Contrary to this story’s title, the 2011 NBA Draft didn’t feature a player with the potential to be the next LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwight Howard. But while this year’s rookie class will not be a game-changer for the NBA, several players will provide a much-needed impact to their new teams. Here are three drafted players and the current stars whose skills they match the closest. –amir shaw
Kyrie Irving: The Next Chris Paul
Kyrie Irving only played 11 games for the Duke Blue Devils during his freshman campaign. However, he displayed superior skills during his limited time on the court and was selected as the first pick by the Cleveland Cavs. Similar to Chris Paul, Irving controls the tempo of the game and can take over at any time by scoring, passing and playing relentless defense.
Derrick Williams: The Next Dirk Nowitzki
After only two years at Arizona University, Derrick Williams proved to be the best forward in college basketball. Selected second overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Williams possesses the low post skills and shooting ability of Dirk Nowitzki. Although he may not become as dominant on the scoreboard as Nowitzki, he certainly plays better defense.
Kemba Walker: The Next Allen Iverson or Ben Gordon
Kemba Walker led UCONN to the 2011 NCAA national championship and was one of the most efficient scorers in college. However, eight players were selected ahead of him in this year’s draft. Now as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, Walker has a chance to get payback on the teams that overlooked him. Standing at only 6-feet, Walker could become a high scorer like Allen Iverson. But if he doesn’t find a way to use his speed against bigger guards consistently, he will become a sixth man scoring option similar to Ben Gordon.