Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 NBA Draft 4.0 Pre NCAA Tournament

Harrison Barnes has had an up and down freshman season at
North Carolina, but could jump right back into the discussion
for the #1 pick if he leads the Tar Heels deep into the tournament.
The 2011 NBA draft is still a few months away, but it is time for March Madness where the next crop of NBA players will try to shine.  

This is the time of the year where we have the chance to see most of the big name players that have been at the top of everyone's draft boards compete against one another.  Past player's performances in the tournament have catapulted them to the top of the draft, or have shaken scouts to the point where they slip in to the mid to late first round.  This is a chance for these players to make one last statement before the process of draft workouts and interviews begin.

Players like Harrison Barnes, Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette are just a few big names that have a lot to prove.  If these three players have a huge tournament they could all improve their stance in the lottery discussion.  Barnes could jump back into the number one slot, and Kemba could solidify a spot in the mid lottery, and Jimmer could slip into those last few picks of the lottery.

I have formulated this list using to determine these traded picks.  For more mock drafts like this I have assembled a database here

First Round
1. Cleveland- Kyrie Irving, PG, 6'2, 180, Duke- Cleveland picks Irving to be their new face of the franchise.  They are hoping that Baron Davis plays out the rest of the season and impresses some teams so they can trade him for some assets.  This would clear the way for Irving to start day 1 without any competition.  Irving had been compared to both Chris Paul and Mike Conley before he went down with an injury early on this season.

2. Sacramento- Harrison Barnes, SF, 6'7, North Carolina- Barnes has had an up and down season at North Carolina, but he has picked up his play during their ACC schedule.  Over the course of the year his confidence and leadership have improved and this has been observable through his improved stats.  If he has a big tournament he could land in the top three picks overall because of his potential.

3. Washington- Perry Jones, PF, 6'11, 220, Baylor- Perry Jones can play the small or power forward positions.  That versatility fits a need in Washington.  He could start at the small forward, giving Washington a incredibly large starting line up, with Wall being the smallest player at 6'4.  He could also spare Blatche at the four position, and could possibly fill in for McGee for a few minutes per game.  Jones has very good athleticism and offensive ability.  He is active on the boards and is good helping out as a weak side defender.  The knock on Jones is his lack of assertiveness, he seems to defer too much and does not dominate opponents like his level of talent suggests he should.

4. Minnesota- Enes Kanter, C, 6'10, 255, Turkey-  Kanter would be an upgrade over Darko Milicic.  Kanter is a big man who goes after rebounds and can finish around the basket.  Combined with Beasley, Love, Randolph (if he improves), and Milicic the Wolves would have a very deep front line rotation.  Because they already have depth in their front line they could opt to trade this pick for assets to fill the void at their shooting guard position.

Derrick Williams' scoring ability
 could fit in nicely in Utah.
5. Toronto- Terrence Jones, SF, 6'9, 226, Kentucky- Jones is a versatile forward who has been compared to Lamar Odom.  The Raptors have the beginnings to a decent young roster with the emergence of DeRozan and the commendable efforts of Ed Davis.  Jones would add the ability to play the 3 and 4 positions with great passing ability.  He sees the floor very well and has good handles for a player his size.  He has also proved to scouts he is a better defender and rebounder than previously thought.

6. Utah-From New Jersey- Derrick Williams, SF, 6'7, 210, Arizona- Utah builds it's core around Favors, Williams, Harris, and Jefferson.  That is a good young core of players.  Williams can score in a variety of ways including dribbling penetration and spot up threes.  He is considered to be a tweener by scouts, but his tremendous play this season has made him a lock for the top 10 in this draft.

7. Detroit- Jared Sullinger, PF, 6'9, 261, Ohio State- Sullinger has had a great freshman season.  There have been reports that he, along with other top freshmen Barnes and Irving, will return to college next year.  If he comes out this year, however, he will go in the top 10, if he stays who knows what could happen.  I think his tough style of play would fit well in Detroit.  The combination of Monroes passing ability and finesse game paired with the bullish game of Sullinger would be a good pairing.  They would be a great high-low post tandem.

8. Cleveland-From LA Clippers- Jonas Valnciunas, PF, 6'10, 230, Lithuania- Jonas is the top Euro prospect and is playing at a very high level in his Euro league.  He has a very good low post game and knows how to efficiently score the basketball.  He will need to improve his strength to compete against the bigger competition in the NBA.  The combination of Valnciunas and Varejao along with Hickson gives the Cavs a decent front line.

