NBA Draft 2011: Projecting Rookie Stats for Jimmer and All 30 1st-Round Picks

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Projecting Rookie Stats for Jimmer and All 30 1st-Round Picks

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    Assuming we have NBA games to watch next season, plenty of us will be paying attention to a very intriguing 2011 NBA draft class that is filled with "boom or bust" players.

    From Jimmer Fredette to Kemba Walker, Alec Burks to Klay Thompson and Enes Kanter to Jonas Valanciunas, the question marks are all over the place.

    Can Jimmer coexist with Tyreke Evans? Is Walker a point guard or a shooting guard? Can Burks develop a decent jump shot? Most importantly, will Kanter be a heel or a face in the WWE?

    Obviously, we can't answer these questions until these guys actually play, but it's always fun to speculate.  

    Here is one man's opinion on the situations each of the first-round picks will be in and the numbers they'll post in their rookie season...

     

    You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @_Andy_Bailey

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 191 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 19

    Situation: Most people saw Kyrie Irving as this year's best prospect, which is why Cleveland took him despite having more pressing needs than point guard.

    The team already has Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions and Daniel Gibson (yes, he's more of a shooting guard, but still). At least one of those guys will have to be displaced or traded in order for Irving to get the kind of minutes most No. 1 picks get.

    I'm sure that will happen, but even if Irving gets the minutes, he won't blow anyone away in his rookie year the way Derrick Rose or John Wall did.

    Rookie Stats: 13 points and five assists a game

2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 248 lbs.

    Position: PF/SF

    Age: 20

    Situation: Much like Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams is headed to a team that already has a few players at his position. He's a power forward (and based on his draft night interviews, it looks like someone finally told him to stop saying he wants to play the 3).

    Let's say there's an off chance the T-Wolves do play him as a small forward. That would put him in pretty much the exact same situation as Michael Beasley.

    If he's pegged as a full-time 4, he has the game's best rebounder in Kevin Love and a still intriguing Anthony Randolph to compete with.

    Even if no deals are made to free up space and minutes, Minnesota will have to find a way to get Williams onto the floor.

    Rookie Stats: 15 points and five rebounds a game

3. Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    Position: C/PF

    Age: 19

    Situation: The Jazz have one too many power forwards but still need a legitimate center. That's exactly what Enes Kanter can be.

    Right away, he could start alongside Al Jefferson in Utah's frontcourt. He'll still have to share minutes within a rotation that will include Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors (unless one or two of the big men are traded).

    Rookie Stats: nine points and six rebounds a game

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 227 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 20

    Situation: Even before the draft went down, I was worried about Tristan Thompson as a pro. That was when I thought he'd go in the No. 8 or No. 9 range.

    I actually hope I'm wrong about Thompson because I love when idiots like myself are proven wrong by athletes.

    Rookie Stats: six points and four rebounds a game

5. Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: C/PF

    Age: 19

    Situation: We actually won't see Valanciunas play until the 2012-13 season because of his contract overseas. By that time, Andrea Bargnani may be gone.

    Even if Valanciunas comes in and starts right away, it's hard for me to see him dominating. The overseas prospects are hard to evaluate because so many of them bust, and the ones who are actually productive in leagues overseas are selected in the second round.

    Rookie Stats: nine points and five rebounds a game

6. Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 240 lbs.

    Position: SF/PF

    Age: 21

    Situation: Some people are already calling Jan Vesely the Czechoslovakian Blake Griffin, but his highlight reel makes me think his dunks aren't a product of athleticism but length. Either way, he should get a fair number of open looks at the rim playing with John Wall.

    I still don't see him being terribly productive as a rookie playing alongside Jordan Crawford, Nick Young and Andray Blatche. 

    Rookie Stats: 10 points and five rebounds a game

7. Charlotte Bobcats (via Sacramento Kings): Bismack Biyombo

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 243 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 18

    Situation: Considering the complete lack of offense with Biyombo, it may be hard for him to get on the floor much in his first year. Plus, Charlotte has a couple decent (clearly not great) power forwards in Boris Diaw and Tyrus Thomas.

