This 2011 NBA redraft is how the top ten would be selected if teams had another chance to draft.
If you haven’t done so already, check out my 2010 redraft before reading this one.
1. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
Achievements: NBA Champion (2014), NBA Finals MVP (2014), NBA All-star (2016), NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2015), NBA All-defensive First team (2015), NBA All-defensive Second team (2014), All-rookie First team (2012)
Since coming into the league, Kawhi Leonard has improved exponentially each year. He was primarily a defensive specialist who could chip in 10 points a game early on in his career; he is still arguably the best defensive player in the NBA, but Leonard’s expanded offensive game that compliments his defensive stardom puts him at number one overall. In 2014-15, he averaged 16.5 PPG on 48% shooting. This year, he is putting up 21 PPG on 51%, and shoots 47% from three, which ranks second in the NBA. Leonard’s coach, Gregg Popovich said it all in an interview with Jeff McDonald of MySA: “[Leonard] already plays at both ends, which is pretty spectacular. There aren’t too many guys in the league who can excel at both ends. They’re good players, but they’re mostly offensive. They don’t do what he does.” [http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2015/11/04/a-pop-qa-on-the-meteoric-rise-of-kawhi-leonard/]
- Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Marquette
Achievements: 2x NBA All-star (2015-16), NBA Most Improved Player (2015), 2x NBA All-defensive Second team
Jimmy Butler is similar to Leonard in the way that they were both primarily defensive players when they were younger. Butler greatly expanded his offensive game over the past two seasons. In his two All-star seasons, he averages 21 PPG and 5.5 RPG while locking down the opposition’s best wing player. One area that he could improve is his jump shot, as he only converts on 35% of jumpers this season. However, his impact on the Bulls showed when he missed twelve games with a knee injury. The Bulls went 4-8 in his absence and were in danger of falling out of the playoff race, but the Bulls are 3-1 since he returned, and are right back in the thick of the playoff race. Butler is a tremendous defender with an improving offensive game who has emerged as the leader of the Bulls, which puts him at second overall.
- Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
Achievements: 3x NBA All-star (2013-15), NBA All-star game MVP (2014), All-NBA Third Team (2015), Rookie of the Year (2012)
Kyrie Irving is an incredible offensive player. He’s a career 20.8 PPG scorer, with a career 45% field goal percentage and 38% three-point shooter. Irving has a huge impact on the Cavs’ offense, too. During his career, the Cavs have an offensive rating of 109 when he’s on the court compared to 103.2 when he’s off the court. His worth was proven during the 2015 Finals, when the Cavs lost to the Warriors in six games. The Cavs were 10-3 with Irving in the playoffs, but he missed games 2-6 of the finals, which contributed to their loss. However, Kyrie falls to third here because of his lack of defense and ability to run an offense. He has a career defensive rating of 108, and a career average of 5.5 assists per game. In Wednesday’s win against the Mavericks, Kyrie showed why he still isn’t a leader.
- Isaiah Thomas, PG, Washington
Achievements: NBA All-star (2016), All-rookie Second Team (2012)
There’s no denying Isaiah Thomas’ impact on the Boston Celtics. Last year after trading for him, the Celtics went 13-6 in games Thomas played in to help them rally to get the 7th seed in the East. This year, the Celtics currently sit at 4th in the East. A big reason for that is their 5th ranked offense powered by Thomas, who averages 22 points and 6.5 assists per game. The Celtics have an offensive rating of 109.2 when he’s playing, but an offensive rating of 100.9 when he’s watching. Brad Stevens, the Celtics coach, put it in simple terms: “Our team is different when Isaiah’s got the ball and on the floor and the amount of attention that he creates.” [http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4721776/brad-stevens-our-team-is-different-when-isaiahs-got-the-ball]
- Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
Achievements: NBA Champion (2015), 2x NBA All-star (2015, 2016), All-NBA Third Team (2015)
Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in the league. Since he came into the league, he’s proven that. He is a career 18.2 PPG scorer, and career 42% shooter from long range. Making up one half of the Splash Brothers, Thompson is a big reason why Stephen Curry has so much freedom on offense, because he commands constant attention around the three-point arc. Take Thompson’s offensive game, and then look at his underrated defense and durability; it’s hard to argue against drafting him top five.
6. Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
Achievements: None noteworthy
Kemba Walker is making himself be known this season. He was consistent during his first four seasons, but this year he has improved in every way.
Kemba Walker becomes 1st player in NBA history w/ at least 52 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists & 6 three-pointers in one game. (h/t @bball_ref)
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 18, 2016
Walker worked hard to be more efficient this year, and it is showing. He’s averaging 21.4 PPG shooting 43.5% overall, and 38.3% from deep, which are way up from his career averages, and limits his turnovers to just 2.2 a game. Walker is leading the Hornets to an unexpected playoff appearance. They are 39-29, and 15-4 since February third. He’s averaging 24.3 points and six assists during that stretch. Walker is a great offensive player and an even better leader.
7. Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College
Achievements: None noteworthy
Reggie Jackson proved that he had talent in the 2013-14 season, when he was given significant minutes. However, Jackson emerged as one of the better point guards in the league after being traded to the Pistons last season. He put up 17.6 points and 9.2 assists at the end of the 2014-15 season. This season he is scoring 19 points on 44.5% and dishes out 6.2 assists per game, while consistently stepping up in the clutch. Jackson and teammate Andre Drummond are big reasons that the Pistons are on the edge of the playoff race, which proves his value, as the Pistons haven’t been in this position since 2009.
8. Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
Achievements: None noteworthy
Nikola Vucevic is without a doubt one of the most underrated big men in the league. Since coming to the Magic as a part of the Dwight Howard trade, his production has been outstanding: 16.1 PPG and 10.7 RPG over four seasons. Vucevic has an advanced offensive game for a guy his size. Just this season, he converts on 55% of hook shots and 43% of jumpers, which gives Scott Skiles countless options on how to run the offense. Other than the 2013-14 season when he missed 25 games, he has been relatively healthy.
- Chandler Parsons, SF, Florida
Achievements: All-rookie Second Team (2012)
Since the 2012-13 season, Parsons has been very consistent. He has put up 15.4 PPG on an efficient 48%. He’s the type of player that a coach knows what he’s going to get out of him each night. “How many 6-9 ½ guys can do the things [Parsons] can do with the basketball? Who can make plays off the dribble, can handle like a point guard, can finish at the rim, make runners, make midrange shots and make 3s,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said in an interview with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. [http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14719077/nba-does-rick-carlisle-really-believe-chandler-parsons] Evidently, Parsons is a versatile player who will continue to improve.
10. Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
Achievements: All-rookie First Team (2013)
Kenneth Faried is similar to Parsons in terms of consistency. He’s another guy who’s going to give his team the same production each game. He’s pure hustle, energy, and efficiency. He is a career 12-point scorer, and averages 9 rebounds per game throughout his career. He’s durable, too. He has missed no more than ten games each year in his five-year career. However, it’s hard to see Faried expanding his game more than he already has, which is why he’s at ten and not nine.
Just Missed: Brandon Knight, Tristan Thompson, Jonas Valanciunas