Draft Fever Begins, Who Will Portland Pick?
By sarahhecht Posted in: draft2011
The time of the year when imaginations begin (and continue) to run wild.
Scenarios are rampant on TV shows, blogs, message boards and podcasts. Though the inklings and discussions have been whirling about for a few weeks now, it’s time to really get down to business.
Yesterday, the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery took place in New Jersey with the the Cleveland Cavaliers garnering the first pick. The whole lottery drawing isn’t of much consequence to Trail Blazers fans because we don’t have a horse in the race so to speak, but either way, it’s an important day in the NBA.
Here’s how the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery turned out:
1. Cleveland (from the L.A. Clippers)
3. Utah (from New Jersey)
11. Golden State
The Trail Blazers hold the 21st pick, with a variety of options. You only have 36 days to hash it out before Draft Night on June 23rd. So lay it on me, what are you predictions? What do the Trail Blazers need to improve?
Here are some of the top mock drafts projecting who Portland will pick:
From David Aldridge at nba.com:
Kemba Walker, G, 6’1, 172lbs, Connecticut
“Well, Dick Vitale has to wail about someone slipping. Walker is certainly not the 21st-best player in the Draft, but he's a 6-foot-1 scoring guard, and those aren't in great demand in the pros. He can learn how to play the point in the 503 behind one of the best, Andre Miller.”
From Chad Ford at ESPN.com
Donatas Motiejunas, PF, 7’0, 220lbs, Lithuania
“The Blazers have been looking for a point guard -- Reggie Jackson, Darius Morris and Nolan Smith will get a look -- but the team also needs depth on its front line. Motiejunas provides that and, at No. 21, he's a big-time bargain.”
(it’s and insider column)
From Sam Amick at si.com:
Lucas Noguiera, C, 7’0, 225lbs, MMT Estudiantes (Spain)
“The 18-year-old Brazilian center is a project, to be sure. But his 7-foot-6 wingspan and unfulfilled frame have left some scouts wondering if he could be a defensive force someday. And for an organization that has been suffering through the Greg Oden years for what seems like so long no, there’s no harm in taking a flyer on a player who could be its center of the future.”
From Aran Smith at hooshype.com
Jordan Hamilton, SG, 6’7, 220lbs, Texas
“Portland is stacked at every position so they can look for the best player available and find one of the better wings in this draft in Hamilton. Jordan stepped up his level of lay considerable as a sophomore. He made a wise decision returning for a second year. He displayed excellent shooting ability. His lack of quickness defensively is a concern and puts his ability to play the SG position in question. He is considered a slow 2 or a small 3.”
What do you think?