    Rookie Stats: four points, three rebounds and one block per game

8. Detroit Pistons: Brandon Knight

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 177 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 19

    Situation: The Pistons backcourt is fairly crowded with Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum and Ben Gordon, but I see the Pistons making room for Knight, who some felt would be taken with the No. 3 pick (did you see how upset he was about falling to No. 8?).

    Rookie Stats: 12 points and five assists a game

9. Charlotte Bobcats: Kemba Walker

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 184 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 21

    Situation: Some look at Kemba Walker's status as a "tweener" as a bad thing. With Charlotte, his ability to play both with and without the ball should be seen as versatility.

    Without Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston (both traded to Milwaukee on draft night), Charlotte only has D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Matt Carroll and now Walker in the backcourt. Kemba will be able to get minutes at both guard positions throughout the year and will likely start a decent number of games.

    Rookie Stats: 16 points, five assists, five rebounds and 1.5 steals a game (Rookie of the Year candidate)

10. Sacramento Kings (via Milwaukee Bucks): Jimmer Fredette

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 196 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 22

    Situation: My instant reaction to Jimmer going to the Kings was not a good one. I'm as big a fan of Jimmer as any writer on this site (probably the biggest), but I initially didn't like the fit.

    I thought it would be difficult for him to ever get a shot while sharing the backcourt with two guys (Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton) who each averaged over 16 field goal attempts a game with Sacramento.

    With a little time to think about it, I've come around (a little bit) to Jimmer being a King.

    They traded last year's starting point guard (Beno Udrih) to Milwaukee to seemingly make room for Jimmer in the starting lineup (assuming they don't sign Aaron Brooks, who they're reportedly interested in).

    Fredette can create his own shot as well as (if not better than) anyone else in this year's draft. If he's the starting point guard, he'll have the ball in his hands a decent amount (Evans and Thornton will still demand it on outlets, etc.).

    When he's playing off the ball, he'll get much better looks than he typically did in college when he constantly faced double-teams (and even the occasional triple-team). As the best shooter in this draft, he'll knock down a lot of threes if Evans and Thornton are willing to kick the ball to him after they draw defenders.

    Rookie Stats: 13 points and five assists a game, 42 percent from three-point range

11. Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 206 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 21

    Situation: Klay Thompson may be the second-best shooter from this year's draft class, so he should fit in well with the long-range-bombing Warriors.

    If Monta Ellis is traded this offseason, Thompson will probably get some of those minutes.

    Rookie Stats: eight points a game, 38 percent from three-point range

12. Utah Jazz: Alec Burks

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 193 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 19

    Situation: The Jazz really needed a wing (specifically a shooting guard), but they really needed a wing who could shoot. Right now, Burks doesn't fill that second need. He's still going to be able to use his slashing abilities to score and deserves to start instead of way-over-the-hill Raja Bell.

    If Burks can improve his jump shot (a lot), I think he can be a really good NBA player. The Jazz need to start Gordon Hayward (47 percent three-point shooter) on the opposite wing to cover for Burks' deficiencies as a shooter.

    Rookie Stats: 12 points and five rebounds a game


13. Phoenix Suns: Markieff Morris

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 241 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 21

    Situation: I was pleasantly surprised when David Stern announced that the Suns had selected Markieff Morris. His toughness, rebounding and defense fill some needs for Phoenix. Plus, his outside shooting will help him fit in.

    The thing is, it's still hard for me to see him leap-frogging Channing Frye, Hakim Warrick or Marcin Gortat on the team's depth chart. At most, I could see him playing 15 minutes a game.

    Rookie Stats: six points and four rebounds a game

14. Houston Rockets: Marcus Morris

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 21

    Situation: Remember how many people thought Patrick Patterson would be productive right off the bat for the Rockets? It's hard for me to see Morris doing much more.

