2011 NBA Mock Draft With Explanations

Here's my 2011 NBA mock draft that I wrote up for (Knicks SBNation site).  I thought I would share it too as well.  I am a proud Knicks fan, so sorry for any homerism.

1: *Cleveland Cavaliers:  Will pick: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke.   Should pick: Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona*

The consensus number one pick is Kyrie Irving, and he seems like a pretty safe pick.  The Cavs can't affor3d to make a mistake with this pick, which is why they will play it safe with Irving.  The Cavs also need to fill up their arena and get a guy who will be the team's star.  Derrick Williams is that guy.  I also don't see much CP3 in Irving, who wouldn't be any good with nobody to pass to.  The Cavs frontline of Williams, Hickson, and Varajeo would be young and promising, and the backcourt can be addressed with pick 4.


2: *Minnesota Timberwolves:  Will pick: Derrick Williams PF, Arizona.  Should pick: Enes Kanter, PF/C, Turkey*

The Wolves certainly aren't pleased about getting pick #2, and likely missing out on Kyrie Irving.  However, it will be a blessing in disguise.  Ricky Rubio is rumored to be coming over next year, and if the Wolves believe this, they shouldn't have 3 PGs taken in the top 10 picks.  That said, I think the Wolves go BPA.  Despite how good I think Williams will be, I'd go Kanter.  That would give Love some relief in the post, and it wouldn't take too much PT away from Wes Johnson, last year's #4 pick.  Kanter will be a solid Center, and as shown by the Perkins deal, aren't too easy to come by.


3: *Utah Jazz: Will pick: Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic.  Should pick: Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic*

The Jazz are lucky to be in the top 3, and they already have a wealth of bigs with Millsap, Jefferson, and Favors.  Kanter is a possible pick, but I don't think the Jazz want their frontcourt to get too jammed up.  That said, Vesely is a good pick, and reminds me of a more athletic Andrei Kirilenko.  He seems like a perfect fit with a lot of upside, and I think the Jazz recognize that


4: *Cleveland Cavaliers: Will pick: Enes Kanter, PF/C, Turkey.  Should pick: Enes Kanter, PF/C, Turkey*

It never hurts to get a quality big, and I think given that the Cavs already took Irving, they could use a good big.  The Cavs are still missing a ton of pieces, so getting 2 quality players and presumably a top-5 pick next year could put them on the upswing.  The Cavs would have a ton of yioung talent: Kanter, Irving, Hickson, Varejao, and Christian Eyenga.


5: *Toronto Raptors: Will Pick: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky.  Should pick: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky*

This is one of the best fits of the draft.  Knight could learn to play a pure PG behind Calderon for a year, and then take over a team that already has Bargnani and DeRozan.  The Raptors are still pretty far away, but Knight is a step in the right direction.


6: *Washington Wizards:  Will Pick: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State.  Should pick: Tristian Thompson, PF, Texas*

The Wizards have John Wall, who will one day be the best PG in the NBA.  Jordan Crawford is another good young piece.  I don't think their front line of Andray Blatche and Javale McGee will cut it.  McGee seems to play well wtih Wall, so I think Blatche is the one that has to go.  Thompson would be an intriguing replacement, but the Wizards need of a SF will cause them to reach for Leonard.


7: *Sacramento Kings: Will Pick: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn.  Should pick: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn*

This is a no-brainer to me.  He can split PG duties with Tyreke Evans, and bring leadership to a team that has talent but no leadership.  Kemba will tear it up in Sac-Town, and as good as he made Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi look, imagine what he can do with DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans


8: *Detroit Pistons: Will Pick: Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania.  Should pick: Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Lithuania*

The Pistons are an organization that isn't quite sure what it's doing.  Rodney Stuckey is a good PG, but I'm not sure that they will re-sign him.  Austin Daye and Greg Monroe are great pieces along the frontline, and adding a high-ceiling guy in Valanciunas would give the Pistons a foundation for the future.  Alec Burks is another solid possibility, depending on the Rip Hamilton situation


9: *Charlotte Bobcats:  Will Pick: Bismack Biyombo, C, Congo.  Should pick: Tristian Thompson, PF, Texas*

The Bobcats need a lot of pieces.  Henderson and Augustin form a talented young backcourt, and Stephen Jackson is a very underrated player.  I'm not sold on Byombo, but the Bobcats are headed in the wrong direction, and they want a potential star with the pick.  I think Thompson is another high-ceiling player, but he has a higher floor than Biyombo.


