The 2011 NBA mock drafts are already coming out, and most have Duke point guard Kyrie Irving as the No. 1 overall selection. If the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to have the worst record in the NBA, they will have the best chance to win the 2011 NBA Draft lottery and with it get the first selection in the draft. The Draft won’t take place until June 23 in New Jersey, but that hasn’t stopped people from surmising how things are going to go. It also shows that Irving has a lot of fans despite very few games played at the college level.
ESPN’s Chad Ford has issued what he believes to be the top 100 draft prospects who could be available in the 2011 Draft. He too has Irving slotted in the No. 1 overall spot, noting that Cleveland now very clearly needs a point guard to fill the void left from the trade of Mo Williams. It’s hard to imagine that the Cavaliers will want to keep Baron Davis as the general of the team in the 2011-12 NBA season, so that leaves an opening for Irving in that No. 1 spot. This seems like something that could definitely change if another team were to get the right ping pong ball drawn during the NBA Playoffs.
Among the six worst teams in the NBA are Cleveland, the New Jersey Nets, the Toronto Raptors, the Washington Wizards, the Sacramento Kings, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nets have Deron Williams, the Wizards have John Wall, and the Kings have Tyreke Evans. That would leave just the Raptors and the Timberwolves as possible destinations for a new elite point guard, and the fans in Minnesota might just revolt if the ownership decides to draft another starting point guard. In all of these scenarios, it seems more likely that Irving would not be the top selection, clearing a path for another college star.
It would seem that that 2011 NCAA Tournament could play a large part in which of the college prospects stay in the top 5 rankings for mock drafts, and which one might move into the top overall ranking. Jared Sullinger of Ohio State and Derrick Williams of Arizona both seem like players who could see a bump, as could Perry Jones of Baylor. All three schools are expected to be in the postseason, and that will serve to either help or hinder their draft stock. Then there is Harrison Barnes, the player everyone expected to be a phenom at North Carolina, who is finally starting to play up to his talent level.
There are just so many question marks surrounding the 2011 draft class that we shouldn’t be surprised the Los Angeles Clippers traded away their pick. It would certainly be interesting, though, if the Cavaliers were to end up with the first two picks in the NBA Draft as a result. A cornerstone of young talent could certainly rebuild that franchise quickly.
More From YCN: