NBA Draft 2011 Results: Derrick Williams and 9 Players Ready To Start Right Away
The 2011 NBA draft is over. Is your team's starting five set?
There are many players who were drafted who were touted as being "NBA-ready." But what about the guys that are actually prepared to start in the NBA?
Which of these players, based on their ability and team situation, will be in the starting lineups during the opening tip-off of the NBA season?
Let's take a look at the 10 most starter-ready players from the draft, plus a bonus look at which free agents they are hypothetically most similar to.
Let me know what you think!
10. Tobias Harris, Milwaukee Bucks, SF/PF
Tobias Harris is not ready to be a good player in the NBA. But, he is on the Bucks, so that may not matter. With Milwaukee literally without a starting shooting guard, Harris might be thrust into the starting lineup whether he is ready or not.
He plays a pretty basic game, and doesn't rely on his athleticism as much as the other rookies do, so I think he will be sufficient for the Bucks.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Shane Battier
They have already been linked as "similar" players.
9. Nikola Vucevic, Philadelphia 76ers, C
Even though Vucevic is not nearly where he wants to be in terms of offensive capabilities, just his sheer size would allow him to join Philadelphia's starting five.
Like Harris, he wouldn't be asked to do too much. But unlike Harris, I think that Vucevic actually has a pretty high chance of starting the season in the starting lineup.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Jason Collins
Despite Collins being an infinitely better defensive player, they both are valuable because of their size.
8. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, SF
Kawhi is one of the most NBA-ready players in this entire draft. You basically know what you are going to get: solid but unspectacular with a whole lot of hustle.
Leonard could possibly slip into the small forward position in San Antonio, in which case he would have some pretty good role models around him teaching him the ropes.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Chuck Hayes
And I'm not sure if that is an insult to Leonard or Hayes.
7. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns, F/C
Why is Markieff on the list, while Marcus is not? Simple: Markieff has the size and strength to be an NBA power forward right now. Marcus is a little bit further away.
Markieff fits right into Phoenix, and can immediately become a key contributor. I would imagine he averages between seven and 10 points, with six to seven rebounds.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Craig Smith
Although to be perfectly honest, Morris is probably bigger than Craig Smith.
6. Marshon Brooks, New Jersey Nets, SG
Marshon Brooks is one of those guys that you can stick onto any basketball court, and he will score. That's what he was born to do. But can he do it efficiently?
Luckily for him, New Jersey doesn't really have much choice, unless they want to start Sundiata Gaines.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Nick Young
Both unbelievably good scorers.
5. Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats, F/C
The super athletic and extremely long Biyombo really doesn't have much choice in the matter.
No offense to Boris Diaw or Dante Cunningham, but they are both terrible. The seven-footer from the Congo would be a better fit. All he would have to do is play tenacious defense, and grab rebounds. No one expects him to be a scoring champ.
Hypothetical FA Replacement
No clue, but I guess he is a more athletic version of Jared Jeffries (stretch, I know).
4. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats, SF
The champion. Kemba led his team to wins in the Big East and NCAA tournaments. He is a proven winner, and a beloved leader.
Gerald Henderson currently occupies the shooting guard position for Charlotte. Once again, no offense, but absolutely not. Kemba is probably a billion times better than Gerald Henderson.
Expect Walker to be the shooting guard for the Bobcats by the time the NBA season arrives.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Aaron Brooks
Obviously not yet on Brooks' level, Kemba will one day reach that scoring status.
3. Jan Vesely/Chris Singleton, Washington Wizards, SF
Vesely, an offensive machine, and Singleton, a defensive machine, are both vying for the same spot. Whoever gets it will be ready.
Vesely will work great with John Wall in the transition, and Singleton will immediately lift the defensive talent level every time he steps on the court. Both are extremely athletic and lanky.
Hypothetical FA Replacement
Vesely: Kenyon Martin minus the rebounding.
Singleton: Tayshaun Prince minus the intangibles.
2. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets, PF
You all knew it was coming. Faried is the ultimate collegiate-to-pro package. He doesn't rely on being bigger or more athletic, or beating guys off the dribble.
His whole game is determination and will. And he will always be the most determined player on the court. That's just the way it is.
He would be replacing Kenyon Martin/Nene in Denver.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: Reggie Evans/Ronny Turiaf
Basically, anyone who is a rebounding machine.
1. Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves, F
His game doesn't translate as well as Faried's does and he isn't guaranteed a spot like the two guys from Charlotte, but D-Will's talent will reign supreme.
He is a great scorer, and a solid rebounder. He has good range too, and if he can play the small forward position, he and Kevin Love will have a really nice thing going on there from three-point land.
Hypothetical FA Replacement: David West
Both guys can score and rebound, and both guys are knocked for being too "small."
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section!