9. Milwaukee-Tristan Thompson, PF, 6'8, 233, Texas- Tristan Thompson has been climbing up scouting boards all season.  He is undersized at the 4 position but has very long arms.  He is adequately athletic and is crafty when it comes to getting his shot up.  He is also a good shot blocker for his position.  If he continues to improve he could be a very good pick for the Bucks.

10. Indiana-Jan Vesely, PF, 6'11, 240 Czech Republic- The Pacers' big man Hibbert is massive in size but can be a little soft at times.  If you put a player like Vesely next to him it would be a great match.  Vesely is a hustling big man who plays with a lot of energy.  The combination of Hansbrough and Vesely would lock up the 4 spot for the Pacers.

11. Charlotte-Jordan Hamilton, SF, 6'7, 215, Texas- The Bobcats need a big time scorer to add to their roster.  Scouts' main problem with Hamilton is that he is a volume shooter with bad shot selection.  Early in the season he seemed to have fixed this problem, but during Texas' skid these problems came back into focus.  If Texas does well in the tournament look for Hamilton to get plenty of attention.

12. Golden State- Kawhi Leonard, SF, 6'7, 225, San Diego State- The Warriors may have found a gem in Dorrel Wright, but they could still use another able body at the 3 position.  Kawhi Leonard reminds me a lot of Gerald Wallace because of the tenacity he plays with on defense as well as the way he rebounds for someone in his position.  He will have to improve his long distance game to be productive in the Warriors' style of play, but I think the intangibles he brings to the table are a good fit for an improving Golden State team.

13. Houston- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, 7'0, 220, Lithuania- Houston wants some size up front and Motiejunas was a prospect that could have gone in the lottery last year.  This 7 foot prospect has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki because of the way he can shoot.  He is a little soft as a defender and a rebounder, but Houston has some players with enough toughness to make up for this.  He may not be a perfect fit, but I am sure Houston would love to bring the 'next Dirk' to Houston to rival the current one in Dallas.

14. Utah- Alec Burks,  SG, 6'6, 185, Colorado- Burks would round out Utah's young roster at the starting 2 position.  He is a great scorer with tons of athleticism, he is a great finisher at the basket.  He is an extremely streaky outside shooter, and really needs to improve in this area.  He is the top shooting guard in the draft, and has snuck into the lottery because of it.

15. Philadelphia- John Henson, PF, 6'10, 200, North Carolina- The addition of Henson may ease the pain if Thaddeus Young signs else where.  Henson is a lot like young in the way he defends and runs the court.  The big difference is that Young is physically built to play in the NBA, Henson needs to add a lot of strength and weight so he is not pushed around.  He has improved a lot in his time at UNC which gives teams hope that he will continue that trend and round into a good offensive player.

16. Houston-From Phoenix- Kemba Walker, PG, 6'1, 172, Connecticut- Lowry has been very good since they traded away Aaron Brooks for Goran Dragic.  Dragic is a restricted free agent this summer and could be stolen away if the price is too high.  Walker could come in and be a good replacement, in the mold of the departed Brooks.  Kemba has proved that he has a ton of talent and the athleticism to compete among bigger players.  He has a ton of heart and has a ton of endurance.  He has a good deep shot already, but it will need to improve if he is going to take his game to the next level.

Fredette would be a perfect fit in D'Antoni's
scheme playing off of Amare and Melo.
17. New York- Jimmer Fredette, PG, 6'2, 195, BYU- I can't think of a better fit for Jimmer than in New York.  He would play great in D'Antoni's run and gun offense and he wouldn't be a defensive liability because D'Antoni's teams don't play defense to begin with.  He would bring the ball up the court, try to initiate the offense (find an open Melo or Amare) and then he could find the open areas along the 3-point line.

18. Minnesota-From Memphis- Marshon Brooks, SG, 6'5, 190, Providence- Marshon Brooks is a big time scorer as he averaged almost 25 points per game.  He also averaged 7 rebounds per game, which is very good for a guard.  He has a solid outside shot and can get to the basket although he lacks elite athleticism.  He could be a great option for the Wolves at the 2 position.

