Posted by: Kingsguru21 | June 5, 2011

Deciphering the ’11 NBA Draft

When looking at players from this draft, I find it confusing. And, one of the reasons I find it all incredibly confusing, is I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. The problem very well could be NBA teams, and people, such as Chad Ford and Jonathon Givony, have no real ability to see what’s going on either.

Or, and I think this is closer to it, with so many players out there who have all have clear strengths and weaknesses, it’s difficult to differentiate from the guys at the top of the draft. In fact, looking at Ford & Givony’s big board (or top 100 prospects), you can see why consensus on these guys are very different. (I say Givony because ultimately it’s his board and final say that ends up making the top 100 prospects on that list over at DX.)

I’m going to sample some potential lottery picks for both Ford or Givony that are or aren’t in a similar range. (Note: Both Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are 1-2 on just about every mock draft so there is no point in putting them on this list.) For simplicity (and to eliminate my own confusion honestly), I went down Ford’s list from 3-14. Looking at both lists’, the effect would be similar if I chose Givony’s.

Chad Ford Big Board rank Mock Draft rank Jonathan Givony Big Board rank Mock Draft rank
Enes Kanter 3 4 (Cavs) 12 6 (Wizards)
Brandon Knight 4 3 (Jazz) 6 3 (Jazz)
Jan Vesely 5 5 (Raptors) 11 8 (Pistons)
Kawhi Leonard 6 6 (Wizards) 10 7 (Kings)
Kemba Walker 7 7 (Kings) 5 5 (Raptors)
Jonas Valanciunas 8 8 (Pistons) 4 4 (Cavaliers)
Tristan Thompson 9 10 (Bucks) 18 13 (Suns)
Chris Singleton 10 12 (Jazz) 15 19 (Bobcats)
Bismack Biyombo 11 9 (Bobcats) 3 10 (Bucks)
Alec Burks 12 13 (Suns) 14 12 (Jazz)
Jordan Hamilton 13 14 (Rockets) 13 14 (Rockets)
Marcus Morris 14 11 (Warriors) 8 9 (Bobcats)

So, if you’re wondering why you’re seeing a jump in consensus, I think there are a lot of reasons for that. There isn’t a lot of consensus on just about anyone short of a few guys like Irving, Williams, Burks (even he is jumping around a bit and may jump into the top 10 in the few days leading up to the draft), and Hamilton.

I mean good lord, a consensus on Bismack Biyombo please? He’s 3rd on Givony’s big board; 11th on Ford’s. Tristan Thompson is 9th on Ford’s big board; 18th on Givony’s. Kemba Walker is higher on Givony’s big board; lower on Ford’s. Jimmer Fredette, for instance, is 28th on Givony’s big board and 17th on Ford’s. Marshon Brooks is 19th on Ford’s big board; 57th for Givony. Jeremy Tyler, like Brooks, is another guy with a big gap. On Ford’s big board, Tyler is 32nd and 56th on Givony’s.

What I know is there will always be differences in evaluation of talent. Ford & Givony would be the first to tell you that. It’s pretty typical that plenty of players lack a clear consensus at this stage. What’s interesting, though, is the differences in so many players in the lottery, non-lottery, 2nd round picks, and overall big board. It’s not like we’re talking about 20 players in the bottom 40 of an overall 100 board here. We’re talking about guys who are invariably ranked in the top 60 by the 2 best non-NBA scouting services to fans. And players that are almost assuredly going in the 1st round these 2 sites can’t even guarantee ranges on a few guys. Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valanciunas are interesting examples. Givony really likes Biyombo and Valanciunas for some reason. Consequently they are both in his top 5 big board. Kanter is really liked by Ford and in his top 5 big board (3rd). Kanter isn’t even in Givony’s top 10 on the DX big board right now.

If you’re feeling confused as I am, well, I don’t blame you. If anything, I’m hoping this is merely smoke & mirror confusion because of the weaker nature of the ’11 draft, the fact that agents, hyperbole and politics always come into play about this time, and there are a lot of players for whom consensus is just really fucking-a difficult to come up with.

Because of there is this lack of consensus on June 23rd, I don’t see how anyone can say any player is a bad pick at any slot. If two of the best experts can’t even agree on a reasonable top 20 in similar order, I don’t see how fans will be able to make an argument that a certain player was taken too high based on the mock draft argument.

As if this next 3 weeks wasn’t already fixin’ to be interesting, this lack of consensus will only add smoke to the fire. Let’s hope agents, teams, and a few players separate themselves from the pack. Those of us looking to figure this draft out would appreciate it.


  1. Must agree Pook. I have no idea where any of the top ranked players would be plugged in during a more normal draft or even how many of these guys would be drafted by lottery teams. I did not watch a minute of college ball this past season and have no idea how good any of these players are. I’m waiting for Dalt and a few other regular draft commenters at StR to help me get some context for these guys.

    I don’t know if Biyombo is any better than Jon Brockman (guessing he is) but so many guys over at CH are really excited about him that I’m hoping that he might fall to the Kings. Actually I’m not sure if I’m over the relocation hysteria and then with the possibility of an extended lockout it’s hard to get overly excited about players the Kings might draft who we won’t get to see play for seven months. Good stuff as always, thanks.

    • Yeah I’m interested to see what Dalt’s rankings are as well.

  2. Where you be these days, young man?

    • Busy keeping my insanity to myself.

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