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2011 NBA Mock Draft: Timberwolves Select Kyrie Irving In First SB Nation Mock

At SB Nation, Tom Ziller has posted his first 2011 NBA Mock Draft, which features the Minnesota Timberwolves selecting Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, who played just 11 games in his lone collegiate season, with the first overall draft pick.

To be clear, the league has yet to set the official draft order; it will accomplish that task during the May 17 Draft lottery. This mock draft assumes each team picks based on its current odds, which favor the Timberwolves.

Ziller contrasts Irving with Ricky Rubio:

"Yep, another point guard for David Kahn and this aimless, awful franchise. The difference: this one is good and won't sign a multi-year contract in Spain after he's drafted. We think.

Indeed, Minnesota is infamous for its recent history with point guards, as it used three first-round picks on them in 2009. In addition to Rubio, the Timberwolves took Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson; regrettably, they then traded Lawson's draft rights to the Denver Nuggets. Lawson has shown the most promise of the three players so far.

However, Irving is simply too good a prospect for the point-heavy Wolves to pass up. Standing 6-foot-2, he averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He also posted outstanding shooting percentages (52.9 percent from the field, 46.2 percent on three-pointers) for a volume-shooting guard.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.