2011 NBA Draft – Winners and Losers: 21-30

It’s been almost two weeks since the 2011 NBA Draft, which was nothing to get too excited about.  There was not going to be a Magic, Ewing, Shaq, Lebron, D-Rose, or a Blake Griffin coming out of this draft to make an immediate impact.  Basically, there was no jackpot, franchise turn-around type player.  Instead it was cast of potentials. There are four players that have the potential to be future all-stars in my opinion:  Two freshmen point guards, a tweener, and a European big.  Everyone knows drafts are meant to be dissected once it’s over and done with.

Who were the winners and losers of this draft?  Well, let’s take a look at who were the head-scratchers down to the winner of this draft.

30.) NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

Draft Day Trade:  Sent the 45th pick Josh Harrellson to New York for cash

Overall Grade: F 
Even if Harrellson remained a Hornet, he most likely won’t make it in the NBA so even without the trade it’s still a pretty weak pick.  I don’t understand just trading him for cash though.  It’s not like the cash is going to put them in a position to even sign a low-tier free agent.  They could’ve at least invited Harrellson to training camp.  It’s not like he’s guaranteed a contract.  If he fails miserably, then just let him go.  Who knows maybe he could’ve surprised everyone and he could’ve battled for the quickest player to foul out in a game.   That’s 6 fouls they could’ve used.

29.) LOS ANGELES LAKERS

41st Pick – Darius Morris (PG, Michigan)
Most similar to: Taller version of Aaron Brooks/Score:  **

I watched Morris play a lot at Michigan.  He’s talented for the collegiate level ONLY.  I don’t see him being skilled enough to play in this league.  Even if the Lakers  were to keep him, I hope he has enough suits to wear.

46nd Pick – Andrew Goudelock (SG, Colllege of Charleston)
Most similar to:  Aaron McKie/Score:  *

56th Pick – Chukwudiebere Maduabum (PF, Bakersfield -NABDL)
Most similar to:  No clue/Score:  * (Star is only for the sweet name)

Not even a video of him during the draft (Jeff Van Gundy even laughed at this pick)

57th Pick – Ater Majok (PF/C, Australia)
Most similar to:  Who knows/Score:  N/A (Stuart Scott:  “Really, again with this”)

Supposedly played one year in Big East under Jim Calhoun

Overall Grade: D-  
This would’ve been an F if it wasn’t for the Darius Morris pick.  At least, there some ray of hope with this pick. 

28.) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

37th Pick – Trey Thompkins (PF, Georgia)
Most similar to:  Joel Anthony/Score:  *

47th Pick – Travis Leslie  (SG, Georgia)
Most similar to:  J.R. Rider/Score:  **

Overall Grade: D-  
Well, the Clippers went with a pair of Georgia teammates.  They may end up keeping Thompkins as insurance if Chris Kaman is injury-prone again or if they decide to trade him.  Leslie, on the other hand, will probably be playing for a different team.  The Clippers already have too many guards ahead of him.  He does play above the rim but don’t be surprised if he comes to training camp not conditioned well enough.

27.) ATLANTA HAWKS

48th Pick – Keith Benson (PF, Oakland University)
Most similar to:  Brian Skinner/Score: * 

A product of Coach Greg Kampe at Oakland so you know he’s well coached will be hard-working.  Unfortunately, he won’t be talented enough to make it in the NBA.  He’d be a fine player in Europe though. 

Overall Grade: D-
The Hawks made Benson the first Oakland draft pick in history.  I think they could’ve used Josh Selby who was still on the board at this time.  Selby could’ve been a possibility as another backup point guard in case Jeff Teague doesn’t cut it.  I’ll be rooting for Benson.  It would be great for the Oakland program if one of their own is even half successful in the NBA.

26.) ORLANDO MAGIC

32nd Pick – Justin Harper (SF, Richmond) Acquired via trade w/ Cleveland
Most similar to:  Jared Jeffries/Score:  **

53rd Pick – DeAndre Liggins (SG, Kentucky)
Most similar to:  Aaron Afflalo/Score:  **

Draft Day Trade:  Sent two future 2nd rounders to Cleveland for 32nd pick Justin Harper

Overall Grade: D
I think Liggins will actually make the team for his defense.  If he makes the team, he will be a situational type of player.  Orlando is stacked with guards right now but you can never have enough defense though.  I don’t like the Harper trade at all.  If the Magic want to be known as contenders again, it starts with bringing tough individuals to the team.  I see Harper being a soft, passive small forward who will get to know the ball boys and floor-wipe-up crew very well.

