NBA on ESPN - 2011 Re-Draft
Today's 5-on-5 was who they would pick for the top 5 picks, looking back on the production/upside of the sophomores and what they turned into. I found one section particularly interesting, with Tom Haberstroh saying he would've taken JV with the 2nd pick.
Here's two more insiders saying they would've taken him with the Cavs' 4th pick instead of Tristan Thompson.
2. With the second pick in the 2011 redraft, the Wolves select …
Haberstroh: Jonas Valanciunas. Nikola Pekovic has been tremendous next to Kevin Love, but I think Valanciunas has more long-term upside (draft buzzword alert!) and can complement Love's game nicely on the defensive side of the floor. He's raw at 20 years old, but he's already productive and plays his tail off.
I also found it funny that for the re-draft at the Raps' position (#5), each analyst picked 5 different players, arguing how they would fit with Toronto.
Herbert: Jonas Valanciunas. It's a pick that requires patience, as Valanciunas stayed in Lithuania last season and still has loads to learn. He looks like a worthwhile investment, though, showing the tools to be a game-changer defensively and a perfect pick-and-roll partner for someone like Irving.
McGowan: Jonas Valanciunas has played only 28 NBA games, but I like what I've seen so far: 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and a 56.4 true shooting percentage in 22.4 minutes per game. If he hits the weight room and figures out how to stop fouling so often, he could develop into a very good center.
I personally was pissed at the time, when we didn't take Kemba Walker, but I'm starting to see the upside of waiting out a year for a tremendously hard worker and already semi-polished player in JV. Just wanted to know everyone's thoughts on this.
5. With the fifth pick in the 2011 redraft, the Raptors select …
Haberstroh: Kenneth Faried. Can't believe I'm letting the Manimal drop this far, but, hey, at least it's better than letting him slip all the way to 22, right? Hard to imagine a better fit next to Andrea Bargnani and Faried probably would average 50 rebounds because of the Bargnani Effect.
Hall: Jonas Valanciunas, again. Talented young centers are hard to come by, but I'm sure the Raptors don't regret waiting a year for his services after starting the rookie for 20 games before his injury. The Raptors are rolling recently, but Valanciunas will be a huge part of their future.
Herbert: Kawhi Leonard. I'm sorry, Kenneth, but Toronto has searched for a steady starting small forward for years. In Leonard (or Chandler Parsons, who had no business slipping to No. 38), the Raptors would get a dependable 3-and-D guy at the very least. If his offensive game continues to develop, that's a big bonus.
McGowan: Enes Kanter. Though Kenneth Faried and Kawhi Leonard had better rookie seasons, neither one quite fits in Toronto. Kanter is still a bit of a mystery because he gets limited minutes in Utah, but he has all the makings of a solid starting center, and if your team doesn't have LeBron James or Kevin Durant, you still need a quality 5 to compete in this league.
McPherson: Chandler Parsons. This season, Parsons has rounded into the all-around threat who would help the Raptors, especially in field goal percentage, where they're ranked 24th in the league. It's possible they stick with Valanciunas, though, who's still raw but has shown signs of becoming a quality center.