    Houston already has power forwards Luis Scola, Jordan Hill, Chuck Hayes (if they re-sign him) and the aforementioned Patterson. And no, Morris cannot play small forward. Even if he does, he's way behind Chase Budinger, Terrence Williams and fellow 2011 draft pick Chandler Parsons at that position.

    Rookie Stats: six points and 3.5 rebounds a game

15. San Antonio Spurs (via Indiana Pacers): Kawhi Leonard

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 228 lbs.

    Position: SF/PF

    Age: 19

    Situation: Even if the Spurs can't find a way to trade Richard Jefferson, Kawhi Leonard could become a starter at small forward before the end of next season.

    Leonard's offensive skills are raw (to say the least), but his toughness, defense and rebounding will make him a coach's favorite with Gregg Popovich.

    Rookie Stats: nine points and six rebounds a game


16. Philadelphia 76ers: Nikola Vucevic

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    Height: 7'0"

    Weight: 260 lbs.

    Position: C/PF

    Age: 20

    Situation: Vucevic may have been selected at No. 16, but he could be Philadelphia's starting center as a rookie.  

    The 76ers have a solid young core with Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, but they needed a legitimate center to go along with those guys.

    Even if he does start, he'll still likely have to share minutes with Spencer Hawes and Marreese Speights.

    Rookie Stats: eight points and six rebounds a game

17. New York Knicks: Iman Shumpert

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 222 lbs.

    Position: SG/PG

    Age: 20

    Situation: I think Iman Shumpert may be the most intriguing selection from this year's draft. The 6'6" combo guard measured and tested better athletically than everyone but Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas at the pre-draft camp, and Mike D'Antoni feels he could be an elite defender.

    As a rookie, I don't see him getting a ton of minutes over established backcourt guys like Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields and Toney Douglas. But I honestly believe that if he's developed the right way, he could be New York's point guard of the future.

    Think about the size and athleticism they'd have at positions 1 through 4 with Shumpert (6'6"), Fields (6'7"), Carmelo Anthony (6'8") and Amar'e Stoudemire (6'10").

    Like I said, though, he won't be ready for that role next year and will likely spend a lot of time on the bench.

    Rookie Stats: four points a game

18. Washington Wizards: Chris Singleton

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Position: SF/PF

    Age: 21

    Situation: With Josh Howard and Maurice Evans entering free agency, the Wizards had a definite need at small forward. They picked up a solid one who many consider this year's best defender with the No. 18 pick.

    Some feel that his raw (if not awful) offensive game will keep him out of the starting lineup and relegate him to the role of defensive specialist off the bench. But players like Thabo Sefolosha and Keith Bogans start solely for their defense.

    I could see the same thing happening for Singleton. Even if he does start, he's not going to score a lot of points.

    Rookie Stats: eight points and five rebounds a game


19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Charlotte Bobcats): Tobias Harris

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 223 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 18

    Situation: Tobias Harris was the youngest player drafted in 2011 and is headed to a team that already has Stephen Jackson and Carlos Delfino at his position.

    I think it will take him at least a full season to crack the rotation.

    Rookie Stats: four points a game

20. Houston Rockets (via Minnesota Timberwolves): Donatas Motiejunas

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    Height: 7'0"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 20

    Situation: Motiejunas may have already called out Dwight Howard, but like many other players in this year's class, he could be buried at the bottom of the depth chart in his first year.

    Rookie Stats: three points a game

21. Portland Trail Blazers: Nolan Smith

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 188 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 22

    Situation: This was a very odd pick to me, especially after the Blazers acquired Raymond Felton in a trade with Denver.

    Nolan Smith is a legitimate first-round talent, but I don't see him getting any more minutes or numbers as a rookie than Jerryd Bayless did in his first year in Portland. He would have been a great fit for Chicago.

    Rookie Stats: five points and three assists a game

22. Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    Position: PF/C

    Age: 21

    Situation: Assuming the Nuggets do the right thing and let Kenyon Martin go in free agency, Faried could step in and contribute right away for the Nuggets.

    He is the best rebounder in this year's draft class and quite possibly the best interior defender as well. He won't score much, but he'll be able to impact games with his energy and intensity.

