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Williams, Irving and a lot of unknowns at NBA Draft


The night of the NBA Draft is one of the most important nights for players, coaches and franchises. 

Tonight in Newark, N.J., the 2011 draft class will learn where their skills will be taken. This year’s draft class is headlined by top prospect Kyrie Irving out of Duke.

Irving played one season there where he averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He provides an athletic spark at the point guard position, which the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely cash in on with the No. 1 overall pick.

However, Irving’s fit in Cleveland is a bit of a question mark. 

The 6’3” guard will become the floor general of a team that last season posted a 19-63 record, the worst in the Eastern Conference. 

Cleveland needs help any way they can get it, so selecting Irving at the top spot seems to be the logical pick.

However, the Cavaliers have yet to disclose what they will do with the pick. 

Another name circulating is Derrick Williams, a 6’9” power forward from Arizona, who put up great numbers last season for the Wildcats. After averaging 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and leading Arizona to the Elite Eight last season, his stock has definitely risen.

While Williams is in the mix for the top pick, most draft analysts predict he will go to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the second pick. 

The Timberwolves do have All-Star selection Kevin Love down low, but it is believed that Williams could take a limited role and get minutes off the bench as he develops over time.

Aside from Irving and Williams, a few other prospects are making their names known. Brandon Knight, a 6’3” point guard out of Kentucky, has moved up the boards as high as the third pick to the Utah Jazz. Knight averaged 17.3 points as well as 4.2 assists per game in his one season at Kentucky, while also carrying his team to the Final Four.

Klay Thompson, the son of former NBA star Mychal Thompson, is another name rising rapidly on draft board. A 6’7” shooting guard from Washington State, Thompson provides great size at the position and also has the versatility to play some small forwards. 

Coaches and scouts love his lethal accuracy from the three-point range. 

Once projected as late first-rounder, Thompson now finds himself drawing serious attention from teams in the middle of the first round.

After deep evaluation, two names have surfaced as high-risk, high-return picks: Josh Selby and Bismack Biyombo. Selby, a 6’2” point guard out of Kansas, has been known for issues. 

Coming into his one and only year at Kansas, Selby was suspended for the first nine games. 

Coaches are worried about his spotty shooting and decision-making skills.

Biyombo is being called the most athletic player in the draft. The issue, however, is his experience. Biyombo has been referred to as a “raw” player because he is still attempting to develop his offensive game. 

The 6’9” power forward played in the Liga ACB League, the premier basketball league in Spain. Although the athleticism is there, it could be a rough road for coaches to develop a player like this.