Here we are, folks. The 2011 NBA Draft is finally here and everyone is prepping for the top pick (whether it be Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving) to be announced, while many people are eagerly anticipating all of the potential trade possibilities.
Feel free to check out all of our recent NBA Mock Drafts to see how accurate we were and stick here with us and Chat Live with NBASoup writers to talk about the draft, before, during, and after the big picks and trades go down. Follow the actual selections and trades live right here, as we updated each selection with expert analysis and get it to you faster, better, and more personable than any other site online!
We’re excited to have another great NBA Draft event, and we know you are too, so sit back, relax, and join us for one of the best night’s in the NBA season.
Here is all the stuff you need to keep yourself entertained during the draft:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
Cleveland does what everyone expected and grabbed their point guard of the future. Irving is an athletic, complete point guard who can end up being a stud at the next level. Moving on from LeBron James officially starts with the Cavs landing Irving with the top pick.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves - Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
Minnesota makes the smart call here and picks the best player available, rather than trying to convince themselves into taking Enes Kanter. This doesn’t mean Williams sticks in Minnesota, but its the right pick. Landing Williams also makes Michael Beasley expendable and gives Minnesota added athleticism and versatility.
3. Utah Jazz - Enes Kanter, F/C, Kentucky
As expected, the Jazz go for the big guy with some excellent long-term potential. Kanter isn’t the most polished player, but he’s very talented and has plenty of time to turn into the player people think he can become. He’s good enough to help right away if need be, but will probably have some time on the bench to mature. This pick makes what the Jazz do at 12 (who they pick or if they trade up) that much more interesting.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
Highly expected to pick Jonas Valanciunas, the Cavaliers raise some eyebrows by taking the young and talented Thompson. He might end up being a very good player, and we understand the concerns over Valanciunas’ contract issue, but this is clearly a reach. Still a good talent, and another nice building block as the Cavs try to turn things around.
5. Toronto Raptors - Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
The Raptors go after a big man here and try to make-up for Andrea Bargnani’s inability to play effectively inside. He’s definitely talented and can score the ball, but some will shake their head at Toronto passing up an elite point guard in Brandon Knight. I had Jonas here in past mocks and people laughed, and here it is coming to life. Valanciunas has contract issues that could prevent him from coming to Toronto until after 2012, but he’s so talented the Raptors won’t lose much sleep over it.
6. Washington Wizards - Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic
Okay, now we’re back on track. Washington grabs an insanely athletic and versatile forward who plays all over the floor and has the potential to be a special player. He has a developing offensive game, but his athleticism and energy will earn him minutes right away. The Wiz need a small forward with Nick Young possibly leaving via free agency, so this is the right pick.
7. Charlotte Bobcats (via Sacramento Kings) - Bismack Biyombo, C, Congo
The Kings actually still made this pick for the Bobcats, but Biyombo is going to Charlotte. I originally thought the Bobcats wanted Tristan Thompson, but with him gone, Biyombo was the next guy they were after. Biyombo is a major defensive stopper that rebounds well and can disrupt shots in the paint. The only problem is, he has zero offensive ability. However, he’s young, athletic, and has a big body, so he still has a high ceiling on both ends of the court.
8. Detroit Pistons - Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
Detroit would have loved a defensive presence like Biyombo or a young big man like Thompson, but they’ll settle for a point guard upgrade, instead. They’ve been 50-50 on Rodney Stuckey lately, so landing Knight pushes that decision out into the open. Very nice pick, as Knight is an upgrade over Stuckey on both ends of the court.
9. Charlotte Bobcats - Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
And there goes the D.J. Augustin train. Everyone knew the Bobcats needed a true point guard to get this franchise going, and the Charlotte brass makes the right move. Walker is a good athlete with exceptional offensive ability, while possessing strong leadership skills and clutch ability. His NCAA title doesn’t hurt his resume, either. Good pick here for the Bobcats.
10. Sacramento Kings (via Milwaukee Bucks) - Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU
The Kings get this pick via the Bucks, and Sacramento gets itself an explosive scorer who can kill defenses in a variety of ways. Fredette proved through measurements, the draft combine, and individual workouts that he can hang with NBA athletes, and his scoring and leadership throughout his career speak for themselves. He should fit in nicely with the Kings, who have a nice offensive cast. This move also allows the Kings to push Tyreke Evans over to shooting guard, which could help open things up for the Kings as a whole.
