Let’s tackle another 2011 NBA Draft Mailbag. In this edition I answer questions about the Bulls two first round picks, the Wizards possibly reaching at #6, and the chances of the Pistons moving up in the first round. If you have a question about the draft or my 2011 NBA Mock Draft, leave a comment at the end of this post and I will try to answer it in tomorrow’s mailbag.
By: David Kay
Do you think Travis Leslie could go at the end of the 1st round to Chicago? I think his athleticism would be a great compliment to Kyle Korver’s shooting and Keith Bogans’ defense. I know him and Brewer are similar players (can’t shoot), but Brewer is not good with the ball in his hands, while Leslie is great when he as the rock as well as off the ball. –Fitz
(DK) Leslie would make sense for the Bulls with one of their first rounders but I think there are better players who fit that same type of description as Leslie. Plus, Leslie could actually be on the board when Chicago is picking in the second round at 43 so I doubt the Bulls reach for him at 28 or 30.
Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert is a guy who I have the Bulls selecting although it looks like he will be off the board by then. He is also a freakish athlete like Leslie, but can play either guard spot and is a better outside shooter which gives him an edge. UCLA’s Malcolm Lee is another player who fits that mold and is also one of the best perimeter defenders in this class. I’ll throw Marquette’s Jimmy Butler out there as well and his size at 6’8” is much more ideal than Leslie who is 6’4”. Duke’s Nolan Smith and Charles Jenkins from Hofstra are also players to keep an eye on when the Bulls are picking.
(DK) Grabbing either one of those guys would be a pretty big reach for the Wizards at number six. Yes, Nick Young is a restricted free agent but it is not a for sure thing that he will leave this summer so reaching for a shooting guard when you already have Young and Jordan Crawford in the fold seems like a waste of a pick when there is a huge hole at small forward. The only way I would be okay with them taking Thompson or Burks is if they traded down to do so. More than likely, Washington will hope to grab someone like Marshon Brooks or Jordan Hamilton with their 18th pick to add some backcourt depth.
Vesely, Hamilton, Cole would be a fantastic haul that potentially fits the biggest needs. I still like Leonard over Vesely, but after bringing in Wall, Crawford, Booker and Seraphin last season, I’ll trust the front office this time around.
(DK) I couldn’t agree more. If the Wizards end up with Vesely, Hamilton, and Cole, they will get an A+ grade from me. I think Hamilton is undervalued in this draft and will be a great bench scorer in the NBA. If Vesely can end up playing some three, that is a big, long frontcourt of McGee, Blatche, and Vesely. As for Cole, I think ideally Washington could use a veteran to back-up Wall but they could still find a cheap option in free agency to help tutor Wall and Cole if this scenario plays out.
I really think the pistons should trade up for the number 2 pick. Then they could take Derrick Williams which is exactly what they need. A lot of people in Detroit want us to go back to that hardnose blue collar type team but I think that Tom Gores will want them to be more of an exciting team. I personally believe that anyone who watches the Pistons would agree that they need an exciting player or 2. Maybe they could find a way to get the second pick and keep their 8th pick as well. Then maybe we could try for Kemba or Knight with the 8th pick. That would be an exciting team to watch, unlike the current one that doesn’t even have a player that is close to a star, let alone a superstar.
(DK) In theory, that makes sense. The problem is the Pistons have zero tradable assets unless they are willing to deal Greg Monroe, which I doubt they would want to do to move up to two when that would just leave an even bigger hole in the middle for them. Otherwise, who are you going to trade to move up to two? Ben Gordon? Rip Hamilton? Charlie Villanueva. The Timberwolves, or any other team for that matter, would laugh at that offer. Look for Detroit to stay at eight and add a physical post player like Tristan Thompson or Bismack Biyombo to pair with Greg Monroe at eight. Unless of course Kemba falls, then he would be in play their as well.
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 fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities.