NBA Draft 2011: Warriors, Kings Prepare For Draft Following Lottery

The 2011 NBA Draft is around the corner, and it's time to start delving into the talent pool. Who will the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors choose in this year's lottery? Stay tuned to find out. For more discussion of this year's draft and the players who are a part of it, head over to SB Nation's NBA Draft blog, Ridiculous Upside, to get in on the action.

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2011 NBA Draft: Stephen Curry Wants Marcus Morris

Perhaps Marcus Morris’ recent talk about him and his brother’s talents (versus others) is actually working as far as improving their draft position. In recent weeks, mock drafts show the Morris twins, not just Marcus, moving up into the top 10. Some analysts peg Marcus going to Charlotte at #9.

Stephen Curry, when asked by ESPN Magazine about who the Warriors should draft with the #11 pick, suggested Marcus Morris and here’s why he thinks Marcus is a good fit (via Yardbarker via Warriorsrant.com):

“A guy who plays hard, can shoot a 15- to 20-footer off pick-and-rolls and rebounds well can play for any team. We need workhorses like that.”

There’s no guarantee that Marcus or Markieff will be available for the Warriors, though both possess some of what the Warriors need, namely toughness and defense. Marcus is allegedly the all-around player that the Warriors could use in their frontline.

With all the talk abou Jerry West having his eye on Klay Thompson and other teams interested in his shooting, is Marcus or Markieff the way to go if Thompson isn’t available? Could either of them mesh with Stephen Curry the way Curry is talking about? If the Morris twins are gone, who should the Warriors snag instead?

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2011 NBA Draft: Klay Thompson, Alec Burks Go Head-to-Head in Sacramento Kings Workout

The Sacramento Kings worked out a group of six players at their practice facility today.  Washington State's Klay Thompson and Colorado's Alec Burks were the main attractions of the Saturday afternoon draft showcase in front of Kings brass.  According to the two players, Saturday's session was the third meeting between them during these rounds of pre-draft workouts.

"He got the better of me in the team games," Thompson said of Burks. "But one-on-one, I felt like I held my own.

"We've gone against each other so much that we're pretty familiar with each other," the WSU guard said. "But we still enjoy it."

Burks, however, felt otherwise.

"He probably going to say him, but I'm going to say me," the Colorado guard said with a grin.

Unless they receive any last minute calls, both guards have less than a handful of workouts scheduled before the draft.  Thompson said he has a trip planned for Utah, while Burks has appointments with Phoenix and the Jazz before Thursday.

Alec Burks

Klay Thompson

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NBA Draft 2011 Workouts: Sacramento Kings Trying Out Klay Thompson, Alec Burks

Geoff Petrie is an unconventional general manager. If he believes he doesn't have the ability to snag a premier talent with his pick, he will reach for someone he believes will succeed. Sometimes it's worked (Jason Thompson), sometimes it hasn't (Quincy Douby). But Petrie has shown he will take risks for better or for worse.

Klay Thompson of the Washington St. Cougars and Alec Burks of the Colorado Buffaloes would be two such reaches, and Andrew Nicholson of Full Court Press reports the Kings will be working them both out. Thompson and Burks are both likely to be contributors at the next level, but they're both shooting guards, and Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton are currently in their way at that position. Burks and Thompson don't really have the typical size to contribute as small forwards, so unless Petrie is thinking of trading one of his current two starters, neither of these two guys would make much sense for this current Kings team.

Both are also supposed to go much lower than seventh (in the mid-range/lower areas of the draft). Could Petrie be interested in trading down?

Should the Kings draft Klay Thompson or Alec Burks? If not, who do you think the Kings should take with their first round pick? Let us know in the comments!

For further reaction from the Kings, see what Sactown Royalty has to say.

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2011 NBA Draft: Bloggers Predict Bismack Biyombo, Chris Singleton

The Warriors need size. Badly. In all NBA Mock Drafts, the draft analysts have linked Warriors to no one under 6’5. Even in Monta Ellis trade rumors, its a unanimous decision among bloggers, analysts, and fans that the Warriors will NOT take the best player available but the player that fills a need.

