2011 NBA Draft Wrap Up

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The days after the NBA Draft for me are like the days following the NCAA Tournament Championship Game; filled with a little bit of sadness, emptiness, and a whole lot of “what the heck am I going to do with my free time now?”  So before we put the 2011 NBA Draft to rest and melancholy and infinite sadness sets in, here is a wrap up.

By: David Kay

We’re #1:
I have to stroke my own ego here for a second.  According to this article, The Sports Bank had the most accurate NBA Mock Draft on the internet; beating ESPN’s Chad Ford, Draft Express, and NBADraft.net.  It is a proud moment and I may walk around for the next 362 days saying “I’m David Kay.  I have the #1 NBA Mock Draft on the net.”

Draft Grades:
Go here if you want to see my draft grade for every pick and every team.

kemba walker bobcats

Steal of the Draft: Kemba Walker #9 to Charlotte
In what may be the weakest draft of all time, I do not understand how a proven winner like Kemba Walker drops to ninth.  The Bobcats could easily be the worst team in the league next season and simply need talent.  Walker brings that to Charlotte and also is a marketable name for a team lacking star power.  D.J. Augustin is losing his starting point guard at sometime this season.

Biggest Reach of the Draft: The Canadian/Texas duo of Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph
The Cavs selecting Thompson fourth overall drew a “WOW” reaction of shock from me.  I don’t see him being anything more than a 10-point, 7-rebound a night type of player in the league.  That’s what I see his peak being, not just his rookie season.  He could realistically be the third power forward for Cleveland entering the season behind J.J. Hickson and Antawn Jamison.  I know this was a weak draft but at least take a potential franchise center like Jonas Valanciunas rather than Thompson at four.

As for Joseph, it is hard to criticize this pick since San Antonio always seems to find late first round steals.  He is young and talented, but to give Joseph guaranteed money with the 29th pick seems like a waste for the first couple of years.  Joseph will get to learn from Tony Parker which cannot hurt, but it was a still a major reach by the Spurs.

The TSB Contingent:
Several players from The Sports Bank’s core of college basketball teams saw their dreams come true on draft night; JaJuan Johnson, Jimmy Butler, Jon Leuer, E’Twaun Moore, .  However, Midwest guys like David Lighty, Ben Hansbrough, Jereme Richmond, Demetri McCamey, and Matt Howard went undrafted.

2012 Rookie of the Year Picks:
Here’s my prediction for the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year (if they end up playing a season):
1. Kemba Walker, Bobcats
2. Derrick Williams, Timberwolves
3. Klay Thompson, Warriors
4. Kyrie Irving, Cavs
5. Jimmer Fredette, Kings

2nd Round Steal:
Every year, there is a player who gets drafted in the second round who ends up being a valuable role player or even a starter on a playoff team.  In recent years we have seen Landry Fields, DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, Chase Budinger, and Mario Chalmers.  This year’s candidates include Kyle Singler, Trey Thompkins, and E’Twaun Moore who could all land in their new team’s rotation.  Down the line, Darius Morris, Malcolm Lee, and Josh Selby could be valuable assets for the Lakers, Timberwolves, and Grizzlies respectively.

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.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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  1. Peter Christian says

    Cory Joseph might be a reach, but I’m still cheering for him. Though it’s going to be hard to fill his spot on the “My Boy” team…

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