The 2011 NBA draft class is considered to be shallow in talent, which means there could be a plethora of absolute busts and disappointments that will come from it.
In a draft where there were not many players that stood above the rest, it was difficult for teams to decipher between which player to pick. Whatever the reasoning behind their selection of players, there are a few teams that took huge risks.
Dave Favale of Bleacher Report gave out his list of 12 NBA rookies that will fail to meet expectations and prove to be busts next season.
Included on the list are San Antonio Spurs draft picks Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Kawhi Leonard averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game last year at San Diego State and is known as a solid defender and rebounder.
Despite these upsides though, it is unclear if he is going to be an effective NBA player. At 6’7”, Leonard is the build of player that should have an inside and out game, yet he doesn’t. His jump shot needs some serious work.
Additionally, his defensive game is not going to follow him to the NBA, at least not right away. Players are bigger and stronger at this level. And then we cannot forget that Leonard does not exactly have an NBA build to him just yet.
The San Antonio Spurs’ plan may be to groom Leonard as Richard Jefferson’s successor, but their expectations of him may be unreasonable.
Leonard’s lack of versatility will be exposed in the NBA, leaving the Spurs with the taste of disappointment and Leonard sporting the label of “bust.”
“With Tony Parker’s future up in the air, the smart course for the San Antonio Spurs to take in this year’s draft was to select a competent point guard in case anything major went down.
Select a point guard they did, but an NBA ready one, they did not.
Last season while at Texas, Cory Joseph averaged 10.4 points and three assists, which are not exactly overwhelming numbers for a point guard. He is neither an exceptionally good passer nor a proven scorer, and while he is an OK defender, he never had to guard the likes of Chris Paul or Steve Nash.
San Antonio may put too much responsibility on Joseph and expect too much from him too soon. And not only that, based on his college career, he may never be the type of point guard the Spurs need.
Joseph, at best can be a T.J. Ford like player, and that is even reaching.
The Spurs really set themselves for disappointment with this first-round pick. “
Joining Leonard and Joseph on the list are Chicago Bull’s Nikola Mirotic, Miami Heat’s Norris Cole, Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas, Rockets’ Donatas Motiejunas, Suns’ Markieff Morris, Bobcat’s Bismack Biyombo, Pistons’ Brandon Knight, Sacramento Kings’ Jimmer Fredette and Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving by the way is the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft.
The Spurs are one of the most successful franchise that built through the draft. They’ve found “gems” late in the draft picking players like Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker to name a few.
Nonetheless, they also had some misses. In 2005 for example, they’ve selected Ian Mahinmi as the 28th pick overall, two picks ahead of David Lee.
Having said that, I don’t totally agree with Favale’s take on Leonard and Joseph.
The Spurs picked them for a reason and both players certainly have the potential to be solid role players in the NBA.
I think it is premature at this point. For now, all we can do is to wait and see how these rookies will play out with their respective teams before giving them judgement.
I’m sure a lot of Spurs fans have something to say about this assumptions.
What can you say Spurs fans? Do you agree or disagree with Favale’s take? Fire away at the comment section.