2011 may have not been the best draft class in recent years but it turned out to not be a bad draft class like how it was expected. There were definitely more than a few busts and there were also quite a few steals in the mid-late 1st round and even in the 2nd round. Here's my re-draft for the 2011 Class.
1. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- Kyrie Irving (1)
ACTUAL PICK: Kyrie Irving
The Cavaliers won their gamble of drafting the 19 year old who only played 11 games in his collegiate career due to an injury. Kyrie Irving right away took LeBron's role for the rebuilding Cavaliers franchise who is already being considered a playoff contender only 2 years later. Irving is only 21 years old as of right now, already has one all star appearance and is also already starting to be referred to as a "superstar".
2. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES- Klay Thompson (11)
ACTUAL PICK: Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams was considered the safe pick at the time even though he never reached his expectations. I refuse to call Williams a bust as it is still to early to say it but from what he's shown so far is nowhere near worthy of being the 2nd pick of that draft. Klay Thompson the Washington State Cougar was not even drafted in the Top 10 of the 2011 draft. First of all, he has great size for an NBA shooting guard and has been one of the key players for the Warriors after they gave up Monta Ellis to free more minutes for Klay Thompson. His outside shot is very hard to find at even the NBA level and I'll be very shocked if he retires without one All-Star appearance.
3. UTAH JAZZ- Kawhi Leonard (15)
ACTUAL PICK: Enes Kanter
When Leonard played for San Diego State, it was questionable how his offensive game would translate to the NBA. Okay he may fit Greg Poppovich's offense better than if he ended up on any other team but Leonard was a steal for the Spurs to give up George Hill for him. The Jazz taking Kanter was not a bad pick but the Jazz at the time had Jefferson and Millsap starting with Derrick Favors coming off the bench. Leonard and Gordon Hayward would have worked great playing in the same lineup together.
4. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- Kenneth Faried (22)
ACTUAL PICK: Tristan Thompson
I'll reward the Cavs for taking another gamble in the same draft by taking Tristan Thompson at 4 who wasn't even projected to be in the Top 10 by many. However nobody really knew that Faried would be as good as he is now with the Nuggets. His 4 years in college really helped him develop as an NBA player. There was two concerns about Faried which was the reason why his draft stock was not as high as it should have been. They were because he is a 6'7 Power Forward and the fact that he played at a low level of completion at Morehead State. Neither of those two affected how good he would be as an NBA player as he is off to a great start with his career.
5. TORONTO RAPTORS: Tristan Thompson (4)
ACTUAL PICK: Jonas Valanciunus
Tristan Thompson turned out to be worthy of that 4th pick by Cleveland which several believed to be a bizarre pick. Thompson has great upside that really fits the NBA. Also that pick would have sent him to play for his hometown Toronto Raptors which they could have done by drafting him over Valanciunus if he hasn't already been gone by the time the Raptors picked.
6. WASHINGTON WIZARDS- Chandler Parsons (38)
ACTUAL PICK: Jan Vesely
The Wizards really needed an upgrade at the SF position after the 2011 season. Jan Vesely has great athleticism that impressed many NBA scouts but his game never really translated well to the NBA level along with his lack of confidence. Like Kenneth Faried, playing 4 years of college really helped Chandler Parsons develop as an NBA player. I had Parsons projected as a late 1st round pick in my 2011 mock draft but he fell to the 2nd round where most projected him to go but he proved that he well deserved to go higher than he did. His great size for his position and his outside shot made him a key player for the Houston Rockets who got a major steal by drafting Parsons in the 2nd round.
7. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (FROM SACRAMENTO)- Brandon Knight (8)
ACTUAL PICK: Bismack Biyombo
The Bobcats made a smart move by giving up Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the 19th pick to acquire the 7th pick. However it was not smart of them to trade up for Bismack Biyombo who I didn't even have going until after the Middle of the 1st round in my mock draft. Biyombo is very un-coordinated and took away the chance of the Bobcats drafting a mother scoring weapon who they could have really used. Brandon Knight may not ever reach his expectations from how good people projected him to be from when he was in high school but he has proven to be a solid NBA player. Everybody knows that the Bobcats later on that upcoming season had the worst record in NBA history. With how bad that team was in depth, the Bobcats could have used those 7th and 10th picks on players from basically any position. DJ Augustin was not their point guard of their future as he left as a free agent the year after that. Personally if I had to choose a point guard between Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight, I would go with Knight but not by a lot.
