2011 NBA Mock Draft: Who Will Washington Wizards Team with John Wall?
His size and athleticism allowed Wall to make an impact for Washington, but with help on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, it's likely that Washington will be looking to add a big man to balance out the Wizards' attack for 2011.
Washington has the sixth overall pick in the draft this year.
Here is an early look at all 30 picks in the draft, including the missing piece to Washington's depth chart. Read on to find out which lucky guy will be joining Wall in 2011.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, PG
The 19-year-old point guard from Duke played in just 11 games as a freshman, missing a majority of the season due to a ligament injury he suffered in the team's eighth game of the season.
Irving returned in time for the NCAA tournament, and in his final game with the Blue Devils, scored 28 points in a second-round loss to Arizona.
Despite seeing limited playing time throughout his lone college season, Irving is the top ranked player in nearly every list of prospects and has appeared to have made a full recovery from his early-season injury.
Cleveland, still feeling the after effects of the departure of star forward Lebron James last offseason, would love a clear No. 1 scorer and is in dire need of a leader on and off the court. Also possessing the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, the Cavs are looking to completely restructure its depth chart for 2011-2012.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Enes Kanter, C
Minnesota has announced they are open to trading the No. 2 pick, but I don't see them doing that at this point.
I believe that they will take a shot at adding big man Enes Kanter from overseas. Derrick Williams, in my opinion, is the second-best player in this draft class, but Minnesota doesn't need as much help at the forward position.
With Kevin Love and Michael Beasley occupying both forward positions already, I think Minnesota could find an upgrade at center a little more desirable, especially considering current 7'0'' center Darko Milicic averaged just 8.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 69 games this past season.
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3. Utah Jazz: Brandon Knight, PG
Utah's General Manager Kevin O'Connor has expressed interest in Knight early on, and I still believe they will snag him as a replacement for Deron Williams (now in New Jersey).
Knight's 6'3'', 177-pound size is solid for a point guard and will allow him to be effective in Utah's system very early on. The second-best guard in the 2011 draft class, behind Irving of course, the Jazz will not be sorry if they take Knight with the third overall pick.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonas Valanciunas, C
The Cavs were expected to select Turkey/Kentucky's center Kanter with this pick, but obviously, I have the T'Wolves snagging him at No. 2, so it looks like Cleveland will have to settle with the next best center, Jonas Valanciunas from Lithuania.
While playing for Lithuania's National U-18 squad in the European Championships for 2010-2011, Jonas put up astounding averages of 19.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game over nine games.
The 6'11'', 240-pound center is known for his long, elusive build, and his large wing span makes it tough to defend him inside.
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5. Toronto Raptors: Derrick Williams, SF
I am rather surprised myself that I allowed Arizona's Derrick Williams to fall this far, so I can't imagine how Toronto would feel if they found themselves in this situation.
If I'm Toronto, I know I wouldn't let the opportunity of upgrading up front pass me by, especially with talent such as Williams still on the board. The young, would-be junior should quickly find himself the center of attention in Toronto, looking to make a huge improvement up front in 2011.
6. Washington Wizards: Kawhi Leonard, SF
At this point in the draft, UConn's Kemba Walker is the best player available. But it's rather obvious that point guard is Washington's strong point. Because of this, I think the Wizards will nab small forward Kawhi Leonard out of San Diego State.
Leonard is a top five talent at his position and would complement young center JaVale McGee rather nicely.
Washington's backcourt is decent with Wall; it's the frontcourt that needs a little help, and they will get just that with the selection of Leonard at No. 6.
7. Sacramento Kings: Jan Vesely, SF
The first step in Sacramento's offseason was making sure they weren't re-locating. Luckily for the fanbase, they elected not to. Now on to step two: find some help up front.
As a rookie, PF DeMarcus Cousins—John Wall's teammate at Kentucky—put up decent numbers, but he could really use some help up front, and an upgrade at the small forward position would be just what the Kings need in an attempt to turn this franchise around.
Vesely has the size (6'11'', 240) and athletic ability to excel as a forward at the next level. Now, the only question that remains is can he do this in Sacramento?
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8. Detroit Pistons: Kemba Walker, PG
Teams are usually built around point guards, and Detroit doesn't have a guy like that on their roster.
I think it would be silly of them to pass up Walker here at No. 8, so they shouldn't hesitate to snag him and reap the benefits. Walker's quickness and athleticism, combined with his knack for putting up a great number of points on the scoreboard, makes him a top three talent at the point guard position in this year's draft class.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Tristan Thompson, PF
Thompson put up 18 points a game as a freshman with Texas, and his size (6'9'', 230) is similar to current power forward Boris Diaw.
Thompson has powerful legs and is a threat in the paint, with the only concern coming from experts being that he doesn't seem like a guy who could be a huge scorer at the next level. He will surely be a consistent contributor for the Bobcats, but most of his contributions may be on the defensive side of things.
