The 2011 NBA Draft is shaping up as one of the weakest - at the top - in recent memory. An already-suspect talent pool got even shallower when Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, North Carolina's Harrison Barnes and Baylor's Perry Jones - the projected second, fourth and fifth picks in our original mock - all opted to stay in school for another year, possibly due to concerns about a potential NBA lockout.
Their departures create opportunities for players like Enes Kanter, who now seems likely to go in the top five - maybe even the top two - despite the fact that he hasn't appeared in a game in a year.
- Cleveland (from LA Clippers): Kyrie Irving
PG - Duke (Fr.)
The Cavs continue to make noise about drafting someone other than Irving. Enes Kanter? Derrick Williams? But that happens every time there's a prohibitive favorite for the first overall pick, and I don't buy it.
- Minnesota: Enes Kanter
PF/C - Turkey (Intl.)
The "Kanter to Minnesota" buzz grows daily… and makes sense, as the T-Wolves are over-stocked with forwards. Still wouldn't be surprised if David Kahn trades this pick.
- Utah (from New Jersey): Derrick Williams
PF - Arizona (So.)
We've had Brandon Knight in this spot for forever… but Williams is too good to pass up, especially with the Jazz about to part ways with Andrei Kirilenko.
- Cleveland: Tristan Thompson
PF - Texas (Fr.)
Cleveland reportedly loves this guy. They also like Valanciunas, but questions about his buyout and status for the 2011-12 season could cause a slide.
- Toronto: Brandon Knight
PG - Kentucky (Fr.)
Raptors seem to be taking a long look at big men - Bismack Biyombo's name keeps coming up in this spot. But Knight has too much potential to pass up.
- Washington: Jan Vesely
SF/PF - Czech Republic (Intl.)
Tough, athletic wing player should thrive on the break with John Wall.
- Sacramento: Jimmer Fredette
PG/SG - BYU (Fr.)
According to reports, ownership wants "The Jimmer" to help sell "The Tickets." Owners tend to win such struggles.
- Detroit: Bismack Biyombo
C - Congo (Intl.)
At this point, Biyombo could go anywhere from third to 30th. His stock dropped like a stone after a brutal workout in front of scouts, rebounded, then dipped again on rumors of back trouble in his medical records. But this seems like an ideal fit for the kid most often compared to Ben Wallace.
- Charlotte: Marcus Morris
PF - Kansas (Jr.)
The 'cats can't afford to whiff on this pick. Morris might be the most NBA-ready big in this draft, and should help right away.
- Milwaukee: Klay Thompson
SG - Washington State (Jr.)
Seems Thompson has surpassed Burks (and, on many draft boards, Fredette) in the "backcourt shooter" rankings.
- Golden State : Kawhi Leonard
SF/PF - San Diego State (So.)
Physical three to help the Warriors make the transition to a team that actually cares about defense.
- Utah: Jonas Valanciunas
C - Lithuania (Intl.)
Might actually be the best center prospect in this draft, could slip due to buyout concerns.
- Phoenix: Kemba Walker
PG - Connecticut (Jr.)
Walker could become heir to Steve Nash - and become a Leandro Barbosa-style scoring threat off the bench in the meantime.
- Houston: Donatas Motiejunas
PF - Lithuania (Intl.)
Stretch four would be a nice complement to Luis Scola. Kevin McHale is reportedly desperate to add size.
- Indiana : Alec Burks
PG/SG - Colorado (So.)
Scoring machine is an obvious match for a team that struggles to get buckets.
- Philadelphia : Markieff Morris
PF - Kansas (Jr.)
Versatile big man is also a Philly native.
- New York : Chris Singleton
SF/PF - Florida St. (Jr.)
Knicks fans longing for better defense would be thrilled if Singleton is on the board this late.
- Washington (from Atlanta): Jordan Hamilton
SG/SF - Texas (So.)
Logical spot for a player that draws comparisons to Rashard Lewis.
- Charlotte (from New Orleans): Tobias Harris
SF - Tennessee (Fr.)
Harris could develop into a physical defensive forward and replace some of the presence Charlotte lost by trading Gerald Wallace to Portland.
- Minnesota (from Memphis): Nikola Mirotic
PF - Serbia (Intl.)
The T-Wolves are already up to their eyeballs in youngsters, so we'll give 'em a player that's expected to play another year or two overseas. Sound familiar, David Kahn?
- Portland : Darius Morris
PG - Michigan (Sr.)
Andre Miller's run is close to an end, so point guard depth makes sense for the Blazers.
- Denver : Marshon Brooks
SG - Providence (Sr.)
High-scoring guard from Providence is insurance against the potential loss of J.R. Smith and/or Raymond Felton to trade/free agency.
- Houston (from Orlando): Kenneth Faried
PF - Morehead St. (Sr)
Heady defender/rebounder could help fill the Shane Battier void.
- Oklahoma City : Iman Shumpert
PG - Georgia Tech (Jr.)
OKC reportedly shopping Eric Maynor, could be in the market for a point guard.
- Boston : Nikola Vucevic
PF/C - USC (Jr.)
With Kendrick Perkins gone and the O'Neals on their last legs, this seems a good time for Boston to draft a developmental center.
- Dallas : Reggie Jackson
PG - Boston College (Jr.)
Jason Kidd isn't getting any younger, and Dallas could lose JJ Barea to free agency. Jackson reportedly has a first-round promise from someone - Miami is the leading contender - and has been backing out of workouts.
- New Jersey (from LA Lakers): Justin Harper
PF - Richmond (Sr.)
Jump-shooting combo forward could be a nice complement to Deron Williams and Brook Lopez.
- Chicago (from Miami): Tyler Honeycutt
SF - UCLA (So.)
Talented wing may need to bulk up a little, but seems like an ideal Tom Thibodeau player.
- San Antonio : Trey Thompkins
PF - Georgia (Jr.)
Skilled big replaces the retiring Antonio McDyess.
- Chicago: Davis Bertans
SF/PF - Latvia (Intl.)
Bertans is expected to play overseas for another year or two. Don't be surprised if this pick is sold (to the Knicks?)