Mike Rice

May 23

My 2011 Mock Draft

By Mike Rice Posted in: 2011draft

Sometimes the draft is not really fair for teams that trade for draft picks years in advance, thinking, “This is the year we will improve our team, get out of the lottery and make the playoffs.” This is not that year.

A lot of the undergrads and international players have decided against declaring for the draft early. Usually when that happens, the depth of the draft is not the greatest. The players at the top of this year’s draft will help bad teams right away. There are just not as many in that “can’t miss” category like John Wall, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant of past years. This might be the year for the teams that have been in the lottery a lot in the past few years and have young teams already, to trade their picks for more expensive players that will help their win-loss record immediately. There are a lot of aging teams that have won in the past but are looking to get younger and more athletic with the draft – like San Antonio, Boston and LA – who might give up vets that could give leadership to a young team that is not sure how to win.

I am always the 1st to get my mock draft in, not because I know more about college players, but because I have more spare time to do it than the guys with young families (that does not include Wheels). My early picks will be based on which teams have the greatest needs at certain positions (like if the Blazers were picking #1, they would not be looking for a shooting guard with that early pick since we seem to have cornered the market on that position). They would go for a quick point guard like Kyrie Irving or Brandon Knight. Taking the other top choice of Derrick Williams, the PF out of Arizona, would be a stretch since we have LaMarcus Aldridge but if we were picking the best player and not looking at position we might take him (you get the idea).

Here is my first mock draft. Go here to put together your own and see if your picks turn out better than mine.

1) The Cavs got lucky and got picks one and four in the first round. I figure the best way to rebuild is at the point guard position and after what Derek Rose has done with the bulls, it's a no-brainer that Cavs take Kyrie Irving.

2) The Timberwolves are so happy they did not get the first pick (they have cornered the market on point guards), so now they can take Derrick Williams out of Arizona. That should make Mike Beasley happy.

3) The Jazz will spend time looking at the international Jonus Valanciunnas at center but when it comes time to call a name they will go with the 18 year-old Brandon Knight to replace Deron Williams.

4) With Utah leaving Valanciunas on the board the Cavs have to decide between him and Jan Vesely, the 21 year-old center from Serbia. Cavs go with Valanciunas.

5) The Raptors would love to take Kemba Walker but can't pass on Vesely out of Serbia.

6) The Wizards are the next up and they're upset because they wanted to take Vesely. They need bigs so they take Markieff Morris, the 21 year-old from Kansas

7) The Kings are up and Geoff Petrie is not afraid to go overseas with a pick, so he takes one of the youngest and biggest players, Bismack Biyombo.

8) Pistons up and Joe Dumars needs to make a pick that will help right away. They have the choice between Kawhi Leonard of San Diego St. who came on strong his sophomore year, or Enes Kanter, the 18 year-old center who had to sit out at Kentucky this year. Kanter is the pick.

9) Bobcats need a power forward on the team and there are two available: Motiejunas of Treviso and the 20 year-old freshman from Texas, Tristan Thompson. They take Thompson.

10) They would like Alec Burks from Colorado but they need a big so they go with Marcus Morris of Kansas.

11) They are happy that Pistons passed on Kawhi Leonard. He will fit in with Curry and Ellis. The pick is Leonard.

12) The Jazz get their second pick on the first round. They went with a point guard early, now they add a two guard in Alec Burks, the 6-6 19 year-old out of Colorado.

13) They have a system that needs a small forward who can get up and down. They think Jordan Hamilton of Texas is that man.

14) Rockets wanted one of the Morris brothers but since they are gone they get someone who reminds them of Tracy McGrady. They take Tobias Harris, the 18 year-old out of Texas.

15) Michael Thomson will be happy as the Pacers pass on Nolan Smith of Duke and take the bigger Klay Thompson of Washington State.

16) in case Kings don't take Biyombo, 76ers will take him bere. But if  not, Philly takes Justin Harper, a surprise pick from Richmond.

17) The Knicks are always interesting in the draft because of Mike D'Antoni's style of play. He will always surprise and he does again as he takes Kenneth Faried of Morehead St, a four-year senior.

18) Wizards go international with Davis Bertans of Latvia.

19) Bobcats love Chris Singleton, the 6-8 forward out of Florida St., so they take him.

20) All eyes will be on Minnesota to see if they like The Jimmer, but they don't. Instead they take shot blocking Tyler Honeycutt ouf of UCLA.

