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Irving, Smith In First Round; Singler To Detroit In Second

Congrats to Kyrie Irving who was chosen first by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA draft.  Seeing him hug his dad represented the culmination of a dream for both. His father never quite got to this level, but obviously takes immense pride in his son.

Nolan Smith was taken by the Portland Trailblazers at 22.  It's a great place to be - better than Cleveland in most respects, though he'll make less obviously.  However, he'll be on a solid, competitive team in an incredibly beautiful area.  Life could be worse.

Kyle Singler was taken in the second round by Detroit, which should be a great place for him.  The Pistons were built on tough, gritty basketball, and no one does that better than Singler.  We're guessing that Joe Dumars is pretty appreciative of the way Singler plays since he had a lot of the same qualities himself.

Also drafted from the ACC:

  • Iman Shumpert New York at 17.  Surprised us, but maybe his athleticism and versatility won them over.
  • Reggie Jackson Thunder at 24.  Great collegial atmosphere in OKC compensates for the awful dullness of the state. Aside from basketball and OU football, the biggest excitement is weather.
  • Chris Singleton Wizards at 18.  He'll fit in nicely.  A very versatile guy who defends like a maniac.  We love how he plays.
  • Jordan Williams to the Nets at #6 in the second round.  He'll have a chance to make the team and to build a niche.  He's a solid rebounder, which can keep you employed a long time.

Guys who overplayed their hand:
There are more, but these four are probably not very happy this morning:

  • Josh Selby #19 second round Memphis
  • Jeremy Tyler #9 Charlotte traded to Warriors
  • DeAndre Liggins #23
  • Isaiah Thomas #30

Selby was seen as a possible first rounder, but his issues must have driven teams away.  The Knicks supposedly thought seriously about him before going with Shumpert.  He might have had time to grow as a first rounder, but won't have nearly as much as a later pick.  Better grow up fast.

Jeremy Tyler should be kickng himself, cursing his father and Sonny Vaccarro, all of whom told him that going pro internationally as a junior would work out great.  It didn't - it cost him untold millions.

Had he gone to Louisville for one season, he would have been a lottery pick.  Instead, he fooled around in Israel and Japan for a couple of seasons, like Selby had his maturity questioned, and paid a heavy price.  He should sue his "advisors."

DeAndre Liggins, had he stuck around, could have emerged as a first-round pick too.  Pity.

Isaiah Thomas.  He's a talented kid, but so what?  He's small, and his paycheck will be too, at least by the standards of his profession.  Too soon.