11. Golden State Warriors - Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
We’re back in business, as we nailed this pick, with the Warriors taking the lights-out shooter from Washington State. Thompson has perfect size for the NBA shooting guard position, can fill it up from outside, and has the versatility to play small forward. He has a very solid offensive game overall, and has decent defensive potential. Golden State gets bigger and longer on the wing with a solid pick here at 11.
12. Utah Jazz - Alec Burks, G/F, Colorado
The craziness appears to be done for the moment as we got our second pick in a row correct. Utah grabs an elite athlete with excellent versatility and potential. He can score the ball well and has the ability to turn into a lockdown defender at the next level. Shot is improving, but is a bit of a weakness for him right now. As long as he’s not depended on for a ton of offense early, he’ll end up being a fine selection for the Jazz.
13. Phoenix Suns - Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
Clearly not satisfied with their inside play on offense and defense, the Suns land the more defensive-minded “Morris brother” to spice things up a bit in the post. His offensive game is evolving to the point where he could potentially be a solid offensive option with the Suns, while his imposing defense helps give Phoenix a shot-blocker and rebounder inside that won’t back down from the opposition. A little surprising Markieff goes before Marcus, but Phoenix nabs a talented big man that will play defense and will work hard.
14. Houston Rockets - Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
The other Morris brother comes off the board immediately after his brother Markieff, and Houston gets a heck of a player. Morris is a big, versatile body who has great strength and solid athleticism. He’s a very solid offensive player with a lot of tools and an expanding jumper. He should be able to fit in nicely with the Rockets, as he doesn’t shy away from contact and can also pull up from outside. A solid pick for the Rockets.
15. San Antonio Spurs (via Indiana Pacers) - Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
Kawhi Leonard’s huge fall finally ends in Indiana, where his versatility and defensive mind-set will be welcomed. Very high energy guy who will hustle and work hard at all times. Will be the perfect role player. He isn’t a great shooter or scorer, but he relies on good athleticism and solid fundamentals. He’ll be able to help out at either forward position, but is probably going to stick as a small forward at the next level, which could potentially make Danny Granger expendable (if they find offense elsewhere).
Spurs ship point guard George Hill to Indiana along with 42nd pick in second round for rights to Leonard.
16. Philadelphia 76ers - Nikola Vuvecic, F/C, USC
The 76ers steal the New York Knicks’ candy here, and get a nice big man with nice offensive skills and overall ability. He’ll be able to help right away with nice inside offense, and has the potential to stretch defenses and possibly help out on defense. He’s not an elite athlete and can be a little rigid in the post, but he’s a nice grab for a team that is looking for an upgrade (or at least some competition) over Spencer Hawes.
17. New York Knicks - Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech
We caved to the hype around Shumpert, but we still didn’t see him going to the Knicks at this spot. There’s no doubt Shumpert has the size, athleticism, and scoring ability to play in the NBA at a high level, but he does come with a bag full of questions. He’s a bit erratic on offense and doesn’t necessarily project as a true point guard at the next level. He has outstanding size for the point if the Knicks roll with him there, but either way, they landed an interesting player who has the potential to be a great player. All of that being said, you can’t help but think back to the days of Renaldo Balkman…
18. Washington Wizards - Chris Singleton, F, Florida State
Washington grabs an athletic and versatile big man who can play both forward spots and should be an excellent rotational player for the Wizards. He’s a defensive-minded player who plays efficient offense and knows his role, which makes him a nice fit for a Washington team that is looking to complete its new-look squad. They did already grab their small forward of the future in Jan Vesely, so you’d have to think Singleton is regarded as more of a power forward for the moment, although he can be used in a number of ways.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Charlotte Bobcats) - Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee
Milwaukee gets a very talented (but very young) offensive player in Harris through the Bobcats. Harris is still a bit raw, but he’s a big forward with nice versatility on offense. He can handle the ball well and can score in a number of ways. Milwaukee needed to add some size and versatility, and they get some offense in this selection, as well.
20. Houston Rockets (via Minnesota Timberwolves) - Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
This is an excellent value pick for Minnesota whether they hang onto him or not, as Motiejunas is a big, lenthy player who has great offensive skills. Very raw and needs to get stronger, but he has a future as a starter if he can continue to grow. I’d be shocked if the Timberwolves held onto him, though.
