Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NBA 2011 Mock Draft Version 1

Well, as the first post on my blog I have decided to give a mock first round of the up-coming draft.  I have been pretty obsessed with the NBA the past few years and have followed mock drafts very closely and decided to give it a try and create my own.  I have based my predictions on the current standings based on winning percentage.  I used Chad Ford's top 100 as a reference and also made some evaluations based on what I have seen this year, both on the college players and on the NBA rosters. 
  1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Perry Jones, Baylor, 19, 220, 6'11, PF- With the first pick the Cavs could select the extremely versatile, athletic big man from Baylor.  Some think he is still growing and he has been compared to a young Tracey McGrady.  The Cavs can start to build a young front line of Hickson and Perry Jones.
  2. Sacramento Kings- Kyrie Irving, Duke, 18, 180, 6-2, PG- Picking Kyrie allows the Kings to push Tyreke over to the two guard to thrive off of the young productive point guard.  Kyrie is a play maker and can find the open man.  Before his injury, Kyrie's style of play reminded me of a young Chris Paul.  This adds to a young and improving roster full of potential as long as they continue to mature off the court.
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves- Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, 18, 212, 6-7, SG/SF-The Timberwolves are stacked with young, raw players who need to improve.  Johnny Flynn still has a chance to be a good point guard in the NBA and Ricky Rubio's impending decision could change the face of the team.  Kevin Love is a potential all-star and it looks like his potential is very high.  Add Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, the defense that Darko has shown this season and the Wolves have some hope.  There are rumors that Harrison Barnes will decide to stay at North Carolina, but if he does come out he would be a good fit in Minnesota.  Many think his style of play will fit in much better in the NBA level and Minnesota needs a two guard that can create for himself and shoot a high percentage. 
  4. New Jersey Nets-Terrance Jones, Kentucky, 19, 226, 6-8, SF/PF-  I am basing this pick on the belief that Melo will not end up a Net.  They will keep Derrick Favors and add another young athletic forward in Terrance Jones.  If Jones continues to improve and mature a front line of Brook Lopez, Favors, and Jones could be dominant.  Jones' game reminds a lot of people of a 'more productive' Lamar Odom. 
  5. Washington Wizards- Jared Sullinger, Ohio St.,18, 261, 6-9, PF-  Sullinger would fit in with a young John Wall giving the Wizards a young high low presence.  His offensive ability would also complement Javelle McGee, and in turn Javelle's length can help hide some of his defensive liabilities.  Sullinger Reminds many analysts of Kevin Love because of his limited height and athleticism, and many think that he will improve his conditioning much like Love has in his first few seasons.
  6. Toronto Raptors- Enes Kanter, Turkey, 19, 255, 6-10, C- Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible by the NCAA this year and so many scouts have not seen this big man play.  He is a physical post player and a good rebounder.  He is a bit undersized for a center but his toughness would be a good match next to Bargnani, and Ed Davis.
  7. Detroit Pistons- Kemba Walker, UCONN, 20, 172, 6-1, PG- Rodney Stuckey has been inconsistent as the Piston's floor general.  I expect them to go out and get a young point guard in this draft and at this point in the draft Josh Selby and Brandon Knight could be the choice here, but I expect Joe Dumars to draft the experienced Kemba Walker. He is a tough, small guard who has a score first mentality. His explosive scoring has led him to be compared to a smaller version of current Piston Ben Gordan.
  8. Milwaukee Bucks-Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania, 18, 230, 6-10, PF- In my opinion the Bucks have two needs in which they could address, a reliable shooting guard, and a power forward to help out Bogut down-low.  Jonas is young and needs to improve his strength, but is said to have a soft touch around the basket.  He would likely need a year or two to improve but down the line the front court rotation of Bogut, current rookie Larry Sanders, and Valanciunas could be devastating on the boards.
  9. L.A. Clippers-Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania, 20, 220, 7'0, PF-The Clippers have young talent at every position.  This pick will depend on whether or not some of the older players come back next year.  If their roster stays intact I believe they would benefit from a player who could stretch the floor.  If they trade Kaman I expect them to go after another big man, Motiejunas could fill both the need for a shooter and another big body.  If he puts a little weight on to bang on the boards he could be a perfect fit on the floor with either Blake or DeAndre Jordan.  He is being compared to a Dirk Nowitzki like player.
  10. Charlotte Bobcats-Jan Vesely, Czech Republic, 20, 240, 6'10, PF- The Bobcats have many needs but what they need the most is somebody who can go down-low and punish the opponents on both sides of the court.  Jan Vesely could have been drafted in the lottery last year but decided to wait another year.  He is a tough player who hustles and plays hard on every play, with a solid perimeter game with very good shooting range. 
  11. Indiana Pacers-Josh Selby, Kansas, 19, 188, 6-3, PG- Many consider Selby more of a combo guard but he has shown a decent ability to run a team and make good decisions with the ball.  He would be a good back up for the Pacers right away because of his shooting stroke, defense, and athleticism.
  12. Philadelphia 76ers-Derrick Williams, Arizona, 19, 210, 6-7, SF-This pick depends on what happens with Andre Iguodala.  If they decide to trade him then current rookie Evan turner will see the ball in his hands much more and the Sixers will need a new small forward who can play without the ball in his hands.  Derrick Williams has been very productive at Arizona and can play both forward positions.  Many scouts are worried because he is what they call a tweener, but I believe his production will continue in the NBA.
