2011 NBA Draft: Small Forward Rankings

Steve O Speak

1. Derrick Williams, Arizona, 6’8″:

Williams is in my book the best player in this entire draft class and a perfect small forward. He can score by driving to the basket or face up and drain a 3. He’s a very good jump shooter overall and has the ability to just take over games. Williams is an advanced defender as well, and a very strong rebounder and shot blocker. He is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential so the sky is basically the limit for him. While the LeBron James and Kevin Durant comparisons seem unfair he could reach that level within a year.

2. Jan Vesley, Czech Republic, 6’11”:

Vesley is a bit of a tweener as he isn’t strong enough to the basket to be a 4, and he isn’t really quick enough to run with most 3’s. I think when he eventually develops he becomes the reverse matchup problem, as most 4’s can’t defend the perimeter and most 3’s won’t have the size to guard him. Vesley needs to add strength and show an ability to go to the basket to compliment his outside game. Vesley will get the Dirk Nowitzki comparisons, but he might be closer to Andrei Kirilenko.

3. Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State, 6’7″:

Leonard is a very good all-around prospect. He excels on defense and along the boards, while giving quality offensive production. He doesn’t have a ton of range and right now will be unable to contribute from the 3-point line, but he’s still relatively raw, so he could still develop. He isn’t the quickest player, but he plays a pretty sound game which helps. I think he is a more raw version of Shawn Marion when he came out, and if he has a career anywhere as good as him, he will make a fine top 10 pick.

4. Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 6’9″:

Hamilton has fantastic size and shows well on both ends of the court. He is a stronger offensive player, who can be deadly accurate from deep. He runs the floor well, and is good at finding teammates when they are open. He was part of a fairly young Texas squad last year, and at times would force shots, but should do well when playing next to more quality players. His game reminds me a lot of Danny Granger, and I see that as his upside going forward.

5. Chris Singleton, Florida State, 6’9″:

Singleton is an extremely advanced defender who forces quite a few turnovers and bad shots. He’s a good rebounder and shot blocker as well. Although this past season he developed into an offensive threat he didn’t have that game his first couple years in college. Despite fantastic size he doesn’t utilize it on the offensive end like he does on defense. He has an okay outside shot, but he is at his best with a mid-range jumper. Singleton needs to slightly improve his outside shot and his ability to take it to the basket to really be a starter at the next level. His defensive ability means there is a quality role for him regardless, but without an offensive game he is just a solid player. I see a potential Tayshaun Prince career path for him with a little work and like him as a top 20 prospect.

6. Tyler Honeycutt, 6’8″, UCLA-

7. Nikola Mirotic, 6’9″, Serbia-

8. Chandler Parsons, 6’9″, Florida-

9. Kyle Singler, 6’8″, Duke-

10. Jereme Richmond, 6’7″, Illinois-

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