    Rookie Stats: six points, nine rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game

23. Chicago Bulls (via Minnesota from Houston): Nikola Mirotic

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 226 lbs.

    Position: SF/PF

    Age: 20

    Situation: Mirotic will likely play at least two or three more years overseas before he ever appears in an NBA game. That makes it very difficult to forecast the kind of situation he'll be in as a rookie.

    Whatever the case, I don't anticipate him ever lighting it up in the league.

    Rookie Stats: five points a game

24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Jackson

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 208 lbs.

    Position: PG/SG

    Age: 21

    Situation: A lot of people liked this pick, but I thought it was one of the draft's worst. They already have problems with one shoot-first guard. Adding another won't help.

    If he displaces Eric Maynor (who is an actual point guard) on the depth chart, Kevin Durant may lose three or four shots a game.

    Rookie Stats: seven points and two assists a game

25. New Jersey Nets (via Boston Celtics): Marshon Brooks

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    Position: SG

    Age: 22

    Situation: The Nets already have a very solid young shooting guard in Anthony Morrow, who is one of the best shooters in the league. He may be the starter right now, but Marshon Brooks has the potential to be the best shooting guard from this draft.

    A couple issues with Brooks were also faced by Jimmer Fredette. A lot of people weren't sold on his scoring because he was the only real option on offense, and many have doubts about his defensive abilities as well.

    Question marks aside, this guy can flat-out score in a bunch of different ways and could very well be the sleeper of this draft.

    Rookie Stats: 14 points and five rebounds a game

26. Denver Nuggets (via Dallas Mavericks): Jordan Hamilton

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    Height: 6'9"

    Weight: 228 lbs.

    Position: SF/SG

    Age: 20

    Situation: The Nuggets picked up Jordan Hamilton from the Dallas Mavericks in a draft night trade. It's hard to see him having much of an impact since Denver already has Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler (unless, of course, they can't re-sign him).

    Rookie Stats: six points and three rebounds a game

27. Boston Celtics (via New Jersey Nets): JaJuan Johnson

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    Position: PF

    Age: 22

    Situation: If Glen Davis leaves Boston via free agency, JaJuan Johnson could step right into the role Davis had, and I actually think Johnson would be better in it.

    Rookie Stats: nine points and five rebounds a game

28. Miami Heat (from Minnesota Via Chicago): Norris Cole

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 175 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 22

    Situation: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra seemed pretty lost about what to do with the point guard position last year. Mario Chalmers should be the starter, but apparently the team's not sold on him.

    I think Cole is one of the most underrated players from this year's draft, but the messy situation he's heading into makes it hard to forecast how he'll perform.

    Rookie Stats: six points and three assists a game

29. San Antonio Spurs: Cory Joseph

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 186 lbs.

    Position: PG

    Age: 20

    Situation: San Antonio made one of the most surprising (and seemingly stupid) selections of the draft when it took Cory Joseph.

    The logic of taking a guard makes sense since the Spurs traded George Hill to land Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker's status is up in the air as well. However, taking Joseph is confusing when you consider that Charles Jenkins, Shelvin Mack and Darius Morris were still available.

    All that said, the Spurs front office always seems to draft well, and I'd be pretty crazy to think I know more than them.

    Rookie Stats: four points a game

30. Chicago Bulls: Jimmy Butler

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 222 lbs.

    Position: SF

    Age: 21

    Situation: This was another surprising pick because the Bulls already have Luol Deng, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, and they desperately need a legitimate shooting guard. I guess they're going to fill that hole in free agency or through a trade.

    Butler is a solid player but may not get many minutes next year.

    Rookie Stats: four points a game

More on the NBA

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    Ben Hansbrough Headed to Germany

     

    Will Eddy Curry Make it a BIG Four in South Beach?

     

    Grades For All 60 Draft Picks

     

    You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @_Andy_Bailey


    For more 2011 NBA draft coverage, stay tuned to Bleacher Report for NBA draft results and NBA draft grades.