Breakdown of 2011 NBA Draft, Picks 1-10
Finally, the NBA Draft is here. The gossip, speculation, and home videos of mysterious Euro prospects is no more.
Below is how things officially unfolded in real time, with live analysis at the HoopsVibe News headquarters. So get at us with thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment box below.
1) Kyrie Irving to Cleveland Cavaliers.
Details: PG, 6-2, 181, Duke Blue Devils, Fr.
Pros: Irving is a good athlete, who uses his quickness and feel for the game to attack the basket. He’s smart, tough, and had little issue leading more experienced teammates during the NCAA tournament.
Cons: While Irving is a good athlete, he isn’t explosive or big. And he missed much of his freshmen year with a toe injury. So the New Jersey native is a risk.
Fit: He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t follow Baron Davis’ training routine or try to replace that LeBron guy.
2) Derrick Williams to Minnesota Timberwolves.
Details: PF, 6-9, 248, Arizona Wildcats, So.
Pros: He’s a pick-your-poison scorer. In his second season, Williams improved his ability to attack the basket, while also being able to knock down jump shots. This combination of skill and athleticism should make Williams a difficult match-up for opposing defenses.
Cons: Some feel Williams is a ‘tweener’, stuck between the 3 and 4 spots. And they’re unsure if his athleticism can compensate for his 6-9 height,
Fit: Is there room for Kevin Love, Mike Beasley, and Williams in the frontcourt?
3) Enis Kanter to Utah Jazz.
Details: C, 6-10, 260, Turkey, 19 years of age.
Pros: Strong, skilled, and tough is how most describe Kanter. His polished game and physical tools should make a pretty good NBA player.
Cons: Kanter is undersized and not especially explosive for a five-man. And can his knee hold up to the grind of an NBA season?
Fit: His strong IQ and blue-collar approach makes him perfect for the Jazz.
4) Tristan Thompson to Cleveland Cavaliers.
Details: PF, 6-9, 225, University of Texas, Fr.
Pros: Thompson should have a nice NBA career because of his wingspan, improving body, and lefty skill-set. His energy and work on the glass is also a plus.
Cons: Despite shedding baby fat, Thompson is still a little undersized to handle NBA power forwards.
Fit: The Canadian can play, but going fourth overall was a surprise. He’ll need time to develop his offensive game for the Cavs.
5) Jonas Valanciunas to Toronto Raptors
Details: PF, 6-10, 230, Lithuania, 18 years old.
Pros: Valanciunas is an energetic player, who is active on the offensive glass and gets his share of put-back points. At 18, some believe he has the most upside of any player in the draft.
Cons: He’s extremely raw and could take several years before making an impact.
Fit: Of course, GM Bryan Colangelo had to take a Euro. But the young Lithuanian has a chance to be real good.
6) Jan Vesely to Washington Wizards.
Details: PF, 6-11, 240, Czech Republic, 21 years old.
Pros: He’s not your typical Euro. Long, athletic, and explosive, Vesely loves to get up the floor and throw down monster jams. His length and versatility makes him a force on both ends of the floor.
Cons: Vesely needs to extend his offensive range beyond put-backs and highlight reel jams.
Fit: Strap up Washington. This kid is a walking highlight reel.
7) Bismack Biyombo to Sacramento Kings (picking for Charlotte Bobcats).
Details: PF, 6-9, 243, Congo, 19 years old.
Pros: He’s an athlete. Biyombo has scouts drooling with his frame, wingspan, leaping ability, and quickness.
Cons: But he’s raw. Many of those same scouts are worried about his lack of skill and age.
Fit: Some say he couldn’t score if locked in a gym by himself. He also needs to negotiate a buyout with his FIBA club. But he’s an incredible athlete.
8) Brandon Knight to Detroit Pistons.
Details: PG/SG, 6-3, 177, Kentucky University, So.
Pros: Knight was always a terrific scorer, but showed he could involve others towards the end of his season at Kentucky. His athleticism and outside range makes him a strong prospect.
Cons: Some feel he’s more of a shooting guard than a natural point guard.
Fit: Hopefully, he survives a Piston team that was highly dysfunctional in 2011.
9) Kemba Walker to Charlotte Bobcats.
Details: PG, 6-1, 172, University of Connecticut, Jr.
Pros: Walker has the ‘quicks’ to get to the basket and can also punish sagging defenders with his much-improved jumper. This made him unstoppable during his terrific 2011 season at UCONN.
Cons: Well, size. Walker plays like a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard.
Fit: Walker will bring leadership and confidence to Michael Jordan’s Bobcats.
10) Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento Kings.
Details: PG, 6-2, 190, Bringham Young Unviersity, Sr.
Pros: He’s a magical shooter with a cult-like following at Bringham Young University.
Cons: Can he defend NBA point guards? Is he a point guard?
Fit: Fredette`s range will mesh nicely with Tyreke Evans and the offensive-minded Kings.
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