2011 NBA Mock Draft: Part 2, the Rest of the First Round
Are you excited for the NBA Draft tonight? I am. There are very few things more exciting than drafts, but luckily for you guys, one of those things is the 2011 SpreeGoogs NBA mock draft. Here comes the second half of it. For part 1, click here.
On a side note, another thing more fun than drafts is contests involving drafts. Like the one I’m having this year. I have real prizes this time and they’re intentionally mysterious, but completely worth it. you have to get your entries in by 7 EST, 4PST today, so get after it.
2011 NBA Mock Draft picks 15-30
15. (Indiana) — MARSHON BROOKS, SG Providence
I am a Pacers fan and everyone knows it by now. That aside, the Pacers are in a pretty unique position for as mediocre as they are. This team only has one semi-star (Granger) and yet no glaring holes to fill. Indiana has deep young talent at every position, and is in a position to draft the best player available rather than having to fill a specific need. Of course, there are several rumors involving Granger (they love both of the Jazz big men in return) and if he goes, this pick completely changes. It’s pretty well known that Larry Bird is in love with Marshon Brooks, and I like him too, but Granger and a developing Paul George are going to eat up minutes this year and Brooks just might not get enough use to actually improve. Bird has had a problem in recent drafts of deciding who he was going to select before actually waiting to see who falls through. He selects a player guaranteed to be available when the Pacers pick (translation: a player who no other team wants, or a reach) and is satisfied.
This pick comes down to: Brooks over Kenneth Faried
16. (Philadelphia) — MARKIEFF MORRIS, PF kansas
Philadelphia is pretty set for young talent in the backcourt and should be looking to add another post presence that can rebound and defend the paint. The Sixers roster isn’t too bad, but they had a problem finding a frontcourt mate for Elton brand last season. This is a team that has way too many bench-ability big men and not nearly enough starting-quality ones. Maybe Markieff is the solution to this problem. I’m pretty sure Morris and his brother are from the Philly area too, and the fans would probably appreciate the love for the hometown kid.
This pick comes down to: Morris over Tobias Harris
17. (New York) — KLAY THOMPSON, SG Washington State
Thompson falling this far might be a tall order, because he has the talent to go a lot earlier and I think he will certainly be in the conversation for a lot of the picks before 17. But think about this Knicks team with Carmelo and Amare demanding double teams on offense. Thompson is probably the second-best shooter in this class and if the Knicks can just bury him in the corner and wait for the double, Thompson could contribute from day one. At 6’7” he also has some much-needed size for defending opposing wings. I really can’t imagine Mike D’Antoni seeing Thompson fall this far and then passing on him.
This pick come comes down to: Thompson over Kenneth Faried
18. (Washington) — Jordan Hamilton, SF Texas
Judging by the current Washington roster, the Wiz have a type: Super-athletic guys who can play a couple positions and contribute pretty well in several aspects rather than specializing in one thing. By this spot in the draft, no team is picking starters, and even though they just picked Vesely about an hour ago, I think the Wizards have to like Hamilton, who has the size and speed to guard anyone on the perimeter and stamina to keep up with the offense. He’d be coming off the bench behind Vesely to open the season, but both of them seem pretty capable of shifting around a little, so maybe they’ll play together to provide some offense for the second team.
This pick comes down to: Hamilton over Kenneth Faried/Donatas Motiejunas
19. (Charlotte) — KENNETH FARIED, PF Morehead State
The Bobcats need to add a backup to Tyrus Thomas, and Faried is exactly the guy to do that. This team has a good amount of scoring production form the guards and wings, so a rebounder who will provide a few extra possessions without taking too many shots will fit in pretty well with the Bobcats’ style. Tobias Harris would be an interesting option for the ‘Cats here as well, since there really isn’t a shooting big on the roster and anyone who can take defenders out of the post helps Tyrus Thomas.
This pick comes down to: Faried over Tobias Harris
20. (Minnesota) — DARIUS MORRIS, PG Michigan
The big question of this year’s draft is who Minnesota will get for the second overall pick. As I’ve already stated, Beasley and Love leave hardly any minutes at the SF/PF spot and a bunch of teams could use a guy like Derrick Williams, so who Minnesota gets at 20 is going to depend on who they get for the second pick. No matter who they add, the ‘Wolves still need some more help in the backcourt, and Morris is the perfect player for them here. He is one of the best in the class at creating his own shot off the dribble and also shoots a nice percentage from deep. Again, this pick is extremely up in the air since Minnesota is likely to make a deal on draft day, but for now, this is who I’d predict.
This pick comes down to: Morris over Reggie Jackson
21. (Portland) — REGGIE JACKSON, PG Boston College
Jackson’s stock has been taking a bit of a hit lately, but only because he just stopped working out for teams. He even stopped interviewing with teams. I’ve heard a lot of rumors that this is because a team has already made a promise to draft him. Most of the rumors indicate that Portland is that team. I personally like Lithuanian Sensation Donatas Motiejunas for the Blazers here, but if they’ve already tied their hands to Jackson, they see something I don’t. I never understood the idea of promising a pick to a guy. Especially in a class with this many quality point guards and picking 21st. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this team isn’t the one that promised to draft Jackson. But in this mock, they are guilty. On the outside they look like a team that drafts well, but let’s not forget that they took Greg Oden. When they screw up, they go all out.
This pick comes down to: Jackson over common sense/Donatas Motiejunas
22. (Denver) — TOBIAS HARRIS, PF Tennessee
Denver got some great young pieces in the Carmelo trade last year, but almost all of their veteran pieces are free agents this offseason. Without a completed CBA and a definite free agency period, it’s hard to imagine that the Nuggets can gamble on losing both Nene and K-Mart, so they’ll probably go big. The good news about Harris is that he’s one of the best players left. The better news is that he can still play a complementary role if Nene and Martin get re-signed. He’s a different kind of player than either of those two, so he’d could be used to change the pace or create a mismatch. It seems like the important part of playing on the Nuggets is buying into the team chemistry, which worked extremely well post-trade last year, so if he can do that, this will be a great young team.
