My buddy Will and I were trying to convince ourselves that the 2011 NBA Draft was going to be ok. While every expert, critic and pundit was convinced that this would be one of the worst drafts ever Will and I saw hidden gems all over the place.
We liked both Morris twins’ talents in the paint and in the post, we thought Kenneth Faried was going to be a beast of a defensive stud, I had my man crush on Kemba Walker and he had his on Marshon Brooks.
Realistically Will and I knew that there weren’t any superstars in this draft. To us this was a key role player draft. If you are building a championship contender then this is the draft where you get your bench guys, your energy guys, players like that.
So while the entire world thought that this draft would be a complete dud, Will and I tuned in just to see how things would turn out and see what good things could come from each pick (that and Will is a Cleveland fan so you knew he was geared up regardless).
What did we get?… well?…
NO.1: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- KYRIE IRVING, PG, DUKE
It made the most sense. The Cavs need a future point guard especially when Baron Davis loses interest again real soon. Is it a slam dunk? Well Irving played 11 games and there are still doubts about his injured foot… whatever. Will was happy… for the moment.
NO.2: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES- DERRICK WILLIAMS, F, ARIZONA
Do I like Williams? Yes, I mean did you see the Duke game in the NCAA tournament? Here’s what I don’t like; Minnesota’s forwards are currently Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Williams, Anthony Randolph and Martell Webster. Plus there is the question of is Williams a 3 or a 4. Also there is Ricky Rubio… AAAAAHHHHH! HEADACHE!!!
NO. 3: UTAH JAZZ- ENES KANTER, C, TURKEY
Kanter is tall, skilled and cocky. He has a great offensive skill set (something Andrei Kirelenko doesn’t have) and can play defense (something that Al Jefferson doesn’t know the meaning of). Yet it doesn’t solve the issue at point guard there.
NO. 4: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- TRISTAN THOMPSON, F, TEXAS
Jay Bilas says that Thompson needs to learn how to play and how to score… yet he’s the fourth best player in the draft… um?
(Will was so heated that he took a shot of Jack and stewed over the pick. I don’t know why though, they picked a game less, scoreless forward. You’d be happy about that right?)
NO. 5: TORONTO RAPTORS- JONAS VALANCIUNAS, C, LITUANIA
Hmmm, a 7’1” center that is soft, shoots jumpers and can’t play defense… don’t they have one of those already?
NO. 6: WASHINGTON WIZARDS- JAN VESELY, F, CZECH REPUBLIC
According to the tapes the dude can ball. But who cares about that, did you see his girlfriend? Victory.
NO. 7: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS- BISMACK BIYAMBO, F, CONGO
He’s Serge Ibaka with no offensive game. However, Ibaka is a pretty good defensive player and judging from Biyambo’s tape so will he.
(Side note: did you notice that 5 of the first 7 players taken in the draft were foreign? Maybe those quotes about college basketball being at a low point were true after all.)
NO. 8: DETROIT PISTONS- BRANDON KNIGHT, G, KENTUCKY
I’ll be honest with you, I like Knight more than I like Irving. I think Knight is a clutch player who isn’t afraid of the moment (as shown versus Ohio State), and unlike Irving I saw enough of Knight to make this assumption. Getting Knight at 8 even though his jumper is sketchy is a steal for the Pistons.
NO. 9: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS- KEMBA WALKER, PG, UCONN
You doubt him, you say he’s too small, he has knee issues, can his body take a beating, after watch Kemba this season trust when I say there is not a thing that he can’t do. He’s going to kill it, just wait.
NO. 10: SACRAMENTO KINGS- JIMMER FREDETTE, G, BYU
The Kings expect him to save their franchise, is this before or after a) he and Tyreke Evans fight over who shoots the ball 30 times a game and only hit 35% of their shots, b) DeMarcus Cousins stabs him for taking too many bad shots (and not getting him the ball) and c) he gets owned by every, EVERY guard in the league? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
NO.11: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS- KLAY THOMPSON, G, WASHINGTON STATE
- I like the pick because he is so smooth offensively, but can he play defense?
- Um… what about not trading Monta Ellis?
- Don’t the Warriors have enough shooters?
(This draft just started to upset me right after this pick)
NO. 12: UTAH JAZZ- ALEC BURNS, G, COLORADO
Can’t play defense, can’t shoot, still a work in progress. You think Jerry Sloan is happy that he retired or is that just me?
(By the way… why hasn’t Kawhi Leonard been picked yet?)
NO. 13: PHOENIX SUNS- MARKIEFF MORRIS, F, KANSAS
He fits their offensive style of play and he can play defense. Plus the Suns continue their run of picking brothers. Robin Lopez in 08, Taylor Griffin in 09 and a Morris this year, maybe next year they get a Wear brother or a Plumlee.