8. DETROIT PISTONS- Iman Shumpert (17)
ACTUAL PICK: Brandon Knight
Iman Shumpert was quite a steal for the Knicks to take in the middle of the 1st round. His game both offensively and defensively fit the NBA although it is still a question of what is his true position. If Knight had already been gone by the Pistons pick at 8, Shumpert would have been a great takeover at the shooting guard spot after they amnestied Rip Hamilton
9. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS- Enes Kanter (3)
ACTUAL PICK: Kemba Walker
Enes Kanter went through a crazy journey after missing a whole season as he was ruled ineligible at Kentucky then he had to wait even longer to play again due to the NBA lockout in 2011. After sitting out all that time, his NBA career started off slowly coming off the bench in Utah's loaded front court with veterans Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap and with Derrick Favors also coming off the bench. But at the end of this last season, Kanter finally began to shine as he started after the injuries of Jefferson and Millsap and had a great 20 and 20 game. This upcoming season will be his first season as a full time starter and he finally has a shot of proving that he did deserve to be drafted as high as he did.
10. SACRAMENTO KINGS (FROM MILWAUKEE)- Kemba Walker (9)
ACTUAL PICK: Jimmer Fredette
The Sacramento Kings made a very stupid move in 2011 by trading down three picks just to get John Salmons THEN drafting Jimmer Fredette. Fredette may have had one of the greatest seasons for a college player ever his senior year at BYU but everybody knew he wasn't gonna be anywhere near as good at the NBA level. I'll admit that I expected Jimmer to be decent myself but from what he's shown so far at the NBA level, he might have not even been worthy of even a 1st round pick that year. Kemba Walker led his UCONN Huskies to a national championship and has been good so far in his young NBA career but not too outstanding. Still has a lot of potential left in him, Kemba Walker would have been a way better pick for the Kings if they were looking for a Point Guard. The Kings could be on a whole different level than they are on now if only they would have drafted Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard over Jimmer in 2011 and Damian Lillard over Thomas Robinson in 2012 but just about every professional sports franchise has made a move like that at some point.
11. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Jonas Valanciunus (5)
ACTUAL PICK: Klay Thompson
The Golden State Warriors were one of the winners of the 2011 draft by taking Klay Thompson even though they already had Monta Ellis at the time, who they later on traded to give Thompson more minutes. However in a re-draft, Klay Thompson would already be gone a long time before the 11th pick. In 2011 the Warriors were looking for a better Center before they later on traded Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut. Valanciunus who was 19 years old at the time did not come to the NBA until a year after he was drafting. With his NBA built body he looks like a potential candidate for next years Most Improved Player Award as he was named the MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League.
12: UTAH JAZZ: Isaiah Thomas (60)
ACTUAL PICK: Alec Burks
Mr Irrelevant shocked the world with how good he turned out to be despite being one pick away from going undrafted. Him only being 5'9 obviously did not attract NBA teams very much at all. He had already proved that he knows how to play the game well as he was named the PAC-10 MVP. But his work ethic earned him a long term spot in the league. The Utah Jazz went through several backup point guards such as Jamal Tinsley and Earl Watson as they then traded Devin Harris for washed up Mo Williams, Utah would have been another good fit for Thomas. The Kings may be one of the only few teams where he could have been a starter but I see him being a Nate Robinson like player coming off the bench later on in his career.
13: PHOENIX SUNS: Derrick Williams (2)
ACTUAL PICK: Markieff Morris
It was a little hard to rank Derrick Williams after his two windy seasons with the Wolves. He is still a tweener between the Small Forward and Power Forward but Minnesota was not a good fit for Williams to land. He's had some moments in Minnesota while he was starting in the place of Kevin Love and at other times he's looked very lost. Williams was considered the safe pick at the time after his outstanding sophomore season at Arizona but his ceiling is still very questionable whether how good he will ever end up being in the NBA. If he ends up being an above average player at some point in his career, it most likely won't be with the Timberwolves.
