NBA

Ranking the Top 10 Players from the 2011 NBA Draft Class

Ranking the Top 10 Players from the 2011 NBA Draft Class

2011 NBA Draft
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Chances are you have seen an endless amount of mock drafts for the upcoming NBA Draft. That makes it a good time to look back at previous years' drafts and see how they panned out. The 2011 NBA Draft is a good example of how unpredictable this process is. I believe that only three players that were drafted in the top 10 in 2011 would be top 10 picks today.

10. Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas Toronto Raptors
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10. Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas Toronto Raptors
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5th Pick in 2011

The big man from Lithuania spent a year overseas before coming to the NBA. Jonas Valanciunas got off to a slow start, but has developed into a solid starter with potential for more. He ended his second year in the league with averages of 11 points and nine rebounds per game.

9. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
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9. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
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30th Pick in 2011

Jimmy Butler rarely saw the court during his rookie season. The following year, he made a name for himself as a lock down defender. His offensive game is nowhere near as polished as his defense. He shot under 40 percent last season, as well as 28 percent from being the arc.

8. Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker Charlotte Bobcats
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8. Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker Charlotte Bobcats
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9th Pick in 2011

A quick glance at Kemba Walker's stats and you would think he should be higher on this list. He is averaging 16 points and five assists for his career. The problem is that his career shooting percentage is under 40 percent. He has great intangibles, but he needs improve his shot selection.

7. Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas Sacramento Kings
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7. Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas Sacramento Kings
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60th Pick in 2011

It's not a good idea to doubt Isaiah Thomas. The 5-foot-9 point guard was the last pick in the 2011 draft. All he did last season was average 20 points, six assists and three rebounds a game. He will likely always have his doubters, but the truth is that Sacramento got the steal of the draft with Thomas.

6. Kenneth Faried

Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets
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6. Kenneth Faried

Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets
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22nd Pick in 2011

When Kenneth Faried entered the NBA, there was no doubt that he would be able to cause havoc on the backboard. His unique ability to dominate on the offensive glass makes him a valuable player. His offensive game has come along nicely, and he is becoming much more of an all-around player.

5. Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic
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5. Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic
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16th Pick in 2011

Most people probably don't know a whole lot about Nikola Vucevic. He has averaged a double-double for two straight years. The Orlando Magic acquired Vucevic during the Dwight Howard trade, and he has proven to be a very promising, young big man.

4. Chandler Parsons

Chandler Parsons Houston Rockets
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4. Chandler Parsons

Chandler Parsons Houston Rockets
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38th Pick in 2011

Chandler Parsons was one of the many steals of the 2011 draft. The Houston Rockets grabbed him in the second round, and he has become a very good all-around player. He averaged 16 points, five rebounds and four assists last season. It makes you wonder how a player who doesn't have a glaring flaw can fall this far in the draft.

3. Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
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3. Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
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11th Pick in 2011

Klay Thompson has already become one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. Everyone knows about his shooting abilities, but I think his defense gets overlooked. I think it is partly because no one thinks about defense when they think about Golden State. Thompson often draws the assignment of the opposing teams best wing player. His ranking at three should tell you something about how good the guys above him are.

2. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard
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2. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard
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15th Pick in 2011

A case can be made that Kawhi Leonard should be No. 1 on this list. He is very efficient on offense and is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Oh, and he just won the NBA Finals MVP. He certainly passes the eye test, but his numbers don’t jump off the page. Some of that is because of the San Antonio Spurs' system, but you would expect the Finals MVP to average more than 13 points a game in the regular season.

1. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
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1. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
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1st Pick in 2011

A year ago, Kyrie Irving would have been a no-brainer for the top selection on this list. His past season, combined with the seasons of Leonard and Thompson, have made the gap much smaller. He is another guy who needs to improve his shot selection. He also gets lost on defense too much. With that said, his overall talent and potential keep him at the top spot for now.