A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2011 NBA Mock Draft, Version 1

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I’m going to be writing a handful of pieces about the 2011 draft over the next month. My short prognosis of it is its an Ichiro Suziki draft, not a Mark McGuire one: Don’t expect any home runs, but it should be a very nice draft to get a single or double. In other words, no superstars but lots of players fitting in the solid starter to solid bench player category.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – PG Kyrie Irving

The consensus top pick in the draft and an ideal fit for a team lacking a playmaker and leader in the post Lebron Cleveland era. I expect the top pick to come down to Irving and Kanter. Its fitting Cleveland has the #1 pick because my comparisons for those 2 players are Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. I take Price of those two players and I expect the Cavs to follow suit. Reminds me of: Mark Price

2. Minnesota Timberwolves – PF/C Enes Kanter

Might not be the ideal fit defensively beside Kevin Love, but I expect Kanter to emerge as the consensus second best player in the draft and you have to love the offense and rebounding muscle of that frontcourt. Minnesota needs another star to play with Love most and foremost, so Kanter works. Reminds me of: Brad Daugherty

3. Utah Jazz – SF/PF Derrick Williams

Might have trouble guarding NBA 3s in Utah, but size, athleticism and skill level should make him a potential 20ppg guy. Gotta like the Jazz picking up 2 potential all-stars in Derrick Favors and Derrick Williams, along Devin Harris and a Golden State 2012 1st for Deron Williams after deciding keeping him in free agency was unlikely. That’s how you make the best of a tough situation. Reminds me of: Glenn Robinson

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – C Bismack Biyombo

The Cavaliers will likely try to move up for Kanter or Williams, but Biyombo gives them a high potential center if they can’t get one with his length and athleticism. What I’m encouraged by is his relatively low foul rate and reputation of discussing tactics and plays with coaches in the Spanish ACB league, despite playing professional basketball for a little period of time. If he has a knack for reading the court he could be one of the league’s better defensive anchors. Reminds me of: Tyson Chandler

5. Toronto Raptors – PG Brandon Knight

Knight gives the Raptors defensive muscle and all-star upside at the PG position and is a great character guy. Needs to work on his PG skills but it’s hard to pass on a guy with star talent level and intangibles at this point. Reminds me of: Jrue Holliday

6. Washington Wizards – SF/PF Kawhi Leonard

I don’t particularly like this pick for the Wizards as I see Leonard as a high end role player at the next level. Nevertheless he has a great NBA body and athleticism, massive hands, and should guarantee strong defense and rebounding on the wing – something the Wizards lack. Offensively he should fill the lanes for John Wall on the fast break. Reminds me of: Jonas Jerebko

7. Sacramento Kings – PF Tristan Thompson

Thompson is a great fit if the Kings want Demarcus Cousins to stay at C. Since Cousins won’t be anchoring a defense due to mobility issues and fear of fouls, they could use a PF like Thompson who defends, rebounds and does the dirty work and doesn’t ask for many shots beside Evans and Cousins. Reminds me of: Antonio Davis

8. Detroit Pistons – SG Alec Burks – Terrific value at 8 as Burks has one of the biggest upsides in the draft but will be passed on Toronto, Washington and Sacramento due to fit issues. He has the two key things that make star guard – Elite first step and athleticism in a 6’5 body, and elite ballhandling ability. Biggest problem is a lack of jumpshot and is physically underdeveloped at the moment. But at this point in the draft it’s well worth it to take a Burks, as if he gets his jumpshot going and learns how to play with contract, he has 20 point a game potential. Reminds me of: Larry Hughes

9. Charlotte Bobcats – SF/PF Marcus Morris

Morris is a good fit for the offensively challenged Bobcats. I see him as 80-90% of Derrick Williams, matching him as a skilled SF/PF tweener who will have defensive issues but likely put his points up with his size and skill combination. Reminds me of: Jeff Green

10. Milwaukee Bucks – PF Markieff Morris

The Bobcats and Milwaukee have similar offensive needs and both Morris twins project similarly in the NBA, with Markieff more likely to be a permanent PF in my books. The Bucks likely take either a Morris twin or Donatas Montiejunas at this point, both skilled offense first PFs. By all accounts Markieff’s work ethic and intangibles reputation is much better, so I give him the edge. Reminds me of: Jeff Green

11. Golden State Warriors – SF/PF Jan Vesely – Vesely is a great fit for the defense and rebounding lacking Warriors. Like Leonard he’ll crash the boards, defend 3s and 4s, and won’t have much offensive upside aside from dunking and occasionally spotting up. I expect him to play the 4 primarily with his size. Reminds me of: Jonas Jerebko

12. Utah Jazz – PG Kemba Walker – Jazz fans won’t be happy to see them pass on Jimmer Fredette, but at this point Kemba, who could very well go top 7, would be the big dropper of the draft. I’m not a huge fan, I see him as a 5’11 scoring PG most of whom end up backup PGs – But he’s athletic, a complete scorer, and has huge winning pedigree from college. Reminds me of: Damon Stoudamire