25.) PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

16th Pick – Nikola Vucevic (PF, USC)
Most similar to:  Robert Swift (Google image him if you’re not sure)/Score:  *

This has bust written all over it. He’s not strong enough nor is he skilled enough for the NBA.  I see laziness and passion-less with Vucevic.

51st Pick – Lavoy Allen  (PF, Temple)
Most similar to:  Earl Clark/Score:  **

Overall Grade: 
If Philly wanted to go big, they should’ve just drafted Montiejunas or Mirotic.  Better yet, Faried was still on the board at this time.  Allen is an ok pick, they need more size up front with Brand but Allen will be the type to use up fouls.  Nothing more.  Well, maybe the 76ers will get lucky and Coach Doug Collins can get more out of these players just like he did with his whole team last season.

24.) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

49th Pick – Josh Selby (PG/SG, Kansas)
Most similar to:  Poor man’s Rodney Stuckey/Score:  ** 

Overall Grade:  D
I’m surprised Selby fell this far.  I expected him to go between picks 30-40 because of his collegiate play.  I don’t see him being a solid player in this league though.  He’s a tweener and tweeners who are guards normally have a difficult time adjusting to the NBA.  Besides, the Grizzlies have another guard that I’m hoping to see play more minutes next season after his short performance in the playoffs against OKC….Greivis Vasquez.   

23.) NEW JERSEY NETS

25th Pick – Marshon Brooks (SG, Providence) Acquired via trade w/ Boston
Most similar to:  Jordan Crawford/Score:  **

36th Pick – Jordan Williams (PF, Maryland)
Most similar to:  Taller version of Corliss Williamson/Score:  *

Draft Day Trade:  Sent 27th pick JaJuan Johnson and future second rounder to Boston for 25th pick Marshon Brooks

Overall Grade:  D+ 
Brooks has every chance in the world to come in to New Jersey and challenge for the starting shooting guard spot.  That obvioiusly shows how weak their 2 guard slot is.  Brooks can score.  The Nets were second to last in offense last year so they need every help they can get.  Unfortunately, with Brooks, I believe his offensive talent has already reached it’s potential.  If not, it’s very close.  What the Nets see now is probably what they’ll still have after a few years.  Jordan Williams was a terrible pick.  I probably have a higher vertical than he does.  He’ll probably still play spot minutes for the Nets only because the Nets are still that bad.

22.) NEW YORK KNICKS

17th Pick – Iman Shumpert (SG, Georgia Tech)
Most similar to:  Ronnie Brewer/Score:  **

Will he be able to take the criticism of the New York media, fans, and hecklers?

45th Pick – Josh Harrellson (C, Kentucky) Acquired via trade w/ New Orleans
Most similar to:  Bill Wennington/Score:  **

Draft Day Trade:  Sent cash considerations to New Orleans for 45th pick Josh Harrellson

Overall Grade: D+  
Shumpert was booed by fellow New Yorkers.  Not a popular pick at all and I agree with them.  (New York fans rarely like their first round selections anyways.) Faried was still available at this time and he would’ve been welcomed with open arms.  Shumpert will be able to provide some spot minutes here and there but honestly I think he was picked way too high by the Knicks.  If the Knicks decide to keep Harrellson, he will be the human victory cigar.  If the fans are lucky enough to see him make a basket, look for Madison Square Garden to go nuts.  

21.) CHICAGO BULLS

23rd Pick – Nikola Mirotic (SF, Montenegro)
Most similar to:  Hedo Turkoglu/Score:  ***

30th Pick – Jimmy Butler  (SF/PF, Marquette)
Most similar to:  Wilson Chandler/Score:  ***

The “feel good story” of the draft since he was kicked out by his mother at the age of 13.  Oh, and he’s a solid player.  Nothing flashy or spectacular, just a hard-nosed kid who does most things fairly well.

Draft Day Trade:  Three team deal with Houston and Minnesota.  Sent 43rd pick Malcolm Lee to Minnesota for 23rd pick Nikola Mirotic

Overall Grade: C-  
These were average selections. Mirotic is still about 2 years away from playing here in the U.S.  The Bulls are still young so by the time he’s able to join the team, he would be a nice pick up. Butler has the potential to make some noise with the Bulls.  He’ll be a tough-minded player in this league which fits the Bulls’ forte.  Unfortunately, they guy I thought would’ve been able to contribute significantly to the team was already snatched up with the 25th pick, Marshon Brooks.   However, if Mirotic continues his growth over the next 2 years, this could be a steal for the Bulls.  Stay tuned for 2014.

Stay tuned for the middle of the pack (11-20)…….

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