  13. Golden State Warriors-John Henson, North Carolina, 20, 200, 6'10, PF- I realize that the warriors already have David Lee, Epke Udoh, and Brandon Wright at power forward but they have a history of liking young, skinny, athletic big men.  John Henson was a disappointment last year and decided to come back, this was a good decision.  He has been much more active this year and has shown that he still has the potential to be a very good NBA player. 
  14. Houston Rockets-Brandon Knight, Kentucky, 18, 183, 6'4, PG- Houston already has a good young point guard in Aaron Brooks but Brandon Knight could be a very good point guard.  He is a tweener and is a score first guard.  He reminds me a lot of Bledsoe from the Kentucky team last year.
  15. Phoenix Suns-Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 20, 215, 6'7, SF- Grant Hill isn't going to last forever.  Hamilton is a good scorer with a very good jump shot.  He has become a much better team player this year because of his improved shot selection. 
  16. Minnesota Timberwolves-Mason Plumlee, Duke, 20, 230, 6'10, PF- Minnesota grabs Mason Plumlee the ultra athletic big man.  He needs to work on his offensive game, but he is a smart player who plays with a lot of heart and hustle. 
  17. Portland Trail Blazers- C.J. Leslie, NC State, 19, 205, 6'9, PF- Portland drafts a big man to help with all of the injuries they have had.  I think they were hoping that Brandon Knight would fall to them to give them the play making point guard they  need, but Leslie is an athletic player who many project as a lottery talent. 
  18. New York Knicks-Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, 18, 225, 7'0, C- They need a center to help out on defense.  He is a young, raw, athletic big man who needs to put on weight and work on his offensive game but he could be a Ibaka like player. 
  19. Denver Nuggets-Marcus Morris, Kansas, 21, 225, 6'8, PF- Undersized for the power forward spot but very versatile with a good shooting stroke and very active on the glass.  Could be a good addition for a Denver front line notorious for being injured.
  20. Portland Trail Blazers-Demetri McCamey, Illinois, 21, 200, 6-3, PG-Portland gets a big physical point guard that reminds me a little of Armon Johnson, but a better passer. He is not a great athlete but has improved this year and he is experienced at the college level averaging 7 assists a game.
  21. Phoenix Suns-Trey Thompkins, Georgia, 20, 247, 6'9, PF- A big man who can shoot it and also play defense and rebound.  He will need to improve his conditioning if he is going to be in the Phoenix's system.  
  22. Atlanta Hawks-Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, 21, 220, 7'0, C- Hawks could use a big body to play next to Horford.  Zeller needs to add strength but he is a good rebounder and he runs the floor well.
  23. Dallas Mavericks-Kawhai Leonard, San Diego St, 19, 225, 6'7, SF- Butler is out for the season and will be coming off rehab next year.  Kawhai is an underrated player who could make an impact right away for Dallas.  He is an excellent athlete but he needs to improve his jump shot. 
  24. Oklahoma City Thunder-Kyle Singler, Duke, 22, 235, 6'9, SF- Singler could be a great glue type of player.  He is fundamentally sound and does the little things.  He competes on offense and defense and is a very intelligent player.  He would fit in the culture that the Thunder have created.
  25. Utah Jazz-Alec Burks, Colorado, 19, 185, 6'6, SG- The Jazz could use an athletic slashing scoring guard to pair with Deron Williams.  Alec Burks fits the bill as he can get to the basket in many ways.  He needs to add three point range on his streaky perimeter shot. 
  26. Chicago Bulls-Patrick Young, Florida, 19, 235, 6-9, C- Because of injuries to the Bulls' front court the ageless Kurt Thomas has been cast into the line up.  Don't expect this to continue next year, the Bulls need to add some youth and depth to their front line rotation.  They luck out and get a potential lottery player who hasn't produced yet in Young.  He needs to work on his offense but he is athletic and a beast on defense.
  27. Toronto Raptors-Elias Harris, Gonzaga, 21, 180, 6'7, SF-  Elias has been all over the draft board, once projected as a first round pick.  The Raptors take a chance on him and add him to their roster of talented young players.
  28. L.A. Lakers-Nolan Smith, Duke, 22, 185, 6'4, PG- Derek Fisher seems to be winding down, until the post season that is.  His career seems to be coming to a close, so in comes Nolan Smith.  Knows how to play on a championship team by being careful with the ball and is able to defend ones and twos. 
  29. Boston Celtics-Jimmer Fredette, BYU, 21, 195, 6'2, PG- Scouts have been coming around to him lately because of his toughness, basketball IQ and deep jump shot.  He is not a good athlete and will most likely have difficulty on defense.  He could be a great back up point guard for short stints backing up Rondo, giving short bursts of energy against the second unit of opponents.
  30. San Antonio Spurs-Tristian Thompson, Texas, 19, 233, 6-8, PF- Who knows what San Antonio will do with this pick, what we do know is that whoever they pick, it is likely they will develop into a contributing member of the team.  Tim Duncan is one year older and one year closer to retirement.  Tristian Thompson will never be Timmy but he can be a very talented big man.  He has a 7'2 wing span and has a great motor.  He needs to develop a perimeter game, maybe Duncan can teach him his patented bank shot.