February 22, 2011
February 18, 2011
Team needs have NOT been taken into account with this 2011NBA Mock Draft. We will begin to factor in team needs once the NBA trade deadline has passed later this month. Click on the players’ name for a complete scouting report and an NBAcomparison. Here is a list of outstanding trades for the 2011 NBA Draft. Check out a 2012 NBA Mock Draft and The Sports Bank’s nfl-mock-draft-2-16-11/”>2011 NFL Mock Draft. Also take a look at our 2010 NBA Draft Lottery Re-Do.
1. Cleveland- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke, 6-1, Fr.
A tremendous play-maker, Irving is lightning fast with the basketball. He is also a talented scorer who has made an early impression with his maturity while running the show for Coach K before suffering a toe injury that may cost him the rest of his freshman season.
2. Minnesota- Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State, 6-9, Fr.
A physical force down low with an NBA-ready body, Sullinger figures to be the next in the lineage of OSU big men to be one-and-done. He may not be the best athlete in the world but is quicker than you would expect from a 6-9, 265 pounder.
3. Sacramento- Derrick Williams, F, Arizona, 6-9, So.
Williams is a tremendous athlete who lives around the rim. He runs the floor well, is a solid rebounder, and has really improved his face-up and perimeter game since his freshman season.
4. Toronto- Enes Kanter, F/C, Kentucky, 6-10, Fr.
It looks like college hoops will not get a chance to see Kanter suit up for the Big Blue, but he is a talented big man who is a lottery lock regardless of whether or not he ever suits up for UK.
5. Washington- Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina, 6-8, Fr.
The prototypical NBA wing player, Barnes can stroke it from deep, create his own shot, handle the rock, and attack the basket. He has not lived up to the hype so far at UNC but is still a great talent.
6. New Jersey- Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky, 6-9, Fr.
Jones is a smooth lefty who can take bigger defenders off the bounce or post up smaller opponents. He will be able to play either forward spot at the next level and should be ready to contribute right away due to his impressive physique for a freshman.
7. Detroit- Perry Jones, PF, Baylor, 6-9, Fr.
Jones is a long, athletic, explosive forward who by every indication will be a one-and-done. He needs to add strength and range to his outside game before he can be a factor in the league.
8. L.A. Clippers- Jonas Valanciunas, F/C, Lithuania, 6-10, 1992
A back-to-the-basket player, Valanciunas is not as versatile as most European big men but has plenty of up-side. It will be interesting to see if he declares for the 2011 Draft or waits another year so he can continue his overall development.
9. Milwaukee- Jordan Hamilton, G/F, Texas, 6-7, So.
A pure scorer who can take you off the dribble and also has outstanding range on his jumper. He has great size for an NBA wing player, but needs to improve his ball-handling, shot selection, and defensive tenacity.
10. Charlotte- Jan Vesely, F, Czech Republic, 6-11, 1989
Vesely likely would have been a lottery pick in the 2010 draft but decided not to enter the draft. Another year overseas should only benefit his all-around game and make him more NBA-ready in 2011.
11. Golden State- Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State, 6-6, So.
The Aztec sophomore has incredible athleticism and a non-stop motor that makes him a factor on the glass. His jump shot is far from NBA ready, but based on potential, he is a sure-fire first rounder.
12. Houston- Donatas Motiejunas, F/C, Lithuania, 7-0, 1990
He pulled out of the draft process late this past off-season because he was likely falling out of the lottery. Motiejunas is a versatile seven-footer who can vault back up the board if he shows some steady development in his all-around game and body.
13. Phoenix- Kemba Walker, PG, UConn, 6-1, Jr.
Walker has been on a tear this season. He has improved his decision-making and outside shooting which were questions heading into the season. The Bronx native is lightning quick with the rock and has seen his stock soar since an outstanding performance at the Maui Invitational.
14. Memphis- Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU, 6-2, Sr.
An absolute sharp-shooter from downtown, Fredette runs the point at BYU but whether or not teams think he can handle that spot in the NBA will determine where he ends up getting drafted.
15. Indiana- Alec Burks, SG, Colorado, 6-6, So.
Burks is a big time scorer who thrives off the bounce. He might be the best of a weaker class of true shooting guard prospects and still has room for development.
16. Philadelphia- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State, 6-9, Jr.
One of the best defenders in college, Singleton’s offensive game is improving but still a work in progress. He is not very effective attacking the basket and needs to improve his outside shot.