Rockets land rights to Donatas Motiejunas, along with Jonny Flynn in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves get veteran big man Brad Miller, the 23rd pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and a future first-round pick in return.
21. Portland Trail Blazers - Nolan Smith, PG, Duke
With Andre Miller looking to be on the way out, Portland addresses a major need in a great leader and solid offensive player in Smith. He’s not a point guard in the truest form, but he has the awareness and skills to transition to the position at the next level. We had him going into the second round in our final mock, but had him at this exact spot in our previous mock. Solid pick for Portland, as it fills a need.
22. Denver Nuggets - Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
Denver gets bigger and stronger inside with Faried’s solid interior offense, but the big thing here is Faried’s defense and rebounding ability. He’ll be a terrific energy guy that hustles all game long. Great pick here for Denver.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Houston Rockets) – Nikola Mirotic, F, Montenegro
Houston picks Mirotic, but will be sending him right to the T’Wolves. Mirotic has a nice frame and solid offensive skills that should help him adapt to the NBA in a few years. This is another pick that could still be traded, but if not, Minnesota will still have a guy that will mature and grow for a few years and could be an interesting piece a few years from now.
Rights to Nikola Mirotic traded to Chicago Bulls for rights to Norris Cole (pick 28) and the 43rd overall pick.
24. Oklahoma City Ghunder - Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
The Thunder pass up an opportunity to add an offensive big man or another long scorer. Instead, they get the explosive Jackson, who will undoubtedly be able to step in right away and provide instant offense. Jackson also brings the versatility to play a little bit at point, and has such great athleticism that his average height won’t hurt him at shooting guard. Great pick with nice potential, but not the guy anyone was expecting for Oklahoma City.
25. Boston Celtics - Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Boston adds a volume scorer that can pack a serious punch on offense. The “Big Three” is still alive and well, but the Celtics need to start thinking of perimeter life after Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Brooks is an elite offensive player who can score in a variety of ways and is a tremendous value buy here for the Celtics. He’ll be a long-term fix at the two guard spot, and can learn behind some of the league’s greats until he’s ready to take over.
Rights to Marshon Brooks traded to New Jersey Nets for rights to JaJaun Johnson.
26. Dallas Mavericks - Jordan Hamilton, G/F, Texas
Dallas finds a nice, athletic scorer here with the falling Hamilton. This could end up being one of the best steals in the draft. Hamilton is way too balanced and versatile to deserve a fall like this, as he was a borderline lottery project. Dallas has a ton of free agents and couldn’t have landed a better player to come in and help their bid for a repeat run at the NBA Finals. Excellent steal late in the first.
27. New Jersey Nets – JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue
The Nets select a versatile big man with a defensive presence and an evolving offensive game. The trouble is, they’re actually trading him to the Boston Celtics for Marshon Brooks. The beauty of that trade is that the Celtics can use Johnson’s size and defense, while the Nets will be able to make fine use of Brooks’ offensive ability.
Right to JaJuan Johnson traded to Boston Celtics for rights to Marshon Brooks.
28. Chicago Bulls (for Minnesota) - Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State
Chicago makes the pick here for the Timberwolves. Cole is an exceptional offensive player with solid point guard skills. He can fill it up from outside and he can lead the fast-break with the best of them. He hails from a small school and didn’t face elite competition, but he’s a big-time player with solid potential at the next level.
Bulls trade 28th and 43rd overall picks to Minnesota Timberwolves for rights to Nikola Mirotic. Timberwolves then trade rights to Miami Heat in return for the 31st overall pick and cash considerations.
The Spurs get another combo guard that has the skills and versatility to run the point and also play at the two guard. This is a pretty nice pick after they just unloaded George Hill, and Joseph is made very much in that same mold. He has really nice size for the point guard position, and has a ton of untapped talent. He left Texas early, but if San Antonio thinks he can make it at the next level, its a safe bet he can.
Chicago gets a solid back-up for Luol Deng in Butler, a solid, balanced offensive player who is a safe pick that will work hard and play efficient basketball. Butler is a versatile talent with solid athleticism and a smooth offensive game. We saw him as a rising second round pick, and really aren’t that shocked to see him make it as the last pick in the first round.
Miami drafts for Minnesota here and the Timberwolves bring in another foreign guy that they may or may not trade away before the night is over. One thing is for sure, the guy is talented, as he can fill it up offensively and has an excellent shooting stroke. Bogdanovic has excellent size for the two position and has great versatility. He was dominant in the Croatian league and could have a bright future in the right spot. However, the way the T’Wolves are operating, we have no clue for sure where that spot will be.
