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Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Thoughts, almost live

I am running a little late, but the draft isn't quite over, so here are my thoughts.

Let's see if I can catch up before it's over, shall we?

1. KYRIE IRVING to the Cavs was no surprise at all.  They need players all over the court, and Baron Davis not the long term answer.  He may be just the guy to give Kyrie a little time to get it figured out.  This is a kid who has a high basketball IQ and can really push the ball end to end.  Some cheap points for a tea that struggles to score is nont the worst place to start.

2. DERRICK WILLIAMS to the Timberwolves was again no big surprise.  It will give them some interesting options for matchups on the front line, but I wonder if it doesn't mean the beginning of the end for Michael Beasley in Minnesota.  If I am them, I keep them all, and build some depth along the front line.

3. ENES KANTER is a beast.  Rumor is that he owned Jared Sullinger last summer and was injured while he did it.  The Jazz are rebuilding a bit, and he could be a real nice player in a couple years.  He should be a rebounding force right now.

4. TRISTAN THOMPSON is not Durant, but he is a damn fine talent coming out of Texas young.  He has the potential to be a nice player on the post.  I don't like a reach this high, but you just want to root for the Cavs after how Lebron did them.

5. JONAS VALANCIUNAS is the latest international player to go to Toronto.  Obviously there are always questions with players coming over from Europe, but this kid is an athletic 7-footer with a lot of tread left on the tires.

6. JAN VESELY See above, but going to the Wizards.  The one thing he can really do is run the court for a big guy, which will fit well with John Wall.

7. BISMARCK BIYOMBO This was a mistake.  You do not draft a shot blocker with no offensive skill who has not played against top level competition in the top 10.  Does Sacremento just hate winning?

8. BRANDON KNIGHT Motown might just love this kid in a few years.  He needs to work on his shot, but he can run the offense, defend both guard positions and has a great body.

9. KEMBA WALKER is going to make teams pay.  You can say what you want about him not proving he can be a point, but UCONN beat better teams when he was healthy.  He is the fastest end to end this year, can really shoot, competes, like hell, and is clutch. 

10. JIMMER FREDETTE This is way too high for the Jimmer.  I like the kid, and I want him to be successful, but he didn't guard anybody last year.  At best, he is probably an offensive spark plug guy, at least for the first few years.  How do you take that in the top 10?

11. KLAY THOMPSON People love this kid, and he has great size for a 2, and he can shoot, but the last game of his career makes me nervous.  He got shut down by Wichita State, and his team got owned.  That said, if you are a shooter, this is one of the teams you want play for, and the Warriors needed a tall guard to give them balance in the backcourt.

12. ALEC BURKE Was a nice pick for the Jazz to go with Kanter.  He can play now, and has room to develop physcially.  Great pick at 12.

13. MARKIEFF MORRIS is the "other" Morris brother, but he projects directly to a power forward spot and teams like knowing what they are going to do with you.  A nice player, and much more inside-oriented than his brother.  That said, he can handle himself with the ball in his hands too.

14. MARCUS MORRIS was the engine that made the Jayhawks go last year.  He is a matchup nightmare, but there was concern that he may not be able to pay power forward.  I think that is unfounded, and look for him to chew up the bigger power forwards who have to try to guard him.

15. KAWHI LEONARD is a prototypical NBA small forward, who was traded to the Spurs before the end of the night.  He will work his tail off on the defensive end, and works his way into buckets on the offensive end of the court.

16. NIKOLA VUCEVIC is a true center.  European players are always a risk because they are being projected, but this is a solid choice.

17. IMAN SHUMPERT is a huge point guard with great athleticism and considering the Chris Paul rumors, this is an interesting pick.

18. CHRIS SINGLETON is the best small forward in this draft coming out of college.  He will lock you down right now, and he can score the ball a lot better than people give him credit for.

19. TOBIAS HARRIS is a great talent coming out of Tenessee.  He is a very talented small forward who plays smart and scored the ball really well as a freshman.

well, crap, I didn't get caught up, but to be frank.  This draft was crap.  All these projects, and picks to hold the contracts out a few years is just horrible for the fans.  Pick players who you want on your team, and chase those 17 year old kids from BFE as free agents.

David Lighty didn't get drafted....really?

Well, at least the NBA allows a zone d now so we can watch actually offenses.