13. Phoenix Suns – PG/SG Jimmer Fredette – Should ease the transition into a post Nash era for Suns fans. Has defensive question marks but should fill it up from 3. Reminds me of: Ben Gordon

14. Houston Rockets – PG/SG Reggie Jackson – My pick for most undervalued prospect in the draft and Daryl Morey usually does a good job of getting those guys. 6’3 SG, but a 7 foot wingspan should make him play big and guard the position just fine. Aside from that has on ball ability, 3pt shooting ability, athleticism, great lift. Reminds me of: Jason Terry

15. Indiana Pacers – SF/PF Chris Singleton – Singleton projects as a defense only player at the next level, the Pacers have a number of offensive weapons he can compliment. Reminds me of: Sam Young

16. Philadelphia 76ers – C Jeremy Tyler – Tyler is one of the biggest boom or bust picks in the 1st round, showing terrific athletic ability and size but having a raw game and poor attitude. Tyler pulled a Brandon Jennings and went to Europe instead of college this year so we haven’t seen as much of him. Cs like this usually go high for the chance it works out. Reminds me of: Ryan Hollins

17. New York Knicks – C Nikola Vucevic – Vucevic was the big winner of the draft measurements combine, measuring as a legitimate 7 footer. With his solid inside and outside game, he’s a near sure thing to be a rotation C. Reminds me of: Spencer Hawes

18. Washington Wizards – PF/C Jonas Valanciunas – Ranked as a top 5-7 prospect most of the year, it’s coming out now that he’ll have a Ricky Rubio buyout situation and might not see him in the NBA for multiple years. I wasn’t particularly impressed by Valanciunas anyways, I see a guy with a mediocore NBA body/athleticism, skill game and awareness who’s projected high because of his length like many big men projects. For that reason I don’t see that many teams caring about him enough to wait 2 years. The Wizards are one who could considering they plan to rebuild patiently around John Wall and have some big men like Andray Blatche and Javale McGee they want to give a few years more of chances to prove their talent. Reminds me of: Nenad Krstic

19. Charlotte Bobcats – PF/C Donatas Montiejunas – Montiejunas is one of the draft’s most talented and skilled big men, who’s had question marks about his defensive and rebounding effort. As with the Marcus Morris pick, the Bobcats can afford a few offense only players to balance their lineup. Reminds me of: Andrea Bargnani

20. Minnesota Timberwolves – SG Klay Thompson – Thompson, who’s NBA skill should be dead eye 3pt shooting from the SG spot, should fit well with Ricky Rubio, who’s biggest weakness is shooting range. Reminds me of: Carlos Delfino

21. Portland Trailblazers – PG/SG Nolan Smith – Smith gives the Blazers  a steady, winning PG who can shoot and backup Andre Miller next season. Reminds me of: Eric Maynor

22. Denver Nuggets – SF/PF Kenneth Faried – Faried was one of college’s best rebounders ever and projects as a specialist at the next level. Denver is full of specialists so he fits in. Reminds me of: Smaller Reggie Evans

23. Houston Rockets – SF Davis Bertrans – There’s something about Bertrans that screams Daryl Morey, who’s fond of sneaky research based picks. Bertrans has been a late draft bloomer, rising as a skinny Euro SF who nails 3s. Reminds me of: Omri Casspi

24. Oklahoma City Thunder – PF Tobias Harris – I’m no fan of Harris, I see an undersized PF with terrible foot speed. Yet he has his fans and OKC could use a stretch big man to replace Jeff Green. Reminds me of: Ryan Gomes

25. Boston Celtics – SG Travis Leslie – This seems an obvious fit, Leslie has been compared to Tony Allen as a tenacious athletic defender at SG – Boston of course missed Allen badly this season. They’ll try to make another Allen out of Leslie. Reminds me of: Tony Allen

26. Dallas Mavericks – SF Tyler Honeycutt – Honeycutt is a long and versatile SF who could replace Marion’s minutes as he gets older. A possible steal at this point in the draft. Reminds me of: Thaddeus Young

27. New Jersey Nets – PG/SG Josh Selby – Selby had a terrible freshman college season but was heavily recruited out of high school for his athleticism and shot creating ability. He will face the problems most undersized SGs do but projects as a backup scorer at the next level. Reminds me of: Lou Williams

28. Chicago Bulls – SG/SF Jordan Hamilton – Hamilton is a big SG who should hit the 3 at the next level. Had questionable shot selection at Texas. Reminds me of: JR Smith

29. San Antonio Spurs – PG Malcolm Lee – Recent big, athletic UCLA PGs Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holliday have struggled with the Bruins and then played much better in the NBA. Lee could be a steal if he follows the trend. Reminds me of: Jarrett Jack

30. Chicago Bulls – SG David Lighty – While a stretch big man would also fit at this point, I figure their frontcourt minutes are already set with Boozer, Noah, Gibson and Asik. So why not another SG. Lighty is the anti Hamilton – He didn’t light it up in college but played on a National #1 team at Ohio, ds up, and is a reasonable 3pt shooter. He’s a winner. Reminds me of: Corey Brewer

Written by jr.

May 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm

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