24 June 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Best 2nd Round Picks

The NBA Draft was held last night and I always enjoy watching the second round simply because it really separates those who know what they are doing and those that do not. A bunch of solid players were on the board only for teams to takes guys that barely played one year at UConn over a year ago or guys that average 0.7 points per game in the NBDL.
Regardless, here are the best picks of the second round.
2011 NBA Draft 1st Round Grades

32. Orlando Magic (from Cleveland) - Justin Harper, F, Richmond
The Magic have always coveted shooters to help spread the floor for Dwight Howard inside and Harper is one of the best shooting big men in the entire draft. He is your typical forward tweener as he isn't quick or shifty enough to play the three nor is he strong enough to play at the four but Stan Van Gundy will find a role for this kid. Plus he is very experienced and he led the Spiders to a Sweet Sixteen run in this year's NCAA Tournament.

33. Detroit Pistons - Kyle Singler, F, Duke
The Pistons need a player that can fill the role that Tayshaun Prince served so well for all of these years and Singler is that guy. Singler is a proven winner with a high character and a strong work ethic. He isn't the defensive presence that Prince was but he can shoot well from the perimeter and will immediately help this team.  

34. Washington Wizards - Shelvin Mack, PG, Butler
The Wizards really needed a backup for John Wall at the point and they could have done a lot worse than Mack. Mack garnered a reputation for coming up clutch in big game moments as he did in this year's NCAA Tournament and he has a solid outside shot and is strong enough to get to the rim. Good value for Washington here.

39. Golden State Warriors (from Charlotte) - Jeremy Tyler, PF, USA
Tyler is an interesting case as he left high school in 2009 to play abroad despite being a top prospect. After a failed stint in Israel and not much more success in Japan, here he is. Tyler is very talented and is definitely worth being selected in this spot, where the risk is low. Tyler has great size and length and has the ideal NBA body but he needs to learn how to use his talent. If Golden State properly develops him they could have made an awesome steal here.

40. Milwaukee Bucks - Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin
When you pick in the second round, you always try to get at least something of worth in return. And thus, the Bucks hit a homer here. Leuer can really come in handy for Milwaukee as his inside/outside game from a power forward slot is something they could use. Plus being a local guy does not hurt at all either.

41. Los Angeles Lakers - Darius Morris, PG, Michigan
With Derek Fisher getting close to the end of the tunnel, the Lakers wanted to get a young backup that can develop down the line. Morris is a great value in this slot and while he is not an effective shooter, has great size for a pointman. Granted the Lakers don't really need a point with Kobe Bryant handling the ball so much but bringing in a talented one makes plenty of sense.

48. Atlanta Hawks - Keith Benson, C, Oakland
The Hawks have been to looking to add more size to their frontline and got a good value in Benson. Benson is very soft and will most likely have to play the four but he has nice athleticism and has a promising offensive game. How in the world he went after a scrub like Josh Harrellson I may never know.

49. Memphis Grizzlies - Josh Selby, PG, Kansas
How the hell was Selby available here? Granted he did not have a great freshman year at Kansas but considering the fact that he was an elite prospect out of high school, it is absurd that he would still be on the board here. Selby is very talented on the offensive end and will help the Grizzlies with scoring off the pine.

53. Orlando Magic - DeAndre Liggins, SG, Kentucky
The Magic were in the market or a potential replacement for the free agent Jason Richardson and found one right here. Liggins does not have a great offensive game by any means but will last in the pros because he is a really good defender, which is something that an offensive minded club like Orlando could never find enough of.

55. Boston Celtics - E'Twaun Moore, G, Purdue
The Celtics went Purdue heavy in this year's draft and came away with two solid players. Moore is another classic combo guard but he is a solid scorer and shooter and guard either position. The Celtics had needs in their backcourt depth-wise and thus Moore is a good fit.

60. Sacramento Kings - Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
I watched a fair amount of Thomas in college on TV and what I saw was that this kid was a gamer and would bust his ass on the court despite his small stature. Thomas can also shoot the ball well and will find a role in the Califonia capital in a reserve role behind Jimmer Fredette.

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