
10. Milwaukee Bucks Select: Klay Thompson, Shooting Guard, Washington State
We may not see the Bucks picking here... or anywhere in the draft. Milwaukee is avoiding a rebuilding stage so they are looking for a solid role player in the draft if they can't work a trade. Alec Burks could also go here, but with the Bucks holding onto Brandon Jennings, Thompson is the more likely selection.
11. Golden State Warriors Select: Bismack Biyombo, Power Forward, Congo
With Cleveland taking Valanciunas and Milwaukee taking Thompson in this mock draft, look for the Warriors to draft for defense here and take Biyombo. The 6'9" power forward with a 7'7" wingspan might be gone to Charlotte at No. 9, but if not, Biyombo would likely be taken by the Warriors at 11.
Utah Jazz fans could die happy if the team decides to select Fredette with their second first-round pick. The only way this pick happens is if the Jazz do in fact pass on Knight with their first pick. If they do take Kanter though, "Jimmer mania" may stay in Utah.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Phoenix Suns) Select: Alec Burks, Shooting Guard, Colorado
Should the Timberwolves get Grotat in a trade with the Suns, they will likely use the No. 13 pick to take the best available player. In this mock draft, Burks is that guy.
14. Houston Rockets Select: Nikola Vucevic, Center, USC
The Rockets want to move up. They have reportedly presented multiple offers to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick as well as the Pistons at No. 8. Should neither of those deals get done the Rockets will settle for the best big man available, Nikola Vucevic.
15. Indiana Pacers Select: Markieff Morris, Power Forward, Kansas
For so long it was thought that Jimmer Fredette would be available here, but if the Jazz take him at No. 12, Markieff Morris will be the likely selection for the Pacers.
16. Philadelphia 76ers Select: Jordan Hamilton, Small Forward, Texas
17. New York Knicks Select: Chris Singleton, Small Forward, Florida State
No one every really knows what the Knicks will do with their picks in the draft. They have been rumored to want to move into the top 10 or so for some specific players like Jimmer Fredette, but should they stay put and Singleton is still available, they should take him.
18. Washington Wizards Select: Marcus Morris, Small/Power Forward, Kansas
The biggest problem with Marcus Morris has been his status as a "tweener" forward. If that label causes him to fall all the way to 18, the Wizards will likely take a chance on Marcus Morris here.
19. Charlotte Bobcats Select: Marshon Brooks, Shooting Guard, Providence
If the Bobcats don't get Leonard with the ninth overall pick, Shumpert would likely be taken here. However, with Leonard already on the team, Brooks may be the pick for the Bobcats at 19.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves Select: Iman Shumpert, Point Guard, Georgia Tech
With Gortat and Burks already drafted by the T-Wolves in this mock and with Ricky Rubio officially signed, Shumpert would make a lot of sense here. Rubio brings a lot of things, but defense is not one of them. Shumpert helps sure up that area.
The next two picks are interchangeable in my opinion. Tobias Harris is a great all-around player who can play multiple positions, but the Trail Blazers really like Faried, so I doubt they pass on him here.
22. Denver Nuggets Select: Tobias Harris, Power Forward, Tennessee
Tobias Harris will likely be taken by the Nuggets if he isn't taken by the Trail Blazers. Harris is a solid player who will be a nice piece for whatever team drafts him.
23. Houston Rockets Select: Donatas Motiejunas, Power Forward, Lithuania
Once again, the Rockets are going to desperately try to move up in the draft, but if they don't they'll probably take the best player available with their pick at 23. In this mock, that player is Motiejunas.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder Select: Kyle Singler, Small Forward, Duke
The Thunder aren't looking for much in the 2011 NBA Draft. Kyle Singler has the skillset of a great role player and is one of the most fundamental players available.
25. Boston Celtics Select: Reggie Jackson, Point Guard, Boston College
26. Dallas Mavericks Select: Nikola Mirotic, Small Forward, Serbia
The defending NBA Champions are willing to wait for a prospect with a lot of potential to develop in Europe. Should they draft Mirotic, that would have to be the case as he will be unable to play in the NBA for at least a couple more years due to a tricky contract.
27. New Jersey Selects: Justin Harper, Power Forward, Richmond
With the possibility of Kris Humphries leaving this offseason due to free agency, the New Jersey Nets could take a power forward with a very high ceiling. Harper is one of the best shooters available in the draft and the Nets just need talent.
28. Chicago Bulls Select: Tyler Honeycutt, Small Forward, UCLA
The Chicago Bulls greatest weakness was the lack of backcourt support from Bogans, Brewer and at times Deng. Honeycutt isn't a super star, but he's a step toward improving that area.
29. San Antonio Spurs Select: Davis Bertans, Small Forward, Latvia
There has been talk about the Spurs moving Tony Parker in order to get an earlier pick in the draft. If that kind of trade doesn't happen, look for the Spurs to draft yet another international player in Bertans.
30. Chicago Bulls Select: Charles Jenkins, Point Guard, Hofstra
In addition to their shooting guard/small forward void, the Bulls also need a backup point guard. They've reportedly had Jenkins high on their board, so look for the Bulls to take him here or at 28.
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