While many recently have pegged Klay Thompson to be the Warriors choice given his size, shooting touch, and rumored status as Jerry West’s man-crush for this current draft, Warriors bloggers seem to think that the newest addition to the team will be someone that fits a defensive need: Bismack Biyombo or Chris Singleton.

Warriors.com Tim Roye asks several Warriors bloggers, Golden State of Mind’s Rich Twu included, who they thought the Warriors would most likely choose. The individual Q/A sessions are with notable guests such as WarriorsWorld.net’s Ethan Sherwood, Twu, Bay Area Sports Guy Steve Berman, GSW Fast Break Adam Lauridsen, and Fear the Beard’s Daniel Turman. Click on to see why they think Biyombo and Singleton are the best bets.

Singleton seems like a player who can have an immediate impact on the defensive end given his 4-year tenure at Florida State University. Known to have questionable upside given his limited experience and scouting of him, Biyombo could be the defensive player of the future that the Warriors need. But, Biyombo could also end up being the second coming of Andris Biedrins as far a development goes. The Warriors are not known to develop big men and Biyombo’s game may not reach its potential with the Warriors (see Andris Biedrins).

The Warriors hardly gamble when it comes to draft day and Biyombo and Singleton are “safe” picks. What are your thoughts about these two players? The Warriors need defensive and which of the two fits better?

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NBA Draft 2011: Walker and Five Others Work Out for Kings

Kemba Walker highlighted a six-player workout at the Sacramento Kings practice facility today.  The UConn guard, along with Nikola Vucevic (USC), Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington), DeAngelo Casto (Washington State) and Jordan Williams (Maryland),  participated in drills and a scrimmage run by Kings staff.  Both Kings co-owners Joe & Gavin Maloof watched the workout.

"It's definitely a grind," Walker said of the predraft process. "But you know, I can't really complain because I haven't really had a lot of workouts compared to a lot of guys.

"I'm talking to some guys and they tell me they have six more workouts left and the draft is next week," he added. "That's a rough schedule so I can't complain at all."

Walker projects to go anywhere from no. 3 to the Utah Jazz, no. 5 to the Toronto Raptors or no. 7 to the Kings.  Meanwhile, Vucevic sits on the first-round bubble.

"I think teams on the west coast like USC - we're not like a huge basketball school so we don't get that much media and all the stuff around us," Vucevic said of proving his talents to NBA evaluators. "So people didn't really know about me and I knew that I was better than what people gave me credit for.  I knew that if I prepared well for this process and go do my job in these workouts I knew I could rise up (the draft board)."

Kemba Walker

Nikola Vucevic

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NBA Draft 2011: Video Reaction from Jimmer Fredette and Others Following Kings Workout

BYU guard Jimmer Fredette highlighted a six-man workout at the Sacramento Kings practice facility today. Fredette along with UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Tennessee's Tobias Harris, South Carolina's Sam Muldrow and Kentucky's Josh Harrellson participated in drills and played in a 3-on-3 scrimmage to close out the workout session. 

"I thought it went pretty well," Fredette said of the Sacramento visit. "I competed hard, shot decent.  The main thing I think I wanted to come in and show them is that I can come in and play defense at this level.  So I came in and competed really hard.  Had some good players in here to defend, some quick guys and some long guys (who are) athletic.   So I thought that I did a pretty good job overall and I thought that they liked it."

Kings front office brass, including president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie, head coach Paul Westphal and co-owner Gavin Maloof, were among those in attendance.

Jimmer Fredette

Tyler Honeycutt

Tobias Harris

Josh Harrellson

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NBA Draft 2011: Sacramento Kings To Work Out Jimmer Fredette

The Sacramento Kings continue to examine who should they take with their first round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and there are plenty of options for them to look at. With no clearcut picks beyond the top two, Sacramento will have plenty of options, and they're starting to take a close look at BYU star Jimmer Fredette. Kings executive Jerry Reynolds believes Fredette is shooting up the draft boards based on their workouts, according to Mark Kreidler from The Rise Guys. So it makes sense the acclaimed National Player of the Year (according to many awards) is potentially jumping up to the top ten.

