Top pick in the 2011 NBA Draft Kyrie Irving
With the NBA draft said and done, we look back and pick some interesting tidbits throughout the draft.
With the NBA Draft still somewhat fresh in mind, I’ve laid down four thoughts from Thursday evening. The more I keep looking at the draft class, the more I realize that the 2011 draft is full of role players and not superstars.
While nobody screams max contract, there are definitely some difference makers, but it will take some time.
1. Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter go one, two and three
This was expected. The three top projected players go in order, but at No. 4, the Cavs very unexpectedly selected Texas’ own Tristan Thompson.
I know he has upside, but consider me one of many to be shocked with this pick. I feel confident that there were several other options at the time for Cleveland. And if you told me at the beginning of the college basketball season that Thompson would go one-and-done, then proceed to be the No. 4 pick in the draft, I would’ve had a nice chuckle.
I’m sold with Williams as a star in the league. He has a great motor and can run the floor well as a big man. A bigger Thompson with a jumper, I’ll say that much.
2. Detroit could have the steal of the draft with Brandon Knight at No. 8
Say what you want, but Knight is a top five talent coming out of Kentucky. He might need some grooming in Detroit, but I think that was the right selection for an organization in need of nucleus around which to rebuild.
Knight has a ton to prove after his freshman season under John Calipari. He didn’t have a Tyreke Evans or John Wall type season in Kentucky, but he has great size and speed combined with raw talent to be sculpted.
3. As a Rockets fan, I have nothing but praise for the swap deal bringing Jonny Flynn to Houston
The official agreement looks like this:
Minnesota gets Brad Miller and Nikola Mirotic (23rd overall selection who was then sent to Chicago)
Houston gets Jonny Flynn and Donatas Motiejunas (20th overall selection) and player to be named.
Issues arose concerning Flynn’s hip, but if everything is peachy keen with his injury, the deal looks to bring stability to the point. You can’t tell me that Kyle Lowry was the answer for Houston’s future. The extra player to be named was added as a result to the injury news.
The Rockets also got the big man they were targeting before the draft.
But the biggest selling point as a Rockets supporter is a backcourt consisting of Flynn and Kevin Martin. Mix those two with a plethora of athletic wingers and post men who can run the floor, Kevin McHale might have something to work with.
4. Sacramento landing Jimmer Fredette via trade with Milwaukee make the Kings look like they are brewing something special
A young and talented core of Fredette, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Donte Greene should be something to look forward to for Sacramento supporters.
That city needs as much ammunition as it can get to keep the franchise from skipping town.
At any rate, the Kings may have secured the best shooter in this draft class, not to mention Fredette’s ability to run the point and have Evans play off the ball.
They aren’t Oklahoma City good, but they have some darn good talent.