14: HOUSTON ROCKETS: Nikola Vucevic (16)
ACTUAL PICK: Marcus Morris
The Rockets were very low at the Center position after the retirement of Yao Ming. That upcoming year they had Samuel Dalambert and Marcus Camby as their two Centers who weren't in Houston for very long. Vucevic did have a slow start at the beginning of his career as he rode the bench for the 76ers his rookie year but after he was traded to the Orlando Magic, he turned into a double double machine. Even has good outside range, may not be a great athlete but he can just get the job done.
I'd rather have Tristan Thompson over Kenneth Faried. Their numbers this season weren't all that far from each other. Tristan still has plenty of room to grow, Faried is pretty much where he's gonna be. I think in a re-draft I would've liked to see the Cavs take JoVal.
you put Brandon Knight, and Iman Shumpert ahead of Valanciunas, Kanter and Walker is mind boggling.
Klay Thompson over Kawhi? No way. Klay Thompson isn't even top 5, Thompson is clearly overrated just because he's apart of the nickname 'Splash brothers', thompson does very little but shoot three's and has a PER of 12.
None of these are right except for the #1 pick. Isaiah Thomas over Derrick Williams and Vucevic?
I question how much basketball you watch..
I can understand your line of thinking with Klay Thompson at 2, because he would fit well with Love, Pek, & Rubio, but I don't think any GM would rather have him over Kawhi Leonard right now, especially to build a team. There were quite a few moments in the NBA Finals where Kawhi looked like the best player and that's saying a lot with LeBron, Parker, Duncan, Wade, and Bosh on the floor.
Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas would still be without a doubt Top-5 picks. You have to remember they were 19 year old centers with no college experience (Kanter was ineligible) everyone knew they wouldn't be the best players from day 1, but their development has been steady and impressive.
Derrick Williams skill-set would still place him in the top 6 with Klay Thompson being the other. Then I believe that some order of Vucevic and Tristan Thompson would be the next 2 in terms of current play and long term value.
I would fill out the rest of the lottery with Parsons, Jimmy Butler, Brandon Knight, Tobias Harris, and Kemba Walker and Faried (not in order). Reggie Jackson and Shumpert also received consideration.
I appreciate all the effort and thought you put into this re draft. But I have to disagree with a lot of he picks you have made. I would in a heart beat ake valanciunas over Tristan Thompson and Enes kanter. Also, nikola vucevic seems a bit too low on the liat, he showed past season just how good he can be. Also, having Thompson over Parsons ? I dunno about that one .. Parsons for me seems crucial for a team because he is so versatile
In a hindsight exercise I think I would have Jo Val and Vucevic in the top 7.
I like Kanter but he is not the prospect Jo Val is. Klay Thompson is a gem to but my top 5 would be Kyrie, Kawhi, Jo Val and the Thompson's with Vucevic/Faried at 6/7. I would pick them in that order regardless of need for a team. Parsons is the only other guy that could start for 12 to 15 teams.
The next 6 guys would depend on need. Need a 6th man combo take Kemba, a wing shooter if you have shot blocking then Parsons, you need take a defensive big then take Kanter, etc.
P.S. I don't agree with a lot of the picks but I don't get why you are getting negged so much. It was a good post and you actually gave reasons you felt were justified. I don' t understand why people neg because they don't agree, negs should be for bad ideas that have no reasoning at all, IMO.
I guess hindsight is not always 20/20.
Not when you are talking about players only half way into their rookie contracts.
If we tried to argue a redraft of the 2009 draft only two years later some people would have been arguing that Tyreke was better than Curry (myself included), Jennings was better than both of them, and that Harden might not crack the top five players.
My point is that though this discussion is going to be more accurate than the real draft (talent wise), it wont really solidify in who is right and wrong for at least a few more years.
don't even looked closely what you have more there, but after Jonas wasn't 2nd on your mock I started to think something is bad there but now #11? that looks so wrong when after promising rookie year he already showed a lot of improvement there in summer league
He is a secret Krypt gang member, dont judge him so harshly.