Fredette is a good scorer, and with Tyreke Evans in place, he could certainly come off the bench and be a productive offensive player, helping the Kings to solidify more scoring threats on a team that has only two consistent talents in Evans and Demarcus Cousins. If the Kings opt to go in this direction, look for today's workout to be the tilting point.

Interestingly enough, UConn guard Kemba Walker is currently projected as a future King by SB Nation, and he was originally supposed to workout against Fredette in Sacramento, but he had to reschedule. Did Walker try and avoid facing off with the competition to keep from looking bad? 

For perspective on Jimmer working out in Sacramento, head over to Vanquish the Foe. For Kings reaction, check out Sactown Royalty

Kings fans, would you draft Jimmer? If not, who? Let us know in the comments!

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2011 NBA Mock Draft: Warriors Workout Marcus Morris, Compares Self To Carmelo Anthony

Marcus Morris seems to be the player with the most current NBA comparables. . . . or so he thinks. Seemingly long on confidence albiet short on arm length, Morris worked out with the Warriors the other day and believes as a small forward, he has some resemblance to Paul Pierce. As a power forward, Morris believes he’s a hybrid of Carmelo Anthony and Antawn Jamison.

In other words, Morris seems to be admitting that as a power forward, he is a scorer that is also a defensive liability. But as a small forward, he is a much better blend of offensive and defensive. I’m still trying to figure out how that basketball logic works. Perhaps Morris is just talking about his offensive skills.

Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group mentions that scouts and analysts see less athletic, but still offensively talent, players such as David West and Al Harrington as better comparables. If the Warriors could get a strong offensive interior presence type like David West in Marcus Morris, that could stretch the Warriors current perimeter-oriented shooting game greatly.

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2011 NBA Draft: Jerry West Rumored To Like Klay Thompson

In his career, Jerry West has been eerily prophetic when it comes to eyeing talent. In a recent Oakland Tribune article about the Warriors recent hiring of Jerry West, contributor Mark Emmons notes not only West’s successful gamble on prep-to-pro Kobe Bryant, but also his claim that Monta Ellis was going to be a future all-star. . . .upon watching Monta play in high school. Former Warrior coach Eric Musselman recalls:

“I saw him the morning after he took a private plane down to Jackson, Miss., to watch Monta Ellis as a high school player, and he told me, ‘I just saw a future All-Star,’ " said Musselman, then a Memphis assistant. "I was thinking, ‘How could you even project that?’ "

Draftexpress released its most recent 2011 NBA Mock Draft and Jonathan Givoney has the Warriors taking Washington State’s Klay Thompson in the first round because “’He’s rumored to be a favorite of recently hired consultant Jerry West, which never hurts in the eyes of ownership.’”

West, as quoted by local press, is looking for size and Thompson as a 6’7 shooting guard could fill one of it’s many needs. Based of his Tweets, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury likes this choice:

I asked another GM about KThompson and he said Thompson isn’t dominant, just a good big guard who will play 10 years in the league.

If West indeed knows what he’s talking about, should the Warriors opt for a lanky shooting guard over the decades-long problem at the power forward and center positions? NBADraft.net believes his best comparable is former Warriors first round draft pick, Marco Belinelli. Ouch.

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2011 NBA Draft: Chris Singleton Can Bring Toughness To Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors don’t scare anyone. Even though the team improved by ten games under recently fired coach Keith Smart, rookies and other no-name players on opposing teams continuously had their coming out party against the Warriors horrendous defense (ranked 27th in the league last season). While the Miami Heat and their big three seemed to thrive off being the most hated team in the league, steamrolling over teams late in the season with their intimidating swag, the Warriors and their staff were more intent on having a lovable locker room. This touchy-feely vibe clearly translated onto the court when Warriors seemed more intent on giving each other high-fives than addressing defensive problems.

NBA Draft hopeful Chris Singleton sounds like the guy that can help revamp this softy image that has been attached to the Warriors for too long. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Singleton as believing he’s the right man for the Warriors current shortcomings:

“I’m from Atlanta, so I’m not scared of anybody. I’m going to bring that toughness to whatever team drafts me. . . .I pride myself on 1-on-1 defense. I hate to lose. I want to win every matchup.”

