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Three biggest surprises of the NBA Draft

Jun 24, 2011, 10:02 PM EDT

Tristan Thompson AP

There are always a few surprises, like that guy you drafted you thought was 21 turns out to be 26. Funny, but really that mistake by the Timberwolves was moot because Tanguy Ngombo was never going to play in the NBA.

But there were some surprises when the picks still mattered. Here are the three things that caught me off guard the most.

San Antonio Spurs take Corey Joseph at No. 29. Corey Joseph was going to get drafted, although probably in the second half of the second round, when all the guys considered more risky get taken. He is quick, he has a good shot, but he was an undersized combo guard and scouts were not that high on him. The Spurs were. In a lot of cases this is where I would say “what are they thinking?” but with the Spurs everybody suddenly asks, “what did I miss that they saw?” We’ll see how it pans out, but nobody saw this coming.

Cleveland Cavaliers take Tristan Thompson at No. 4. Make no mistake, Tristan Thompson can play. And you don’t want to put too much stock in his struggles in a couple games of the NCAA Tournament. He can block shots, rebound and you can’t teach length. But they passed over Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesley and other guys many teams had rated higher. This was a surprise because if you are Cleveland right now you need to take the best player, you need the talent, and nobody else had Thompson rated this highly.

New York Knicks take Iman Shumpert at No. 17. Knicks fans hate this pick. I don’t hate it, the guy is one of the best athletes in this draft so they took a calculated risk with him. Not a bad plan in a draft full of risks. But with a good wing defender like Chris Singleton and a rebounding machine like Kenneth Faried on the books, was this the best choice? Did raw athletic guy really address a need? It’s not that this pick was bad that makes it surprising, it’s who the Knicks had Shumpert ahead of on their draft board that shocks. They need defense and Singleton provides it for sure, can Shumpert?

  1. edmazeing1 - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    As for the first one, I understand your point seeing as my spurs where crush by memphis bigs in the playoffs. But the best Center still undrafted at that point last night would have been nice, I cant knock the spurs they usually found good players in the draft, I am praying that this is one of them!!!

  2. theghostofwillisreed - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    talk about hyperbole regarding shumpert. no, knick fans don’t hate the pick, kurt. singleton and faried are undersized 3/4s. when would they see the court with stoudemire and melo playing almost forty minutes a piece? while the knicks needed rebounding, they need size and perimeter defense which shumpert provides at 6’6″. the shooting will come but i’ll take a long, athletic guard to match up with the likes of ray allen, dwayne ware, et al any day of the week.

    josh harrellson is six fouls who will keep amare at center and save him some wear and tear. the knicks can find a vet big in free agency.

    • r0llinginthedeep - Jun 25, 2011 at 4:21 AM

      To be fair though, the Knicks have very little rebounding (Melo and Landry Fields are arguably the two best rebounders on the team) which is something that Faried would bring in spades (as well as good defense), and also Chris Singleton was the best wing defender in this draft.

      Not to mention the fact that the Knicks went perimeter defense with this pick makes the letting go of Corey Brewer last season even more perplexing.

    • LPad - Jun 25, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      good point about the shumpert pick. Also, the Knicks already have Shawne Williams who’s an athletic 3/4 and a good defender. Shumpert gives that in the backcourt. He’s also a true PG that will serve as the backup to Billups and let Douglas play the combo role he’s best suited for.

  3. royistheboy - Jun 25, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Tristan Thompson, why are you on my team? Please show me why this season

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