Blog Entry

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:37 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 11:20 am

Posted by Matt Moore

It's all over. After an underwhelming crop of draft choices led to a flurry of trades, the dust has settled and the picks are wearing the right hats, finally. Here are your winners and losers of the 2011 NBA Draft:


Cleveland Cavaliers: Irving is mostly a case of winning by default, but they wouldn't have been the first team to be unable to get out of their own way with an obvious pick. Irving gives them a franchise point guard to build around and was the best player overall in this draft. Going for Derrick Williams would have been sheer hubris in order to burn LeBron by choosing a replacement forward. Then, with the fourth, they could have opted for Valanciunas, which would have been a good pick. But there's a reason so many teams were chasing Tristan Thompson. His workouts showed how he would translate on the next level, and with that kind of athleticism, he provides a good running partner for Irving. They managed to not overcomplicate the combination of two top-five picks. They got good talent both small and big. That's a win right there.

Washington Wizards: The Wizards very quietly had a terrific draft. First Jan Vesely was available, who fits a need for them at slashing forward. With his athleticism and aggression, he makes a perfect partner to run the break with John Wall. Then, miraculously, Chris Singleton tumbled all the way down to No.18 where the Wizards jumped all over him. Singleton is a lottery talent that fell out of the top 14. He gives the Wizards the ability to move Andray Blatche if they can find a taker for his contract. He can rebound and defend exceptionally well. Singleton's length and athleticism, combined with a chip on his shoulder from dropping, makes him a great pick for the Wizards. Shelvin Mack in the second round was a great value pick for backup point guard.

Charlotte Bobcats: In a day, the Bobcats transformed Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, the No.9 and No.19 into Corey Maggette, Bismack Biyombo, and Kemba Walker. That's a great haul. I've never been big on either of the Bobcats' draft picks, but when you consider the balance between an athletic super-freak who is unrefined and an established winner with limited upside, the Bobcats managed to grab two of the most hyped players in the draft. Biyombo provides length and athleticism to pair with Tyrus Thomas. Walker creates a complication at point guard with D.J. Augustin already being an undersized point guard. But Augustin has never won over the Bobcats organization and Walker will be given every chance to compete for the starting role. If his size issues aren't as much a concern as they've been made out to be, and if his shot creation translates to the next level, the Bobcats have just instantly created their foundation for the future while ditching one of their biggest contracts. A great start for the Cho era in Charlotte. 

Denver Nuggets: Raymond Felton got flipped for Andre Miller's non-guaranteed expiring contract and Jordan Hamilton, one of the steals of the draft who inexplicably fell. This for a guard the Nuggets didn't want in the first place. Oh, yeah, and they nabbed Kenneth Faried, who perfectly fits their needs and is a great value pick where they took him. Masai Ujiri is better than you.


Minnesota Timberwolves: Yes, again. Williams is a great pick, if they were moving Michael Beasley. Or if they were trading Williams. But David Kahn reportedly says they're not moving Williams. They wasted an opportunity to create more assets by moving either one, and instead, will now bullheadedly try to cram two similar players (three if you count Anthony Randolph) into a spot. It's a messy situation and Kahn should have taken one of the other offers made to him for the pick. Then there's the other trade, which was just a mess all over. They pulled in another Euro center to add to their collection, Brad Miller and his too-long, too-expensive contract, and ditched Jonny Flynn. The only redeeming quality is the future first which may or may not be protected into oblivion. Another sterling night for the Wolves. If Williams turns out to be worthy of the No.2 pick, and count me among the people that think he is, and the Wolves recognize that versus burying him as they did Kevin Love, this can be salvaged. From this vantage point, it doesn't look great. 

Update: Wolves wound up swapping Mirotic for the 28th and 43rd picks from the Bulls, then moved the 28th pick to Miami for the 31st pick, which they then sold as well as the 38th pick which was theirs. They used the 43rd on Malcolm Lee, and then traded for the 57th. While not getting Mirotic is a lot better than drafting him, they did all that and wound up with a first later, Malcolm Lee, and Targuy Ngombo. Not a great haul, there. Saved the boss some cash, though.

Golden State Warriors: How many guards can they need? New head coach Mark Jackson and GM Larry Riley constantly talked about defense. Then the Warriors took a shooter. They haven't moved Monta Ellis, so now on the roster they have Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Charlie Bell, Jeremy Lin, Acie Law and Reggie Williams. And they just added Klay Thompson. It was an unnecessary move with bigger players with more defensive presence available. The Warriors have enough talent to not need the best player available. But, again, they opt for the usual. Disappointing.

Portland Trail Blazers: Where did that come from? The Blazers first take a huge reach on Nolan Smith at No.21. Smith had his proponents as the draft got closer, and certainly isn't a terrible pick. But in taking him, they elected to create redundancy after trading too much (Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez) for Raymond Felton. The result is a reformed back court as the Blazers had promised, but not nearly as good as one you would have thought they could carry with the pieces available. Smith may work out well, but he'll never be starter caliber. And, with as many talented guards as there were late in the draft, taking him was a bit of a shock. Jon Diebler is 6-6 and can shoot. That's about it.  

Individual Winners:

Jan Vesely: Underrated as everyone talked about Kanter and Valanciunas, Vesely not only winds up with a good team fit for himself, but stole the highlight of the night with a kiss on the mouth of his lady friend. Then he said "I like the John Wall game" in his TV interview. Vesely came off incredibly cool for a 21-year-old Euro who can't shoot.

Tristan Thompson: Congratulations, Tristan, you cleared about ten spots in three days! It's a marathon, not a race.

