It’s Draft Day

By Diana Allen

It’s finally arrived! The draft is here! Today the speculation will end. The months of rumors, mock drafts, the guess work will all come to an end. This season the draft seems to be receiving a little more hype, it is a little more special, it may be the last NBA event for awhile.

I personally before this year never really bought into the hype of the draft. I have always felt like why would I want to get attach to these players and have great hope that my favorite player joins my team and suffer the disappointment if that player isn’t drafted by my favorite team. Its almost like meeting a person, dating that person, falling in love with that person and have your parents tell you they arranged a marriage for you with a different person. This draft is different though as almost all the players are underdogs, its easy to fall in love with them, root for them and be prepared for happiness or disappointment.

A few players have NBA front offices falling in love with them during the process of draft workouts and interviews. Some players are inexplicably falling. Players like Kemba Walker, who was projected to go perhaps in the top 5 is now sitting at number 12 in Draft Expresses latest mock draft. Alec Burks out of Colorado once considered to be the #1 shooting guard in the draft and to be a lottery pick is out of the lottery and projected to go 19 to the Charlotte Bobcats in the same mock draft.

Jimmer Fredette is a player that many owners want for their team and making his way up the draft board. Last year Jimmer couldn’t get a promise of a 1st round pick so he returned to BYU for his senior year. Jimmer is now a lottery pick with teams like New York outside of the lottery are trying to trade up to get Jimmer. Jimmer has a NBA skill set that any NBA team can’t get enough of, Jimmer knows how to shoot. Jimmer also can get into the paint and get to the line. Any owner would want to take a chance on Jimmer, he is a rock star in terms of popularity. Chad Ford from ESPN commented yesterday that he has never seen so much excitement and attention from a player in all his years covering the draft save Lebron James that Jimmer created yesterday. Jimmer will be drafted in the lottery if not he is not falling past the Knicks at 17. The Kings owners, the Maloofs are said to really be interested in Jimmer. Jimmer had a great workout for the Kings, they were impressed with how he could get shots up over long defenders, they were surprised by his defense and by his ability to get other players involved. The Maloofs after the workout walked up to Jimmer seemed giddy at the chance to meet him. Owners know that if they draft Jimmer, they get a player who has high character, will put the team first, and will put fans in the seats. Golden States new ownership group is rumored to also be interested in Jimmer, the Jazz and Phoenix are also in play at 12 and 13.

Marcus Morris is another player like Jimmer who is making his way up the draft board. Marcus Morris, the Power Forward from Kansas, was the Big 12 Player of the Year. Morris was a consensus 2nd Team All American. Marcus is ready to play now in the NBA, despite his limited upside because of that he is now said to be a lottery pick. Morris worked out for Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston, Indiana, Minnesota, Phoenix Utah and Washington, all lottery teams. Marcus is not a inside the post, banger kind of big guy, he is more like Marcus Camby who will stretch other teams defenses. Golden State despite not workout out Morris is interested in him with the 11th pick.

Chris Singleton from Florida State is making is way up the draft boards thanks to his reputation for being a hard-nosed defender. Singleton was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the ACC. Singleton lead FSU in scoring and rebounding his junior year. Playing three years of college ball has Singleton ready to play now player for whatever team drafts him. Singleton says that people call him the best defender in the nation and that because of that he can any team right off the bat. The question mark with Singleton is can he score? Singleton acknowledges that the doubts regarding his offensive ability is hanging over his head. Many experts projected Singleton to be a late lottery pick with Utah at 12 as his ceiling, now he has interest from the Bobcats at 9 and the Bucks at 10.

Just a few weeks ago Klay Thompson was said to be an interest of the Bulls who draft at 28, now he is considered a lottery pick. Thompson, a shooting guard/small forward form Washington State lead the cougars in scoring this past year with 21.6 ppg. Klay Thompson is said to be another Mike Miller with his shooting but with more athleticism. Klay Thompson has impressed teams with his diverse scoring ability and shooting. Teams are worried about Thompson's’ low offensive efficiency ratings. Despite his low ratings teams are willing to take a risk on him because of his shooting ability. Thompson honesty about his marijuana problem seems to make it a non-issue with most teams.

Jimmer, Marcus Morris, Chris Singleton and Klay Thompson are just a few of the players who are making their mark on the 2011 NBA Draft. Experts can predict that they are moving up and other players are falling, they can make all the mock drafts in the world, but no one will truly know where these players get drafted until David Stern calls their names tonight.