Steve Alexander

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NBA Draft Recap

Friday, June 24, 2011


The NBA Draft is in the books and we blurbed it all night long. It was mass chaos with all the minor trades that went down, while guys like Stephen Jackson, Raymond Felton, John Salmons, Beno Udrih and Rudy Fernandez changed teams. The Cavs and Timberwolves stuck to the script, taking Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams No. 1 & 2, while Jimmer Fredette will take his talents to Sacramento. Here's a team-by-team rundown of what happened on Thursday night.

Hawks: 48 Keith Benson
Benson, a center out of Oakland, may or may not make the Hawks next year. He has some upside and this was a decent way to use the 48th pick in the draft.

Celtics: 27 JaJuan Johnson, 55 E'Twaun Moore
I love Johnson, the power forward out of Purdue, as a sleeper, and they were able to add his teammate in the second round. They got a forward and a guard, and both are more than capable of making the team. And with Glen Davis possibly on his way out, Johnson could end up with solid playing time next year, although I'd be much more excited if Jeff Green wasn't around.

Bobcats: 7 Bismack Biyombo, 9 Kemba Walker
Michael Jordan's not known for having good drafts, but Rich Cho, the guy who brought Gerald Wallace to Portland before being fired a few weeks ago, is now in charge. I love Biyombo's defense and think he's another Serge Ibaka in waiting, while Walker was likely a huge steal at No. 9. The Cats also jettisoned Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston to Milwaukee, while picking up Corey Maggette, who is on his last legs. Yes, they now have ball-hog Maggette and Kwame Brown is their starting center, but this has to be considered a successful draft by the Bobcats. Now they just need Gerald Henderson to get healthy and live up to the hype, although I am wondering who is going to fill the scoring hole left in the wake of Jackson.

Bulls: 23 Nikola Mirotic, 30 Jimmy Butler
The Bulls came in with the No. 28 and 30 picks, but made a trade to get to No. 23. Mirotic may or may not ever play in Chicago, as he just signed a new deal in Europe, while Butler is a nicely sized shooting guard out of Marquette. If you haven't read about Butler's life, you should do it now. While there's not much to love about the Bulls' draft, they did OK for what they had to work with.

Cavaliers: 1 Kyrie Irving, 4 Tristan Thompson
Irving was a no brainer and to me, the surprise pick of the first round was Thompson at No. 4. Kanter was gone, but Thompson still seems a bit underdeveloped, and he'll have to fight J.J. Hickson for minutes. This was certainly an exciting night for the Cavs, and GM Chris Grant is either going to look like a genius or fool depending on what kind of player Thompson turns out to be. One thing is for sure, and that's that the Cavs' brass loves Tristan Thompson. Will the fans?

Mavericks: None
The Mavericks drafted Jordan Hamilton at No. 26 and traded him to the Nuggets, via the Blazers, in exchange for Rudy Fernandez. Rudy's a nice get for the Mavs, although they already have a stable full of guards.

Nuggets: 22 Kenneth Faried, 26 Jordan Hamilton, 52 Vernon Macklin
I still can't believe Faried didn't end up in Portland. He's a rebounding machine, all about the hustle, and while he'll never be a great fantasy player, he's solid. Hamilton has issues, as in conditioning and shot selection, but can score, while PF Macklin will just be trying to make the roster. The Nuggets also shipped Raymond Felton to Portland and got Andre Miller in return. George Karl loves Miller, and his arrival is not going to do any fantasy favors for the owners of Ty Lawson.

Pistons: 8 Brandon Knight, 33 Kyle Singler
Great night for Detroit. Knight, the guard out of Kentucky, who could have gone as high as No. 3, fell to No. 8, while PF Singler was a potential first-rounder out of Duke. I'm not sure the Pistons could have done more with the picks they had, although I'm still a little surprised they took a guard instead of a big man. Seeing Tristan Thomas go at No. 4 was probably a shock to their system, and while taking one of the Morris boys might have made more sense, it's hard to argue with Knight at No. 8.

Warriors: 11 Klay Thompson, 39 Jeremy Tyler, 44 Charles Jenkins
Jerry West, who now works for the Warriors, loved swingman Thompson and got his man. I'm not sure how he fits in with the Warriors, but he's a nice player. Tyler's a raw center and Jenkins is a solid guard. This was a fine draft for the Warriors, but nothing to be too excited about.

Rockets: 14 Marcus Morris, 20 Donatas Motiejunas, 38 Chandler Parsons
PF Morris was solid at No. 14, Motiejunas came via the Wolves, along with PG Jonny Flynn, while F/C Brad Miller is headed to Minnesota. The Wolves have already put Flynn on the trading block, and while we don't know when Motiejunas might show up to play in the NBA, this was a solid night for the Rockets. Just don't expect a lot of fantasy help from Morris, as he'll play behind Luis Scola and several other big bodies in Houston next year.

Pacers: None (traded 15 Kawhi Leonard to Spurs for G George Hill)
I liked Leonard and wonder why the Pacers need Hill when they already have Darren Collison. Granted, the Pacers didn't need Leonard with Danny Granger around, but I think he's going to be a very good player. Hill is from Indy, a good kid and a nice talent, but this now looks like a two-headed PG situation in Indy. And that stinks from a fantasy perspective. Not a bad night for the Pacers, but not a great one, either.

Clippers: 37 Trey Thompkins, 47 Travis Leslie
PF Thompkins and SG Leslie, both out of Georgia, fell to the Clippers in the second round. Living an hour from Athens, I really like both players, and Leslie could challenge Blake Griffin in future dunk contests. For not having a first-round pick, I love this draft for the Clips, and they're going to be tough to make fun of going forward.

Lakers: 41 Darius Morris, 46 Andrew Goudelock, Metta World Peace
Guard Morris is a potential steal at 46 for the Lakers, while Goudelock, also a guard, will just try to make the team. The Lakers also took a couple of unknown Euros, who will probably never step foot in L.A. But the news of the day for the Lakers was that Ron Artest is changing his name to Metta World Peace. It's no joke, and he'll likely have Peace on the back of his jersey once the new season gets underway. And that's just plain fun.

Grizzlies: 49 Josh Selby
Selby was a potential steal this late, as many of us had him going late in the first round. He's got length and can shoot it, but won't see much playing time with the solid guard core the Grizzlies already had. But getting Selby at 49 is a win for Memphis.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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