“Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking potential,” said Winston Churchill. Likewise, most National Basketball Association (NBA) teams are drafting players based on potential. NBA teams need talented forwards to compete with the elite forwards in the league such as Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, etc. Therefore, who are the best forwards in the 2011 NBA Draft?
#5 Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo is trying to follow in the long line of great African big men that have played in the NBA. He is very physically impressive with a powerful frame. Biyombo has an imposing 7 foot 7 inch wingspan He can run the floor very well and he is explosive especially around the basket. Biyombo is an excellent short blocker that plays with a lot of energy and hustle. He can be an intimating force on the defensive end of the floor.
Biyombo has some weaknesses. He is still a very raw player offensively with limited offensive skills.
He needs to develop a post game and improve his passing skills. He also is a poor free throw shooter. NBA teams that are considering drafting Biyombo include the Phoenix Suns and the Detroit Pistons.
#4 Donatas Motiejunas
Many NBA teams are looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki and Dontas Motiejunas has drawn comparisons to him. He is a very skilled big man with excellent hands, touch and footwork. He is an excellent and consistent outside shooter. Motiejunas is a solid ball handler that knows how to run the floor. He also has good vision and passing ability.
Motiejunas has some flaws. He sometimes has lapses in his focus and intensity. For instance, he often does not hustle hard enough for rebounds. Motiejunas is very thin and he needs to put on more weight. He will have to improve on his defensive skills. He is also inconsistent from the free throw line. NBA teams that are interested in Motiejunas include the Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers and Milwaukee Bucks.
#3 Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best defenders in the NBA draft. He can guard several positions. He is a great rebounder that plays hard with high energy. Leonard is a big time leaper that has gigantic hands. He has an impressive 7 foot 3 inch wingspan, which is one of the largest ever for a player his size. Leonard has improved as a shooter and he can score with his back to the basket.
Leonard does have some weaknesses in his game. He needs to become a more efficient offensive player. He is missing a go-to offense move. Leonard has a bad habit of taking a lot of off balance shots. He needs to work on his ability to create a shot. In addition, Leonard cannot break down a defender off the dribble. NBA teams that are considering drafting him include the Washington Wizards and the Detroit Pistons.
#2 Jan Vesely
Jan Vesely is a white man that can jump. He will make ESPN’s top 10 plays of the day often because he is a great finisher at the rim. He is very athletic and explosive. Vesely has good size and length for the small forward position that allows him to post up smaller defenders. He can guard multiple positions. Vesely plays hard with a willingness to hustle for loose balls.
Vesely has some flaws. He needs to improve his ball handling skills and 1-on-1 game. Vesely is not a consistent shooter. He is turnover prone. He needs to add some weight and to become stronger to be able to play in the paint in the NBA. He does not have the lateral quickness to play defense on very quick players. NBA teams that are interested in Vesely include include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz.
#1 Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is arguably the most complete player in the NBA draft. He is an excellent isolation scorer and three point shooter. Williams knows how to get past his defenders and finish at the rim. He is a good post scorer. He has a high basketball IQ with a deep understanding of the game. Williams has an impressive 7 foot wingspan. He is also good at defending the post.
Williams does have some weaknesses. He is considered a tweener. He is slightly undersized for a power forward. owever, he does consider himself to be a small forward. Williams will have to develop a mid range jumper. He is turnover prone. His lack of size hurts him for defensive rebounding. He needs to become a more consistent free throw shooter. Williams will probably be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers or Minnesota Timberwolves.
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