The 2011 NBA Draft class was a historic one, with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, and James Harden all being selected in the first round. Despite this stellar group of players, many have seen their careers take different paths than expected.
The 2011 draft class was a very important year in the NBA. It is often said that this draft class has been one of the best in recent memory. The top 10 players from this draft class are still playing basketball today, and there’s no doubt they’ve helped their teams immensely.
The 2011 NBA Draft class has established itself as one of the most talented in recent memory. Even though Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall choice, was the class’s centerpiece, he was not the most intriguing pick. Many stars have emerged from random selections across the class throughout time.
Even the draft’s final selection turned out to be an All-Star. While some players did not succeed in the NBA, many others succeeded. Let’s take a look at their current situation.
Tristan Thompson (#10) (No. 4)
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Boston Celtics are the current team.
Cleveland Cavaliers were the first team.
Aside from Irving, another Cavaliers draft choice from 2011 helped the team cut down the nets in 2016. Thompson alternated between starting and coming off the bench, but he was most effective as the team’s enforcer while playing with the second unit.
Thompson has a lifetime scoring and rebounding average of 9.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. In his last two seasons in Cleveland, he averaged a double-double. It was his debut season with the Celtics last season. Thompson, who is 30 years old, has a long career ahead of him.
Enes Kanter is number nine on the list (No. 3)
Source: USA Today
Portland Trail Blazers are the current team.
Utah Jazz were the first team.
Kanter led the Jazz to four consecutive seasons of glory, scoring 13.8 points and grabbing 7.8 rebounds at the time. Kanter, however, became dissatisfied with Utah and sought a trade, which resulted in his being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kanter earned a four-year, $70 million deal after posting career highs of 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds.
Kanter returned to OKC for two more seasons before joining the New York Knicks. Two of his greatest individual seasons occurred during his two years in New York. In 2018, he had 14.1 points and 11.0 rebounds, while in 2019, he had 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. Kanter was acquired by the Trail Blazers at the conclusion of 2019, and he helped the club reach the Conference Finals. Kanter returns to Portland as a bench contributor after a stint with Boston.
Isaiah Thomas (#8) (No. 60)
(Photo courtesy of NBA.com)
Free Agent is the current team.
Sacramento Kings were the first team.
The final overall choice of the 2011 class averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists in his third season in the league. Despite having a strong season, the Kings sent Thomas to the Phoenix Suns, who then moved him to the Boston Celtics. In Boston, he had the greatest years of his career.
In 2016 and 2017, Thomas was named to the All-Star squad. Thomas had a career-high 28.9 point average in 2016-2017, including breaking the franchise mark most points in a quarter with 24, which had been held since Larry Bird (1983) and Todd Day (1984). (1995). Thomas also helped the Celtics reach the Conference Finals, but he was forced to leave after two games due to a hip ailment. Thomas has battled to remain in the league after his hip injury, appearing for the Cavaliers, Wizards, and Pelicans.
Tobias Harris (#7) (No. 19)
(Image courtesy of 6ABC)
Philadelphia 76ers are the current team.
Milwaukee Bucks were the first team.
Harris is just 29 years old, yet he seems to have been around for a long time. Before being acquired by the Magic, Harris spent two years with the Bucks. He spent four seasons there before being acquired by the Pistons in a trade. Harris scored an average of 18.1 points per game with Detroit.
Harris was acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2018 and has averaged 19.3 and 20.9 points per game. Harris was moved by the Clippers to the 76ers, where he received a max deal. Harris has never been named to an All-Star squad, but he is definitely compensated accordingly.
Nikola Vucevic, No. 6 (No. 16)
Chicago Bulls are the current team.
Philadelphia 76ers were the first team.
Vucevic is a top-5 center in the league who can shoot from three-point range and pass from any spot on the court. Vucevic became a two-time All-Star after joining the Orlando Magic. The Chicago Bulls traded several first-round choices to acquire the talented big man at the NBA Trade Deadline.
As a major contributor, Vucevic has never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs. He now has the difficult job of teaming up with Zach LaVine to lift the Bulls out of the cellar.
Jimmy Butler (#5) (No. 30)
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Miami Heat is the current team.
Chicago Bulls were the first team.
In Chicago, the final selection of the first round was a fan favorite. He was a Cinderella tale in the making. Butler went from being a homeless teenager in high school to being one of the league’s finest two-way players. Butler has been named to the NBA All-Defensive team five times and has been named to the All-NBA team four times.
Butler was moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves after the Bulls failed to determine whether or not to construct a team around him. In 2018, he assisted the club in reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Butler was traded to Philly for half a season following a broken relationship after two years before earning a max contract with the Miami Heat. Butler led the Heat to the NBA Finals in 2020, where they battled the Lakers for six games before losing.
Kemba Walker, No. 4 (No. 9)
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Oklahoma City Thunder is the current team.
Charlotte Hornets were the first team.
Walker is the all-time greatest Charlotte Hornet. The Hornets made their last postseason appearance under his reign. Walker was the team’s all-time scorer until he departed Charlotte for a max deal with Boston.
Walker joined Boston with the hopes of becoming the team’s third superstar and returning the Celtics to the NBA Finals for the first time since the days of Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. Instead, he underwhelmed and was sent to the Thunder this summer. He’ll try to resurrect his career there.
Klay Thompson (#3) (No. 11)
(Image courtesy of Golden State Of Mind)
Golden State Warriors are the current team.
Golden State Warriors were the first team.
Thompson was the second half of Steph Curry’s “Splash Bros” team. From 2015 through 2019, the Warriors reached the NBA Finals every season with Curry and Thompson at the helm. In addition, he won three titles in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Thompson was also an important part of the 2015-2016 squad, which set an NBA record by winning 73 regular-season games.
Despite missing the past two seasons due to injury, Thompson is considered as the second best shooter in NBA history, behind only his teammate, Stephen Curry. Thompson has ruptured his ACL and Achilles tendon in both legs. This season, his performance will be closely scrutinized.
Kyrie Irving (#2) (No. 1)
Brooklyn Nets are the current team.
Cleveland Cavaliers were the first team.
Irving was the prize for the loss of LeBron James when he was chosen in 2011. The first season without LeBron James was 2010-2011. However, Irving created a potent combination with LeBron James and Kevin Love that helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals three times in a row from 2015 to 2017.
Irving aspired to run a club on his own after leaving Cleveland, which brought him to the Celtics. He signed with the Nets after failing to reach the NBA Finals and is now a top-5 point guard in the league. Irving will be remembered for his role in the Cavaliers’ 2016 victory, but he also got a lot of backlash for his outlandish conduct and social views.
Kawhi Leonard (#1) (No. 15)
Los Angeles Clippers are the current team.
San Antonio Spurs were the first team.
Leonard will be a top-30 player in the history of the game by the time he retires. With the Spurs, Leonard was named NBA Finals MVP in 2014. Following his departure from San Antonio, he led the Toronto Raptors to their first-ever title, as well as winning the 2019 Finals MVP award.
Leonard has also won the Defensive Player of the Year award twice. The Clippers’ “The Claw” is a superstar. He’s presently rehabbing an ACL that’s been partly torn. He’ll rejoin a club that advanced to the Western Conference Finals when he returns.
The 2011 nba draft 1st pick is a list of the top 10 players from the 2011 NBA Draft Class. This list includes the player’s name, their current team, and where they are now.
- kyrie irving draft class
- kawhi leonard draft class
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