During this time of the year, NBA Free Agency is the top news headline for any media outlet covering basketball. And we have kept you updated with the latest rumors and news about different free agents. As we know, every year there are winners and losers in the free agent market, and sometimes a bad season can have some great rewards down the line. Looking forward to next year, we give you the Top 5 players in the 2011 NBA Draft?
5. Enes Kanter
Looking for the next Ricky Rubio? Kanter may be even more NBA-ready than Rubio was at this point. At 6-10 and 250 pounds, Kanter’s big frame is what gives him an advantage. For his age, he knows how to control his body like no other 18-year old. Part of the reason is that he’s been the same size for three years now. Kanter has developed his skills in Europe from the age of 15. One unique characteristic about him is how he did not accept any money while he played in Europe because he did not want to hinder with his NCAA eligibility, as he’ll be playing at Kentucky this Fall. If he can keep that kind of attitude in the League, he’s bound for success.
4. Jan Vesely
He may be European, but Vesely does not fit the mold of a prototypical European prospect. Normally, Europeans come over to the United States with great fundamentals. While Vesely has decent fundamentals, he’s no Dirk Nowitzki. Athletically, Vesely is a specimen. He has great mobility for a 6-11 player. He seems to be in the mold of a Lamar Odom since he has the ability to play every position on the court. Had he stayed in the Draft this year, there would have been a chance he could have cracked the Top 5. Now imagine how high he could go next year.
3. Josh Selby
After taking home the gold for the Powerade JamFest, Josh Selby decided to head to Kansas. Although he did not choose to go to Kentucky, Selby has many similarities to Derrick Rose and John Wall at this stage. He is an explosive 6-3 guard, will be the main focus on his team, and has inconsistencies with his jump shot. Another issue is that he is not a point guard yet. Kansas may have been the right choice considering they have dealt with this type of player before. Kirk Hinrich and Mario Chalmers were not pure point guards, but they found roles in the NBA. Selby has the tools of an elite point guard; he just needs the experience to develop into one.
2. Perry Jones
Imagine Tracy McGrady‘s game in a power forward’s body. That sounds like a player that would only be made in a video game, right? Jones tore up the AAU circuit last summer and made sure everyone noticed. Clearly, Jones has the most upside in this crop. While Jones took over the AAU circuit last summer, some scouts began to wonder why he hadn’t been highly touted before. After watching him more of him, scouts realized that he does not always play like a killer. There were games in which he would barely even make it onto the box score. His NBA-ready body and uncanny coordination would be nearly impossible for any Lottery team to pass up on.
1. Harrison Barnes
What separates Kobe Bryant from the rest of his competition is how he competes. He is always mentally prepared for any task that he has to take on. However, he did not always have the mental aspect of the game mastered. This is why scouts are raving about Harrison Barnes. Barnes is a smart kid who already understands what it takes to get to the top. During the McDonald’s All-American Game, Barnes seemed to be miles ahead of his classmates. His offensive arsenal is highly advanced for his age. If Barnes can stay humble and continue to work hard, he could make wings LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant feel like old men once he gets to the League.
What do you think? Who is the top prospect in the 2011 NBA Draft?
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