HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
2011 NBA Draft: Biggest Winners
By Luke Byrnes
After weeks and weeks of speculation and predictions about the direction of the 2011 NBA Draft, the night was kicked off with a three-team trade involving the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings and, from there, the activity was non-stop.
Without the star power and fanfare of the past few drafts, this year’s draft still packed some punch late in the first round and into the second. Despite a lack of clear-cut winners like the Wizards (John Wall), Clippers (Blake Griffin) and Bulls (Derrick Rose) over the past three drafts, respectively, some fared better than others on Thursday night. Here is a look at the winners in the 2011 NBA Draft.
2011 NBA Draft: Biggest Losers
By Yannis Koutroupis
Earlier today Luke Byrnes took a look at the winners of the 2011 NBA Draft and, of course, if there are winners then there has to be losers. It’s impossible to accurately grade a draft class less than 24 hours after picks have been made, so what this list is more about is players who didn’t land with ideal fits or teams who reached for a player when there were better ones on the board. Ultimately how good everything is will be decided on the court, but for now here’s a look at some players and teams who aren’t as well of as others after draft night 2011.
Derrick Williams – Selected 2nd Overall By The Minnesota Timberwolves
Since the draft lottery all we have heard is talk about how the Minnesota Timberwolves were actively seeking a trade for the number two pick. They were in a tough position because they knew that Williams was clearly the second best player in the draft, but they have much bigger needs than a small forward/power forward with forwards Kevin Love and Michael Beasley on their roster already. At some point in time they had conversations with every team in the league from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers regarding a potential deal for the pick.
Both LA Teams Happy With Draft
By Eric Pincus
The Lakers traded away Sasha Vujacic to the New Jersey Nets early last season, saving a large chunk of money (north of $8 million) but at a price that included the 27th pick in the 2011 draft.
The needs are quite obvious for LA given the age of their backcourt with Derek Fisher at 37 and Kobe Bryant 33 before next season. Shannon Brown is expected to opt out. Steve Blake, also over 30, didn’t play well in his first year with the team.
The prospect the team had their eye on was 6’4″ Darius Morris, a true point guard out of Michigan.
No he has no three-point shot but Morris has some Andre Miller in him (good size, a midrange game, can finish around the basket, etc.).
Coach: Reviewing The Draft
By Anthony Macri
The 2011 NBA Draft, for as weak as it seemed, actually produced a fair number of pleased franchises. The movement was fast and furious, and at first glance there are a few teams that should be happier than most. For the Coach’s Notebook this week, we’ll assess how a few teams did on Draft Day based on the Homer Simpson scale: “Woohoo!” means they should be pleased with how Draft Day went, “Meh…” indicates a certain ambivalence, and “D’oh!” explains itself.
Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats managed to select both the biggest mystery of the draft in Bismack Biyombo and the most reliable leader in Kemba Walker. Biyombo was a great risk pick because if things work out, he could be a total star, and if they don’t, everyone knows it was a risk to begin with. Kemba will do exactly what is asked of him and can play immediately.
Can The Hawks Win With Jeff Teague?
By Lang Greene
The Atlanta Hawks are a franchise at a pivotal crossroads heading into the 2012 campaign. The team has earned four consecutive postseason berths but has suffered three straight second round playoff eliminations – two of which were resounding sweeps.
Hawks’ ownership, known for being one of the league’s most frugal, has invested close to $200 million in the past year to retain the services of All-Stars Joe Johnson and Al Horford.
Unfortunately, top tier talent isn’t what the Hawks lack on their roster – it’s been the inability to surround their stars with the right mix of role players.
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the team’s roster since the beginning of this century has been the strength (or lack thereof) of their point guard unit.