2011 NBA Draft Results: Ranking the 5 Biggest Busts Selected in Draft Lottery
The 2011 NBA Draft is over, and the speculation has begun.
Did the Cleveland Cavaliers make the right choice at No. 1? Is Derrick Williams truly better? Either way, it was a fun night.
However, one part of the draft that was full of surprises was the lottery round, or the first 14 picks. In a flurry of trades and surprising moves, teams picked some players that some didn't even have going that early. In the process, some sure-handed busts were taken.
Here are the five biggest busts taken in the lottery round of the 2011 NBA Draft. All hate mail will be addressed upon receipt.
No. 5: Markieff Morris, No. 13, Phoenix Suns
Markieff Morris has long been considered to be less talented than his brother Marcus. He is the defensive low-post scorer, while his brother also plays good defense but is also more of a perimeter shooter. While he is a good fit for the Suns, however, he is also a big risk.
The way I see it, the Suns are looking to fill the void left by Amare Stoudemire, who departed Phoenix for New York just a year ago. Morris is like Stoudemire in that he is a good inside scorer who can nail the occasional three-point shot, but his perimeter game needs a lot of work.
Given the nature of the Suns' run-and-gun offense and how Morris is used to Kansas's controlled game, this adjustment could take a while.
Don't get me wrong, I do think that Markieff Morris will end up having a successful NBA career.
Just not in Phoenix.
No. 4: Jonas Valanciunas, No. 5, Toronto Raptors
As I have mentioned before numerous times, I am always very skeptical of international prospects. In last night's draft, there were a ton picked. The first one was Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas, selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth pick.
Valanciunas has good size at 6'11" and 240 pounds and the ESPN team was singing his praises all night long, but I'm just not sold. Too often has it been that a highly-touted international prospect like Yi Jianlian or Darko Milicic is taken early in the first round of the draft, and then they amount to nothing in the NBA.
On top of that, the Raptors are already crowded at both center and power forward with the likes of Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson and Ed Davis. Unless one of them is moved quickly, Valanciunas will surely struggle for minutes.
No. 3: Bismack Biyombo, No. 7, Charlotte Bobcats
Yes, he has a 7'7" wingspan. Yes, he's going to be an unbelievable rebounder and shot-blocker. But, there is just one problem with Bismack Biyombo: HE CAN'T PLAY OFFENSE.
Seriously, I don't know what the Bobcats were thinking here. They already have two talented big men in Boris Diaw and Tyrus Thomas, so there isn't really any room for Biyombo at the moment.
On top of that, as his performance at the European combine showed, his offensive game is so unbelievably raw that it makes Hasheem Thabeet look like Shaq.
Then again, who knows?
Maybe Biyombo's offense will improve with coaching.
Yet, until then, he is destined to be a one-trick pony in the already super-competitive NBA.
No. 2: Alec Burks, No. 12, Utah Jazz
I said it once, and I'll say it again, Alec Burks is easily the most overrated player in this year's draft class. In watching him, he reminds me of Michael Redd, just without the amazing three-point shot.
Burks is a fine athlete who averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds last season, but his 29 percent three-point shooting just screams that he needed at least one more year at college.
Plus, it's rare that defensive guards' rebounding abilities follow them to the pros. On top of all that, he admitted last night that he plays with a chip on his shoulder and in the NBA, that rarely leads to good things.
Unless his coach can keep that attitude in check, Burks's NBA tenure will probably be very short.
No. 1: Kyrie Irving, No. 1, Cleveland Cavaliers
At Duke, Kyrie Irving was easily the best point guard in the nation. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists, and also shot 53 percent from the field. However, he also played in just 11 games due to a toe injury and considering how that was his freshman season, that raises a giant red flag in my eyes.
As good as Irving is, he doesn't have a full season's experience running an offense and being a leader. Also, as Jay Bilas noted last night, he isn't exactly a pass-first guard. He's great at penetrating and takes good shots, but he needs to work on passing if he is to succeed in the NBA.
His team is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are a total mess. Unless Irving can build a relationship with Baron Davis and the rest of his teammates, the team's front office as well as the fans will be wondering what could have been with Derrick Williams.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want Kyrie Irving to fail at all.
It's just that given his limited experience on the college level, it's hard to believe that he was worth the top pick in the draft.