2011 NBA Draft

2011 NBA Mock Draft: How the Top 10 Selections Will Go in the Draft

Camden PaschAnalyst IIJune 23, 2011

2011 NBA Mock Draft: How the Top 10 Selections Will Go in the Draft

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies speaks to the media after defeating the Butler Bulldogs to win the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The 2011 NBA draft is this evening and will certainly be the talk of the sports world for today and the following weekend. Trades will be made, teams will make reaches, and high prospects will fall. These are all to be part of the draft process.

    This is a list predicting the top 10 picks for the 2011 NBA draft and explanations as to why that prospect gets selected by that team.

Pick No. 1: Cleveland Cavaliers Select PG Kyrie Irving (Duke)

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils draws contact against Kyryl Natyazhko #1 and Lamont Jones #12 of the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on M
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Kyrie Irving is the best point guard in this year's NBA draft and as a rebuilding franchise, the Cavaliers will take Irving with the top pick overall.

    He has all the tools to be a very good point guard in the league with his ability to pass, shoot, drive the lane, play defense and be a team player. His play has been compared to New Orleans Hornets' All-Star point guard Chris Paul. If Irving comes anywhere close to Paul's play, the Cavs organization and fan base should love this pick.

    Also, it should be said that both of Cleveland's current point guards, Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, are being shopped. This makes it seem that they have already made up their mind in selecting Irving here.

Pick No. 2: Minnesota Timberwolves Select SF Derrick Williams (Arizona)

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball against Roscoe Smith #22 and Charles Okwandu #35 of the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Cente
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Derrick Williams is the best player available here, and while he doesn't fit a need for the Minnesota Timberwolves, he will likely be selected by the Wolves at pick No. 2.

    After being drafted by Minnesota, his rights will be traded away for an above average, veteran shooting guard or center. It's very likely that he wouldn't be dealt, considering the Wolves have Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Wesley Johnson that play the forward position.

    If Minnesota decides to draft for need here, then it will definitely be the Turkish big man Enes Kanter being drafted by the Timberwolves.

Pick No. 3: Utah Jazz Select PG Brandon Knight (Kentucky)

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the hoop against Alex Oriakhi #34 of the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on Ap
    Pool/Getty Images

    The Utah Jazz traded away franchise player and All-Star point guard Deron Williams last season.  Current point guard Devin Harris hasn't played to the best of his ability in his time in Utah. That leaves the draft as the place for the Jazz to grab a point guard for the future.

    With Irving being off the board, the best point guards available would be Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker. Knight is a better shooter than Walker, and the Jazz would likely rather draft him because of that reason and the fact that he's younger.

    Some think that the Jazz will take the best talent available with this pick and that would be the center, Enes Kanter. The reason I have them passing on Kanter is because of Derrek Favors, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur. The frontcourt is definitely in good shape, but they need to address the backcourt, and they do that with the selection of Knight. 

Pick No. 4: Cleveland Cavaliers Select PF/C Enes Kanter (Turkey)

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    The best player available at this spot is the Turkish big man, Enes Kanter. The Cavs have to take the best talent available to try and make their rebuilding process a quicker one.

    Kanter is 6'11", 260 pounds and is only 19 years old with room to grow. He is a banger down low with rebounding and work around the rim, but also has a good jumper. 

    Pairing Kanter with previously picked Irving will give the Cavs a nice duo of stars for their future.

Pick No. 5: Toronto Raptors Select PG Kemba Walker (UCONN)

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    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies goes to the hoop past Josh Harrellson #55 and Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reli
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Raptors have a chance to be very good in the future with rising star DeMar DeRozan and quality big man Ed Davis. What they should add to the mix is a playmaking point guard like that of UCONN's Kemba Walker.

    Walker can get to the rim almost at will. Having a fellow slasher next him in DeRozan would be a dangerous pair of guards in the backcourt for the now and future, so this makes sense in almost every way imaginable.

    Walker's leadership would also be a great addition to a Raptors team who has none at the moment.   

Pick No. 6: Washington Wizards Select SF Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kawhi Leonard #15 of the San Diego State Aztecs dunks the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Washington has their new franchise player in John Wall, and he'll be going into his second year next season. As the point guard of the team, however, he needs more help than what was given to him last season.

    Center JaVale McGee, shooting guard Jamal Crawford, and power forward Andray Blatche are decent pieces, but the Wizards lack a quality small forward. At pick No. 6, Kawhi Leonard from SDSU would be the pick.

    Leonard would bring a defensive mindset to Washington's small forward position and an option to Wall on pick and rolls and alley-oops. This seems like a good fit for all involved.

    They are also on the lookout to trade up in this draft to possibly nab Derrick Williams, but there have been no strong indications they will make the move. 

Pick No. 7: Sacramento Kings Select C Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)

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    Sacramento made the move to make DeMarcus Cousins a power forward last season, and Samuel Dalembert is leaving via free agency, so the Kings will likely look for a center in this year's draft.

    The second best center available is the 6'11", 240 pound Jonas Valanciunas. He has all the tools a center needs to be successful, though the Kings might not see him in the NBA for a couple years. He has a $3 million buyout option in his current contract overseas.

    A future froncourt of Valanciunas and Cousins looks promising for the Kings and star player Tyreke Evans. 

Pick No. 8: Detroit Pistons Select SF/PF Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)

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    The Detroit Pistons should feel very lucky if Jan Vesely falls to pick No. 8. With no real building block, the Pistons have to take the player that they feel has potential to be great. That has to be the 6'11", 230 pound Vesely.

    The Pistons find themselves without much talent on their roster to go along with aging veterans with bad contracts. Richard Hamilton could very well be traded this offseason along with Ben Gordon, but it looks like they are stuck with Charlie Villanueva.

    Vesely is no finished product, but he has a very high ceiling and could make the Pistons relevant several years down the line. 

Pick No. 9: Charotte Bobcats Select G Alec Burks (Colorado)

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 11:  Alec Burks #10 of the Colorado Buffaloes drives with the ball against the Kansas Jayhawks during their semifinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 11, 2011 in Kansas City
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Charlotte Bobcats desperately need to draft some scorers in this draft, and Alec Burks is one of the best there are.

    He would almost immediately be the best scoring option on the Bobcats roster, which really doesn't say much as the unit finished second worst in points scored per game.

    Burks can play either guard position and knows how to put the basketball in the net. His most reliable move is driving the lane for layups, but his jump shot has nice form and touch. The only problem is he tends to be streaky from time to time. 

    This pick makes a ton of sense for the Bobcats to make.

Pick No. 10: Milwaukee Bucks Select SG Klay Thompson (Washington State)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Klay Thompson #1 of the Washington State Cougars shoots over Darnell Gant #44 of the Washington Huskies in the first half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on Ma
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Milwaukee Bucks have to be looking for a shooting guard with this pick, and since Burks would already off the board, Klay Thompson fits here.

    Like the Bobcats, the Bucks had a tough time scoring points last season, finishing worst in the NBA in points scored per game. Adding a talent like Thompson would help in getting their offense out of the gutter.

    Thompson is a pure shooter. That's his game and that's what will make him successful in the NBA. He can drive to the rim, but it's not necessarily a good weapon in his arsenal just yet.

    Also, John Salmons is regressing and Thompson would be more than a suitable replacement for the veteran shooting guard.  

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