17. New York- Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky, 6-3, Fr.
A great play-maker, Knight is also an effective outside shooter. He is a scoring point guard who also knows how to distribute the rock. Knight needs to learn how to be a true point guard before turning pro.
18. Utah- Marcus Morris, F, Kansas, 6-9, Jr.
A physical presence due to his strong body, Morris can also has range out to the three point line. He will probably be able to play either forward position at the next level but needs to improve his ability to take defenders off the bounce in isolation situations.
19. Denver-Kyle Singler, SF, Duke, 6-9, Sr.
Singler surprised many by announcing he would return for his senior season. His size and ability to shoot the rock are positives but lacks the ideal NBA athleticism to be a three. If Gordon Hayward can go in the lottery though, so can Singler.
20. Portland- Trey Thompkins, F, Georgia, 6-9, Jr.
Thompkins has a nice variety of moves on the block including a good turnaround jumper. He has a nice combination of physicality and athleticism.
21. Portland (from NO)- Josh Selby, PG, Kansas, 6-3, Fr.
After sitting out the first nine games of the season, Selby started his collegiate career with a bang but has slowed down lately. He is a terrific athlete and scorer, but is more of a combo guard than a true point guard.
22. Phoenix (from ORL)-William Buford, SG, Ohio State, 6-5, Jr.
Buford is a talented scorer who needs to become more aggressive at attacking the basket instead of falling in love with his jumper. He has played well of late which helps his stock.
23. Atlanta- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas, 6-10, Jr.
Markieff is a little more of a low post threat than his twin brother Marcus, but not quite as polished with his perimeter game. His outside shot is showing improvement and he stays active on both ends of the floor.
24. Oklahoma City- Kris Joseph, SF, Syracuse, 6-7, Jr.
Joseph is at his best when attacking the basket but has shown strides with his outside shot. Still, his athleticism should earn him a spot in the first round.
25. New Jersey (from LAL)- Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas, 6-9, Soph.
What a horrible situation. Robinson’s mother recently passed away suddenly within a month of his grandfather and grandmother’s deaths. Robinson’s decision to turn pro may be purely financially based as he has a nine-year old sister who now needs to be looked after. From a basketball standpoint, Robinson would be best served returning to Kansas, but he has shown the potential to be a solid NBA player and would be worth a first round pick.
26. Chicago- Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State, 6-8, Sr.
Faried is an outstanding rebounder but needs to work more on his face-up game. He is a bit under-sized to be the ideal NBA power forward, but makes up for that with his non-stop work ethic on the inside.
27. Dallas- Nolan Smith, G, Duke, 6-3, Sr.
Smith has emerged into a legit Player of the Year candidate and his ability to play either guard position should get him first round looks. He may not be a star at the next level, but could be a valuable role player off somebody’s bench.
28. Toronto (from MIA)- JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue, 6-10, Sr.
Johnson is a lengthy post player who runs the floor well and can consistently knock down 18-foot jump shots. He has shown steady improvement during his time at Purdue.
29. Boston- Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt, 6-7, Jr.
Taylor is an extraordinary athlete and has improved his three-point shooting this season. He needs to become more of a threat in driving to the basket, but should get first round looks due to his extraordinary athleticism.
30. San Antonio- Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence, 6-5, Sr.
Brooks’ stock is on the rise as he is averaging about 24 points and 7.5 boards per game for the Friars. He has come out of nowhere to be one of the better wing scorers in the country and will garner late first round possibilities.
