2011 NBA Draft Coverage

The NBA Draft was played out today and Hoop Diary members, like all NBA fans were glued to the action. Stay tuned to Hoop Diary for increased coverage and analysis of the picks over the next few days as the aftermath kicks in.

For the time being, check out Ryan Baker’s initial thoughts on all First Round draft selections.

Pick 1

The Cavaliers pick Duke product Kyrie Irving, who will fill a big need for them at point guard, and allow them to shop Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions. 

Pick 2

Minnesota surprise no one by picking Derrick Williams, which signs the exit papers for Michael Beasley. 

Pick 3

As predicted here last week, Utah use the third pick in the draft on Enes Kanter, who will provide strength and versatility inside, which is sorely lacking. 

Pick 4

Cleveland pick again at four and select Texas power forward Tristan Thompson, who really impressed in workouts in the last two weeks, and may have helped himself more than any other player. He doesn’t exactly fit a need, but will help the need for depth and offers roster flexibility for a team who desperately needed players. 

Pick 5

Toronto went big with the fifth pick by taking mobile Lithuanian big Jonas Valanciunas, who will bang and push the young and soft front line of the Raptors. 

Pick 6

The Washington Wizards stretch somewhat and duplicate skills a little by taking Jan Cesely from the Czech Republic to emulate JaVale McGee.

Pick 7

The Kings surprise no one and take the worst player in the draft in Bismack Biyombo. The other 28 teams are laughing. 

Update: This pick was for the Bobcats as part of their trade for John Salmons. 

Pick 8

The Detroit Pistons are the one team who aren’t laughing at the Kings pick, as they were expected to select the inept big man, but they make do with Brandon Knight and hope he can be their point guard of the future. Knight is a stretch here, as there were many better options on the board at number 8 such as Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette. 

Pick 9

You know you’ve drafted badly when the Bobcats outdraft you, but that’s exactly what the Pistons face as the Bobcats pounce on Kemba Walker, who will help them immediately with his scoring ability. 

Pick 10

The Bucks shore up their deep shooting weakness and provide someone to push Brandon Jennings. 

Update: The Bucks have also traded for Stephen Jackson, so get a big boost in shooting the long ball while shipping out Corey Maggette, but unfortunately get Bismack Biyomobo from the Kings.

Pick 11

Klay Thompson from Washington State has to be disappointed to be drafted by Golden State and spend his formative years being coached by Mark Jackson. All said though, Thompson is a pick that can help them here with his ability to eventually become a lock down defender on the wing. 

Pick 12

The Jazz have to be rapt that Alec Burks dropped to them at 12, as there were strong rumours that he was going to be snapped up by the Kings at 7. He is the tonic for what ails them in a lot of ways, providing the first decent prospect the Jazz have had at the 2 for decades. 

Pick 13

The first of the Morris twins is off the board as Markieef goes to Phoenix. Most expected his brother Marcus to be the first picked, but the bigger Markieef will take his shooting to the desert and will quickly find himself in the rotation. This selection may show Phoenix embracing a different style with defensive bigs playing a larger role. 

Pick 14

Well the Morris twins got about as close as is possible in their wish to stay together, going in consecutive picks with Marcus going to Houston as a surprising selection. He’ll be a nice addition to their bench corps however. 

Pick 15

Kawhi Leonard goes at 15 to the Pacers who will really help them with his energy. 

Pick 16

Philly takes Southern Cal forward Nikola Vucevic, hoping he can provide the muscle and inside presence they were expecting from signing Elton Brand to suitcases full of cash. 

Pick 17

The Knicks select Iman Shumpert, who will help with his athleticism, but he doesn’t help with their biggest needs. He does fit their system though. 

Pick 18

Washington use their second pick on defensive ace Chris Singleton, who provides a fantastic counterpoint to the defensively inept Nick Young. 

Pick 19

The Bobcats select Tobias Harris. I may have to update my draft guide as I’ve never heard of him. Well done Bobcats, you’ve done it again. 

Pick 20

Minnesota shock the world by not selecting a PG, taking Donatas Motiejunas, who will mature overseas and help them in a few years, when they decide to rejoin the general population of competitive teams

Pick 21

Portland elect to go small with their pick, taking Nolan Smith from Duke. It’s a risk, although he is a surprise pick, he did well in all the analytics, so it’s not a surprise that Portland took him, if anyone was going to. 

Pick 22

The Nuggets go in a direction a lot of people didn’t expect, by selecting Morehead State product Kenneth Faried. 

Pick 23

Houston go big and offshore with Nikola Mirotic, who many draftniks have rated much higher than pick 23. Let’s see how he pans out before electing this a win, but things look good for Houston in this draft. 

Pick 24

OKC select Reggie Jackson out of Boston College. 

Pick 25

Marshon Brooks is selected by Boston. Will he be able to find his way into the rotation? Probably not.

Pick 26

Mark Cuban stops celebrating just long enough to select Jordan Hamilton from Texas, who will learn from Shawn Marion and add another defensive quick wing. 

Pick 27

The New York Nets select JaJuan Johnson, who will add to the depth and energy of the Nets bench. 

Pick 28

Hoop Diary’s own HD_Brett will be happy with the Bulls selection of Norris Cole, who will provide a lot of what the Bulls needed, in an effective backup to Derrick Rose. His selection spells trouble for Hoop Diary favourite CJ Watson though.

Pick 29

The Spurs stump me for the second time in the first round, with their selection of Cory Joseph, a location product from Texas. 

Pick 30

The Bulls have their second pick in three selections, and finally get a Marquette product, but unfortunately for them it’s Jimmy Butler and not Dwyane Wade.

That ends the first round, and our coverage of the draft. Check back over the next few days as we increase our analysis of the picks and any draft day trades that take place.