NO. 14: HOUSTON ROCKETS- MARCUS MORRIS, F, KANSAS
This facebook status is brought to you by my brother Kareem:
Isn’t the worst father’s day gift ever watching the kid you left 20 years ago
Get picked in the NBA draft?
NO. 15: SAN ANTONIO SPURS- KAWHI LEONARD, F, SAN DIEGO STATE
The Spurs start their rebuilding process with the super athletic forward who has hands the size of a cinderblock and a huge vertical. Plus they have someone to replace the corpse formerly known as Richard Jefferson.
NO. 16: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS- NIKOLA VUCEVIC, F, USC
The only thing I want to know is how much money he got while playing there. I’m joking… but seriously, how much?
NO. 17: NEW YORK KNICKS- IMAN SHUMPERT, G, GEORGIA TECH
So, let me show you how much everyone associated with the Knicks hated this pick:
The fans booed, loudly.
Spike Lee stared into deep space with an emotionless expression as if someone told him Denzel Washington just dissed him in a rap song.
Will sent me these texts messages:
Knicks on the clock.
Ummmmmm….ummmmmm… ummmmm… no comment
Wow. don’t talk.
Just be quiet and point to your mouth.
Wow I thought Tristan was a reach.
Carmelo Anthony tweeted: “Goodnight. I’m out.”
Now I don’t know what Carmelo was referring to, but I KNOW WHAT HE WAS REFERRING TO!
Then there was me. All I could say was IMAN “F*****” SHUMPERT!
Yep. A two guard that can’t shoot. However he apparently is a good defender. So was Corey Brewer and look what happened to him after the Knicks got him. I hate the Knicks.
NO. 18: WASHINGTON WIZARDS- CHRIS SINGLETON, F, FLORIDA STATE
NO.19: MILWAUKEE BUCKS- TOBIAS HARRIS, G, TENNESSEE
NO. 20: HOUSTON ROCKETS- DONATAS MONTIEJUNAS, PF, LITHUANIA
Honestly I had to go back to look at picks 18-20 because I blacked out in a rage after the Knicks pick. Then when I went back and saw the Singleton pick I got mad again.
I hate the Knicks.
NO. 21: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS- NOLAN SMITH, G, DUKE
A nice pick for Portland especially with them about to show Andre Miller the door, now if they can find a consistent shooter.
NO. 22: DENVER NUGGETS- KENNETH FARIED, F, MOREHEAD STATE
So to recap; the Nuggets in the span of 4 months took the two shooters the Knicks desperately need (Danilo Galinari and Wilson Chandler) a center who could develop into a pretty good player (Timofey Mozgov) and drafted the player that I wanted the Knicks to get most in Faried. Shoot me.
NO. 23: CHICAGO BULLS- NIKOLA MIROTIC, PF, SPAIN
And this is the text that made both Will and I throw in the towel with this draft courtesy of Will himself:
This draft is awful.
Yep. We gave up. There were players going to teams in places that honestly made no sense not to mention that not many of these kids will have an immediate impact.
Valanciunas won’t be in Toronto for another year, the Kings have too many shooters, the Jazz still don’t have a reliable point guard, and the Cavs second pick was basically thrown away. This draft was pathetic. Even the biggest optimist has to admit this. Will and I tried to take this draft for what it was worth and we failed. Even the trades were bogus. Couldn’t the Lakers or Heat have traded for Dwight Howard or something to save this draft?
NO.24: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER- REGGIE JACKSON, G, BOSTON COLLEGE
Insurance just in case Kevin Durant stabs Russell Westbrook in his sleep for taking too many shots.
NO. 25: NEW JERSEY NETS- MARSHON BROOKS, G, PROVIDENCE
Deron Williams just thanked god. He finally has an offensive threat to pass to.
NO. 26: DENVER NUGGETS- JORDAN HAMILTON, F, TEXAS
Wait, wasn’t he a better product at Texas than Thompson? How did he fall this far in this draft?
NO. 27: BOSTON CELTICS- JAJUAN JOHNSON, F, PURDUE
There’s that big man that Boston needed in the playoffs…
NO. 28: HOUSTON ROCKETS- NORRIS COLE, G, CLEVELAND STATE
If he cuts the flattop he should be demoted to the D League immediately.
NO. 29: SAN ANTONIO SPURS- CORY JOSEPH, G, TEXAS
Was it a reach? Yes. However, how many times have the Spurs found a diamond in the rough in the draft. just saying.
NO. 30: CHICAGO BULLS- JIMMY BUTLER, F, MARQUETTE
Feel good story and a guy that could give them an offensive lift off of the bench.
Why did I run through the last 7 picks? Well one Will and I stopped caring after no. 23 and honestly no one should blame us.
In the end the critics and analysts were right, this draft was terrible and it should be extradited from our brain cells forever and ever.
If only I could do that with the Knicks and their draft pick.