Hoopsworld analysts posted their “consensus mock draft 2.0” on the eve of the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery and they pegged the Golden State Warriors to draft one of four different big men all of varying skill-sets and defensive abilities and liabilities. These picks were made under the assumption that the draft order does not change and the Warriors stay put at the number eleven pick corresponding with having the eleventh worst record in the league at seasons end. Of the five analysts, four names popped up with Donatas Motiejunas being the only 2011 draft participant that two analysts both agreed with. The other three possibilities include Jonas Valanciunas, Marcus Morris, and Bismack Biyombo.
Based off Draftexpress.com’s detailed assessments of each player, I would go so far as to say that Marcus Morris would be the best bet for the Warriors given that owner Joe Lacob is in win-now mode. With Morris, you’re getting an undersized big man with a reliable jumper out to 15 feet. Though he seems a big robotic at times with his back to the basket, Morris has good enough handles to get to the rim and he has a decent fade away from the block up to 10 feet. Drawbacks? He seems to play below the rim and that’s not necessarily the best person to have next to David Lee who struggled against almost all forwards taller, quicker, and/or stronger than him. Also, standing at 6’8, it’s not clear at this point how well Morris can rebound at the next level.
Morris may not have the upside of the others listed in the consensus mock draft 2.0, but he has what the Warriors need right now, which is some muscle up front. He may fit into the mold of the Brandon Bass-type. International players Motiejunas and Valanciunas are both raw and rail thin. Motiejunas projects to be more Andrea Bargnani and that’s not a good thing, defensively. Draftexpress.com notes his lack of effort at the defensive end and imagine how much worse that might get playing along side David Lee et al. Valanciunas, shooting 86% from the charity stripe this season, could easily replace Andris Biedrins as the Warriors consistently rawer-than-sushi big man in the middle. But something tells me Lacob wants to get more skilled all-around. And Biyombo has been pegged by some analysts as being a possible #1 overall draft pick. Biyombo falling to the Warriors at #11 seems unlikely. The Warriors could use his defensive efforts and he could be a safe pick that late in the lottery if the Warriors ever have the personnel to help him develop.