Joe Dumars: Lucks into Brandon Knight. Rodney Stuckey problem: solved.

Individual Losers:

Brandon Knight: Plummeted due to his attitude and wound up in dysfunctional Detroit.

Josh Selby: If there was no age limit to the draft, Selby would have been a top ten pick last year. Now he falls all the way to the second round.

Jordan Hamilton: Something really bad must have been found on Hamilton, medically or otherwise. There was a nineteen-pick differential between Hamilton and a player who has rumors of being older than listed with a back issue and a contract problem. That's not a good look for the Texas ex.

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:54 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

"Great pick if they were moving Beasley.  Or if they were trading Williams.  But GM David Kahn reportedly says they're not moving Williams."  Those are the grounds on which you are calling this a mistake?  They could be moving Beasley, but of course there isn't much point to it right now.  Traded for extra picks in this year's week draft or wait until the draft is over, see who wants a little more and send them Beasley for a pick next year when the crop should be a lot better.  And something tells me that had the Wolves traded down or gone with somebody else they'd be on the loser list for that.  "Wolves finally had a chance to get rid of Beasley and replace him with somebody who can actually help Kevin Love.  Between Beasley and the two first round picks they have in next year's draft they could have gotten something pretty good for that, but of course David Kahn decided to trade down and take a lackluster shooting guard.  No wonder the Wolves can't win more than 17 games."

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:57 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Nice dig on the Pistons Matt Moore, loser...he's lucky to be on a team with a history of success that has bottomed out and will be headed back up with a new coach and minus some entitled veterans.

Since: Jun 24, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:43 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Is this guy a complete fkn moron?!  Charlotte a winnner, what planet are you living on because nobody with even a miniscule of knowledge thinks that Charlotte was anything but a loser in this draft.  You realized they made this huge trade in order to get an offensive challenged center who nobody even knows the age of.  He could range anywhere from 18-24 years old, this guy literally makes Ajinka look like Hakeem on the offensive end.  Analysts have said that you literally cannot run a single offensive play through this guy, the last thing the Bobcats need is another big who can't score.  Now Kemba, honestly I think that a lot of people have never actually seen this guy play during the sesason and just drank the Kool Aid because UCONN won the championship.  For starters, Kemba is a complete blackhole who has the mentaility of a SG, he is not a true PG!!!!  Volume shooting does not equal a prolific scorer!  The last thing the Bobcats need is a blackhole chucker playing PG who has limited passing skills and plays no defense, but oh forgot he was a winner!!!  He had a great natl championship game btw with that 5 for 19 shooting performance, he also averaged over 18 shots a game with an under 43FG% and chucked over 6 3's a game at a 33% clip.  Not only that but the Bobcats decided to trade ASAP by far the best value they got in the draft with Tyler in the 2nd round.  Someone tell this fool Moore that the Bobcats coulnd't have possibly screwed up this draft any further if they tried, number one loser of the draft hands down.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:23 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Agreed. Matt Moore is a dork. The was a win for Portland. Living here and seeing the team daily, you see what national reporters don't - that Rudy didn't want to be here for the last two years, his attitude was an anchor pulling the team down and that Dre's clock was ticking since he arrived. Yesterday's draft creates some stability for the team, it reunites Felton with Gerald Wallace and their former coach in Charlotte who is a bench coach for Nate.

All in all, it wasn't the greatest draft day for Portland, ala Kevin Pritchard, but it's not deserving of "loser" status.

Since: Mar 21, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:14 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Rodney Stuckey problem: compounded.  Knight's another combo guard that will take years to develop into a legit PG.  

Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:55 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

I'm not sure how the Blazers are losers by upgrading the PG position for next year and 5 years from now. Rudy has shown he doesn't have much value and took away minutes from Wes who can actually shoot, finish at the rim and defend. Having a PG on the floor at all times that can defend quick PG's and shoot from the perimeter is exactly what the Blazers have been lacking with Miller. Sure Portland gave up some qualtity players but there are only so many minutes of playing time to go around, and these moves upgraded the talent level at PG while clearing some playing time for said talent.

Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:49 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

The Nugs did it.  They got better overall, gave up only one player that wasn't a need, and got an expiring contract to free up some cash.  They're kind of thin at point guard, Faired is a little shorter than I wish (although he makes up for it in skill), but now they'll be more than okay if Chandler leaves.  If they can only move Harrington's contract, they'll even have some real free agent money next summer for SG or some help for Nene!  If there is still a league, of course.  Big progress in Mile High.  Very happy with how it turned out.

Since: May 24, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:16 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Somebody please tell me why did cleveland pick Tristan Thompson at 4th pick, as im still scratching my head to work this one out, i know they were gonna pick enes kanter, but utah beat them to him,but there are quality players such as  and , who i thought would be picked at 4th pick, are the cavs trading tristan thompson or what as this is the worst decision in draft history in my opinion.

Since: May 24, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:06 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

there is no way anyone can know with the draft this year who is gonna be a superstar, there was no outstanding choice for numer 1 pick like previous years such as lebron james and dwight howard which we all knew beforehand that they would be superstars right away. having said that nobody thought chris paul and dwayne wade would be superstars and remember michael jordan was 3rd pick below sam bowie, has anyone heard of him, i think kyrie irving could possibly be the next chris paul, so don't put the guy down without seeing him play ball next  season, cleveland definately chose the right player for number 1 pick.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:53 pm

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Wizards are winners for taking two small forwards?    If they are ever on the floor at the same time he could be right, but I do not think so!

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