Shumpert would been a crap pick to the Pistons. Oh sorry, maybe he is another Krypt member i am not aware??
Great effort but I strongly disagree with your order. Chandler Parsons was a great steal for the Rockets in the 2nd round, but Enes Kanter, Jonas and Vucevic are all more valuable than him. Same with Brandon Knight.
I actually don't think even one team in the NBA would trade Parsons for Brandon Knight straight up. Parsons is already a top 20 small forward and Brandon Knight is not a top 30 point guard at this point. Guys like Bledsoe and Jarrret Jack would start over him also. Knight is younger so I guess that comes with some expected potential. In the East he could start over everybody on the Bucks and maybe Chalmers, Kemba(but I doubt that about either) and possibly MCW (Hinkie wouldn't agree). In the West maybe Utah and in Sac he would battle Vasquez and lose the job.
So in my opinion the Bucks and Jazz are the only NBA teams Brandon Knight is a starter for and there is art least 2 second string point guards that should start over him in Jack, Bledsoe and Avery Bradley if you want to count him. PG is tough in the league right now. Knight and Mo Williams/Sessions are a push right now.
Yea I meant to say that Kanter, Val and Vuc are better values than Knight AS WELL AS Parsons. Parsons has been a surprise, but the 3 bigs I just mentioned all have the potential to get max deals.
Can't believe I forgot about Tobias Harris, he should be in a three way tie behind Kyrie, Kawhi and Jo Val, with the Thompson's.
He and Jordan Hamilton were my sleepers in that draft as Bullock and Snell were this time. I am still wondering when Hamilton will become a rotation player.
Jonas would easily be top three in that draft. Kid is an absolute beast!
Like some of your picks, but NO WAY JV should be at 11, i think in a re-draft scenario he would be the conscious #2 pick of 2011, he is a beast with crazy upside.
Morris has had far more production than Williams at this point and looks to just be getting better. Also, some very questionable picks ahead of Valanciunus.
I don't really like your list OP, and think you put very little thought into it. I think this was a very interesting draft, because while it had a lot of talent, it was a lot of unknown talent. Guys like Val, Kanter, Bismack, and Vucevic all had question marks around them. Another interesting aspect of this draft was that we just didn't know a lot about some of the players. I think it's also worth mentioning that this is around the time that LeBron left for Miami, and the NBA game changed. I want to say that this was the first definitive draft were teams were actively looking for that "stretch 4". Anyways, heres how I would redraft it based on team needs and rosters at the time.
Cle- Kyrie Irving- Best player in the draft, and I don't think the Cavs will ever regret this pick
Min- Val- The fact that the OP didn't even have him in the top 5 is laughable. Val had a very impressive rookie year, and seems to have improved after watching him play in the summer league. He's a center who has potential on both ends of the floor, and that's just too good for Minny to pass up.
UTH- Kemba- Again, another player being under rated in this thread. Kemba was the best pg in this draft class, and as everyone knew then, the Jazz already had a good backcourt. Kemba would give them that scorer they need, and play at a position of need. 17.7/5.7/3.5/2 and he shot over 40%…those are awesome numbers for a second year player, and I believe Utah would pick Kemba here if given the chance.
Cle- Kanter- Everyone knew CLE was going to go small/big or big/small this draft, and after picking Kyrie that just leaves pick 4 with the best big available; insert Kanter. Kanter was a mystery going into the draft, but he's a bull, and everyone knew he would be a decent player in this league. He showed some flashes last year, and to me was tied with Val as the best center prospect in this draft.
Tor- Vucevic- Toronto couldn't have another year of just Bargs and Amir playing in the backcourt, and needed an upgrade. Vucevic is a great young center, and would go along with the "european theme" that Toronto has adopted over the years. I think it's also worth mentioning I think Leonard is the better prospect in my mind, but at the time of the draft I don't think Toronto could pass on an easy double double big man.
