2011 NBA Mock Draft: How Does Draft Fit into Los Angeles Lakers' Offseason Plans
Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers do not have any picks in the first round of this month’s draft.
There are a number of players being projected as first-round picks who could improve the Lakers' current roster.
Is it possible the Lakers would trade some of their second-round picks and/or players currently on their roster to land a first-round prospect?
Considering Jim and Jerry Buss now have full control over the team, I wouldn’t rule out anything.
Here is a full first-round mock draft. Also, the last five slides will highlight first-round prospects who would fit well with the Lakers.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, Brazil
28. Chicago Bulls: Josh Selby, Kansas
Selby only played one year at Kansas, before entering this year’s draft.
I can’t help but think Selby is a player who would have benefited playing a couple more seasons of college basketball.
27. New Jersey Nets: Travis Leslie, Georgia
In his junior season with the Bulldogs, Leslie averaged 14 points and seven rebounds a game.
In addition, he was named to the All-SEC Second Team.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA
Honeycutt was named to 2011 All-Pac-10 First Team.
Honeycutt has the versatility to play both the small forward and shooting guard positions in the NBA.
25. Boston Celtics: Malcolm Lee, UCLA
In his last season at UCLA, Lee averaged 13 points a game, en route to being named to the All-Pac-10 First Team.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
Jenkins is a player with four years of college experience under his belt.
Playing at Hofstra, Jenkins averaged 22 points a contest as a senior.
Jenkins is a very streaky shooter, who can score 40 points on a given night, as was the case last season when he dropped 40 points on Binghamton.
Photo courtesy of nbadraft.net
23. Houston Rockets: Darius Morris, Michigan
Morris was named to the 2011 All-Big Ten Third Team. The Los Angeles native led the Wolverines in scoring and assists.
22. Denver Nuggets: Reggie Jackson, Boston College
As a junior with Boston College, Jackson led the Eagles in scoring and assists.
Jackson was also named to the All-ACC First Team.
21. Portland Trail Blazers: Tobias Harris, Tennessee
Harris played only one season at Tennessee, averaging 15 points and seven rebounds a contest. At only 18 years of age, Harris stands at 6’8’’and weighs 225 pounds.
Portland would be smart to draft him with the often injured Greg Oden and aging Marcus Camby on their roster.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Markieff Morris, Kansas
Along with being selected to the 2011 All-Big 12 Second Team, Morris led the Jayhawks in rebounding and blocks.
18. Washington Wizards: Chris Singleton, Florida State
Singleton was named to the All-ACC Third Team and the All-ACC Defensive Team, despite missing six games with a foot injury.
Singleton is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end of the court, and he could very well have a future trying to shut down the opposing team’s best player in the NBA.
17. New York Knicks: Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Faried pulled down a nation-best 14 rebounds a game last season. With his nose for the ball, Faried could contribute right away in the right situation.
One concern surrounding Faried is the fact most of his gaudy rebounding numbers came against less-than-stellar competition in the Ohio Valley Conference.
15. Indiana Pacers: Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania
Reigning from Lithuania, Motiejunas is a 7’0’’ finesse player.
The only question is: Will he turn out to be the next Darko Milicic or Pau Gasol? The answer is likely somewhere in-between.
13. Phoenix Suns: Marcus Morris, Kansas
Marcus is touted as the better draft prospect than his brother Markieff.
While he will never be a star, it wouldn’t surprise me if Marcus ends up being a valuable role player for a team in the near future.
Marcus has the versatility to play both small and power forward at the next level.
11. Golden State Warriors: Alec Burks, Colorado
Burks exhibits the size and athleticism to be a productive shooting guard in the NBA.
At only 18 years old, he has plenty of time to hone his craft.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young
Fredette led the nation in scoring last season with 28 points a game.
Also, Fredette was named the Naismith Player of the Year.
His lack of defense and athleticism will likely prevent him from being the type of player he was in college as a professional.
With his gifted shooting touch and nose to score, Fredette could easily provide a team with a quick 12-15 points off the bench. I see a lot of Kyle Korver and J.J. Reddick in Jimmer.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Bismack Biyombo, Spain
Biyombo is an athletic, shot-blocking machine. He is very comparable to Serge Ibaka from Oklahoma City.
On the other hand, his offensive game is still very much a work in progress.
Photo Courtesy of prodraftcentral.com
8. Detroit Pistons: Jan Vesely, Belgrade
7. Sacramento Kings: Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania
Valanciunas is an international player with great potential. He has a great combination of size (6’11", 240) and agility.
Photo courtesy of eurohopes.com
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
Leonard is a great energy player, who tends to do all of the little things that add up in the box score.
However, his lack of having a defined niche could hurt him playing with the big boys.
5. Toronto Raptors: Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Kemba Walker took the nation by storm this spring, leading the Connecticut Huskies to the national championship, being named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player in the process.
Walker has that extra bit of swagger that many players are lacking in this year's draft. We will see how far his moxie can carry him in the NBA.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter: Kentucky
Kanter is quite possibly the most NBA-ready post player in this year's draft.
Kanter is comparable to Blake Griffin, in the sense both players play at a high energy level and have great work ethic.
Photo courtesy of kykernel.com
3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Brandon Knight is not quite the player John Wall was coming out of Kentucky as a freshman last year.
Knight is a big, quick point guard, with a flair for clutch play.
Knight hit the game winner in this year’s tournament against Princeton and scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds against North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, Arizona
Williams showed the country this past March he has the type of game to be an immediate success in the NBA.
Quite possibly the best prospect in this year's draft.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, Duke
Kyrie Irving, the projected No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, only played 11 games in his first and only season at Duke, due to a toe injury.
Possible physical breakdown and lack of college experience are the big concerns for Irving heading into the NBA.
30. Chicago Bulls: Nikola Vucevic, USC
In his three seasons at USC, Vucevic averaged 10 points and shot over 50 percent from the field.
Vucevic has tremendous size, standing at 6’10’’ and weighing 260 pounds.
The Lakers have not had much depth behind Bynum and Gasol at the backup center position. With his size and college experience, Vucevic could be the backup big man the team is looking for.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Marshon Brooks, Providence
A four-year player at Providence, Brooks was named to the All-Big East First Team and led the Friars in points and rebounds.
The Lakers are in need of athletic perimeter players who can put the ball in the hoop.
With Brooks, the Lakers would have just that.
Brooks was the nation's second-leading scorer behind Jimmer Fredette.
12. Utah Jazz: Tristan Thompson, Texas
Thompson is a fantastic shot-blocker and rebounder. As a freshman at the University of Texas, Thompson made the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, and he was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
If Thompson can develop a decent mid-range jumper, he could have a very productive NBA career.
Thompson is one of the more athletic prospects in this year's draft. It would be great to see him cut his teeth in the NBA playing behind the likes of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
14. Houston Rockets: Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Hamilton was named to the 2011 All-Big 12 First Team.
Hamilton is a very versatile player with the ability to play multiple positions. He could very easily be a dangerous slasher in the NBA.
With Hamilton, the Lakers wouldn't suddenly look so slow and flat footed. Not to mention, they would have a a top 15 prospect to build from the ground up.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Klay Thompson, Washington State
Thompson is one of the best pure shooters in this year’s draft. As a junior at Washington State, Thompson averaged 21 points a contest.
We could be looking at a poor man’s Peja Stojakovic.
Thompson has the type of shooting stroke to make an immediate impact in the NBA.
The Lakers have not had a deadly three-point shooter since Glen Rice in 2000. I would love to see this kid in purple and gold.