2011 NBA Mock Draft-First Round (2/18/11)
February 14, 2011
With NBA All-Star season upon us once again, it's time for our annual survey examining the backgrounds of the world's best basketball players - where they came from, how much college ball they played, when they were drafted, how they got to their current teams. (Here's last year's look). Let's go:
|Dwyane Wade||Chicago, IL||3||5||Draft|
|Amar'e Stoudemire||Orlando, FL||0||9||UFA|
|Dwight Howard||Atlanta, GA||0||1||Draft|
|LeBron James||Akron, OH||0||1||UFA|
|Kevin Garnett||Mauldin, SC||0||5||Trade|
|Paul Pierce||Inglewood, CA (L.A.)||3||10||Draft|
|Chris Bosh||Dallas, TX||1||4||UFA|
|Joe Johnson||Little Rock, AR||2||10||RFA/Trade|
|Derrick Rose||Chicago, IL||1||1||Draft|
|Rajon Rondo||Louisville, KY||2||24||Draft/Trade|
|Ray Allen||Dalzell, SC||3||5||Trade|
|Al Horford||Puerto Plata, DR||3||3||Draft|
|Kobe Bryant||L. Merion, PA (Philly)||0||13||Draft/Trade|
|Tim Duncan||St. Croix, US V.I.||4||1||Draft|
|Carmelo Anthony||Baltimore, MD||1||3||Draft|
|Dirk Nowitzki||Wurzburg, GER||0||9||Draft|
|Pau Gasol||Barcelona, ESP||0||3||Trade|
|Manu Ginobili||Bahia Blanca, ARG||0||57||Draft|
|Deron Williams||The Colony, TX (Dallas)||3||3||Draft|
|Kevin Love||Lake Oswego, OR||1||5||Draft/Trade|
|Kevin Durant||Rockville, MD (DC)||1||2||Draft|
|Chris Paul||Winston-Salem, NC||2||4||Draft|
|Russell Westbrook||Long Beach, CA||2||4||Draft|
|Blake Griffin||Oklahoma City, OK||2||1||Draft|
It's been an especially top-heavy year for the Western Conference. As of this writing, 23 of the top 31 ranked players in PER play in the West. As such, we're also making sure to consider "Near All-Stars" - these are guys who were listed as All-Star caliber by some of our preferred analysts, such as John Hollinger, Kevin Pelton, and Kelly Dwyer (West | East).
As such, we offer 13 more players as "Near All-Stars":
|Josh Smith||Atlanta, GA||0||17||Draft|
|Carlos Boozer||Juneau, AK||3||34||UFA|
|Steve Nash||Victoria, BC||4||15||UFA|
|Zach Randolph||Marion, IN||1||19||Trade|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||Dallas, TX||2||2||Draft|
|David West||Garner, NC/Teaneck, NJ||4||18||Draft|
|Tony Parker||Paris, FRA||0||28||Draft|
|Nenê||São Carlos, BRA||0||7||Draft/Trade|
|Lamar Odom||New York, NY||1||4||Trade|
|Eric Gordon||Indianapolis, IN||1||7||Draft|
|Kevin Martin||Zanesville, OH||3||26||Trade|
|Monta Ellis||Jackson, MS||0||40||Draft|
|Luis Scola||Buenos Aires, ARG||0||56||Trade|
We plotted all of these guys onto a Google map to quickly examine the question: Where do the best basketball players in the world come from? (All-Stars in blue, "near All-Stars" in red; click + and - for different views)
View 2011 NBA All-Stars - Where They're From in a larger map
Obviously, this is just an overview look and things don't change that much from year to year. Still, there are a few trends we've noticed:
- Dallas emerging as hotbed for top talent: With the explosive rise of Russell Westbrook to All-Star status, the L.A. Southland (Pierce, Westbrook) now joins Dallas (Bosh, D. Williams) and the Chicagoland area (Wade, Rose) as the metropolitan areas which produced multiple All-Stars.
But stretch it out to All-Stars and "Near All-Stars", and Dallas-area native LaMarcus Aldridge, who continues his surge of exceptional play, gives the Metroplex a third All-Star caliber player, all under 30.
What's even more impressive is the pipeline of potential top talent from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in upcoming years. Baylor's Perry Jones, a Dallas native, could go as high as no. 1 in this year's Draft. Meanwhile, LeBryan Nash, who is a senior at Bosh's alma mater, Lincoln High, is rated no. 6 in the high-school class of 2011 (he will attend Oklahoma State).
Even further, 7-footer Isaiah Austin, who attends Grace Prep in Mansfield (south of Fort Worth/Arlington) is the no. 3 ranked player in the class of 2012, while Julius Randle of Dallas is the early no. 1 among the class of 2013, with another area player (Keith Frazier from Irving) ranked as the no. 7 soph.
Obviously, it's a long way from "potential" to "NBA All-Star", but the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is quietly emerging as a metropolitan area which can produce world-class basketball players as well as anywhere in the world.
- The New York drought continues: We move from an underrated basketball city back to the one which has become wildly overhyped: the Big Apple. Lamar Odom and potentially Joakim Noah threatened to end the drought of New Yorkers in the All-Stars, but came up short. That means that once again, there are zero NBA All-Stars from New York City, and there hasn't been one since Ron Artest in 2004. Say Queensbridge.
[We discussed the topic "What Happened to the NYC Ballplayer?" at length in our 2009 post.]
