Breaking Down The NBA Draft First Round: The Good, The Bad And What Were They Thinking?

The first round of the 2011 NBA Draft is now in the books and it featured some surprising picks as well as a lot of trades. Let’s take a look at how your favorite team did as they look forward to next season:

1) Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving: Guard, Duke: No surprise here as Irving is the third point guard selected as the number one pick in the past four NBA Drafts. Although Irving played just 11 games for Duke he is thought to be the best point guard available in the Draft. Grade: A+

2) Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams: Forward, Arizona:  Will he be a three or a four in the NBA? Better question will he be with the T-Wolves for any length of time as they have a surplus of forwards Grade: B

3) Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter: Forward, Kentucky: Kanter will be a good player in the NBA, but does this mean Al Jefferson is on the move? Grade: A

4) Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson: Forward, Texas: Curious move by Cleveland as J.J. Hickson proved himself as a core player this past season at the power forward slot. Thompson is a good defensive player who will play off the bench and make Anderson Varejao or possibly Antawn Jamison available. Grade: B

5) Toronto Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas: Center, Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania) : Very unpolished is looked at by many NBA observers as the center with the highest upside in this year’s Draft. Most likely not available for the upcoming season as he is signed to Lithuanian team Grade: B+

6) Washington Wizards: Jan Vesely: Forward, Partizan (Adriatic League) : Pure athlete; this young man can leap out of the gym Grade: B+

7) Sacramento Kings: (Pick traded to Charlotte Bobcats) Bismack Biyombo: Forward, Fuenlabrada (Spain) : Could be the next Dikembe Mutumbo as this young man will not score a lot but will shut down his opponent. Stock rose big time in the last few weeks. Grade: A

8) Detroit Pistons: Brandon Knight: Guard, Kentucky: Best move by Joe Dumars in the last few years. This young man will be a building block as the Pistons attempt to return to the Glory Days. Grade: A+

9) Charlotte BobcatsKemba Walker: Guard, Connecticut: I still can not understand why this young man failed to impress NBA teams. Charlotte gets a true steal Grade: A+

10) Milwaukee Bucks: (Pick traded to Sacramento Kings) Jimmer Fredette: Guard, Brigham Young: Fredette has become the media darling of this year’s Draft. Should fit in well on a young improving Kings team. Grade: B+

11) Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson: Guard, Washington State: Can shoot and he can pass, will fit in well with Stephen Curry Grade: B+

12) Utah Jazz: Alec Burks: Guard, Colorado: Good athletic player who is not afraid to penetrate Grade: B+

13) Phoenix Suns: Markieff Morris: Forward, Kansas: A little bit of a surprise that he was selected before his twin Marcus. Gives the Suns some nice bench strength Grade: B

14) Houston Rockets: Marcus Morris: Forward, Kansas: Big 12 player of the year. Should have a strong career in the NBA Grade: A-

15) Indiana Pacers: (Pick traded to San Antonio Spurs) Kawhi Leonard: Forward, San Diego State: Needs to improve his outside shot. Reported to be heading to Spurs in exchange for George Hill. Grade: B-

16) Philadelphia 76ers: Nikola Vucevic: Forward, Southern California: Cleans the glass and has a nice outside shot. Should help the Sixers improve in the East. Grade: B+

17) New York Knicks: Iman Shumpert: Guard, Georgia Tech: Quite a novelty for the Knicks; a player who actually is a defensive specialist. The New York fans did not like the pick Thursday night but they will when they see him on the hardwood. Grade: B+

18) Washington Wizards: Chris Singleton: Forward, Florida State: Was expected to be a Lottery pick. This is a guy who may be used in a lot of roles for the Wizards Grade: A-

19) Charlotte Bobcats: (Pick traded to Milwaukee Bucks) Tobias Harris: Forward, Tennessee: Another young man who can help the Bucks in a variety of ways.  Grade: B

20) Minnesota Timberwolves: (Pick traded to Chicago Bulls) Donatas Motiejunas: Forward, Benetton Treviso (Italy) : Reported to be locked into a Euro-League deal for the next couple of years but should be a good investment for the future. Grade: B

21) Portland Trail Blazers: Nolan Smith: Guard, Duke: Did a nice job substituting for Irving when he went down to injury. Grade: B+

22) Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried: Forward, Morehead State: This young man just devours the boards. Very nice addition for a young Nuggets team. Grade: A-

23) Houston Rockets: Nikola Mirotic: Forward, Real Madrid (Spain) : Another young man who has a lot of ability but will not play in the NBA for a while due to contractual obligations. Grade: B

24) Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Jackson: Guard, Boston College: Should be a nice addition to the Thunder back-court. Grade: B+

25) Boston Celtics:(Pick traded to New Jersey Nets) MarShon Brooks: Guard, Providence: This young man can flat-out score but has not shown a lot of interest in defense. Grade: B

26) Dallas Mavericks: Jordan Hamilton: Forward, Texas: Hamilton is another young man who can rebound and score and should help the NBA Champs. Grade: B

27) New Jersey Nets: (Pick traded to Boston Celtics) JaJuan Johnson: Forward, Purdue: If this trade goes through it will give the Celtics an athletic big man Grade: B+

28) Chicago Bulls: (Pick traded to Minnesota Timberwolves) Norris Cole: Guard, Cleveland State: Cole can play but why would the T-Wolves pick yet another point guard? Grade: C

29) San Antonio Spurs: Cory Joseph: Guard, Texas: Good outside shooter who will help an aging Spurs team Grade: B+

30) Chicago Bulls: Jimmy Butler: Forward, Marquette: Good defensive player and another young smart player for the Bulls.  Grade: B

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