19. Portland- Brandon Knight, PG, 6'4, 183, Kentucky- Andre Miller could be traded because of his expiring contract, which would leave the door open for Patty Mills or Armon Johnson.  Brandon Knight would also be in the equation if he were picked at this position.  Knight is more of a scoring guard at the point guard position, but can get his team mates involved.  He has a good outside shot but it will need to improve enough that he can consistently knock down spot up jumpers.  He would be a great add defensively because of his size and length.

20. Charlotte-From Portland, via New Orleans- Thomas Robinson, PF, 6'9, 230, Kansas- Robinson is a great athlete but is still coming around on offense.  He is a lot like Tyrus Thomas in that he is raw offensively but is an explosive leaper, a tough defender, and a great rebounder.  Charlotte needs help at ever position, so this would be a good pick to upgrade their 4 position in the future.

21. Washington-From Atlanta- Josh Selby, PG, 6'3, 188, Kansas- Washington has the beginnings of a good young roster.  Selby can play the 1 or 2 position and is a very good spot up shooter and defender.  He would add depth behind Wall and could also play with Wall against teams with smaller back courts.  He has struggled a bit this season but he still has a lot of potential.

22. Denver-Mason Plumlee, PF, 6'10, 230, Duke- Kenyon Martin is set to hit the free agent market this off season.  He will probably not be brought back because of consistent injury problems and his age.  Mason Plumlee could fill the void nicely, he does a lot of the same things Martin does although he does not have the same nasty disposition.  He is a great athlete and a good defender and rebounder.  He needs to improve offensively, particularly his mid-range jumper which Martin excelled at.

23. Phoenix- From Orlando- Tobias Harris, SF, 6'8, 210, Tennessee- Harris is a versatile player who can play multiple positions.  He has a good basketball IQ, and his unselfishness would be a good fit with the young Sun's roster.  He is a good defensive player as he averaged almost a steal and a block per game.

24. Oklahoma City- Kenneth Faried, PF, 6'8, 215, Morehead St- The Thunder have a very young and talented roster already and anything extra is icing on the cake.  Faried is a good defender and a prolific rebounder with an improving offensive game.  He adds depth to their front line after Jeff Green was shipped out to Boston.

25. Chicago-From Toronto, via Miami- Tyler Zeller, C, 7'0, 220, North Carolina- Zeller has played his way into the first round with a great 2010'11 season.  He will be another back up in the Bull's front line rotation and will likely replace the aging Kurt Thomas.  Asik, Zeller, Boozer, Gibson, and Noah give the Bulls a huge, tough front line which could stand up to injuries.

26. New Jersey-From LA Lakers- JaJuan Johnson, PF, 6'10, 220, Purdue- Johnson could be a good fit next to Brook Lopez.  Johnson's length and athletic ability allow him to be a very good weak side shot blocker.  He has also improved every facet of his offensive game.  He would give the Nets a good scoring option at the power forward position.

27. Dallas- Jeff Taylor, SF, 6'7, 210, Vanderbilt- With Caron Butler out with an injury and Shawn Marion getting older Dallas needs to add some youth at the small forward position.  Jeff Taylor has a great first step and can explode to the basket.  He needs to work on his shot if he wants to be a permanent fill in for Butler and Marion.

Klay Thompson has had off the
court problems this season, but
 there is no doubting his shooting ability.
28. Chicago-Klay Thompson, SG, 6'6, 187, Washington State- Thompson is one of the best shooters in college basketball.  He recently got in some off the court trouble, but his offensive production is too much to pass up for a Chicago team that could use an improvement at the 2 guard.

29. Boston- C.J. Leslie, PF, 6'9, 205, NC State- Kevin Garnett is getting old, and there has been no indication that Boston will resign Troy Murphy at the end of the year.  C.J. Leslie is very raw, but has tons of potential and could turn into a great power forward.  He could learn a lot from KG in his last few seasons.

30. San Antonio- Nikola Mirotic, SF, 6'10, 226, Serbia- The Spurs go for another international prospect with great fundamentals.  Mirotic is a very good passer and can play the 3 or 4.  He is only 20 and needs to add a lot of strength, right now his craftiness makes up for his lack of athleticism.

Second Round

31. Cleveland-Kyle Singler, SF, 6'9, 235, Duke- Singler would give Irving a familiar face while adding a player that is used to winning.  I think Singler will end up being a slightly better Mike Dunleavy Jr., which would be an upgrade over what they have now.