10: *Milwaukee Bucks: Will Pick: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado.  Should pick: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado*

The Bucks are thrilled that the best SG in the class falls to them at 10.  He is a good fit, and gives Jennings and Bogut a good wing scoring option.  Burks is a very well-rounded player, and depending on the way the draft falls, he could jump into the top-5.  This pick would turn the Bucks back into the playoff team that they were in 2009-2010.


11: Golden State Warriors:  Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Kansas

This was a tough pick to mock.  While the "trade Stephen Curry" rumors seem to be slowing down, I still think it could happen.  But I made the pick based on the roster they have.  I think Morris is a decent fit for the Warriors, and I think between Dorell Wright, Ekpe Udoh, Morris, Biedrins, and Lee, the Warriors will have a pretty decent frontcourt to go along with their explosive backcourt.  Of course, if a guard is the pick here, Curry is on his way out. 


12: Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredette, PG/SG, BYU

This is why I didn't think the Jazz would take a PG at 3.  I think the Jazz wait and give Harris a full year at PG before finding a replacement.  In the meantime, Jimmer can be instant offense, and who knows, he could become a starting PG or SG.  I think Jimmer in Utah is a good PR move, and a smart Basketball move.  Is this a reach? Yes, but I think, like Tyler Hansbrough of a few years ago, he will live up to expectations.


13: Phoenix Suns: Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA

This is probably going to raise a few eyebrows, but it seems like a good fit.  Many see Honeycutt as one-dimensional, but I think he has the potential to be an all-star caliber wing scorer.  In the up-pace system in Phoenix, and with Nash (most likely) throwing him dimes, he could settle right in, and along with Aaron Brooks and Marcin Gortat, the Suns will have a good young core.  Tristian Thompson is also a possibility.


14: Houston RocketsChris Singleton, SF, Florida State

I think the Rockets are pretty far from competing for a playoff spot.  But they seem pleased with Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic at the point, and Kevin Martin is one of the most underrated scorers in the game.  Plus, if Singleton is the pick, the Rockets will have a lot of former lottery picks on the frontline, with Singleton, Patrick Patterson, Hasheem Thabeet, and Jordan Hill; and they have good scrappy veterans in Chuck Hayes and Luis Scola.  This pick seems like a probable trade piece, as the Rockets may only use one of their 1st round picks.

15:  Indiana Pacers: Darius Morris, PG, Michigan

Pick that makes sense for the Pacers.  They have a good amount of front-court depth, and the PG situation is becoming questionable.  Collison regressed from his breakout year in NO, but proved to be for the most part competent.  But I think the Pacers may want an upgrade, or at least depth.  T.J. Ford is done.  The Pacers get a guy who should pass the ball to Granger, and can set up Hansbrough and Hibbert in the right place.


16: Philadelphia 76ers: Tristian Thompson, PF, Texas

This is much farther than I think Thompson should slide, and the Sixers get a high-ceiling PF who will backup and eventually replace Elton Brand.  I think the sky is the limit for this guy, but there is always the chance he turns into Anthony Randolph.


17: New York Knicks: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State

Okay, I may get some hate for picking Faried over Markieff, but here is why it makes sense.  As we all know, the Knicks are making a strong push for, or at least in the running for, Dwight, CP3, even Deron.  Now,  I wouldn't go PG early unless Kemba or Knight fell to us, just because that would be a waste if we got CP3 or Deron.  I don't want the Knicks to be hamstrung in 2012.  Drafting Markieff would give us a big, but I don't think he's much more than a big body with a decent mid range game.  Faried is perfect.  He rebounds like a beast, he can block shots from the weak side, he can bang in the post, obviously not with big Cs, but with PFs, he can.  He is quick enough to stay with PFs with a face up game.  Best part about Faried is that no matter who we get, whether it's Dwight, CP3, Deron, or nobody, the Knicks will have a good "glue" guy who can provide energy and leadership off the bench, something that would help TD and Bully.


18: Washington Wizards: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas

The Wizards got their SF in Leonard already, so now they go with a big.  He won't be looked to to score much with Wall, McGee, Crawford, and Young, but he should be an okay rebounder and an okay defender.  He is at least a young upgrade over Andray Blatche


19: Charlotte Bobcats: Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania

The Bobcats have 2 picks, and with both of them they are swinging for the fences with overseas players (they took Biyombo at 9).  This is an intriguing player, as he can score very effectively and efficiently.  His motor is questionable, but many are comparing him to Bargnani, and he would complement the defense and energy of Biyombo quite well.  Perhaps this would be the spark that ignites the Bobcats organization.


20: Minnesota TImberwolves: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State

This is a guy I hadn't heard much about, but he has been flying up draft boards.  From what I've seen, he's a very good shooter, which should fit around Love, Rubio, and Derrick WIlliams quite well.  I think Martell Webster is a good player, but I think Thompson is an upgrade and a better fit.  This may be a reach, but I think that a good shooter would succeed alongside Love and Rubio.


