4 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. They pulled in another Euro center to add to their collection, Brad Miller and his too-long, too-expensive contract, and ditched Jonny Flynn. Then, miraculously, Chris Singleton tumbled all the way down to No.18 where the Wizards jumped all over him. Not a great haul, there. Walker creates a complication at point guard with D.J. They managed to not overcomplicate the combination of two top-five picks. Smith may work out well, but he’ll never be starter caliber. His workouts showed how he would translate on the next level, and with that kind of athleticism, he provides a good running partner for Irving. And they just added Klay Thompson.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Yes, again. Shelvin Mack in the second round was a great value pick for backup point guard.
Josh Selby: If there was no age limit to the draft, Selby would have been a top ten pick last year. I’ve never been big on either of the Bobcats’ draft picks, but when you consider the balance between an athletic super-freak who is unrefined and an established winner with limited upside, the Bobcats managed to grab two of the most hyped players in the draft. Smith had his proponents as the draft got closer, and certainly isn’t a terrible pick. After an underwhelming crop of draft choices led to a flurry of trades, the dust has settled and the picks are wearing the right hats, finally. While not getting Mirotic is a lot better than drafting him, they did all that and wound up with a first later, Malcolm Lee, and Targuy Ngombo. But David Kahn reportedly says they’re not moving Williams. Rodney Stuckey problem: solved.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Irving is mostly a case of winning by default, but they wouldn’t have been the first team to be unable to get out of their own way with an obvious pick. Going for Derrick Williams would have been sheer hubris in order to burn LeBron by choosing a replacement forward. Then he said “I like the John Wall game” in his TV interview. Augustin already being an undersized point guard. But, again, they opt for the usual. The result is a reformed back court as the Blazers had promised, but not nearly as good as one you would have thought they could carry with the pieces available. A great start for the Cho era in Charlotte.
Golden State Warriors: How many guards can they need? New head coach Mark Jackson and GM Larry Riley constantly talked about defense. But in taking him, they elected to create redundancy after trading too much (Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez) for Raymond Felton. Biyombo provides length and athleticism to pair with Tyrus Thomas. From this vantage point, it doesn’t look great.
Joe Dumars: Lucks into Brandon Knight. If Williams turns out to be worthy of the No.2 pick, and count me among the people that think he is, and the Wolves recognize that versus burying him as they did Kevin Love, this can be salvaged. It’s a messy situation and Kahn should have taken one of the other offers made to him for the pick. CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore presents the winners and losers of the 2011 NBA Draft:
Individual Losers:. That’s a win right there.
Jordan Hamilton: Something really bad must have been found on Hamilton, medically or otherwise. They wasted an opportunity to create more assets by moving either one, and instead, will now bullheadedly try to cram two similar players (three if you count Anthony Randolph) into a spot. Jon Diebler is 6-6 and can shoot. Disappointing.
Cavs take Duke’s Kyrie Irving No. Then there’s the other trade, which was just a mess all over. He can rebound and defend exceptionally well. He gives the Wizards the ability to move Andray Blatche if they can find a taker for his contract. All Rights Reserved.
Texas’ Tristan Thompson talks to reporters after being taken with the No. But Augustin has never won over the Bobcats organization and Walker will be given every chance to compete for the starting role. Williams is a great pick, if they were moving Michael Beasley. Masai Ujiri is better than you.
© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. Then, with the fourth, they could have opted for Valanciunas, which would have been a good pick. 1 in NBA draft
It’s all over. Irving gives them a franchise point guard to build around and was the best player overall in this draft. That’s not a good look for the Texas ex.
Tristan Thompson: Congratulations, Tristan, you cleared about ten spots in three days! It’s a marathon, not a race.
Washington Wizards: The Wizards very quietly had a terrific draft. The Warriors have enough talent to not need the best player available. They got good talent both small and big. That’s about it.
Charlotte Bobcats: In a day, the Bobcats transformed Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, the No.9 and No.19 into Corey Maggette, Bismack Biyombo, and Kemba Walker. Saved the boss some cash, though.
CBSSports.com: Team draft grades
Brandon Knight: Plummeted due to his attitude and wound up in dysfunctional Detroit.
Portland Trail Blazers: Where did that come from? The Blazers first take a huge reach on Nolan Smith at No.21. If his size issues aren’t as much a concern as they’ve been made out to be, and if his shot creation translates to the next level, the Bobcats have just instantly created their foundation for the future while ditching one of their biggest contracts. Another sterling night for the Wolves. Oh, yeah, and they nabbed Kenneth Faried, who perfectly fits their needs and is a great value pick where they took him. The only redeeming quality is the future first which may or may not be protected into oblivion. Vesely came off incredibly cool for a 21-year-old Euro who can’t shoot.
Denver Nuggets: Raymond Felton got flipped for Andre Miller’s non-guaranteed expiring contract and Jordan Hamilton, one of the steals of the draft who inexplicably fell. This for a guard the Nuggets didn’t want in the first place. First Jan Vesely was available, who fits a need for them at slashing forward. With his athleticism and aggression, he makes a perfect partner to run the break with John Wall. That’s a great haul. They used the 43rd on Malcolm Lee, and then traded for the 57th. Or if they were trading Williams. But there’s a reason so many teams were chasing Tristan Thompson. Singleton is a lottery talent that fell out of the top 14. They haven’t moved Monta Ellis, so now on the roster they have Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Charlie Bell, Jeremy Lin, Acie Law and Reggie Williams. Singleton’s length and athleticism, combined with a chip on his shoulder from dropping, makes him a great pick for the Wizards. Now he falls all the way to the second round.
Jan Vesely: Underrated as everyone talked about Kanter and Valanciunas, Vesely not only winds up with a good team fit for himself, but stole the highlight of the night with a kiss on the mouth of his lady friend. It was an unnecessary move with bigger players with more defensive presence available. AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Update: Wolves wound up swapping Mirotic for the 28th and 43rd picks from the Bulls, then moved the 28th pick to Miami for the 31st pick, which they then sold as well as the 38th pick which was theirs. And, with as many talented guards as there were late in the draft, taking him was a bit of a shock. There was a nineteen-pick differential between Hamilton and a player who has rumors of being older than listed with a back issue and a contract problem. Then the Warriors took a shooter