2011 NBA Draft: First Round

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2011 NBA Draft: First Round

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn BOSTON Like most NBA drafts, much of the smoke leading up to the draft provided few sparks once the picks were made.

As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Duke's Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall pick. Kyrie, whose father Drederick was a standout basketball player at Boston University, was followed by Arizona's Derrick Williams who was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 2 pick.

At that point, things started to get kind of tricky.

The Utah Jazz had the No. 3 pick, and seemed torn between taking Kentucky's Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter from Kentucky. The Jazz, who also had some interest in trading down to select BYU star Jimmer Fredette, stood pat and selected Kanter.

Kanter's selection triggered a run on international talent, with three of the next four being from outside the United States.

That run opened the door for the Detroit Pistons to select Knight, a 6-foot-3 point guard projected by most to be among the top four or five players selected.

Kemba Walker, who led UConn to a national championship this past spring, was selected with the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Walker's stiffest competition for National Player of the Year honors this past season was Jimmer Fredette, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks (but will be sent to Sacramento as part of a three-team deal involving the Bucks, Kings and Charlotte Bobcats).

Rounding out the lottery (top-14 picks) were Golden State selecting Washington State's Klay Thompson at No. 11; Utah took Colorado guard Alec Burks at No. 12; Kansas' Markieff Morris was chosen by Phoenix at No. 13 while the Houston Rockets rounded out the lottery, selecting his twin brother, Marcus, with the No. 14 pick.

In addition to the draft being dominated by international players early on, the first round will also featured a handful of trades involving solid NBA players - but no superstar talent.

Milwaukee, Sacramento and Charlotte were involved in a three-team trade in which the Bucks acquired Beno Udrih (from Sacramento), Shaun Livingston (from Charlotte) and Stephen Jackson from Charlotte. The Kings acquired John Salmons (from Milwaukee) and the No. 10 pick in Thursday night's draft, Jimmer Fredette. The Bobcats, one of the more active trading partners on Thursday, received Corey Maggette (from Milwaukee) and the No. 7 pick (Bismack Biyombo) from the Kings.

Charlotte would later draft Jeremy Tyler, who was soon traded to Golden State.

The San Antonio Spurs traded George Hill to Indiana for the rights to the Pacer's No. 15 pick, Kawhi Leonard.

The Houston Rockets are reportedly set to ship Brad Miller and the No. 23 pick (Nikola Mirotic) plus future considerations, to Minnesota for Jonny Flynn and the Timberwolves' No. 20 pick (Donatas Motiejunas).

A draft wouldn't be complete if the Celtics' Danny Ainge didn't make a move. The C's used their No. 25 pick on Providence's Marshon Brooks, and traded him to New Jersey for the No. 27 pick (Jajuan Johnson) and a 2014 second round pick.

"I like it a lot," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of adding Johnson to the roster. "We didn't think he'd be there, and he was."

In addition to Johnson, the C's were also interested in Boston College's Reggie Jackson and Marquette's Jimmy Butler who were selected No. 24 and No. 30, respectively.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”