21) Blazers can't believe Kemba Walker is still on the board. They don't hesitate to take him.

22) Since Nuggets forwards are getting older they take Trey Thompkins out of Georgia.

23) Rockets get their second pick of the first round. They selected a small forward with the first, now they try to replace Yao with Jeremey Tyler with the second.

24) Thunder needs someone who can play off Durant and Westbrook. Kyle Singler of Duck/Medford is the perfect fit.

25) They would take Travis Leslie out of Georgia if they didn't have Jeff Green at small forward, but they need someone to replace Kendrick Perkins, so they take Nikola Mirotic, the 20 year-old center from Spain via Montenegro

26) This is a case of taking the best player for the future, so the Mavs take Malcolm Lee of UCLA.

27) Nets take Josh Selby to back up Deron Williams at the guard spot. He was a freshman at Kansas.

28) Bulls love hardnose, smart guards, so they take Brad Wanamaker out of Pitt.

29) Spurs take a flyer on a young talent in Darius Morris, the combo guard from Michigan.

30) Bulls can't believe that Nolan Smith from Duke is still on the board. He's the final pick of the first round.


  1. I love ya mike, but theres no way kemba slips that far. not a chance in hell.

    by lukewarm on 5/23/2011 11:04 AM
  2. In Rice's defense, David Aldridge also has Kemba going to the Trail Blazers at no. 21: http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/david_aldridge/05/16/mock-draft/index.html

    Now not having Jimmer in the first round, though he could very well be drafted before Kemba, is the a head-scratcher for me.

    by caseyholdahl on 5/23/2011 11:21 AM
  3. Markieff Morris #6? Definitely a stretch there Rice. I believe you're the only person who I've seen that has him mocked ahead of his brother Marcus.

    by ClydeFrog on 5/23/2011 12:33 PM
  4. I have no idea who we will get but I hope it is somebody that can help us immediately.

    by Hg on 5/23/2011 2:08 PM
  5. From my Bobcats perspective, I hope Rice's picks hold up; however we will not take a PF if Kawhi Leonard is still available (Kawhi is a youthful GW). The Cats also have a big contract tied up at the PF spot with Tyrus Thomas and another year of Boris Diaw. Needs are greater at C and SF (though Dante could probably fill in nicely if we don't get a SF and we move Stephen Jackson).

    For the Blazers..yeah it'd be nice to add Kemba with that pick, I just wonder if a young Center is what PDX needs most. Camby is old, CJ is liable to blow away under the next strong breeze and Oden's knees are suspect until he proves otherwise for 70+ games in 2 consecutive seasons.

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 5/23/2011 2:28 PM
  6. This mock draft takes more account of the team's needs, but what about the center from Turkey, Enes Kantor, i keep hearing good things about him.

    by Corey45 on 5/23/2011 11:19 PM
  7. I love Mike, and I hear David, but ..lol no way Kemba goes 21..sorry Casey.

    by L.T.G on 5/24/2011 4:37 PM
  8. Who knows Kemba might slip, I doubt it, but there are some good players who will slip if he doesn't.

    by mbmurr1 on 5/25/2011 8:40 AM
  9. Mike Rice: I am a fan of yours and Mike B.

    I wouldn't know who will be where in the draft and I wouldn't know who was good or bad.

    I am just writing to see how your double knee replacement went. Getting both done at once will be rough rehabbing. You may find you don't have a leg to stand on LMAO. If your Titanium and Plastic works as good as my bionics work, you will love them. I asked my knee specialist about you this morning and he said you cannot play basketball anymore. Now, don't challenge him. Then he bet me in 5 years Greg will still be a bust. Good luck in your rehab.

    by Hg on 5/25/2011 12:37 PM
  10. If Kemba or Jimmer somehow slip to #21, we have to take advantage of that. Otherwise, we should get Kenneth Faired, because he's beast on defense and with his rebounding.

    by BrianTQuach on 5/27/2011 10:44 AM
  11. I don't see Utah taking a PG with the 3rd pick. They have Devin Harris and will probably go big here and take their chances on Jimmer at 12. I also don't think the Wiz keep #18 and it's one that cash might be able to get

    If either Jimmer or Kemba are available at 21 I will buy you a frosty adult one when you're in DC next time.

    by brianfromwa on 6/3/2011 5:50 PM
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