• My Scores
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NBA

2011 NBA Draft Grades: Round 1


Live draft analysis by NBA writer Dave Del Grande
No. 1: Cavaliers select: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke Grade
Analysis: Compared to Baron Davis. Interesting chemistry experiment, because when Davis looks in the mirror, he still sees himself.
No. 2: Timberwolves select: Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona Grade
Analysis: Love, Rubio and Williams ... three reasons to put the great back in the Great North.
No. 3: Jazz select: Enes Kanter, PF, Kentucky Grade
Analysis: The impossible task: Make Utah basketball fans forget the fact they could have enjoyed another decade or so of Jimmer Mania.
No. 4: Cavaliers select: Tristan Thompson, SF, Texas Grade
Analysis: Rookie wars: Rubio and Williams vs. Irving and Thompson. Big advantage: Timberwolves.
No. 5: Raptors select: Jonas Valanciunas, PF, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, Grade
Analysis: If the goal was to get a jump on the Bobcats in the race for the No. 1 pick next season, the Raptors did wonderfully.
No. 6: Wizards select: Jan Vesely, PF, KK Partizan Belgrade, Grade
Analysis: On a team that couldn't shoot or rebound last season, the most polished European is a double delight.
No. 7: Bobcats select: Bismack Biyombo, PF, Baloncesto Fuenlabrada Grade
Analysis: Yes, it's true: A team that couldn't reach 100 points on its hottest night last season dealt its top scorer for a shot-blocking rookie big man. Boring.  
No. 8: Pistons select: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky Grade
Analysis: At this point, drafting a much-needed board sweeper after an early run on big men probably wouldn't fix their frontcourt problems. So why not the best talent on the board?  
No. 9: Bobcats select: Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut Grade
Analysis: Add this to the owners' list of CBA demands: No mandatory visits from the utterly unwatchable Bobcats.  
No. 10: Kings select: Jimmer Fredette, SG, Brigham Young Grade
Analysis: What rivalry? Warriors fans love the Kings' trade -- Jimmer now resides just 90 minutes away. A new sellout streak is born.  
No. 11: Warriors select: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State Grade
Analysis: The perennial losers had a choice between a starting forward (Kawhi Leonard) and a backup guard. Not surprisingly, they made the head-scratcher.  
No. 12: Jazz select: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado Grade
Analysis: The big loser in the Milwaukee-Charlotte-Sacramento trade? Yep, the Jazz. The Bobcats (Walker) and Kings (Fredette) wound up with point guards Utah desperately needed.  
No. 13: Suns select: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas Grade
Analysis: Even if he came attached at the hip with his more highly regarded brother Marcus (who's still available, by the way), the pick had to be Kawhi Leonard.  
No. 14: Rockets select: Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas Grade
Analysis: The Rockets scouted international big men looking to replace Yao Ming and came to the obvious conclusion -- even had they picked No. 1, their best plan of attack is to talk the big guy into coming back.  
No. 15: Pacers select: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State Grade
Analysis: They might have dreamed of Jimmer, but the reality remains: The Pacers needed somebody who can shoot. Hey, this guy had a higher field-goal percentage than Jimmer last season.  
No. 16: 76ers select: Nikola Vucevic, PF, USC Grade
Analysis: Everyone in the world projected the 76ers to take Jordan Hamilton here, and lo and behold, he was still on the board. Nobody predicted the USC underachiever -- and with good reason.  
No. 17: Knicks select: Iman Shumpert, SG, Georgia Tech Grade
Analysis:  If the goal is to put on a show -- and isn't is always in New York? -- then this high-flyer was the way to go. Few players impressed unsuspecting NBA scouts more in recent weeks than this incredible athlete.  
No. 18: Wizards select: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State Grade
Analysis: A year ago, the Wizards were looking at a John Wall-Gilbert Arenas backcourt that just couldn't work. By adding the defensive-minded Singleton, all of a sudden the Wall selection and Arenas departure look even better.    
No. 19: Bucks select: Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee Grade
Analysis: Clearly, the Bucks were so enamored with their acquisition of Stephen Jackson, they went out and drafted the guy who most closely resembles him. That could be great ... or double trouble.    
No. 20: Timberwolves select: Donatas Montiejunas, PF, Benetton Treviso Grade
Analysis: No NBA executive knows foreign talent better than Minnesota's Tony Ronzone. In the year of the international big man, you just knew the Timberwolves would get one -- and maybe even the best one.  
No. 21: Trail Blazers select: Nolan Smith, PG, Duke Grade
Analysis: There's a reason basketballs don't bounce high in Portland, and it has nothing to do with the rain. Nobody takes the air out of the ball better than Andre Miller. But this new guy could challenge him. 
No. 22: Nuggets select: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State Grade
Analysis: They could have taken Jordan Hamilton and sold him as the next Carmelo Anthony, but nobody would have bought it. This will be an easier sell: Faried's hard-working style in the paint will translate well to the NBA game.  
No. 23: Rockets select: Nikola Mirotic, SF, Real Madrid Grade
Analysis: What do you do when you think you're a pretty good team and you have two first-round picks? Why, you use one on a European you hope stays abroad for a couple of years. Problem is: The Rockets aren't that good.  
No. 24: Thunder select: Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College Grade
Analysis: A depth-challenged team using a first-round pick on a position where it actually has a decent backup makes no sense ... unless the rumors of Eric Maynor being on the trade black are true. But is his value high enough to bring back a player who could help a title hopeful? Probably not.    
No. 25: Celtics select: Marshon Brooks, SF, Providence Grade
Analysis: Even with Ray Allen, the Celtics were among the least potent teams from behind the 3-point arc last season. This guy can help them there immediately -- and quite possibly well into the Allen-less future.    
No. 26: Mavericks select: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas Grade
Analysis:  Talk about a dream come true: Driving up the road to join the league champs and getting a chance to replace a guy (Peja Stojakovic) who contributed absolutely nothing to the title run. Nobody could possibly be happier.    
No. 27: Nets select: JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue Grade
Analysis:  If it's true the Nets traded a future draft choice to move up two spots and take Brooks when several other quality shooting guards were still available, they clearly don't grasp a basic NBA truism: The second-round picks of bad teams are quite valuable.    
No. 28: Bulls select: Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State Grade
Analysis: You knew the Timberwolves couldn't go an entire night -- let alone one round -- without drafting a point guard. But giving up a much-needed big man to get him in a deal with the Bulls? Overboard.      
No. 29: Spurs select: Cory Joseph, PG, Texas Grade
Analysis: No organization executes a plan better than the Spurs. Recognizing they could get a comparable point-guard talent in Joseph, the deal sending George Hill to the Pacers for Kawhi Leonard was brilliant.      
No. 30: Bulls select: Jimmy Butler, SG, Marquette Grade
Analysis: Having stripped themselves almost to the bone in order to be a big-time player in free agency last season, the Bulls sure made the most of a lightweight bench in 2010-11. This guy should make an immediate contribution.      
Return to Draft Tracker

Biggest Stories

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre


Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Majestic LeBron James/Stephen Curry Black Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors 2015 NBA Finals Bound Dueling Player Matchup T-Shirt

Cleveland Cavaliers 2015 Eastern Conference Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear
Shop Now