21: Portland Trail Blazers: Reggie Jackson, PG/SG, Boston College

The Blazers are looking okay, other than the PG position.  They were rumored to be shopping Andre Miller, who is on the tail end of his career.  If Miller were gone, the starting PG would be Patty Mills.  This isn't a perfect pick, as Reggie isn't a pure PG yet, but he is better in my book than Selby.  But this would leave the Blazers with Armon Johnson, Patty Mills, Andre Miller, Reggie, and Wes Matthews, an undersized 2, and Brandon Roy in the backcourt.  The backcourt would be crowded, and I think there would be a trade or two, but the Blazers definitely need to revamp their backcourt.


22: Denver Nuggets: Tobias Harris, SF/PF, Tennessee

The Nuggets, as we all know, are rich with young talent.  They are losing Nene and Kenyon and possibly Wilson.  Therefore, they go for a physical yet talented tweener in Harris.  He gives them some depth and could become a starter.  SG is also a position that could be addressed, but the right player isn't there.


23: Houston Rockets: Davis Bertans, SF/PF, Latvia

I am really impressed with this kid.  He reminds me a lot of Dirk, honestly.  He can create his own shot pretty well, and he has a high-release jumper that is deadly and ranges out to 3 point land.  He's not quite as physical, and he doesn't go into the post often, but Houston is a perfect place for a project like Bertans.  I think it is also conceivable that the Rockets could draft a project PG here, like an Iman Shumpert or Charles Jenkins, or even Josh Selby.  Lowry and Dragic are decent, but neither are bona fide stars.


24: Oklahoma City Thunder: Justin Harper, SF/PF, Richmond

This may be a little high for him, but he would fit great in OKC.  The Thunder acquired Perkins and have Collison and Ibaka as other quality bigs.  This guy gives them a little bit of room to stretch the floor.  Having watched the Thunder in the playoffs, I've noticed that things get pretty crowded in the paint with Perkins, Westbrook's outside shot is marginal, and Durant and Harden are the only 3 point threats who play a significant amount of time.  Richmond gives them another one.


25: Boston Celtics: Jordan Williams, PF/C, Maryland

It doesn't take a genius to question the Perkins trade.  The Cs want another Perkins.  They won't find one in this draft, but Williams is a pretty close option.  He is big, and his jumpshot is very clean.  He has big shoes to fill, but he has a lot of potential and Doc should ease him into games at the C or PF position.


26: Dallas Mavericks: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas

One thing is for sure about Hamilton.  He can score.  The Mavs have been looking for help at the 3 since Caron Butler went down.  The Mavs get at least a bench scorer and an insurance policy for the indefinite future of Caron Butler.  He is great value at 26, as some scouts think he could creep into the lottery.


27: New Jersey Nets: JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue

The Nets' frontcourt looks kind of shaky and very shallow.  Travis Outlaw's big contract is not looking too stellar, and Kris Humphries seems like a likely candidate to struggle next year.  That said, the Nets get an athletic big to replace Favors and possibly run a dangerous pick-and-roll with Deron, who will probably be gone after 2012 anyway.  The Nets got ripped off in the Deron deal, and this will be illustrated in the coming years when their draft picks are incessantly going to Utah.


28:  Chicago Bulls: Nikola Mrotic, SF/PF, Montenegro

The Bulls are deep enough to take a project at pick 28.  Mrotic is a bit of a question mark, as I've seen mocks that have him in the lottery.  He is definitely a good shooter, and while he is limited athletically, almost all other parts of his game are pretty good.


29: San Antonio SpursKyle Singler, SF, Duke

The Spurs continue to age, and until they realize that they are aging and make a trade, they will draft players who can make an immediate impact.  Singler is that guy.  He is now a fringe first rounder, even though last year he looked like a lottery pick.  He should be a good shooter and a decent defender, and while his ceiling is low, he is still a decent pickup for the Spurs


30: Chicago Bulls: Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

The Bulls need a SG, and while Keith Bogans is a good "glue" guy, he is destined to be a bench player.  Marshon is a guy who can score many different ways, but he's not a complete ball-stopper.  Brooks could, barring a lockout, earn the starting job at SG for the young and talented Bulls.  Brooks is a very underrated player who could make a big splash at the next level.


Okay, that's the end of the first round.  I hope you enjoyed it.  How was this installment?  Feedback is appreciated.

This is a FanPost, not the work of the author of Ridiculous Upside. The People speak! Questions or comments about this post should be addressed in the comments. To issue a complaint about this FanPost, please email ridiculousupside (at) gmail (dot) com.

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