With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring in two weeks, there is a ton of uncertainty surrounding the NBA on the eve of its 2011 draft.
In what was a completely unpredictable season, the upcoming draft and off-season will be no different. From the volatile C.B.A, to a variety of free agency and trade deals that could go down (not to mention one of the most uncertain drafts in recent history), the future of the NBA is going to be extremely interesting.
Mock drafts from more than ten sources all have essentially the same top three players, varying between Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight, and 19-year-old Enes Kanter from Turkey for the third spot.
Some experts believe the top four spots are set as: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, and Brandon Knight. After these four players, the mock drafts go completely haywire. In this year’s draft there is not an excess of NBA-ready players, but there is a considerable amount of talent.
Among the very talented ballers that could be a steal in the draft (if they develop) are: Bismack Biyombo ( A 6”9, 18-year-old power forward from the Congo who has the potential to be a Serge Ibaka-type player), Kawhi Leonard ( a 6”7 lockdown defender out of San Diego State who can rebound and score), Jordan Hamilton(a quality spot-up shooter who averaged 18 PPG as well as 7 RPG from Texas), and of course, the nation’s leading scorer Jimmer Fredette(some believe his ball handling skills and defense may be suspect, despite averaging 29 PPG last season).
Many of the guys in this draft are coming from overseas: Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo, Jonas Valanciunas, Nikola Vucevic, and Jan Vesely. They will need some time to get adjusted to the different style of play in the NBA, but if a GM is willing to take the risk, any one of these players could prove to be a valuable draft pick.
This year’s NBA draft is undoubtedly full of talent, but it lacks any “sure things.”
Kyrie Irving, the heavily favored number one pick, only played in two competitive college games due to several injuries. Therefore, a lot of experts maintain that Derrick Williams would be a more secure pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers (they hold the number one overall pick).
Williams exemplifies a hard worker, as he was not even listed among the 150 best players in the nation as he entered college. Now, after his sophomore season at Arizona, he is expected to go either first or second in the draft. This shows that he might be ready to meet the task of developing into a player that can contribute in his rookie season.
Another aspect of the draft is trade speculation.
One team rumored in these trades is the Los Angeles Lakers – who have no first round picks. The Lakers are a veteran team that needs to add some quality youth. This may inspire them to push for a trade with a team that has a solid pick such as the Timberwolves (2nd overall pick). Similarly, the Boston Celtics, who are looking towards the future, may want to make a trade to land them a better drafting position than their current 25th spot.
Some scouts are saying this is a weak draft, but there is a lot of very young talent, that if honed correctly, will be fantastic NBA players.
So, we ask you- who should be the number one pick in this draft: Irving,Williams,Kanter or someone like Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker who have fully proved themselves at the college level?