Seven years later, this is what the 2011 First Round of the NBA Draft should’ve looked like
The top four picks are pretty impressive…
No. 1 Pick, Cavs: Kawhi Leonard
Original pick: Kyrie Irving
Some debate to be had here, but Leonard seems like a solid #1 pick if the Cavs could try again. Leonard was originally selected No. 15.
No. 2 Pick, Timberwolves: Kyrie Irving
Original pick: Derrick Williams
Williams never lived up to the hype and has only averaged in double figures one season. Kyrie would have been a major upgrade.
No. 3 Pick, Jazz: Klay Thompson
Original pick: Enes Kanter
Thompson was originally selected at No. 11 but there's no way Utah would pass him up at No. 3 even though Kanter has turned into a nice NBA player (11.7pts, 7.3 reb)
No. 4 Pick, Cavs: Jimmy Butler
Original pick: Tristan Thompson
The Post-LeBron rebuild with Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler? How the NBA would have changed...
The rest of the lottery…
No. 5 pick, Raptors: Kemba Walker
Original pick: Jonas Valanciunas
Walker was originally selected at No. 9, but with an 18.9 pt scoring average he would jump up draft boards.
No. 6 pick, Wizards: Isaiah Thomas
Original pick: Jan Vesley
The biggest miss of the draft, Thomas was originally selected at No. 60 (the last pick), and has gone on to average 18.9 points and 5 assists over his 7 year career.
No. 7 pick, Hornets: Tobias Harris
Original pick: Bismack Biyombo
Biyombo was a flop, never doing better than 6 pts per game. Harris was originally selected at No. 19 and has averaged 14.6 points as a journeyman (four teams) powerforward.
No. 8 pick, Pistons: Jonas Valanciunas
Original pick: Brandon Knight
Valanciunas was originally selected at No. 5 but would drop in a re-draft. The Pistons could get themselves a nice 11.7 pts, 8.5 rebound guy. Knight was a nice pick, but maybe some size would have helped them out.
No. 9 pick, Hornets: Enes Kanter
Original pick: Kemba Walker
Kanter was originally selected at No. 3. He has panned out nicely (11.7pts, 7.3 reb). With Walker off the board, Kanter is a good get at No. 9.
The rest of the lottery (cont.)
No. 10 pick, Kings: Brandon Knight
Original pick: Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer washed out of the league after five seasons and never averaged in double figures. Knight is averaging 15.2 and 4.3 assists in his career, but has dropped off a bit lately.
No. 11 Pick, Warriors: Nikola Mirotic
Original pick: Klay Thompson
Mirotic was originally selected at No. 23 but should have been a lottery pick. Last season, Mirotic averaged 14.6 pts and 8.2 rebs.
No. 12 Pick, Jazz: Nikola Vucevic
Original pick: Alec Burks
Burks never started more than 27 games in a season but has hung on in Utah since being drafted. Vucevic turned into a nearly a double-double guy at 14.8 and 9.8 per game.
No. 13 pick, Suns: Markieff Morris
Original pick: Markieff Morris
The Suns actually probably end up with the same guy. Markieff has put up 11.9pts, 5.6 rebs in his career and is slightly better than his twin brother Marcus.
No. 14 pick, Rockets: Kenneth Faried
Original pick: Marcus Morris
The last pick of the Lottery could argurably be Faried, Marcus Morris (11.2 pts 4.4 reb), Reggie Jackson (12.4 pts, 3 reb, 4.4 ast), or Tristan Thompson (9 pts, 8.4 reb).
Leading up to Portland's Pick...
Picks 15 through 20 lead up to Portland's selection at #21 and would have likely included the following players:
Reggie Jackson (12.4 pts, 3 reb, 4.4 ast)
Chandler Parsons (13.1 pts, 4.6 rebs)
Marcus Morris (11.2 pts 4.4 reb)
Tristan Thompson (9 pts, 8.4 reb)
Alec Burks (9.7 pts, 2.8 reb)
Trail Blazers pick…
No. 21 pick, Blazers
Original pick: Nolan Smith
The bottom third of the 2011 first round was littered with players who never panned out, so it's not unreasonable that the Blazers took Smith here. In real life, missing on Kenneth Faried was the big wif. But in this re-draft, he's long off the board.
Available options include Cory Joseph (a backup PG), Iman Shumpert (who plays wing), or Bojan Bogdanovic (a 6'8'' wing from Croatia). While the Blazers were in the market for a Point Guard (in the pre-Dame era), E'Twaun Moore would have been a sneaky pick.
Moore bounced around the league and even got waived but came into his own with the Pelicans this season starting 80 of 82 games and averaging 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. However, it's unlikely Portland (or any team), would have been patient enough to wait seven years for him to develop.
Let’s round out the first round…
The first round finishes out with no real difference makers:
Derrick Williams (originally #2)