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: Jul 7, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 11:09 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Nothing against the city of Cleveland but if I was Williams I would be elated that I didnt get drafted by them.  Great sports city as far as fans go, but they have never won a championship in any of there sports. There a sports jinxed city! Now you can guarantee that Irving will be a bust. Would've been a great draft if they went Williams first, then gone point, either Knight or Walker. Still would've had point gaurd and would've had the only potential star in the draft.

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:55 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

In a day, the Bobcats transformed , , the No.9 and No.19 into , Bismack Biyombo, and Kemba Walker.
Sorry, but anyone who aquires Corey Maggette is NOT a winner. I just don't get his take. Maggette is a guy who virtually ruined the Bucks lockeroom all on his own last season, not to mention that he was borderline worthless on the floor and Biyombo is God knows how old and has ZERO offensive game. DJ Augustine finally started to show his potential last season, so what was the point in drafting Walker? No way that you can play them both.

IMO, Charlotte was a loser. I really didn't like ANYTHING that they did.

Since: May 10, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:46 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Add the Phoenix Suns to the Losers!  I like that they drafted the Kansas PF, but c'mon, if there was seriously a chance to trade either Steve Nash or Grant Hill you needed to act on it.  This team is ancient.  The future does not look bright.  Lon Babby is proving to be a fool.  Gonna build around a 38 year old Steve Nash Lon??

If the rumours were true of possibly being able to move up to #2 by trading Nash then they should have jumped all over it.

Oh well, NBA is gone for some time now.  Time to get back to baseball.

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:43 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Huh, everyone else calls the Pups a winner for their pick last night, except this d bag.  I'll go with everyone else's opinion.

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:38 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Well, this draft was actually pathetic and don't give me that nonsense that since the draft was only fulll of good players, it would be more unpredictable and therefore, better (jay bilas, you were wrong). on top of that, david stern can't pronounce half the names of the players that will eventually be playing in the nba. Cavs, you guys receive a nice, fat F for this draft. Only this org could screw up the 1 and 4 picks of the draft by drafting an injury prone, raw, unexperienced pg as the first pick, and although i like tristan, not sure he's worthy of the 4.

Enjoy being the slums and scums of the earth cleve for the next 100 years with your great teams of the cavs browns and indians! hahahahaa

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:23 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers


Your comment on Knight's attitude is laughable.  The kid is nothing but a positive attitude.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:12 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

The Cavaliers clearly drafted with the intention of rebuilding and moving guys.  Jamison surely won't return after the 2011-12 season (his contract is up after the 2011-12 season), Baron Davis' fat contract (as well as fat physique) is under contract for 2 more years and I unfortunately can't see any teams wanting to trade for his inflated contract (nearly $15 mil each of the next 2 seasons).  So don't be surprised if they move Varejao to develop Thompson next to Hickson.  And they'll probably move Sessions and have Irving come off the bench to begin (we all know an injury to Davis is inevitable, which would make Irving the starter).  Gibson seems to be the SG (if he can stay healthy), and that leaves the Cavaliers lacking a big man going forward.  Not exactly a spectacular situation, but at least the Cavaliers are looking to rebuild and improve.

Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:06 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

The Wolves were winners last night...In a weak draft class....They got the best player in Williams....Got a veteran center in Miller(Who cares how much he is paid...The Wolves are way under the cap) They got rid of Flynn....Got a 1st round and 3 2nd rd picks...and cash....You can never have enough talent....So I dont see the problem.....Who ever plays better will play more...Im sure they will move Beasley at some point....

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:06 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Agreed!  You know you're screwed when you can't trade current players to make room for the new guy on Draft Night, right?  LOL.  Actually a good draft for the Wolves, got the best available player and traded down to get another potential contributor.  T-wolves fans should be pleased for the most part and I believe they are.  Worrying about who needs to go when you add Rubio and Williams in the same week is a good problem to have!  Nice try Moore.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:54 am

2011 NBA Draft Winners and Losers

So apparently the Wolves cannot do anything right in the eyes of Matt Moore. 

They draft Williams who he states is worthy of the #2 pick but because they didn't trade him or Beasley LAST NIGHT they are in trouble.  Evidently Moore seems to think that there is only one night in the year where a trade can be made in the NBA.  If he actually knows better than he is just attempting to continue with his Wolves hate.  Did he apply for a job with them and get laughed at? Is this why he has an obvious axe to grind? There are only two ways to view Moore's analysis of the Wolves...either he hates the team or he is an guess is the reality is somewhere in the middle.

It doesn't stop there however, somehow they manage to get a future first rounder for Flynn (who Moore has been critical of ever since they drafted him) and they are still a mess.  Being able to spin a bust for a future first rounder (protected or not) is a great move. Drafting Williams was a great move. This clown doesn't deserve a paycheck...are there no editors for cbssports? Doesn't he have a boss to look to see if he knows what he is talking about?

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