The 2011 NBA Draft promises to be much more exciting than most originally thought it would be. What was billed as a top-heavy, unimpressive and lackluster grouping of prospects has quickly turned into a marquee event, with teams struggling to either get themselves over the championship hump or pull themselves back into playoff relevance.
Even the big dogs -- who traditionally swap their picks away in hopes of saving money -- are taking this draft seriously.
The San Antonio Spurs are reportedly actively looking to move Tony Parker. The Boston Celtics may or may not want to trade their whole team, which is about what you would expect from Danny Ainge (how'd that Perkins trade work out, Danny?).
The Lakers are desperately seeking a move, except they don’t know what they want (a point guard who can run or... who knows). The Orlando Magic will do anything Dwight Howard asks, including changing their team name to “Lakers” and moving to Los Angeles.
For what it’s worth, the mid-tier clubs aren’t taking this draft lightly either. The Suns supposedly are not looking to trade Steve Nash, but really, we all know they are. The Knicks either want to add depth to their anemic roster, or they want to move up and select Jimmer Fredette.
And, of course, this circus wouldn’t be any fun if the low-level teams weren’t trying to make moves (both smart and T-Wolves-level stupid). The Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings want Parker. David Kahn wants to trade his No. 2 overall pick, no doubt for someone shorter than 6’4. Plus, the Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons have the potential to turn the entire draft upside down with their selections.
Here is the latest version of the first round of Opposing Views' 2011 NBA Mock Draft:
- Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, Duke PG
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, Arizona F
- Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, Kentucky PG
- Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, Kentucky C/F
- Toronto Raptors – Kemba Walker, UConn PG
- Washington Wizards – Jonas Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas C/F
- Sacramento Kings – Jimmer Fredette, BYU G
- Detroit Pistons – Jan Vesely, KK Partizan Belgrade F
- Charlotte Bobcats – Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State SF
- Milwaukee Bucks – Marcus Morris, Kansas PF
- Golden State Warriors – Klay Thompson, Washington State F/G
- Utah Jazz – Chris Singleton, Florida State SF
- Phoenix Suns – Tristan Thompson, Texas PF
- Houston Rockets – Bismack Biyombo, Spain C/F
- Indiana Pacers – Marshon Brooks, Providence PG
- Philadelphia 76ers – Nikola Vucevic, USC C
- New York Knicks – Markieff Morris, Kansas PF
- Washington Wizards – Donatas Motiejunas, Benetton Treviso C/F
- Charlotte Bobcats – Alec Burks, Colorado, SG
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Jordan Hamilton, Texas SF
- Portland Trail Blazers – Kenneth Faried, Morehead State PF
- Denver Nuggets – Tobias Harris, Tennessee F
- Houston Rockets – Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech G
- Oklahoma City Thunder – Kyle Singler, Duke F
- Boston Celtics – Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA SF
- Dallas Mavericks – Davis Bertans, Union Olimpija Ljubljana SF
- New Jersey Nets – Chandler Parsons, Florida, SF
- Chicago Bulls – Justin Harper, Richmond PF
- San Antonio Spurs – Nikola Mirotic, Real Madrid PF
- Chicago Bulls – Travis Leslie, Georgia F/G