They say that kids grow out of video games. Well I don’t know who “they” is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was never good enough to play the game professionally (or collegiately, for that matter), but that never prevented me from submerging myself in all things basketball. So I follow it, I write about it, I breathe it. I even live vicariously through basketball animations in NBA 2K11.
Yesterday I learned that parents are wrong â€“ video games can be educational. Take the NBA Draft, for instance. After simulating my way through an entire season in association mode of 2K11, I stood on the brink of the 2011 NBA Draft. Thanks to the Xbox Live crazies out there, I managed to download an updated 2011 draft class. The only snag was the draft order, which was completely out of whack. Using my general managing acumen, I wheeled and dealed until the 1st round order was in line with tomorrow’s draft. And then I hit simulate. The following is what ensued.
**Side note No. 1: LeBron James won the regular season MVP, the Heat swept the Thunder in the Finals, and LeBron was the Finals MVP. I guess that’s why video games are make-believe.
**Side note No. 2: Keep in mind that the guy who created this draft class determined the prospects’ ratings. I checked them to make sure they were generally accurate. Emphasis on generally.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers â€“ Kyrie Irving (Duke)
No surprises here.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves â€“ Brandon Knight (Kentucky)
And David Kahn goes for another point guard. Even 2K11 has a sense of humor.
3. Utah Jazz â€“ Derrick Williams (Arizona)
Utah should send Kahn a thank you card.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers â€“ Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
Maybe they took the best player available, regardless of position. Or maybe they’re just dumb.
5. Washington Wizards (via Toronto) â€“ Enes Kanter (Turkey)
Washington swapped picks with Toronto (No. 6) to grab Kanter. They also swapped Solomon Alabi and Corey Maggette, who was somehow on Washington (I can’t really explain that one).
6. Toronto Raptors (via Washington) â€“ Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
Who knew Chad Ford’s reports that Jimmer was skyrocketing up draft boards were actually true.
7. Sacramento Kings â€“ Jan Vesely (Czech Republic)
Not sure if he slips this far tomorrow, but Sacramento would be thrilled.
8. Detroit Pistons â€“ Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State)
Solid pick by Detroit’s computer management.
9. Charlotte Bobcats â€“ Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Of course MJ picks someone who probably won’t play in the NBA next year.
10. Portland Trail Blazers (via Milwaukee) â€“ Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
The Bucks traded this pick to Portland and Keyon Dooling for Elliot Williams and Jeff Pendergraph. Not really sure why Portland made the deal, but it happened. Gotta love it when teams trade up to reach for a player.
11. Golden State Warriors â€“ Klay Thompson (Washington State)
No shock here.
12. Utah Jazz â€“ Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)
What? Well, Utah did reach for Gordon Hayward last year…
13. Portland Trailblazers (via Phoenix) â€“ Alec Burks (Colorado)
Portland seems to be the game changer in this draft as they made their second trade of the day. They swapped their No. 10 pick (Reggie Jackson) and Rudy Fernandez for Robin Lopez and No. 13. Is Steve Nash on the way out?
14. Houston Rockets â€“ Tristan Thompson (Texas)
Clearly preparing for a Yao Ming-less future.
15. Indiana Pacers â€“ Josh Selby (Kansas)
Apparently Larry Bird doesn’t trust Darren Collison, A.J. Price or T.J. Ford.
16. Philadelphia 76ers â€“ Bismack Biyombo (Congo)
Just the kind of hard-nosed guy Doug Collins would love.
17. New York Knicks â€“ Jordan Hamilton (Texas)
In a surprising twist of fate, the Knicks go with offense.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Washington) â€“ Donatas Motiejunas (Lithuania)
Minnesota traded back into the 1st round by giving up their 2nd round pick and James Posey, who managed to find his way onto the Timberwolves’ roster during the regular season. Mad at the T-Wolves…they didn’t draft a point guard.
19. Charlotte Bobcats â€“ Marshon Brooks (Providence)
I like the kid, but his arrival in Charlotte with Jordan and Co. will ultimately lead to his becoming a bust.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves â€“ Marcus Morris (Kansas)
Compiling young assets. I like it.
21. Portland Trailblazers â€“ Darius Morris (Michigan)
Andre Miller is not the future at point guard.
22. Denver Nuggets â€“ Markieff Morris (Kansas)
Three Morris guys in a row. Impressive.
23. Houston Rockets â€“ Chris Singleton (Florida State)
The next Shane Battier.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder â€“ Kenneth Faried (Morehead State)
Apparently they love Nick Collison so much they decided to draft his carbon copy.
25. Boston Celtics â€“ Travis Leslie (Georgia)
He may be on the bench for a few years, but he’ll be learning from Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Not too shabby.
26. Dallas Mavericks â€“ Nolan Smith (Duke)
Goodbye, J.J. Barea.
27. New Jersey Nets â€“ David Lighty (Ohio State)
Quite a reach for the Nets here. Maybe Lighty’s tight with Jay-Z.
28. Chicago Bulls â€“ DeAndre Liggins (Kentucky)
His defensive-minded approach will make for a seamless transition to the NBA and Thibodeau‘s team.
29. Tobias Harris â€“ San Antonio Spurs (Tennessee)
Clearly Richard Jefferson was not getting the job done.
30. Chicago Bulls â€“ Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA)
Another clear Thibodeau guy.
Do you think this draft was smarter than the real thing will be?
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