Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Options For the Golden State Warriors At #11

With just over three weeks remaining until the 2011 NBA Draft, there have been several shifts in recent mock drafts around the country. For the first time in a long time, there is no set order in how teams will be picking come June 23.

What we do know is that this draft is one of the weakest in many years.

Many seem to agree that this draft could be all but finished after the first two picks, and some have even stretched that to four.

The only thing we know about the order of these picks is how the first four will go:

1. Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Derrick Williams - Minnesota Timberwolves

3. Brandon Knight - Utah Jazz

4. Enes Kanter - Cleveland Cavaliers

We all can agree on that, to some extent.

Even Chad Ford (ESPN's NBA Draft guru) is a little confused as to who will go to what team after pick #4.

In his latest Mock Draft, Ford moved Czech Republic's high-riser, Jan Vesely, up six spots from the 11th pick to #5.

With the draft just 23 days away, the picks will become a little more obvious in the coming weeks.

Having said that, how in the world do we know who is going to go to the Golden State Warriors at #11?

While we cannot guarantee who will be available when the Warriors get their turn, we can ballpark it to some extent.

Golden State will be drafting players with two main qualities, and that is height and defense.

Unfortunately for them, height and defense will be hard to come by in a very shallow 2011 NBA Draft.

Here are five players that could be available for the Warriors at #11.

Jan Vesely

Position: PF/SF
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 240
Age: 21
Country: Czech Republic

As I said before, Chad Ford moved Vesely up six spots in his latest mock draft, from the Warriors' pick at #11 to the Toronto Raptors at #5.

Does that mean Vesely's stock is up?

I think it just means Ford had his sources a little mixed up.

Given several impressive YouTube videos of this kid, we will go with Vesely being drafted somewhere between the fifth and 11th picks, that is for certain.

The 21-year-old is one of the more explosive players in this draft, not to mention he is ready to play now. His jump shot could use some work, but it is his ability to fly above the rim that has some scouts dreaming of a big future for this kid.

On the Warriors, Vesely would fit wonderfully into the run-and-gun style of play that Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis could play so well with him on the floor.

Bismack Biyombo

Position: PF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 243
Age: 18
Country: Congo

Another athletic big man, Biyombo can run the floor with the best, while playing much bigger than his 6'9" frame under the basket.

Biyombo's long wingspan (7'7") allows him to reach high for rebounds, as well as block shots. His big and strong body also allows him to throw it down over bigger players.

Oh, and he is 18-years-old....

Biyombo would be a steal for the Warriors at #11.

Chad Ford has Biyombo going to the Charlotte Bobcats at #9, but mock drafts around the country have him going anywhere from picks six through 12.

The Warriors are looking for a big body, and this is about as close as it gets in this draft.

Donatas Motiejunas

Position: PF
Height: 7'0"
Weight: 220
Age: 19
Country: Lithuania

I have covered the two players that could possibly fall to the Warriors, but now we will address two players that Golden State would be reaching to draft.

Motiejunas is a long, wiry big man with good passing skills and aggressiveness under the hoop.

Any team would happy to draft a 7'0" power forward, but many think he is not built enough to play under the hoop in the NBA, as his height will demand him to.

Chad Ford has him going to the Minnesota Timberwolves at #20.

The Warriors would draft him for one reason, and one reason only, and that is for his height. There is a ton of potential in Motiejunas, but unfortunately, potential is all he has at this moment. He would be a project for the Warriors, albeit a very tall project.

Kenneth Faried

Position: PF
Height: 6'8"
Weight: 225
Age: 21
College: Moorehead State

Keeping along those same line of the Warriors reaching in the draft, Faried was the nation's leading rebounder this past NCAA season, as well as the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history.

History has suggested that players that can rebound ferociously in college will translate as great rebounders in the NBA, which is why Faried may be a lot higher on team's draft boards than people think.

At only 6'8", Faried has drawn comparisons to DeJuan Blair of the San Antonion Spurs, or even Dennis Rodman, as someone that can hit the boards and clean up the dirty work.

Although, Chad Ford has Faried going 21st in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Warriors would be drafting a full-fledged rebounder. Golden State does not have that right now.

If the Warriors take the gamble on Faried, their best bet is that he ends up like a DeJuan Blair in San Antonio, who made large contributions in his rookie year, despite his size.

Marcus Morris

Position: PF
Height: 6'9"
Weight: 230
Age: 21
College: Kansas

If I was to put money on the Warriors drafting someone, it would be Marcus Morris.

Morris is mature and ready to play now, something that the Warriors could use immediately. His 6'9" frame has him playing the power forward position in the NBA, but there is always the option of center, as well.

He is the safest pick for the Warriors, at #11, and can provide a body under the rim, as well as a decent jump shot, which we saw on display in the NCAA tournament.

Morris' ability to run the floor, as well, makes the pick all that more enticing for Golden State.

Chad Ford had him going to the Houston Rockets at #14, but moved him up three spots to the Warriors in his latest mock draft, as do the majority of mock drafts around the country.

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