Every year the NBA Draft happens and every year there is second guessing. The 2011 Draft was particularly interesting when you look at who has been successful and who has struggled.
The No. 1 pick and the No. 60 pick are both starting and playing great basketball. The back end of the first round was drafted so well that most of them could (and should) have been lottery picks.
This year we get to look at the rookies as the season ends thanks to the shortened season.
With the help of Joe Kaiser from ESPN NBA Rumor Mill this is how the 2011 NBA Draft would be re-done today. It may not be perfect, but the play speaks for itself:
1. Cleveland (via Los Angeles Clippers) – Kyrie Irving
NOW: Kyrie Irving
Irving overshot lofty expectations as a rookie, putting up big numbers and the best shooting percentages of any first-year guard.
2. Minnesota – Derrick Williams
NOW: Jonas Valanciunas
The Timberwolves do not need an immediate impact player, but rather another chip to build around Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. Valanciunas is a legit athletic center to add to the puzzle.
3. Utah (via New Jersey) – Enes Kanter
NOW: Klay Thompson
Might seem like a reach at No. 3, but Klay is proving himself as a big-time scorer and deadly 3-point shooter in this league, two things the Jazz could use.
4. Cleveland – Tristan Thompson
NOW: Tristan Thompson
The best defensive big man in the rookie class goes right where he went last year.
5. Toronto – Jonas Valanciunas
NOW: Kenneth Faried
A high-energy, rebounding force with staying power in the NBA, Faried would be a nice compliment to Andrea Bargnani in the post.
6. Washington – Jan Vesely
NOW: Derrick Williams
The second best prospect in the class has struggled, but that is more due to the personnel in Minnesota. The Wizards need talent and players that can score the ball. Williams adds both.
7. Charlotte (via Sacramento) – Bismack Biyombo
NOW: Brandon Knight
Knight proved he has just scratched the surface as a point guard and would bring stability to the Bobcats.
8. Detroit – Brandon Knight
NOW: Isaiah Thomas
With Knight off the board, Detroit goes with the next best available point guard to get the versatile dynamo out of Washington.
9. Charlotte – Kemba Walker
NOW: Enes Kanter
The team can now pair two former teammates at Kentucky (who never played a game together) and have the bookends to their starting line-up for the next 10 years.
10. Sacramento (via Milwaukee) – Jimmer Fredette
NOW: Bismack Biyombo
The athletic, defensive-minded Biyombo is the ying to DeMarcus Cousins’ yang in the Kings’ promising young frontcourt, balancing out the makeup of the team.
11. Golden State – Klay Thompson
NOW: Iman Shumpert
The Warriors want to shift focus to being a more defensive oriented team and Shumpert allows them to do just that.
12. Utah – Alec Burks
NOW: Kawhi Leonard
With Thompson in the fold, the Jazz go big with their second pick and land Leonard, a versatile combo forward who can mesh well with the other front line players on the roster.
13. Phoenix – Markieff Morris
NOW: MarShon Brooks
The Suns take the risk they should have taken back in June getting the shooting guard that will take the pressure off of Steve Nash and Grant Hill.
14. Houston – Marcus Morris
NOW: Nikola Vucevic
The Rockets go for size and land Vucevic, an experienced 7-footer who can score, rebound and even draw defenders out to the perimeter.
15. Indiana (Traded to San Antonio) – Kawhi Leonard
NOW: Jan Vesely
The versatile Vesely will fit in right away with the Spurs adding athleticism, youth, and energy to the team much like the original pick of Leonard did.
16. Philadelphia – Nikola Vucevic
NOW: Markieff Morris
The 76ers bring the hometown kid home, adding a versatile big man who can eventually supplant Elton Brand at the four.
17. New York – Iman Shumpert
NOW: Alec Burks
Burks would fit in alongside Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire as a selfless third scorer who gets his through the offense.
18. Washington (via Atlanta) – Chris Singleton
NOW: Kemba Walker
Not necessarily its biggest need, the Wizards jump at the chance to a pure scorer like Walker, a good value at pick No. 18.
19. Milwaukee (via Charlotte via Portland via New Orleans) – Tobias Harris
NOW: Chandler Parsons
An unexpected surprise this season has been the play of Parsons who fits in perfectly as a low-maintenance player and has the offensive skills Milwaukee is sorely missing.
20. Minnesota (via Memphis) (Traded to Houston) – Donatas Motiejunas
NOW: Chris Singleton
The T-Wolves go with a lockdown combo forward who can instantly make the club better defensively, addressing a big need.
21. Portland – Nolan Smith
NOW: Nikola Mirotic
This team has zero needs for 2011-2012 talent, but when you dig into the roster after this year going forward Mirotic would be a great compliment to LaMarcus Aldridge.
22. Denver – Kenneth Faried
NOW: Jimmer Fredette
With few sure things left, the Nuggets opt for the NCAA’s top scorer and hope he can be a piece to their puzzle.
23. Houston (via Phoenix via Orlando) (Traded to Chicago) – Nikola Mirotic
NOW: Kyle Singler
This pick is still being made for Chicago and the Bulls have depth and balance everywhere. The addition of Singler adds more toughness on the perimeter as well as shooting.
24. Oklahoma City – Reggie Jackson
NOW: Andrew Goudelock
The Thunder target the best 3-point shooter available, and find the best in Goudelock.
25. Boston (Traded to New Jersey) – MarShon Brooks
NOW: Marcus Morris
The team needs scorers to compliment the numerous All-Stars that will eventually be on the team when in Brooklyn.
26. Dallas (Traded to Denver) – Jordan Hamilton
NOW: Donatas Motiejunas
The Mavericks roll the dice on a Euro big man with big upside knowing they can afford to stash him away for a few years.
27. New Jersey (via Los Angeles Lakers) (Traded to Boston) – JaJuan Johnson
NOW: Charles Jenkins
This adds another versatile piece to the Celtics that can play both guard positions giving Doc Rivers a reason to allow a few rests for Rajon Rondo.
28. Miami (via Chicago via Toronto) – Norris Cole
NOW: Norris Cole
No reason to change this pick. Cole has come down to earth after a hot start, but is still a very valuable point guard in the Heat system.
29. San Antonio – Cory Joseph
NOW: Cory Joseph
It is hard to question the Spurs organization so this pick stays the same giving the team a very good point guard prospect to counter the great play of Tony Parker.
30. Chicago – Jimmy Butler
NOW: Shelvin Mack
With the potential of injury to Derrick Rose at every turn and the uncertainty of retaining C.J. Watson a point guard is a major need for the Bulls going forward. Mack will fit in perfectly coming out of Butler and into Chicago.
Who fell out of the first round? Tobias Harris (No.19), Nolan Smith (No.21), Reggie Jackson (No.24), Jordan Hamilton (No.26), JuJuan Johnson (No.27), and Jimmy Butler (No.30) all would likely not be first round selections today.
On the other hand Shelvin Mack (No.34), Charles Jenkins (No.44), Andrew Goudelock (No.46), Kyle Singler (No.33), Chandler Parsons (No.38), and Isaiah Thomas (No.60) all overplayed expectations.
Maybe not perfect to all, but much better than what the 30 teams combined to do last year.
What do you think?