2011 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting the Moves of All 30 Teams


With the recent combine in Chicago in the books, countless NBA prospects are busy lining up their individual workouts with teams. While their positions and skill sets may be different, all of them share the same wish: hearing their name called on June 24 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

With the NBA draft less than a month away, below is a preview of how the first round could shake out.

1. Cleveland – Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

Despite the acquisition of Baron Davis in February, Cleveland is still in search of a long-term option at point guard. With that in mind, they’ll likely use their pick on Irving, who is the best player in the draft according to many draft analysts.

2. Minnesota – Derrick Williams, F, Arizona

If the Timberwolves select Williams, don’t be surprised if they move him in a draft day deal. With Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, Minnesota appears set at the forward positions. However, Williams, a versatile forward who exploded onto the scene during the NCAA tournament this past March, is too great of a talent to pass up at No. 2.

3. Utah – Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky

Knight would instantly fill Utah’s need for a complementary scoring option to Al Jefferson. His skills at the point will need to improve considerably, but if his freshman season in Lexington was any indication, Knight has all of the tools to be one of the better lead guards in the NBA.

4. Cleveland – Enes Kanter, C, Turkey

With the point guard situation solidified with their first pick, Cleveland will use their second pick on a big man to pair with J.J. Hickson. The 19-year-old Kanter is the best legitimate center in the draft, and he showed enough potential at the recent draft combine to merit a top-five selection in this year’s draft.

5. Toronto – Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania

Toronto has an affinity for drafting foreign players, and GM Bryan Colangelo will likely continue that trend with Valanciuas, who can run the floor exceptionally well despite his 6-11, 240-pound frame. Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani could pair to become one of the more formidable low-post duos that the league has seen in years.

6. Washington – Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State

Despite their lackluster record, the Wizards’ only real position of need is at the small forward spot. Leonard could start immediately in Washington – he’s a high energy guy who is a fantastic rebounder for his position (he averaged 10.6 rebounds last season at San Diego State). He had a poor performance at the recent draft combine, but that shouldn’t prevent Leonard for slipping out of the top half of the lottery.

7. Sacramento – Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut

A Walker/Tyreke Evans backcourt might be just the thing to revive interest in a moribund Kings team that flirted with a move to Anaheim earlier this month. Walker’s game is somewhat reminiscent of a young Allen Iverson – neither player is a true point guard, but both are fantastic scorers who attack the basket with reckless abandon.

8. Detroit – Bismack Biyombo, PF, Congo

Not much is known about Biyombo, but following his triple-double at the recent Nike Hoop Summit (12 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks), he quickly carved out a spot in this year’s lottery. Offensively, he’s completely raw, but his defense and athleticism are likely too good for the Pistons to pass up.

9. Charlotte – Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas

Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan would love to draft Biyombo at No. 9, but Texas freshman Tristan Thompson isn’t a bad fallback option. Like Biyombo, Thompson’s offense is a work in progress – his primary value lies in his length and his exceptional rebounding ability.

10. Milwaukee – Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic

Vesely could have been a top-10 pick last year, but decided to spend an extra year in Europe refining his game. A 6-11 wing player, Vesely could quickly blossom into a matchup nightmare for small forwards across the NBA. His low post game is slowly improving, and he’ll be the beneficiary of some good mid-range looks playing alongside Brandon Jennings.

11. Golden State – Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas

Morris wants to be slotted as a small forward, but his poor shooting at the Chicago combine pretty much put those hopes to rest. Golden State really needs a center, but Morris is the best available big man at this point, so this pick may result in David Lee sliding to the 5 position. That being said, Morris is an extremely skilled forward with decent range and a solid low-post game.

12. Utah – Alec Burks, SG, Colorado

In a draft devoid of pure shooting guards, Alec Burks is at the head of the class at the 2 position. Primarily known for his athleticism, the 19-year-old Burks is one of the draft’s potential breakout stars. Burks, along with the earlier selection of Knight, could give Utah their backcourt for the next decade.

13. Phoenix – Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU

Fredette isn’t a true point guard, but who better to learn from than Steve Nash? What Jimmer Fredette is great at is putting the ball in the basket, and he should fit in quite nicely in the Suns’ “seven seconds or less” offense.

14. Houston – Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas

The 6-9, 229-pound Hamilton may have snuck into the lottery with his fantastic shooting at the draft combine in Chicago earlier this month. Houston needs a scoring small forward, and Hamilton is just that – this pick makes perfect sense for the Rockets at 14.

15. Indiana – Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State

Thompson is probably the second-best 2-guard prospect in the draft. Problem is, he doesn’t shoot all that well (Thompson shot 43.6 percent last season). He’s more of a high-volume scorer, and at 6-7, he should be able to get his shot off despite his lack of NBA-level athleticism.

