LeBron had walked away from the Cavs organization to build a "Superteam" in Miami with Bosh and Wade. As soon as he left the Cavs they became a laughing stock and showed the need for James more than ever and became a lottery team landing the #1 pick 3 years in a row. Some of these picks have become stars and superstars.
With the first pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select...
1. Cleveland Cavaliers select Kawhi Leonard
(Originally selected Kyrie Irving)
Originally selected 15th and traded from the Pacers (OY!), Kawhi is a player that can play both ends of the floor stupendously. An MVP caliber and a 2 time defensive player of the year, this is the man I would build my team around, quiet and humble, but very deadly. Without the 2014 finals MVP I highly doubt the Spurs win it in 2014 and if LeBron came back to this guy in the lineup I also doubt the Warriors win it in 2015.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves select Kyrie Irving
(Originally selected Derrick Williams)
Possibly the best handles in basketball, he and Kevin Love would've made a dynamic duo before Bron took him. The best thing about this mock re-draft is the fact that in 2015 the Wolves Roster would be KAT - Wiggins - Kyrie - LaVine. Young, aggressive and very ambitious in scoring and winning.
3. Utah Jazz select Jimmy Butler
(Originally selected Enes Kanter)
Jimmy Buckets is another franchise player that plays both ends of the floor and is constantly developing his game. Imagine a team comprised of Jimmy - Gobert - Hayward all defensive minded and high-scoring trio.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers select Klay Thompson
(Originally selected Tristan Thompson)
Let's assume James leaves to Miami and comes back to the Cavs with Kawhi and Klay waiting. Let's take a moment to believe the Cavs do not need LeBron because they have 2 franchise players in Klay and Kawhi. The most stand out thing about these scenarios are 1. The Spurs don't win 2014 and 2. Warriors don't win 2015 because we know how important they were to their respected teams.
5. Toronto Raptors select Isaiah Thomas
(Originally selected Jonas Valanciunas)
It's hard to say the Raptors keep I.T. because his original teams (Kings/Suns) traded him even though he was already demonstrating a type of scoring ability. This 2017 season was his best and even MVP worth mentioning with 28.9 PPG 5.9 AST, but in the Playoffs, he's remaining consistent with 25 PPG 3.5 REB 5.6 AST. DeMar - Lowry - I.T. doubt they get swept easily by Cavs.
6. Washington Wizards select Kemba Walker
(Originally selected Jan Vesely)
It's no doubt the Wiz have one of the best backcourts in the league, but what if they had Kemba in there too. A team so cold blooded, high scoring, fast and consistent adding an additional 18.4 PPG 3.9 REB 5.4 AST 1.4 STL and add another 21.5 PPG 3.3 REB 4.7 AST 1.5 STL for the playoffs can't be taken likely.
7. Sacramento Kings select Brandon Knight
(Originally selected Bismack Biyombo)
Sacramento traded this pick to Charlotte and that was costly, even more with Knight. He isn't flashy and high scoring, but he is a consistent contributor either to start or off the bench. Additional help for Boogie and making a run at the Playoffs with a career-high 19.6 PPG 3.9 REB 5.1 AST 1.2 STL
8. Detroit Pistons select Nikola Vucevic
(Originally selected Brandon Knight)
Very versatile center with 14.6 PPG 9.9 REB and a career-high 19.3 PPG 10.9 REB and coming in ready to contribute. He's an aggressive rebounder and has high scoring bursts to go with that onslaught of rebounds.
9. Charlotte Hornets select Tobias Harris
(Originally selected Kemba Walker)
A very slow start for Tobias, but now that he is seasoned in the league, has been performing at a high-scoring pace. No Kemba Walker, but still quite effective with a career high being 17.3 PPG 8.5 REB while being able to add 14.5 PPG 9.5 REB during the 4 games in the 2016 Playoffs.
10. Milwaukee Bucks select Reggie Jackson
(Originally selected Jimmer Fredette)
Eventually traded to Sacramento, Reggie had very little play in OKC, but a team like the Bucks who had a convoluted team with little to no direction. But adding someone who can post 12.2 PPG 3 REB 4.2 AST off the bench and additional 12.4 PPG 4.1 REB 3.6 AST for the playoffs is just the remedy.
11. Golden State Warriors select Kenneth Faried
(Originally selected Klay Thompson)
There's no replacing Klay, but Faried is the next best thing. He came out running with no slowing, a high energy guy with hustle and defense, a complimentary add-on with some similarities to Draymond, just without the 3 point perimeter shooting, not to mention an addition of 10.3 PPG 9.3 REB for playoffs. Utah looks mighty good with a defensive minded squad.
12. Utah Jazz select Enes Kanter
(Originally selected Alec Burks)
Both of these started slow, but Enes has the slight advantage in scoring and large advantage with rebounding. A perfect pick up to back up the eventual DOPY Gobert.