Was- Kawhi Leonard- Position of need, best player available, and a high IQ guy. All of those were things the Wizards wanted in Vesely, but that just didn't work out. Kawhi is a great defender, can shoot the three, and would have been a great commodity to have with Wall.
Sac- Faried- How could the Kings turn down a backcourt of Faried and Cousins? They knew Hickson was leaving that summer, and were still undecided on Evans. Faried would have been the safer pick over guys like Parsons and Thomson because you know he is going bring the intensity every night. Again, this pick could go one of many ways.
Det- Parsons- Everyone knew Prince was on his way out soon, and Parsons would have been the perfect complimentary piece to replace him. Parsons is a great player, and teaming him up with Monroe would have been a decent young core. To be honest though, looking over the 2010 Pistons roster, that team needed everything, as their second best prospect was Stucky…yikes
Cha- Tobias Harris- I think I over rate Tobias too much, but I think he could reach the level of play that we've seen from Rudy Gay. He's going to score, rebound, and play some acceptable defense. All of those things are something the Bobcats needed.
MIL- Klay Thompson- Baring no trades, I can't see the Bucks passing on Thompson this late. While the general vibe in this thread leans against Klay, I still think he will be an elite shooter, and with Sanders, Ersan, Jennings, and Bogut already on the roster having an elite shooter in Klay would be ideal.
Gst- Triston Thomoson- Looking at their roster it's incredible what Golden State has done in such a short amount of time. Curry and Lee are the only players still on the team playing a lot of minutes, and the team wasn't exactly full of defenders. Thompson would be an upgrade over guys like Beans or Vlad, and would give them some much needed defense next to Lee. This pick could be different though, depending on the Warriors mindset on Monta.
Uth- Iman Shumpert- Utah has been searching for their starting SG of the future for what seams like my entire life, and Shump would be a nice player to plug into the line-up. He can score, defend, rebound, shoot the three, and could even play some pg for the Jazz. I like that kind of versatility, and think he would be the perfect compliment to hayward and kemba.
PHX- Jimmy Butler- The Suns at this point were about to turn the corner from playoff contender to blowing it all up, and with Gortat already under center I think Butler would be an awesome pick. He plays some stout defense as we all say in the playoffs, and can become a great three and D guy.
Hou- Derrik Williams- I could see Williams going higher, because lets be honest, is there a worse team that he could have been drafted to? He is still a great athlete, decent rebounder, and can bring some flash to a franchise that again, like the Suns, was about to flip the switch. Williams would have been great value.
Ind- Reggie Jackson- I hated the draft day trade of Kawhi for Hill because I didn't think Hill would be a great starting pg. If that trade isn't made then I would have liked to see IND take Jackson here. I'm from Boston, and loved Raggie's game. The Pacers were never impressed with Collinson, and Reggie could have been a nice back up plan. I could also see them going with a PF if they don't get West or trade for a PG.
Before the 2011 draft there was some debate about who was better , Kanter or VA, in their Euro playing days, Kanter seemed to get the best of the match up most of the time but it was still close and in some ways a personal preference to style etc , it still is close and this next year should be real interesting to see who comes out and shines the most. I think both will be given plenty of playing time and every opportunity to show what they can do. I think Kanter will prove to be the better offensive player and VA a little better on the defensive end , all together I'll take Kanter but that's because I'm a Jazz fan. Both are good and I think they should go 2 , 3 in the 2011 draft.
I don't know why Kenneth Farried is in any of your top fives. He's an immediate impact player who fell way too low. If we were having the 2011 draft today I feel like (once again this is my opinion) this is how the top 5 should look.
1- Kyrie Irving- Potential point guard of the future,
2. Kenneth Farried- A rebounding machine with rediculous athleticism who's only going to get better.
3. Jonas Valanciunas- Very good scorer when he gains momentum and can play an all around good game.
4. Ennis Kanter- I'm a very big Kanter fan and it shocks me that the Jazz give him such a finite amount of minutes. He's very good in the post and can shoot from the mid range and occasionally stretch to the perimeter.
5. Nikola Vucevic who's already one of the best rebounders in the NBA and still can improve offensively. He's only 23 and has not even hit his prime.