It is an annual tradition here during the NBA All-Star break to re-do the NBA Draft lottery from the previous year. The Sports Bank’s NBA Draft Nerd, David Kay and Peter Christian will alternate re-drafting the top fourteen picks in the 2011 NBA Draft taking into account what they know about the rookies based off their performances so far this season. They will factor in how each team’s roster looked at the time of the draft and give their reasons as to why the selection would be made.
(DK) Irving has lived up to his potential as a future franchise point guard and even exceeded expectations thus far averaging about 18 points and 5 assists per game. He won’t make Cav fans forget about LeBron anytime soon but Irving is certainly the cornerstone of their re-building project.
(PC) LeBron who? Ok, so KI (as I affectionately refer to him) isn’t THAT good, but he’s been very good at handling the point and the pressure of an entire franchise counting on him to succeed.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves Re-Do Pick: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
Actual Pick: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
(PC) Williams hasn’t been spectacular for the Wolves thus far and as expected he’s struggled as a tweener on the floor. However, no other rookie in the 2011 draft has really settled in either. There’s still a ton of potential in Williams and the Wolves should definitely stick it out with him. Or, at least let David Kahn use him as an asset… (insert ominous music here)
(DK) There was no real great pick here for Minnesota. If they would have drafted any of the foreign big men, he would likely find limited minutes as well. Williams hasn’t fit on this T-Wolves team yet and to be honest, he may never find his niche with Kevin Love logging most of the minutes at power forward. Still, Williams is a great talent and the right pick. Even if it means trading him down the line.
3. Utah Jazz Re-Do Pick- Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
Actual Pick: Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky
(DK) It is still shocking to me that Walker fell to nine in this weak draft. Kanter is fourth on the Jazz frontcourt depth chart behind Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and Derrick Favors so Utah would have been better addressing another area. Devin Harris is having his worst season as a pro since his rookie season and Utah has relied on Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley as the back-up point guards. Walker would be a nice up-grade at the one as a weapon off the bench and become the point guard of the future for the Jazz.
(PC) Kemba has shown promise thus far and would have been a decent pick here to couple with Utah’s stacked front line, however I think the redo pick has to be none other than the man they call Jimmer. Defensively, he’s a liability but James Taft Fredette was already a local hero in Utah, he has shown some flashes of great shooting and offensive game when given the opportunity to play.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers Re-Do Pick: MarShon Brooks, SG, Providence
Actual Pick: Tristan Thompson, PF Texas
(PC) Tristan Thompson hasn’t been awful but the Cavs need an upgrade at the two guard much more than they need a back up to Antawn Jamison. And while Thompson still has room to develop into a player worthy of the fourth overall pick in a crappy draft, MarShon Brooks has been (when healthy) a very dynamic scorer.
(DK) Wow… I did not see this one coming AT ALL. To be honest, I don’t hate it. The Cavs wing play is pretty terrible and they could certainly use a backcourt mate to develop alongside Irving. Still, I think this is quite the reach at #4 and probably would have chosen Valanciunas since, let’s be honest, Cleveland could afford to wait for him for a year.
5. Toronto Raptors Re-Do Pick: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
Actual Pick: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
(DK) Even if the Raptors did draft a player who was coming to the NBA right away, he would not help them become a playoff caliber team. So why not stick with Valcaniunas, who by all indications can be a franchise center in the league. He would then give Toronto a physical presence down low to compliment Andrea Bargnani’s perimeter game and allow Bargnani to move over to his more natural power forward position.
(PC) I can’t even say Valanciunas so I won’t attempt to debate the worthiness of this pick. The NBA lottery is difficult to predict and a chance at a top 5 talent (even in a crappy draft) should not be taken lightly. From all accounts, Valanciunas is a top 5 talent and should be worth the wait.
6. Washington Wizards Re-Do Pick: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
Actual Pick: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic
(PC) It’s weird, the Wizards have some decent players and are relatively deep, but they are a terrible, terrible basketball team. Tristan Thompson, in my opinion, is a better fit with John Wall, Nick Young and JaVale McGee Crazy JaVale McGee than Jan Vesely. Also, don’t trust a dude named Jan. Especially when he pronounces “Jan” with a soft “J.”
(DK) Yeah, the Wiz would probably give up this pick in a heartbeat if they could draft “Chemistry” instead. I actually would reach here a bit and go with Kawhi Leonard. Remember, at the time Washington doesn’t have Chris Singleton yet so they could use a young small forward and Leonard is the type of “glue guy” who doesn’t need to score to have a positive impact on the game.
7. Charlotte Bobcats Re-Do Pick: Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky
Actual Pick: Bismack Biyombo, PF, Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DK) The Kings originally owned this pick but sent it to Charlotte in that three-team deal on draft day so we’ll assume that trade still happens. The Bobcats are bad. Possibly historically bad. They are to the NBA what Nate and Priscilla were to MTV’s The Challenge: Battle of the Exes. The ‘Cats actually traded for Byron Mullens after the draft because they were had no depth inside so taking a young big man like Kanter would give them a potential franchise center.
(PC) Unless Kanter suddenly becomes a mix of Bill Russell, Wilt and Kareem, he wouldn’t make an ounce of difference for the Bobcats. No amount of re-do-ing is going to help this Charlotte team. Let’s move on.
8. Detroit Pistons Re-Do Pick: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
Actual Pick: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
(PC) I love Brandon Knight on the Pistons. It doesn’t make sense but it works. He’s done well in an unconventional role as a cog in a stable full of combo-ish guards. If he works on his consistency, he’ll soon make a few of his teammates as worthless as most downtown Detroit city blocks.