32. Cleveland Cavaliers - Justin Harper, PF, Richmond
Terrific pick by the Cavs, as they continue to have a stellar draft. Harper is an elite outside shooter and an all-around gifted offensive player. He really is a go-to scorer at the next level, and also brings great size, strength, and versatility to the Cavaliers. Needs to be tougher and more assertive close to the basket, but if Cleveland is looking for some offense and flexibility from a big, they definitely found it in Harper.
The Cavaliers trade the rights to Justin Harper to the Orlando Magic for two future second-round picks.
33. Detroit Pistons - Kyle Singler, G/F, Duke
Detroit continues its overhaul with the addition of a major faller in Singler, who arguably has first-round talent. He’s a very crafty offensive player with a nice outside shot and underrated athleticism. He’s a great team player and a fiery competitor who could be an excellent role player for the Pistons right away, and could even eventually be a solid starter in the league.
34. Washington Wizards - Shelvin Mack, G, Butler
Washington gets a solid combo guard who can run the point if needed, and can also fill it up offensively. Mack is a bit streaky at times with his outside shot, but he’s a tough guard who can score in bunches at times and can bring offense and energy off the bench in Washington.
35. Sacramento Kings - Tyler Honeycutt, G/F, UCLA
The Kings are starting to look very interesting on offense for 2011, as they land a falling prospect in Honeycutt, who can do a lot of nice things. He has terrific size and versatility, while possessing a silky smooth offensive game. His handle and strength are in question, and he isn’t the most consistent offensive option, but the potential is there for him to be a very solid player at the next level. Solid value pick for the Kings.
New Jersey gets a little bigger and stronger with Williams, who can score inside effectively and rebounds well. He’s not the most athletic or fluid big man, but he’ll work hard for points and rebounds. With Kris Humphries entering free agency and Brook Lopez lacking elite rebounding ability, Williams is a very solid value add here.
37. Los Angeles Clippers - Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia
The Clippers get outstanding value here with the meaty Thompkins to go down low and back-up Blake Griffin. Not overly explosive or athletic, Thompkins relies on strength and an array of elite offensive post moves. He can be a beast inside on offense and will be a nice piece of L.A.’s rotation down the road if he can stay in shape and stick with the team. This is a nice steal, as Thompkins was a projected first-round talent.
38. Houston Rockets - Chandler Parsons, F, Florida
Parsons isn’t an elite athlete or a major scorer, but he’s a jack of all trades that can come in and work hard to be a part of Houston’s rotation. He does everything at a solid level and is a nice value pick for the Rockets. He also has enough versatility to spend some time at power forward if need be, but possesses the handle and outside shooting to spend most of his time at the three spot.
39. Charlotte Bobcats - Jeremy Tyler, PF, USA
Charlotte grabs Tyler, who has the size, strength, and athleticism to be a very solid big man. The Bobcats do need help inside, so the potential is there for Tyler to get it going and find a nice role here. He still needs to develop his skills on the offensive end and relies far too much on his size and athleticism, but he has beast potential if he can put the work in.
Rights to Jeremy Tyler acquired by Golden State Warriors for cash considerations.
40. Milwaukee Bucks – Jon Leuer, F, Wisconsin
Milwaukee reels in a hometown hero in Leuer, while actually also addressing a need for some inside offense. Leuer isn’t an elite athlete, but he’s very versatile and brings reliable offense, both inside and out.
This is a nice pick for the Lakers, who really have no long-term answer at point guard. That’s not to say Morris is their end-all solution, but Derek Fisher is ancient and Shannon Brown is a free agent. Morris has great size and skills for the position, but is not an elite athlete and doesn’t have a ton of experience. Still a very nice value pick for the Lakers.
42. San Antonio Spurs (via Indiana Pacers) - Davis Bertans, F, Latvia
The Pacers make the pick for the Spurs, and this is one we smelled from far away. We didn’t call it, but we felt the Spurs sniffing around Bertans in past mocks. He’s raw and has a lot of work to do, but he has elite outside shooting and some athleticism. He’s rough around the edges in every other area, but he’s got potential and if the Spurs pick him, you know he’ll resurface with a role in the league at some point.
