Archive for the ‘2011 NBA Draft’ Category

Nicknames time, y’all. Just like in 2009 and 2010, here are the best possible monikers for each and every one of last night’s draftees.

1. Kyrie “Kool Hat” Irving
2. “Generic” Derrick Williams
3. “Curtis” Enes Kanter
4. Tristan “Licorice” Thompson
5. Jonas “Workers Are Going Home” Valanciunas
6. Jan Vesely “Jerry”
7. “Return of the” Bismack Biyombo (or any of those other ones)
8. “Mr. Cum Laude” Brandon Knight
9. Kemba Walker “Black Label”
10. Jimmer “Jim” Fredette

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Let’s see here. No. 6 pick in the draft, public affection from your super cute girlfriend, and a not-creepy-at-all comment complimenting said girlfriend by ESPN’s international scouting guru. Decent night, I guess.

2011 NBA Draft live chat

Join me at 7 p.m. ET for the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Will Kyrie Irving go first overall? (Most likely.) Will there be trades aplenty? (Let’s hope so, because this draft class is weaksauce.) Will non-invitee Donatas Motiejunas crash the stage when his name is announced? (That would be awesome!) Let’s have fun with this, people. As always, bring your own refreshments.

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All signs point to Kyrie Irving being selected first overall in tonight’s draft, but nothing’s a sure thing until David Stern reads that first card. But that didn’t stop Dan Patrick from asking Irving every possible permutation of “Are you going to Cleveland?” on his radio show Wednesday.

From Sports Radio Interviews by way of Deadspin:

Are you going to Cleveland?:
“I’m not sure yet.”

They haven’t told you?:

Have you shopped for housing in Cleveland yet?:
“No, I have not shopped for housing in Cleveland yet.”

How much pressure will there be to be the next LeBron James?:
“I’m not really looking to be the next LeBron James unless I grow about six inches in the next two hours or the next week or so. Right now, I’m just really looking forward to contributing to any team that wants to take me.”

Do you have a Cleveland Cavaliers colored tie for the draft?:
“No, no Dan, I’m not having a Cleveland Cavalier-colored tie on.”

Do you own one that you’ll be able to wear at your first press conference?:
“No, I don’t have a Cleveland Cavalier tie prepared.”

What’s your number in Cleveland?:
In the NBA, Dan, I think hopefully my number will either be number 1 or number 11.”

Just classic interviewing technique, right there. Keep on badgering and badgering and badgering your guest with questions that will be definitively answered within days. That’s why he gets the big bucks.

The best part, of course, is that Irving still hasn’t been told that he’ll officially be the first pick tonight, as Adrian Wojnarowki reported two hours ago. If he doesn’t know now, he sure didn’t know then. Just guessing, but that wouldn’t keep Danno from popping the question a few billion times.

Don’t forget, Scott Carefoot is live-blogging the draft tonight. Things get started around 7pm ET. See you then.

Some people think Derrick Williams will be a small forward in the NBA. Some people think he’s the prototypical new four that’s all the rage in the league. Derrick Williams thinks it doesn’t matter, because he’s post-positionality.

From RealGM:

“If you’re on the court it doesn’t matter, like Dirk [Nowitzki], he doesn’t have a real position but he’s out there playing,” Williams told the media in New York City on Wednesday.

“There’s a spot for everybody.”

So alt. So anti-mainstream. So FreeDarko. So right.

After all, if Williams can, at some point, approximate his numbers last season at Arizona (19.5 ppg, 8 rpg, 57 percent from three) then the only thing that’s going to matter is getting him on the court. Sure, matching hip up with someone he can guard might prove challenging, but that’s the sort of thing you can figure out through different defensive schemes. That requires the right personnel — the Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler to complete Williams’ Dirk Nowitzki analogy — but that kind of player can be found, or even developed.

Of course, if Williams isn’t quite as good or versatile as he says he is, then he’ll go down in draft history as another tweener who just couldn’t find a position in the NBA and we’ll look back at this proclamation and think he’s totally silly for comparing himself to Dirk Nowitzki. No pressure or anything.

If you’re not impressed with a guy dunking 75 straight times in quick succession, then maybe you should try it. Go for it, man. Just jump up and touch your ceiling as many times as possible before collapsing to the floor. I’m sure you’ll be able to get 75 without your legs catching on fire. No problem.

(via Littmann)

It is nearly upon us, my friends: Draft day (cue foreboding music)! Not only is it significant for NBA decision-makers, but also us prognosticators and mockers of the draft to occasionally jump in the air and say, “AH HA!”

Below, recorded for posterity, future bragging rights and voluntarily proclamations of “I told you” is my final mock draft, trades after Wednesday morning notwithstanding.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving, 6-foot-2 PG, Duke
All indications have the Cavs taking Irving, although there has been some thought of going with Derrick Williams instead. However, that would be a risk since the Cavs would have to hope that Brandon Knight falls to their fourth pick, which isn’t likely since the Utah Jazz have been associated with Knight for a while. Look for Irving to become the heir apparent to Baron Davis, in all likelihood sooner rather than later.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Williams, 6-foot-9 PF, Arizona
If the Timberwolves keep this pick, and not trade it as has been gaining traction lately, the T-Wolves will select Williams, the best big man in the draft. There’s some duplication with Michael Beasley on the team, but Williams is too talented to pass up with the second pick. There’s a chance that Enes Kanter also gets chosen, but the ideal situation for Minny is to trade the pick for a veteran, or to go lower in the draft while acquiring another pick down the line. Oh, also ideally is that the Cavs don’t take Williams first overall putting the T-Wolves in a position to select another point guard. Kaaaaaahn!

3. Utah Jazz – Brandon Knight, 6-foot-3 PG, Kentucky
Knight and the Jazz have been in the same sentence for a while now, and any thought of Kanter being the pick has to be a smokescreen with the presence of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Knight just makes sense considering that incumbent point guard, Devin Harris, is as brittle as Elijah Price. And I understand the turnover issue is, well, an issue, but I have a gut feeling that Knight will eventually be considered better than Irving a few years down the line.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Enes Kanter, 6-foot-11 PF, Turkey
Kanter is arguably the best international prospect in the draft and would provide some help up front for the Cavs, a team who needs help everywhere. However, balanced selections in the backcourt and frontcourt will help the Cavs get back to where they should be … mediocrity. Kidding. Well, sort of. But hey, Cavs fans, at least LeBron James didn’t win a title yet!

5. Toronto Raptors – Kemba Walker, 6-foot-1 PG, Connecticut
Just about everyone has Walker going to the Raptors, so this selection would make me a conformist. However, things could change at the top of the draft should new coach Dwayne Casey focus on interior defense and possibly take Bismack Biyombo or even Kawhi Leonard. I’m sticking with Walker though because he can play defense and was more of a defensive/pass-first point guard his first two seasons at UConn, but then exploded this past season and became a scorer. If Walker is passed on here, he shouldn’t get past the Sacramento Kings at seven.

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