10. Milwaukee Bucks: Bismack Biyombo, PF
The power forward from Spain would be an immediate addition to the Bucks' depth chart, adding depth to the team's front court alongside center Andrew Bogut.
He's a great defender, using his size and strength to dominate the inside of the floor with his shot-blocking ability.
He's not the biggest scorer but would be able to put up double-digit rebounds on defense for the Buck's.
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11. Golden State Warriors: Marcus Morris, PF
The Warriors would benefit greatly from an inside presence, a guy who could rack in rebounds for the defense.
The 6'9'' Morris is very versatile and would be able to occasionally play some SF in addition to his primary position as power forward. Morris' skills are very polished in all areas and would add depth to the frontcourt but very well could make an immediate impact in Golden State.
Taking Morris would be the smart pick here for the Warriors.
12. Utah Jazz: Klay Thompson, SG
Earlier in the draft, Utah upgraded at point guard and found a replacement for Deron Williams. With its next pick, I think Utah needs to continue to add depth.
Scoring threats Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are holding down the frontcourt pretty well, so adding another solid role player for the backcourt (shooting guard) is what I would do here.
Klay Thompson's outside shot is one of the best in this year's draft class, and the Jazz seem to lack that sort of shooter on their roster. Thompson is an immediate upgrade for the backcourt and will put up a solid statline if he gets some touches early on in the season.
13. Phoenix Suns: Markieff Morris, PF
Depth, in my opinion, is Phoenix's biggest need. The Suns' bench was mediocre last season, giving up late leads, and they never really got much energy coming from guys off the bench.
Like his twin, Marcus, who I had going at No. 11 to Golden State, Markieff uses his size to his advantage and plays a very physical game. Intensity seems to be the most important key to his game, and it sure works toward his advantage.
He's not exactly as good a scorer as Marcus, but his rebounding skill set is equal, if not better than Marcus's.
14. Houston Rockets: Jimmer Fredette, PG
If a casual NBA fan looked at Houston's depth chart, it's likely that they wouldn't recognize a single name on there. Aside from center Yao Ming, who is arguably the most injury-prone player in the league, the Rockets have absolutely zero star power. And they haven't since Tracy McGrady rocked the white and red uniforms a couple years back.
At the 14th pick, it isn't likely they'll find a standout star to take over the court, but they could come close by selecting Jimmer Fredette. The BYU standout should be recognizable to anyone who watched just a little college basketball the past year or so.
Fredette has a knack for the basket and has decent size for a point guard. There's a slight chance we could see immediate impact as well.
15. Indiana Pacers: Alec Burks, SG
Indiana could use a little help in both scoring and rebounding, but I think adding depth to a couple of positions is most important.
Roy Hibbert averaged just seven rebounds a game, while forward Tyler Hansbrough added five during the regular season. Small forward Danny Granger led the scoring with 20 per game.
Burks covers both offensive firepower (20.1 PPG in 2010) and some rebounding ability (6.4 RPG in 2010) from the shooting guard position. He would fit nicely next to point guard Darren Collison, and it's tough to argue with six rebounds coming from a guard.
He probably shouldn't have fallen all the way to No. 15, but let's just say Indiana lucked out.
16. Philadelphia 76ers: Donatas Motiejunas, PF
A top five talent at power forward in this draft class, it looks like we have another player fall to a later team than expected.
While in Lithuania, the 7'0'', 215 Motiejunas didn't wow viewers with an impressive statline, but that is likely because he only averaged between 25-28 minutes per game. In his second season overseas, he shot 66 percent from close range and 46 percent from behind the three-point line.
His size is obviously an upside as well and will boost the Sixers' inside attack.
17. New York Knicks: Darius Morris, PG
Finding a capable point guard should be priority No. 1, which explains their selection of Michigan's Darius Morris. Boston College's Reggie Jackson and Duke's Nolan Smith were also available, but Morris has the size advantage (6'4'', 190) over both Jackson and Smith.
Kansas' Josh Selby and Cleveland State's Norris Cole may even be selected ahead of Jackson and Smith.
18. Washington Wizards: Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF
With the sixth pick, Washington added the athletic forward in San Diego State's Leonard. With this pick, I think they will continue to work on getting versatile, athletic bodies. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee are the big bodies inside, but adding another guard to complement Wall would be a good idea.
Hamilton's 6'7'' frame and lack of speed on defense makes him more primarily a small forward, but if they really want him to play some SG, they could always develop his skills early on.
The reason I believe Washington will take Hamilton is because of his versatility and ability to play both SF and SG.
19. Charlotte Bobcats: Shelvin Mack, SG/PG
With power forward being Charlotte's first order of business in the draft, I think they will use their other first rounder to boost the backcourt. More specifically the shooting guard position.
Mack has versatility on his side, being able to play both guard positions, and is a solid offensive performer. He plays smart basketball and never lets things get away from him.
