The NBA playoffs are still going strong, but that won't stop basketball aficionados from looking ahead to the 2011 NBA Draft, which is expected to take place on June 23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ at 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Tom Ziller of SB Nation has released its latest 2011 NBA Mock Draft, which will undoubtedly change a lot over the next few months.
Since the postseason is still forging ahead, we won't know the order at the bottom of the draft, meaning that trying to guess who will go to the Boston Celtics is pointless. However, we do know who the worst teams in the league were last season, and thus can project who will be at the top of the draft.
Ziller predicts that the Minnesota Timberwolves (17-65 in 2011) will receive the top pick in this year's draft and will take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the top pick.
In the local scene, Connecticut Huskies point guard Kemba Walker is projected to go No. 6 overall to the Utah Jazz, who finished with a 39-43 record in 2011.
6. Utah Jazz: Kemba Walker, PG, UConn
The Jazz need guards. Guards guards guards. We'll see if Kevin O'Connor and Greg Miller have a Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson trade up their sleeves, but assuming trades will be spare before the collective bargaining agreement is approved, Utah has to be looking guard in the draft. After Irving, Walker's the best one on the board.
Walker averaged 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists last season for Connecticut, which he helped lead to their third NCAA National Championship title. In the championship game, Walker had 16 points and nine rebounds in the Huskies' 53-51 win over the Butler Bulldogs.