32. Sacramento- Demetri McCamey, PG, 6'3, 200, Illinois- McCamey could give the Kings the option of moving Evans over to the two guard.  McCamey has had issues with shot selection, but he has good range and he gets his team mates involved.

33. Washington- Scotty Hopson, SF, 6'7, 185, Tennessee- Hopson can play either the 2 or the 3 position.  Hopson is an explosive leaper and has a very long wingspan.  Adding another versatile player to their roster would give the Wizards tons of lineup options.

34. Miami-From Minnesota-Nolan Smith, PG, 6'4, 185, Duke- Nolan Smith is a player of the year candidate, and is finally living up to his potential.  He would fit in well in South Beach because he can either play with the ball in his hands as the point guard, or he can play off the ball as a shooter.  In my opinion he would be a better option off the bench than Mike Bibby.

35. Detroit- From Toronto- Travis Leslie, SG, 6'4, 205, Georgia- Leslie's athleticism could add some excitement off the bench in Detroit.  It is unknown if they will bring back McGrady, and they will try very hard to get rid of Hamilton.  That could leave the door open for Leslie to step in and fill.

36. New Jersey- Khris Middleton, SF, 6'7, 215, Texas A&M- Middleton reminds me of current Net rookie Damien James.  He has a solid midrange game and a good basketball IQ and floor vision.  He would be a good fit as a back up in New Jersey.

37. LA Clippers-From Detroit- Marcus Morris, PF, 6'8, 225, Kansas- Marcus Morris is a very good rebounder and finisher around the basket for a player his size.  He would be and upgrade over Ryan Gomes and Craig Smith.

Nogueira is young and inexperienced as a player,
but his  physical tools and defensive potential
will make him a commodity on draft day.
38. Houston-From LA Clippers- Lucas Nogueira, C, 7'0, 225, Brazil- Houston is desperate for a low post presence, and they go for another international prospect.  Nogueira could easily go in the first round because of his athleticism and defensive ability.  He is still raw on the offensive end and he will be a project with a ton of potential.

39. Milwaukee-Chris Singleton, SF, 6'9, 220, Florida State- Singleton would fill in for Mbah A Moute if he decides to leave in free agency.  Singleton is not nearly the same kind of defender as Mbah A Moute, but he has a very good offensive game to make up for it.

40. Indiana- Darius Morris, PG, 6'4, 200, Michigan- T.J. Ford will likely be gone next year, and A.J. Price is still recovering from a knee injury.  Darius a good young point guard who knows how to distribute the ball.  He is a decent shooter and can be a good defender at the next level.

41. Charlotte- Tyshawn Taylor, PG, 6'3, 180, Kansas- Taylor has had a rocky career at Kansas, but he has definitely shown the scoring ability that keeps scouts interested.  He would most likely back up Augustin, but he is more of an off guard.  He has had maturity issues all through his career at Kansas, but Charlotte is desperate for talent.

42. LA Lakers-From Golden State- Norris Cole, PG, 6'2, 175, Cleveland State- The Lakers need to plan for the future of their pg position.  Derek Fisher's career is coming to an end, and Shannon Brown is a unrestricted free agent this year.  Norris Cole could fill in, he averaged 21 points per game at Cleveland  State.  Scouts say that he is a pure point guard and gets his team mates involved while being a solid shooter and scorer.  He also averaged 6 rebounds per game from the pg position.

43. LA Clippers-From Houston-Patric Young, C, 6'9, 235, Florida-  The Clippers had a lot of success developing DeAndre Jordan as a project pick in the second round.  He is now a restricted free agent and could end up on another team.  Kaman could also be going somewhere in a trade.  Patric Young has a ton of potential on defense, and is a crazy athlete with very long arms.  He has no offensive game at this point of his career, but he is very young and could develop his skills in the D-League.

44. Chicago-From Utah- Tyler Honeycutt- SF, 6'9, 180 UCLA- Chicago is basically adding depth at this point.  Honeycutt brings a lot of athleticism in his skinny frame.  He does a lot of things well but nothing great. His basketball IQ and length would make him a good fit off the bench for Tom Thibodeau's defense.