Possibly a little bit higher than most projected him, but I think his upside will allow him to climb up to the late teens in this draft.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Josh Selby, PG
Minnesota already gained a huge boost in the frontcourt with the addition of center Kanter at No. 2 overall. Adding a point guard at this pick would make Minnesota huge first-round winners.
With Selby, out of Kansas, still on the board, the T'Wolves lucked out big time in picking up a well-rounded and polished Selby.
21. Portland Trailblazers: Nolan Smith, PG
Wesley Matthews and Andre Miller both averaged double-digit points in Portland's backcourt this past season, but I think it's about time for the Blazers to find a younger point guard to develop into a star.
Miller is now 35, and adding Smith will allow Portland to develop Smith a year or so and have him coming off the bench this season.
Experts seem to have their worries about Nolan, but I think he could turn in to a potential Sixth Man of the Year award winner for the Trail Blazers, coming off the bench late in games.
22. Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried, PF
Faried, the former Morehead State standout, is one of the best rebounders coming out of the draft. Denver would love to have a player of Faried's explosiveness.
He may not be the biggest power forward at 6'8'', but his large wing span and brute strength allows him to play a little bit bigger than his actual size.
I think Faried's presence would be welcome on just about any NBA roster out there.
23. Houston Rockets: Chris Singleton, SF
Houston added that big-name point guard they were looking for by selecting BYU's Jimmer Fredette No. 14.
Now, I would expect them to go after some depth in the frontcourt. Singleton surely gives the Rockets some defensive ability, as he was one of the nation's top defenders early on. He wasn't exactly the same after breaking his foot, but he seems like he's making a solid recovery.
Singleton offers Houston both a great presence up front and even a little bit of star power.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tobias Harris, PF
With Kevin Durant getting all the points and media attention, Oklahoma City would love to add a guy to play opposite of Durant (at small forward) and be willing to play some defense and spread the ball.
Westbrook obviously provides the outside shooting for the Thunder, but selecting Harris at 24 would also give the Thunder the inside ability.
Harris, a freshman out of Tennessee, has great ball-handling skills and wouldn't be against spreading the ball out to superstars Durant and Westbrook. Seems like a match made in heaven, wouldn't you say?
25. Boston Celtics: Jordan Williams, PF
Another pick that seems like destiny.
I haven't seen too many other mock drafts out there that haven't had Williams going to Boston. And why wouldn't they? Williams is a perfect fit for Boston and would be a great replacement for Kendrick Perkins, who was mysteriously moved at the trade deadline.
Williams will make himself at home in Boston.
26. Dallas Mavericks: Trey Thompkins, PF
Dallas has found themselves in the NBA Finals this year. That means one thing for the draft...there are limited weaknesses/holes in the Mavs depth chart this year. They have managed to put together the West's best team.
But, I do think adding depth in the frontcourt would be a good idea.
The addition of Georgia's 6'9'', 245 power forward would allow the Mavs to successfully rest Dirk Nowitzki every now and then while developing Thompkins for the future without Dirk (although that could very well not happen for several more years).
27. New Jersey Nets: Tyler Honeycutt, SF
The Nets added two-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams via trade with the Utah Jazz back in February.
The addition boosted New Jersey's offense instantly, but the frontcourt could definitely use some improvement in the draft this year.
UCLA's small forward Tyler Honeycutt would be a welcome addition. Honeycutt's passing ability would open up the court for point guard and team leader Deron Williams, and his ability to crash the boards makes him a tough rebounder as well.
28. Chicago Bulls: Marshon Brooks, SG
Chicago's offense obviously revolves around superstar point guard Derrick Rose, this season's MVP. But the frontcourt, led by Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah is pretty tough to compete with on the boards too. Shooting guard is the biggest weakness when it comes to positions, but possessing both the 28th and 30th picks in the draft, Chicago will be able to produce two solid first rounders this year.
Kyle Korver was a decent shooting guard coming off the bench, averaging 20 minutes and 8.3 points a game, but adding the scoring threat in Brooks would make a greater threat off the bench in 2011.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Lucas Nogueira, C
With future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan proving he still has what it takes to get the job done, I think the main focus for San Antonio should be finding a replacement for the ancient and declining center (Antonio McDyess).
Nogueira is the next great thing out of Brazil, and at age 18, he has a great career ahead of him.
At 7'0'', Lucas has a great combination of size and strength and has impressed many with his gracefulness on the court. Solid pick here for the Spurs, who still have what it takes to compete in the West.
30. Chicago Bulls: JaJuan Johnson, PF
After adding a shooting guard (Chicago's biggest weakness when it comes to positions) with the 28th pick, I think it would be a safe move for Chicago to go ahead and add some depth in the frontcourt.
Chicago lucked out that Johnson was still on the board at 30, and taking him here would be a good move and certainly help out the productivity of the bench.
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