13. Phoenix Suns select Bojan Bogdanovic
(Originally selected Markieff Moris)
Wasn't given much of a shot to prove his abilities, selected 31st, was traded to 2 teams before the draft night was over. An 11.3 PPG 3.1 REB with a career-high 14.2 PPG 3.6 REB the oldest in the draft, but the most experience from Euroleague.
14. Houston Rockets select Jonas Valanciunas
(Originally selected Marcus Morris)
A relatively consistent role player, more of a bench player with 11.5 PPG 8.5 1.5 BLK REB a career high 12.8 9.1 REB and playoff performance of 12.4 PPG 10.2 REB 1.3 BLK. Close, but very far.
15. Indiana Pacers select Markieff Morris
(Originally selected Kawhi Leonard)
I mean come on, the Pacers traded Kawhi to the Spurs and it turned out to be an Elite player. Nothing close to replacing Kawhi, but at this selection with all the top picks gone why not Markieff? He is a solid pick up with the ideal offense.
16. Philadelphia Sixers select Nikola Mirotic
(Originally selected Nikola Vucevic)
Forcing him to sit out doesn't go well because the team misses out on a high scoring performances or maybe that's what drives him to perform at a higher level. Either way, he's scored 28 points on back to back nights and hit 6-3 pointers on said nights. He is a very valuable bench player with 10.8 PPG on limited minutes played.
17. New York Knicks select Marcus Morris
(Originally selected Iman Shumpert)
Adding Morris might've been an improvement the declining Knicks, and with a career 10.8 PPG, he's a bigger player during the playoffs with 17.8 PPG 3.3 REB 2.5 AST
18. Washington Wizards select Tristan Thompson
(Originally selected Chris Singleton)
Out of the NBA Draft, he committed to contributing, granted he was the 2nd best option in Cleveland at the time, with 8.2 PPG and 6.5 REB. He remains consistent through the years and now in the Playoffs
19. Charlotte Hornets select Iman Shumpert
(Originally selected Tobias Harris)
The Bobcats eventually traded the pick to the Bucks, Iman was still off and running with 7.4 PPG and 1.2 STL. Although he isn't a pivotal piece in a team, can still add some toughness and bursts of energy on the floor.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves select Bismack Biyombo
(Originally selected Donatas Montiejunas)
A low scoring consistent player with a career high 6 PPG / 7 REB, Bismarck remains loyal to the low number in the playoffs with 5.7 PPG 8.6 REB.
21. Portland Trail Blazers select Chandler Parson
(Originally selected Nolan Smith)
Parsons does have a great arsenal for scoring, he just can't remain healthy for the life of him. At 14.3 PPG / 5.1 REB / 1 STL and a high of 16.6 PPG / 5.5 REB / 4 AST / 1.2 STL he becomes better in the playoffs with 18.1 PPG and 6.6 REB. You would assume with those numbers he'd go higher, but even drafting him you're taking a risk knowing he will be an expensive Injury Reserve at some point.
22. Denver Nuggets select Derrick Williams
(Originally selected Kenneth Faried)
Originally selected 2nd overall the superstar that came out of the draft, he wasn't a bust, but surely not 2nd overall. Best season came in his 2nd year where he showed promises of growth while scoring 12 PPG and 5.5 REB.
23. Houston Rockets select Donatas Montiejunas
(Originally selected Nikola Mirotic)
Best season came in his 3rd year where averaged a respectful 12 PPG / 5.9 REB
24. Oklahoma City Thunder select Norris Cole
(Originally selected Reggie Jackson)
Right out of the draft won a championship with Miami, but far from being the key piece. Highest scoring season just this year with 10.6 PPG
25. Boston Celtics select Alec Burks
(Originally selected MarShon Brooks)
Best season 2013-14 10 PPG career 10.1 PPG solid pick up in the late round
26. Dallas Mavericks select Kyle Singler
(Originally selected Jordan Hamilton)
Highest scoring season 2013-14 9.6 PPG career 7.1 PPG
27. Brooklyn Nets select MarShon Brooks
(Originally selected JaJuan Johnson)
Highest scoring season "Rookie year" 12.6 PPG 3.6 REB, A career 7.7 PPG
28. Chicago Bulls select Cory Joseph
(Originally selected Norris Cole)
Best season 2016-17 9.3 PPG / 3 REB / 3.3 AST and a career 6.8 PPG
29. San Antonio Spurs select Lavoy Allen
(Originally selected Cory Joseph)
Best season 5.8 PPG and 5 REB career average 4.8 PPG and 4.5 REB
30. Chicago Bulls select Chis Singleton
(Originally selected Jimmy Butler)
Best Season "Rookie Year" 4.6 PPG / 3.5 REB / 1.1 STL, career 4.1 PPG / 3.2 REB and is doing much better in the Euroleague with 8.9 PPG / 4.5 REB 1.2 STL