Chicago gets a very good athlete with excellent versatility and potential in Lee. He follows a nice list of solid point guards out of UCLA and has great size for the point, while he can also play the two spot. He’s not the most reliable offensive option in the world, but he can score when he needs to, and he can become a lockdown defender a the next level.
We nailed this one on the head, as the Warriors grab up an elite offensive guard who can step in and produce points in a number of ways right away. You wouldn’t assume so based off of his college, but Jenkins is an elite offensive player with tremendous shooting ability. Even if he doesn’t have a clear role right away in Golden State, his offensive skills will keep him on a roster for many years.
The Hornets reach a bit here for a big man who probably would have gone undrafted if they didn’t select him. Harrellson is worthy of a selection based off of his solid rebounding ability and extreme hustle, but he doesn’t have much offensive ability and he may have some limitations on the defensive end. Still, in terms of hustle and energy, few players in this draft give more to a team than Harrellson. From that stand-poing, this is a good use of a mid-second round pick.
Draft rights to Josh Harrellson traded to New York Knicks for cash considerations.
The Lakers add a great scorer with exceptional shooting ability. He comes from a tiny school and is the first player drafted out of Charleston since 1997, but his offensive ability makes him worth the pick alone. He’s a bit under-sized, but could provide a nice scoring burst for the Lakers off the bench.
The Clippers add a freak athlete with improving offensive skills and the potential to be a defensive stopper.
48. Atlanta Hawks - Keith Benson, C, Oakland
It’s about time. Benson has seen his stock negatively affected by playing at a small school and the fact that he’s got a slight build. If he gets stronger and can re-adjust his focus, he could end up shocking a lot of people. A very gifted offensive player with the potential to also be a major factor on defense, while filling a need at center for the Hawks.
49. Memphis Grizzlies - Josh Selby, G, Kansas
Selby took a predictable fall after scoring less than eight points per game in his lone college season. He definitely has the athleticism and skill-set to evolve into a dynamite offensive player, but his point guard skills are extremely raw and his offensive production was nowhere near the place it should be. He’s probably lucky he got drafted, but Memphis is right in the fact that he does have NBA talent if he keeps working hard to unveil it.
I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t see Allen getting drafted, and I’m not sure why he got selected over a number of guys we had going here in the second round. He’s still a big body who has been productive, but his inconsistency kept his stock from going anywhere.
Portland grabs a one-dimensional shooter who is arguably the best shooter in the draft. He actually has nice size and a little athleticism, which could make him a more complete offensive player down the road, but he will face questions about his defense and strength. None of that really matters, though, as he’ll make his pay-checks on his outside shooting ability.
This is a blue collar pick and perfect for the Pistons. Macklin doesn’t have a great offensive skill-set but he’s big, strong, and physical. He can play solid defense and fits what the Pistons used to be and could be working back towards. Nice value pick that should stick.
Orlando improves their defense with Liggins, who has great size and solid athleticism. He’ll need to improve his offensive consistency to ever carve out a major role, but he has a chance to stick as a defender.
Cleveland picks up a solid, balanced player in Macvan who isn’t a great athlete but can score and has solid fundamentals. Probably not a safe bet to stick with the team or even ever come to the states.
Boston gets a very athletic guard with some versatility and some nice upside. He’s a talented player who can defend and has the potential to turn into a decent offensive player at the next level. Isn’t likely to make a major impact as a rookie, but is a nice value pick that could pay off down the road.
All we know is this guy has a name that’s hard to pronounce and that he’s really raw. Also, we’re pretty sure no one else knows anything about him, either. Jeff Van Gundy admitted he didn’t know he was, so we decided we wouldn’t beat around the bush.
An extremely little known prospect with elite athleticism and explosiveness. Very nice athlete with some potential, although very raw.
Another foreign guy that will likely be left overseas to mature until the Lakers find someone who wants to trade for him.
Surprise, surprise, San Antonio goes after another foreigner. Hanga has great size and nice fluidity for the two spot, and carries some versatility to play the three if he gets a little stronger. Again, this is another player that will be left overseas to mature, but you can bet the Spurs will keeps tabs on this one’s progress.
Sacramento gets Jimmer Fredette’s back-up if Thomas sticks with the team. He has solid athleticism and can distribute at the next level. Doesn’t have ideal size and isn’t the most consistent performer, but does pack an offensive punch and is worthy of a draft selection. May have a difficult time sticking with the Kings initially, but can hang in the NBA somewhere down the road.