(DK) Yeah, Knight has fit well on Detroit and I actually don’t hate him and Rodney Stuckey in the same backcourt. He certainly won’t make the Pistons a relevant team all by himself, but nobody at this point of the draft would either.
(DK) Shumpert has had a great rookie season playing in a Knicks system that allows him to use his athleticism in the open floor. He would ultimately take over the minutes that Kemba is playing this year and be an upgrade over craptastic wing players like Cory Higgins and Matt Carroll who actually see floor time for the Bobcats.
(PC) For some reason, I don’t trust guards not named Steve Nash that have success with Mike D’Antoni’s system. Shumpert is not named Steve Nash. I don’t trust him outside of the Knicks.
(PC) Jimmer can shoot the lights out but he defends about as well as the French Army and he doesn’t exactly fit with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton in the back court. As David stated earlier, Leonard is the guy that can do dirty work to help keep the shot hoarders on the team (Evans, Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins) happy.
(DK) I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I love Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the Kings in the 2012 Draft for that very reason. Jimmer has actually been passed over on the depth chart by Isaiah Thomas who was the final pick of the draft so Jimmermania hasn’t exactly swept Sac-Town like the Maloofs were hoping.
(DK) How about what Jeremy Lin has done for the Warriors this season? What an amazing story. What’s that? The Warriors cut Lin? Whoops… At the time of the draft, Golden State had zero depth at guard behind Steph Curry and Monta Ellis so they still go in that direction. I give Jimmer the nod purely because it would be awesome to watch him and Curry have three-point shoot-outs at practice every day.
(PC) And I thought we were going to get through this without a single Jeremy Lin reference. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, JEREMY LIN, JEREMY LIN, JEREMY LIN. Wow, I feel better. Oh, yeah, Jimmer. Blah, blah, blah. Is Battle of the Exes on yet?
12. Utah Jazz Re-Do Pick: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Actual Pick: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
(PC) At this point in the lottery, pickings are slim like (insert skinny actress that tabloids label anorexic here)’s waistline. The Jazz stick with Burks here because he’s young (only 20 years old), athletic and one of the few players left in this draft who are most comfortable driving to the rim. Utah has post presence and they have shooters, they need a guy to slice the defense on occasion. Burks has the best chance to be that guy.
(DK) Sure… why not? The only other pick that would make sense is maybe Markieff Morris since Utah went with a guard at #3 and could use some more depth up-front to replace what they won’t get from Kanter in our make-believe, we’re huge nerds, pretending to be NBA GM’s, and re-doing a draft that happened eight months ago.
13. Phoenix Suns Re-Do Pick: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic
Actual Pick: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
(DK) I’d say Phoenix should have drafted a point guard to prepare for life post-Steve Nash, but the best two available are Isaiah Thomas and Norris Cole who don’t exactly strike me as franchise caliber point guards one day. Vesely fits the mold of most foreign guys in this draft; upside, potential, might be really good one day, might be a huge bust. At least he is athletic and versatile for a power forward which fits the Suns style of play.
(PC) As I said previously, don’t trust dudes named Jan. Jan (with the soft J) Vesely sounds like he should be Hans Gruber’s cousin and the next villain in the Die Hard franchise. They are making another Die Hard movie, right? Anyway, Vesely could fit in well with Phoenix. Or he could really suck. You know what, he’s going to suck. The Suns should stick with Markieff Morris, who definitely doesn’t suck. Or maybe Klay Thompson, because the Suns need to get less geriatric at the two. Definitely not Vesely. I think I hate him.
14. Houston Rockets Re-Do Pick: Chandler Parsons, F, Florida
Actual Pick: Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
(PC) Well, the Rockets drafted Marcus Morris in the first round and Chandler Parsons in the second round and now Parsons is starting for Houston and Morris is one of the last men off the bench. Parsons is pretty key as he logs nearly five times the minutes than Morris and does a lot defensively for the Rockets. If they didn’t have him they’d be relying on the Ginger King Chase Budinger to not suck for 30 minutes per game.
(DK) I totally biffed on Parsons by the way. I didn’t think he’d amount to diddly poo in the NBA but boy has he shown me. Not really, but kinda. It is kind of interesting to look at the Rockets roster and check out all the players they have collected who were lottery picks and don’t play (Thabeet, Flynn, Terrence Williams), yet Parsons has become a starter for them… I’m feeling this re-do pick.
Just because we are huge NBA Draft nerds, we’ll finish the rest of the first round without our witty commentary (you’re disappointed about that, we know…)
15. San Antonio Spurs- Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
16. Philadelphia 76ers- Nikola Vucevic, C, Montenegro
17. New York Knicks- Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
18. Washington Wizards- Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
19. Milwaukee Bucks- Bismack Biyombo, F/C, Congo
20. Houston Rockets- Tobias Harris, F, Tennessee
21. Portland Trailblazers- Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State
22. Denver Nuggets- Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
23. Chicago Bulls- Nikola Mirotic, F, Montenegro
24. Oklahoma City Thunder- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
25. New Jersey Nets- Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette
26. Dallas Mavericks- Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin
27. Boston Celtics- Marcus Morris, F, Kansas
28. Miami Heat- Cory Joseph, PG, Texas
29. San Antonio Spurs- Andrew Goudelock, G, College of Charleston
30. Chicago Bulls- Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.