2011 Draft Night Recap
- By taking Kyrie Irving first overall, Cleveland positioned themselves for a reach at 4. Nothing against Tristan Thompson, but I think we all expected Valanciunas here. This selection had a domino effect on the following few picks, as Toronto grabbed JV which lead to Brandon Knight's slide to 8.
Thompson made a late push into the top five, but after watching him at Texas, you would have had to perform hypnosis to convince me he'd go this high. You wonder if teams put too much stock into these combines and workouts. He's got plenty of potential on both sides of the ball, but he'll have to bust through his ceiling to justify this draft position.
- Toronto selects Jonas Valanciunas at the 5, despite his inconvenient buyout, the need for a point guard and the presence of Andrea Bargnani. With so many holes, you would think Brandon Knight would have been a no-brainer.
Just seems like Golden State could care less about anything other than scoring. Steph Curry, Monta Ellis, Dorrell Wright, Reggie Williams... where does Klay Thompson fit in? Personally I thought Chris Singleton would have been perfect here. I guess they think David Lee and Epke Udoh are good enough interior defenders? That's like handing secret service agents Nerf guns and telling them to protect the President.
Markieff Morris taken before his brother... This was actually the right pick by the Suns, who needed the taller Morris' interior presence and high pick and pop potential. Considering Phoenix's uninspiring front court, taking a need over a want is justifiable in this case.
Best Fit: 12. Alec Burks , Utah Jazz
Utah needed an off-guard who can create and score in the midrange. This will allow Devin Harris to focus more on becoming an orchestrator than a scorer, which should make for a more balanced attack in Utah. The Jazz scored big with Enes Kanter and Burks.
8. Brandon Knight , Detroit Pistons
Knight fell after watching four International players get taken ahead of him. Not much to say here. Weird draft. Credit Dumars for adjusting his draft to who was avialable at his pick.
14. Marcus Morris , Houston Rockets
Marcus Morris could be the most polished forward in the draft, yet slipped based on his moderate ceiling. He should have plenty of opportunities to beat out Chase Budinger, Terrence Williams and Chandler Parsons for minutes at the 3 position.
15. Kawhi Leonard , Indiana Pacers (traded to San Antonio)
Kawhi Leonard's stock has fluctuated more than a 14 year old girl's mood. He became victim to the "limited upside" profile, which allowed him to slip to 15 before being dealt out West.
20. Donatas Motiejunas , Minnesota Timberwolves (Traded to Houston)
He just didn't do enough during the predraft process to make himself that desirable. Sure he's talented, but his risk got the best of his possible reward. His workout was terrible in the way of "salesmanship", but trust us this kid can play.
26. Jordan Hamilton , Dallas Mavericks (traded to Denver)
Hamilton got passed by 25 teams! Seems like too many for an offensive talent with his versatility and upside. Word is he'll be headed to Denver, where he'll look to become an immediate impact scorer playing alongside Gallo.
Worst First Round Pick: 17. Iman Shumpert , New York Knicks
I happen to be a Knick fan, so I'm used to this by now. But I'm picturing Donnie Walsh vanishing to his chamber where he's stroking a cat in an oversized chair, and laughing evilly at his last major decision as general manager. Walsh was impressed with Shumpert's athleticism at the Chicago combine where he showed lockdown defensive potential, however his inability to consistently convert in spot up opportunities makes him a questionable fit in this offense. Walsh stated that Shumpert shot well during his workouts in New York, but neglected to address the difference between shooting over a kid in a polo and a tenacious NBA defender.
It just seemed like a lazy pick. The Knicks could have added Chris Singleton, traded down (via Toney Douglas) and probably selected Shumpert later in the first or early second. And if not, Charles Jenkins, Darius Morris and Malcolm Lee would all be available. But it's all good- the last Georgia Tech point guard to play for the Knicks worked out real well.
Worst Second Round Pick: 45. Josh Harrellson , New York Knicks
The Knicks would have been better off with Woody Harrelson. At least we know he can shoot.
Best Second Round Picks
41. Darius Morris , LA Lakers
The Lakers needed a point guard with neither Steve Blake or Derek Fisher long-term answers. Morris' primary strength is his vision and ability to create for others. He finished 5th in the nation in assists, and that was with some mediocre teammates at Michigan. Now, he'll be tossing the ball to Kobe, Gasol and Bynum. Should make for an easy transition.
38. Davis Bertans , 42, Indiana Pacers (traded to San Antonio)
At only 18 years old, Bertans will be left to cook a bit more overseas. With the potential to be a lights out shooter and a valuable role player, he slipped too far into the second round in a reserve-heavy draft. San Antonio will be a great fit someday.
Steal of the Draft
25. Marshon Brooks , Boston Celtics (traded to New Jersey Nets)
Great find for New Jersey, who added a prolific scorer to team up with Deron Williams in the backcourt. Brooks scored over 24 points a game on 49% shooting, and did so on a nightly basis against the best of the Big East. He's long and athletic, and should have no trouble creating shots from the off-guard slot. Sharpie him in as the Nets starting shooting guard his rookie year.
Best Kiss: 6. Jan Vesely , Washington Wizards
That was awesome. Felt like I was at the Academy Awards.
I think Valaniunas can be very good next to Bargniani, the guy is a legit 7-foot centre that plays phisical dowlow and gets plenty rebounds. Him and Bargniani should compliment each other very wel
I don't see how Knight is a no-brainer over Valanciunas. Is he really a better prospect that Jerryd Bayless? Even if Valanciunas is stashed for a couple years, who cares? Raptors aren't winning now, and should be accumulating assets as part of the rebuilding. I think it was a great pick.
@Anton - Screw Bargnani, I hope he's gone by the time Valanciunas gets here. Bargnani is not part of a contending core unless he has completely changes his game
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