16. Philadelphia – Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas

Another pick that appears to be the perfect blend of team and player is Markieff Morris to the Philadelphia at 16. Morris has the aggressiveness, shot-blocking and rebounding ability that will endear him to Sixers’ fans in short order, and he’s a pretty decent shooter from 15-20 feet. It probably doesn’t hurt that he’s a Philly native as well.

17. New York – Josh Selby, PG, Kansas

The recent buzz is that the Knicks’ front office is in love with Selby, who had an abbreviated, erratic run during his one season in Lawrence, Kansas. Selby is a very capable scorer who puts up off-the-charts in agility drills (he recorded a 42-inch vertical at the recent draft combine) – those two facts alone make it unlikely he’ll slip too far in the first round.

18. Washington – Chris Singleton, F, Florida State

He’s got the body type of a “new-age” small forward in the mold of a Josh Smith. Like Smith, Singleton has quick-twitch leaping ability, and attacks the rim with ferocity on the break. His ability to guard multiple positions would be an asset to the Wizards, who are severely lacking on the defensive end.

19. Charlotte – Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State

So he’s a bit undersized (6-6 without sneakers), but no one in the history of Division I men’s’ basketball grabbed more rebounds than Faried. That skill alone will earn him a decent paycheck for the next few years – Charlotte would do well to add Faried to a frontcourt rotation that’s in need of some extra muscle.

20. Minnesota – Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence

Unless they swap Derrick Williams for a shooting guard (and even if they don’t), Brooks would be a solid option for the Timberwolves at No. 20. The Wesley Johnson experiment didn’t quite work out as expected this year, and Brooks would be a terrific addition to a Minnesota backcourt currently devoid of scorers.

21. Portland – Darius Morris, PG, Michigan

At 6-5, Morris has above-average height for a point guard, but he’s not a very accomplished shooter. That said, he’s a proven playmaker, and will be a nice option at PG for Portland once Andre Miller’s contract expires next year.

22. Denver – Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee

Harris already looks the part of an NBA power forward, and he does a lot of things well, if not spectacularly. He’s not the fastest or tallest player, but he always seems to be in the right position on both ends of the floor – a talent that George Karl may find too tempting to pass up at No. 22.

23. Houston – Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College

After addressing their small forward need with Jordan Hamilton, look for Houston to draft a point guard with their second first-round pick. Jackson, a junior, is a very solid lead guard with a very good jumper – a rare find in today’s NBA.

24. Oklahoma City – Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania

Motiejunas is a prolific scorer whose height (7 feet) and ability to play on the perimeter make him a very intriguing option as a stretch 4 for the Thunder. He won’t be asked to do much for Oklahoma City, but his prolific outside shooting will make them even more dangerous than they are today.

25. Boston – Jordan Williams, PF, Maryland

Williams may be the biggest enigma in the draft: many thought that he should have spent another season at Maryland, but few deny that he has the build to be an effective power forward in the NBA once he puts it all together. While he’s still somewhat raw, he seems to have that desire to compete and improve on a daily basis, despite the fact that he’s only 20 years old. Boston had issues at the center position this year, and Williams would be a nice addition to the Celtics’ front-line.

26. Dallas – Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia

With Dirk Nowitzki now one of the league’s elder statesmen, look for Bertans to become Dallas’ next European import of note. Not especially fast or strong (like a young Nowitzki), Bertans is a high-level shooter who is blessed with NBA-range despite the fact that he’s only 18 years old. Considering the fact that Dallas has the luxury of developing Bertans, he is the perfect long-term project candidate for the Mavericks.

27. New Jersey – Tyler Honeycutt, SG/SF, UCLA

Job No. 1 for Tyler Honeycutt is to lock himself into the weight room ASAP – unless he adds 20-plus pounds to his 6-8, 190-pound frame, he will have an impossible time getting to his spots in the NBA. That being said, his ridiculous length (which helped him lead the Pac-10 in blocks this past season) and athletic skill set will be a boon to the Nets, who are desperately seeking a dynamic wing player.

28. Chicago – Charles Jenkins, SG, Hofstra

Chicago may have had the best record in the NBA this season, but they had a glaring need in their starting lineup at the 2 guard spot. It would be a complete surprise if they don’t address this area in the draft, and Jenkins would be a perfect fit. More than anything, the 6-3 Jenkins is a very good shooter who can open up lanes for Rose and Deng to attack the basket.

29. San Antonio – Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia

San Antonio needs a young PF to prepare for the post-Duncan era, so Thompkins makes sense that this point in the first round. He’s solid offensive, and a productive rebounder, but the knock on him is that he isn’t the most impressive athlete to ever play the 4 spot. With an aging front line, however, Thompkins makes perfect sense for the Spurs at No. 29.

30. Chicago – Nikola Mirotic, SF, Montenegro

With the last pick in the first round, look for Chicago to take a player who may not be able to crack their rotation in the short-term. Mirotic may just be that player – he’s a 6-10 small forward with a ton of potential, but a $2 million buyout may prevent him from coming to the States until his deal is up two seasons from now.