Rookie Report: Re-Draft
Doing our best to correct the 2011 NBA Draft.
No. 10 pick: The Sacramento Kings (via Charlotte) select Kenneth Faried
Season: 10.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 22.5 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Jimmer Fredette
This is a match made in heaven. Faried is a ferocious rebounder who attacks the rim with no remorse and impacts games without even touching the basketball, a type of player the Kings—a team saturated with ball stoppers—desperately need. Between the instant firepower, the extra-possession opportunities and the put-back opportunities he’d have while playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins, Faried in a Kings jersey is almost too good to be true.
No. 11 pick: The Golden State Warriors select Klay Thompson
Season: 12.5 ppg, 2.0 apg, 2.4 rpg, 24.4 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Klay Thompson
Huge #salute to Jerry West on this one. One year in and West’s personal discovery is already looking like one of the best picks of the Draft. Over the course of one season, Thompson is already emerging as one of the best long-range shooters in the NBA. Right now, he could score 15 points a game strictly off his jumpshot, and he is only getting better. Thompson’s scoring average more than doubled post-Monta Ellis, and at 6-7, he can shoot over most 2-guards with ease.
No. 12 pick: The Utah Jazz select Enes Kanter
Season: 4.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 13.2 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Alec Burks
Kanter is still unproven, but has great hands around the rim and is very bulky, which makes it hard to stop him once he catches the ball down low. He’s already a good rebounder, and if he can develop a 15-foot jumper and some solid footwork to operate on the block, he’ll be a nice short-term addition to the Paul Millsap-Derrick Favors rotation, and long-term, he could even be an All-Star.
No. 13 pick: The Phoenix Suns select Iman Shumpert
Season: 9.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 28.9 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Markieff Morris
Shumpert, like the rest of us, is confused about what position he actually plays, but at this point in the Draft, I think his talent and athleticism trump the question marks. If he is a point guard, he needs to protect the ball better and improve his passing acumen. If he’s a shooting guard, he needs to develop a jumpshot and use the pick-and-roll more effectively. Regardless, I could see him thriving in Phoenix’s fast-paced, up-and-down offense.
No. 14 pick: The Houston Rockets select Chandler Parsons
Season: 9.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 28.6 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Marcus Morris
Talk about slipping through the cracks. Selected 38th overall by the Rockets last year, it’s only right the Rockets retroactively retract their initial pick and select Parsons here. At 6-10, Parson’s is very athletic and is already a great defender. David Thorpe has even called him “Possibly the best defender on Kevin Durant I’ve ever seen.” Kobe’s acknowledged him, too. If Parsons can continue to make perimeter shots, he will be an NBA starter for a long time.
No. 15 pick: The San Antonio Spurs (via Indiana) select Isaiah Thomas
Season: 11.5 ppg, 4.1 apg, 2.6 rpg, 25.5 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Kawhi Leonard
Personally, I think Thomas is best suited in a back-up role, and there’s no better place to do so than behind Tony Parker in San Antonio. Thomas also meets Coach Popovich’s standards—team-first, gritty guy who will play his role and is fearless enough to come up big in Playoff games.
No. 16 pick: The Philadelphia 76ers select Markieff Morris
Season: 7.4 ppg, 1.0 apg, 4.4 rpg, 19.5 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Nikola Vucevic
Morris is devoid of a post game at the moment, but the Philly native is still an excellent shooter who would’ve stretched the floor for the Sixers, a team that used a lot of open-space, three-guard lineups this season.
No. 17 pick: The New York Knicks select Nikola Vucevic
Season: 5.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 15.9 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Iman Shumpert
Vucevic may not provide much on the offensive end, but he’s a big body who isn’t scared to bang down low, something the Knicks need in one of their forwards. Like Nikola Pekovic, he could defend most power forwards and would’ve been a nice compliment to Tyson Chandler. The Knicks have enough guys who will take shots. What they need is guys who will create stops.
No. 18 pick: The Washington Wizards select Lavoy Allen
Season: 4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 15.2 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Chris Singleton
Lavoy Allen has to be somewhere in the Top 20 of this re-draft, right? I mean, at the start of the season dude was ranked dead last in ESPN’s Top 500 NBA Players, and by the end of the season he was sticking Kevin Garnett in a Playoff series that went seven games. Allen is an even-keeled guy who just comes to work every day looking to get better.
No. 19 pick: The Milwaukee Bucks (via New Orleans via Portland) select Tobias Harris
Season: 5.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 11.4 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Tobias Harris
Harris’ numbers didn’t wow anybody this season, but the 19-year-old was productive in the short time that he saw. He has a good feel for the game, and does everything at a good level, just nothing at a great one. Tobias is a personal favorite of mine, and I still think he will be a fine pro due to his undying work ethic, passion and physical tools.
No. 20 pick: The Houston Rockets (via Minnesota) select Alec Burks
Season: 7.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 15.9 mpg
Pick in 2011 NBA Draft: Donatas Motiejunas
Burks is a slasher who can break away from his man and create his own shot pretty successfully. The problem is that his shots don’t fall as often as they should. If he can learn how to shoot consistently, and from deeper range, he could develop into an instant-offense type of guy who the Rockets could use.