CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20: Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the first half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Donatas Motiejunas Projected To Mavericks

The 2011 NBA Draft could go down as one of the thinnest in recent history, as a weak class grew weaker with several opt-outs. Kyrie Irving leads the board as one of the few grand prizes available.

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2011 NBA Mock Draft: Donatas Motiejunas Projected To Dallas

The latest and final 2011 NBA Mock Draft has been published by the good people of SB Nation, and there's a change in who the crystal ball has the Mavericks taking. Previously, Jimmy Butler had been Dallas' projected selection. Now, SB Nation has the Mavericks selecting Donatas Motiejunas from Lithuania with the No. 26 overall selection.

Motiejunas is a center, and, if the Mavericks do select him, comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki will be inevitable, no matter how unfair and inaccurate the comparison is. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers who hold the No. 1 and No. 4 overall selection are projected to take Kyrie Irving with the first overall selection. Irving, of course, went to Duke but missed a good portion of this past season due to injury. With the fourth pick, the Cavs are projected to select Jan Vesley from the Czech Republic.

Kemba Walker, who became a hero in Connecticut and garnered national attention during UConn's ridiculous Big East championship and NCAA championship run, is projected to go No. 7 overall to the Sacramento Kings.

The NBA Draft will get underway on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET. 


2011 NBA Mock Draft: SB Nation Projects Kyrie Irving At No. 1, Jimmy Butler To Mavericks

It's already NBA draft week, and SB Nation has their newest mock draft posted. The Mavericks are projected to take a player with a compelling personal background, Jimmy Butler. 

26. Dallas Mavericks: Jimmy Butler, G/F, Marquette

If you haven't read Chad Ford's profile of Butler, do so now. It's excellent. Sandra Bullock has already been cast in the lead role.

Butler is a senior and a prototypical swing type who spent one year at a junior college and three at Marquette, improving role significantly for his junior and senior seasons. 

Kyrie Irving is still projected first in the draft, with Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Knight rounding out the top five and giving the Cavs a curious Irving/Valanciunas combo out of their big draft. But, hey, at least they aren't taking two point guards. Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton are back in the lottery at eight and 14 to Detroit and Houston, and high profile guards Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker are projected 12 and 13 to Utah and Phoenix. 


2011 NBA Mock Draft: SB Nation Projects Nikola Vucevic To Mavericks

SB Nation's Tom Ziller has posted a new 2011 NBA mock draft, and he projects USC's Nikola Vucevic to the Mavericks at No. 26. In this mock draft he compares each pick with another player.

26. Dallas Mavericks: Nikola Vucevic, C, USC

Paul Davis. (Yep, back to my dystopic vision.)

I guess we'll let that insight and the Mavericks digs scattered throughout the piece stand on their own and just note that this mock draft leads off with Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams as usual and allows Enes Kanter to slide to four. Texas Longhorns Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton both fall out of the lottery to 15 and 18 and are compared with Taj Gibson and Quentinn Richardson (both seem fair). 

Back to Vucevic, he's a true center, but a below the rim player, not really an ideal type to pair with Dirk Nowitzki for many minutes. I'm not sure I see the fit, aside from the fact that he's skilled enough to add some degree of scoring element on the inside.


2011 NBA Mock Draft: SB Nation Tabs Serbian For Mavs

Tom Ziller of SB Nation has posted his newest 2011 NBA mock draft, and his projection for the Mavericks at No. 26 does make sense.

26. Dallas Mavericks: Davis Bertans, F, Latvia

When your DraftExpress best-case/worst-case comparisons are Mike Dunleavy and Steve Novak, you are definitely a person who plays basketball.

Donnie Nelson has been on a perpetual search for a three-point shooting forward to stretch defenses and help back up Dirk. This season began with Novak himself and Brian Cardinal filling that role and is ending with Peja Stojakovic handling those duties. Peja doesn’t appear to have much left in the tank, and Nelson figures to continue to be tempted by bigger shooters, so this pick could certainly come to fruition.

Elsewhere, Kyrie Irving is projected to go first once again, followed by Derrick Williamd and Brandon Knight. That would leave Enes Kanter for Cleveland’s second pick and Kemba Walker for Toronto.

The Lonhorn duo of Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton are projected at Nos. 10 and 20 respectively, to Milwaukee and Minnesota.


2011 NBA Mock Draft: SB Nation's Latest

Tom Ziller of SB Nation has posted a new 2011 NBA mock draft. Once again, the draft is only 14 deep, so we're not projecting a Dallas Mavericks pick yet. This one is organized by tiers, with the top tier - labeled Top O' The Cake - comprised of Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. He's still projecting Irving to the Timberwolves.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

The Wolves are, predictably, in a tough spot. They don't have a good point guard on the roster -- Jonny Flynn's story has been written, but he's been unproductive in two seasons. Luke Ridnour is aging and struggled with injury last season. But if David Kahn really thinks Ricky Rubio is coming stateside, can you pick another lottery point guard? Irving's the best prospect on the board, but taking him would complicate the Ricky relationship, at least at the onset.

But I'm not sure Minnesota could take Derrick Williams No. 1, given the presence of Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. Love-Williams could be a deadly combo, provided the Arizona product can guard small forward and Love can learn how to guard, period.

Tristan Thompson makes the lottery in this version, to an interesting fit in Phoenix.

13. Phoenix Suns: Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas

Thompson could very well zip up mocks as we approach June. Phoenix needs more frontcourt help, and could probably also use a solid two-guard prospect. This draft is light on the latter, though.


2011 NBA Mock Draft: Mavericks Fortunate To Avoid Thin Draft List

What was already a thin list of high end NBA draft prospects thinned out further with a handful of announcements, led by North Carolina's Harrison Barnes and Baylor's Perry Jones, that some of the top eligible players would not enter the 2011 draft. That means teams like Cleveland and Toronto looking to rebuild may not get a whole lot and that a team like the Mavericks that chose to extend its run for as long as it could while Dirk Nowitzki still graced the roster isn't missing much.

As for what is out there, SB Nation's latest mock draft projects the draft's top prospect, Kyrie Irving to the Timberwolves - yes, yet another point guard. The Cavs don't come away empty:

2. Cavaliers: Derrick Williams, F
Cleveland needs help everywhere; it won't matter if Williams is a true power forward or small forward at the pro level. He's a great prospect, and he has a pulse. That's enough.

8. Cavaliers: Bismack Biyombo, C
Christian Eyenga + Bismack Biyombo = nicknames for days. #Skyenga #Bizsmack

NCAA tourney star guards Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker are projected at Nos. 6 and 7. 

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