This pick comes down to: Harris over Donatas Motiejunas
23. (Houston) — JOSH SELBY, PG kansas
Houston needs some depth at PG, and Selby is a great prospect there. He is a very well-balanced point guard who can still learn the game from the bench for a few seasons and get in some minutes as a reserve. Learning the offense (pass the ball to Kevin Martin) shouldn’t take long, and the minutes will come eventually, but Selby has a lot of talent and could be a great role player until he is needed in the regular Houston lineup.
This pick comes down to: Selby over Malcolm Lee
24. (Oklahoma City) — NIKOLA VUCEVIC, C Southern California
Have you looked at the Thunder lineup recently? It’s unbelievable how strong they are in the backcourt and on the wing. Not only are the Thunder players at the 1-3 spots good, but there are a whole bunch of them. It makes sense to me that they would look to add a post player. Vucevic is a player I saw an awful lot of this season, and he would be a great complement to the current Thunder frontcourt. He would add some height (he’s a seven-footer) and a lot of outside shooting to a relatively lacking offensive blend. Defensively, he’s got some ground to make up, but Kendrick Perkins is a great role model for interior toughness.
This pick comes down to: Vucevic over Nikola Mirotic/ Kyle Singler
25. (Boston) — TREY THOMPKINS, PF Georgia
This draft can’t happen fast enough for the Celtics, who urgently need to inject some youth into the rotation. The good news about the draft is that they can’t miss, literally EVERY player is young. The C’s have a ton of interesting options here: Trey Thompkins of Georgia could come in and pair up with Garnett down low, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler would both be pretty good fits that would excel almost immediately, or Malcolm Lee could back up Ray Allen for a year and play oppressive defense on opposing 2-guards. I like all of these decisions for Boston, but I think Thompkins is going to be the best pro of all of them. Almost anyone would be a home run for the C’s, but I don’t know how many minutes there are for guards and wings. Thompkins is a good fit, but pretty much as long as he’s young, he fits in Boston.
This pick comes down to: Thompkins over Malcolm Lee/ Nolan Smith/ Kyle Singler
26. (Dallas) — JUSTIN HARPER, PF Richmond
Dallas looked pretty set on a rotation in the NBA Finals, and clearly it worked pretty well. The only real problem in the lineup was that Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi were on the court, but a healthy Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood should solve that problem. Of all the players left, Harper might add the most to this team. He’s a shooting big that can knock down shots just like Dirk, who is probably the ideal mentor for a young forward who shoots as well as Harper. If there’s anything we learned from the Mavs’ title run, it’s that a team full of role-playing specialists can certainly win it all, and Harper shoots well enough to contribute now. I’d also kind of like Nolan Smith here as an alternative to DeShawn Stevenson. Sure Jet needs to keep his minutes, but Smith would benefit from being around Jason Kidd and could be a valuable contributor once Stevenson goes to prison.
This pick comes down to: Harper over Trey Thompkins/Nolan Smith
27. (New Jersey) — TYLER HONEYCUTT, SF UCLA
New Jersey has a gaping hole at small forward. It’s pretty big, and it should get filled here, so matter how many SFs have been taken already. It’s a tough spot to be in, but that’s what you get when you trade away your super early lottery pick for a guy who needs two or three more pieces to be of any help. There are some rumors that New Jersey is the team that has promised Davis Bertans a first-round selection, but I hope they’re not that desperate. Honeycutt might fall to them here, and if he does, the selection is automatic. I’m not big on Honeycutt, who looks like he could be defended by a decent wind, but he should start pretty early and beggars really can’t be choosers, New Jersey.
This pick comes down to Honeycutt over Kyle Singler/Davis Bertans
28. (Chicago) — NOLAN SMITH, PG/SG Duke
The Bulls are already a pretty complete team with quality and depth all over the roster. The glaring hole in the lineup is at shooting guard, where things are so bad that Keith Bogans is starting. Yeah, that bad. Smith would be a great signing for the Bulls because he can play defense, just like Bogans, but also hits open shots, which Bogans struggled to do at times. Nolan might not be the starter next season, but he could add a lot to a position of need for the Bulls and by the playoffs, he could be one of the first Bulls off the bench. The Bulls are in win-now mode and don’t need a project player. Smith’s experience should be too enticing to pass up here.
This pick comes down to: Smith over Shelvin Mack
29. (San Antonio) — DAVIS BERTANS, SF Latvia
I’m making this pick based largely on rumors that Davis Bertans has already received a first-round selection promise from a team and I think it might be the Spurs. I severely doubt he’ll be good in the Association at all, but a promise is a promise and the Spurs seem like the kind of organization to have adequately scouted foreign players and discovered a use for them. They have a history. I hope the promise thing isn’t true, because this team could use a guy like Chandler Parsons, who is still available.
This pick comes down to: David Bertans by promise default
30. (Chicago) — DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS, PF Lithuania
The Bulls had one real hole to fill and they did that two picks ago, so at this point, the best-player-available strategy kicks in. I like Motiejunas a lot here, especially for the Bulls, because Boozer was extremely shaky last year and it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a guy that can shoot the outside jumper in case Boozer has another bad year. It wouldn’t hurt to add another SF, but that position will probably be picked pretty dry by now, so they can just wait until 43 and see what’s available then.
This pick comes down to: Motiejunas over Chandler Parsons