One thing that's notable is that the action - and probably, the coaching - is taking place across the Hudson in Jersey. St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey has the chance to pull off an amazing double: it could produce back-to-back no. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. Injured Duke PG Kyrie Irving currently sits no. 1 in DraftExpress's 2011 Mock Draft, while senior SF Michael Gilchrist, a player with Pippenesque qualities who will attend Kentucky, could certainly go no. 1 overall in 2012.
Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert and Derrick Caracter are current players in the league from coach Kevin Boyle's storied St. Patrick program. Earlier this year, we caught a televised game between St. Patrick and Winter Park, FL (which features ESPN's no. 1 ranked senior, Austin Rivers). Boyle's well-coached, hard-working team was a joy to watch - we made a note to keep an eye out in case St. Patrick meets Hall of Famer Bob Hurley's St. Anthony's team somewhere down the line in the Jersey state playoffs.
- Where are the next great Europeans?: Hit "-" a few times to back the map out, and you'll notice that, once again, there are only two All-Stars from Europe (Dirk and Pau), and both players have now hit 30 years old. Certainly, the internationalization of the NBA continues apace, with many players from around the world playing key roles around the league.
But where are the next great players from Europe? Guys like Andrea Bargnani and Rudy Fernandez have not lived up to billing as potential stars, and Ricky Rubio's development has stalled as the point guard position has concurrently become overloaded with stunning young talents. Traditional powers Serbia and Croatia - who gave us Divac and Petrovic and Kukoc - are down to just four NBA players combined (Darko, Peja, Vlad Rad and Krstic).
Young players like Frenchmen Roddy Beaubois and Nic Batum, plus Italian Danilo Gallinari, certainly have a ton of potential, but also a lot to prove. Similarly, the 2011 draft class of four possible international lottery picks (Jonas Valanciunas, Enes Kanter, Donatas Motiejunas, and Jan Vesely) has a lot of promise but a lot of uncertainty.
It's improbable though not impossible that Marc Gasol could someday find his way to All-Star Game if the right circumstances come together, but it's hard to see him becoming a true All-NBA player. Joakim Noah is technically a candidate, since he may play for the French national team, but he was born and schooled in New York, played NCAA ball, and also just became a French citizen in 2007.
In 2007, a German was the NBA MVP and a Frenchman was the NBA Finals MVP, and it seemed like the vanguard of the future. Was the preeminence of Dirk, Pau and Tony the summit for European stars rather than a sign of more to come?
- College conference breakdown: Here are the standings of All-Stars and near All-Stars by NCAA conference. The first number is taken from the total of all 37 players above. The second number is strictly for the 24 All-Stars.
ACC 4 / 3 Big 12 4 / 3 Big East 3 / 3 SEC 3 / 3 Big Ten 3 / 1 Pac-10 2 / 2 Atlantic 10 2 / 0 Conference USA 1 / 1 WCC 1 / 0 Southern 1 / 0 None 13 / 8
- NCAA experience not necessary:: Wow, that last number above really stands out as a staggering change over the last 20 years. A third of NBA All-Stars never played a minute of NCAA basketball, more than half played no more than a year, and only one All-Star - grand old man Timmy Duncan - played a full four years of college basketball.
The average college-basketball experience for the 2011 All-Stars is as follows: East: 1.5 years, West: 1.3, Overall: 1.4 (down from 1.6 in 2010 and 1.8 in 2009).
Why has the quality of play in NCAA basketball declined so drastically over the last generation? It's as simple as these numbers. The best basketball players in the world no longer play college basketball for any meaningful amount of time.
Compare to the 1990 NBA All-Star Game - the players in that game played an average of 3.5 years of college basketball, more than two times the current average! Only 9 of the 24 All-Stars that year had played *fewer* than four years of college, and not one player had played fewer than two years.
We loved college basketball in the '80s and '90s, but now find the game extremely overrated, and often hard to watch. It's nothing personal. We just want to see good basketball, and we now rarely see the best players in the world make it to their junior or senior years.
- Dunk contest prediction: Since this will be our only pre-All-Star post, we're going to throw this in here. We love watching the nightly Blake Griffin highlight reel as much as anybody, but we're not convinced that he will be as impressive of a contest dunker as he is a game dunker. The source of Blake's ability to inspire awe in us stems from his power and explosiveness - plus that combo coming down on someone's head - more than his creativity. As such, we're predicting that crazy-ass JaVale McGee will outdunk Blake on Saturday night, though we'd still bet that the combo of home court and crowd favorite will carry Griffin to the contest win.
2011 NBA All-Stars: Where They're From