45. New Orleans- From Philadelphia- Trey Thompkins, PF, 6'9, Georgia- Thompkins could fill in for David West if he goes elsewhere in free agency this off season.  Trey has three point range and a good shooting stroke for a power forward.  He is also skilled around the basket, but he is not a great athlete.

46. Golden State-From Chicago, via Phoenix-Jon Leuer, PF, 6'10, 230, Wisconsin- None of the Warriors' front court players is that skilled offensively.  David Lee is good but struggles with his jump shot.  Leuer could give them a big man who can step away from the basket and consistently make shots. He reminds me a lot of David Anderson.

47. LA Lakers-From New York- Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, 6'7, 200, Serbia- Bojan could add some shooting and scoring from the small forward position.  If Matt Barnes leaves next season Bojan could earn some minutes off the bench because of his offensive game.

48. Memphis- Markieff Morris, PF, 6'9, 232, Kansas- Memphis could add the 2nd Morris twin to try and fill the boots of Zach Randolph if he is not resigned.  He will not be able to replicate the production of Randolph and will come off the bench for sure, but he has an improving offensive game and he is a tough rebounder.

49. Portland- Aaric Murray, C, 6'10, 250, La Salle- Murray has a good shot for a center, but he lacks the IQ or defensive intensity that most big-men need.  He can rebound and block shots, so at least he will add another body in the Blazer's front line rotation.

50. Philadelphia- From New Orleans- Justin Harper, PF, 6'10, 225, Richmond-  Harper is a stretch four with an excellent shot.  He could help out down in the post, but he has the reputation for being a soft player.

51. Atlanta- Charles Jenkins, SG, 6'3, 220, Hofstra- Jenkins is a bit undersized to play the 2 guard, but his scoring ability speaks for itself.  Jamal Crawford might leave via free agency and would leave a hole for a scoring guard off the bench.  Jenkins could fill that position in the same way that Marcus Thornton burst on the scene 2 years ago.

52. Detroit-From Denver- William Buford, SG, 6'5, 190, Ohio State- Buford brings a winning attitude to a Piston team in need of an overhaul in that area.  He is decent at passing and shooting but struggles to create for himself.  He will most likely spend a lot of time in the D-League.

53. Orlando- Festus Ezeli, C, 6'11, 255, Vanderbilt-  Orlando needs a big man and takes a chance on one of the biggest men left.

54. Cleveland-From Oklahoma City- Elias Harris, SF, 6'7, 180, Gonzaga- Elias Harris was once thought to be a first round pick.  He has fallen since then, but still could make an impact coming off the bench for a team.  He is a fundamentally sound player that lacks elite athleticism.

If Tyler can check his ego he could
 have a bright future in LA.
55. LA Lakers-From Miami- Jeremy Tyler, PF, 6'11, 245- The Lakers have 4 second round picks and can afford to use one or two on projects.  Jeremy Tyler tried to go the Brandon Jennings route and go over sea's for his first year after high-school.  He quit half way through, and now scouts question his passion and commitment.  Tyler has all the physical tools needed to be a great player, but his work ethic and maturity are the issues that are holding him back.

56. LA Lakers- Malcolm Lee, PG, 6'5, 180, UCLA- The Lakers take another project in the home town player from UCLA.  Malcolm Lee has great size for a point guard, but has never really produced in college.  He has a lot of athleticism and could become a great defender.  He can play either guard position and he may be able to take his game to another level in an NBA system.

57. Dallas- Andrew Nicholson, PF, 6'9, 220, St. Bonaventure- Has a big time vertical which allows him to finish lobs and block shots.  If Dallas lose Chandler they will need some players with athletic ability and shot blocking skills to help fill the gap in the middle.

58. Sacramento-From Milwaukee, via Chicago- Tony Mitchell, SF, 6'8, 220, Missouri- Sacramento takes a chance on a young player from Missouri.  Mitchell has a ton of potential and athletic ability, he just needs to learn how to use it.  He is a very good defender and can guard many positions.

59. Boston-Jereme Richmond, SF, 6'8, 195, Illinois- Jereme Richmond is a crazy athlete, but he is very raw in other areas of his game.  He can play the 2 or 3 position which would give Boston some versatility if Richmond develops.

60. San Antonio- Keith Benson, C, 6'11, 225, Oakland- San Antonio adds another big man for the post Tim Duncan era.  Benson is a good scorer and rebounder around the hoop, but needs to add some muscle.

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