Along with Texas' Jordan Hamilton, Singleton worked out for the Warriors recently. The Warriors have been missing this confidence for quite a while. Now that the locker room dynamics have finally improved, perhaps the Warriors can work on getting that swag back, which disappeared when Baron Davis left. Singleton also considers himself to have the versatility of a Scottie Pippen. Thank goodness Singleton is referring to Pippen’s achievements as a player and not Pippen’s sports commentary as of late.

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2011 NBA Draft: Kings Workout Kentucky Guard Brandon Knight (VIDEO)

Former University of Kentucky guard Brandon Knight worked out individually for the Sacramento Kings today.  The 19-year-old prospect participated in drills run by Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. 

"You never know where you may slide to,"  Knight said when asked about the likelihood of playing for the Kings,  "If I did get to seven, I didn't want to hide the opportunity where they didn't get to see me and didn't want to take a chance just because I didn't come to a workout.  So, it was just something I came here to do."

Also assisting in the workout were former Kings guard and team ambassador Bobby Jackson, assistant coaches Bubba Burrage, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Pete Carril.  Approximately 20-25 staff members from the Kings organization watched Knight's workout inside the Kings practice facility.  Head Coach Paul Westphal and Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof were two of the most notable spectators in attendance.

 

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2011 NBA Draft: Jeremy Tyler Could Be Second Round Steal For Golden State Warriors

Historically, the Warriors have had little success in the second round of the annual NBA Draft. Quite frankly, you probably have the same chance of winning the lotto than an NBA team (aside from the San Antonio Spur) finding a productive player in the second round. But perhaps its more about fit than actual untapped or undervalued talet (see Landry Fields).

The Warriors need help on the defensive end, badly. Specific areas of need include the wing, power forward, and center positions. With Andris Biedrins’ mental health rendering him nearly useless of the floor, finding a big man that isn’t clunky nor subject to mental lapses (ala Kwame Brown, Eric Dampier, et al.) is about as likely as finding the holy grail. With that said, how about taking Jeremy Tyler, U.S. National whose work ethic has been questioned by his coaches, in the second round (pick #44)?

As detailed by several news sources already, Tyler has taken the unconventional route towards realizing his dream of playing in the NBA. The results on the court are less exciting than the drama he stirred off the court with his coaches and teammates during his brief stint in Israel.

But it was not so long ago that Tyler was considered the best high school prospect. And it seems like Tyler’s career is on the upswing, for now. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Tyler’s stint playing in Japan ended on a positive note with Tyler averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in 33 games.

The last time the Warriors took a chance on a high school kid, they drafted Monta Ellis and have since made him the cornerstone of the franchise (for better or for worse). This doesn’t necessarily mean Tyler’s career trajectory will match Ellis’. As history shows, big men take time to season in the league. Since the Warriors being quite a ways away from competing in the Western Conference, Tyler could be groomed slowly under the tutelage of great pros like David Lee (hopefully not for defensive tips). And with Tyler’s size, athleticism, and early introduction to professionalism within a global perspective, Tyler is already ahead of the game as far as knowing what it takes to find a place in the league. As recent reports show that Tyler’s growth in terms of his professionalism have vastly improved. If Tyler is still around when the Warriors make their second round pick, the risk could be well worth it.

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2011 NBA Draft Combine: Derrick Williams, Tyler Honeycutt, Nikola Vucevic, Klay Thompson Big Pac-12 Prospects

There are plenty of Pac-12 names that will be participating in the NBA Draft Combine, as many of the best talents in the West are taking their abilities to the pros. In a pretty weak draft, this might be the best move for most of them, since not many would likely get drafted this high in subsequent drafts. 

The most recognizable name is Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats, who is a definite choice to end up the number one overall pick. Also in the mix is the mercurial Tyler Honeycutt of the UCLA Bruins, who has NBA ability but was inconsistent in Westwood, the scoring machine Klay Thompson from the Washington St. Cougars, the underrated post defender and rebounder Nikola Vucevic of the USC Trojans, the elite wing defender Malcolm Lee of the UCLA Bruins, and Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Huskies. Lots of Pac-12 talent in this draft, and the best player in the conference could end up being the best player in this class.

For more on the NBA Draft, check out Ridiculous Upside.

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