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A look back at the underrated 2011 NBA Draft Class

You're not aware how many players from this class are still relevant in the NBA - the most underrated draft class of the 21st century.
The 2011 NBA Draft first-round selection

The 2011 NBA Draft first-round selection

The 2011 Draft Class was probably one of the most underrated in NBA history. Many hidden gems were picked late and became stars in the league. Even the leading scorer from that batch is not someone you expect.

Revisiting the 2011 draft class

The 2011 NBA Draft was more than a decade ago, yet the players in that batch remain relevant in the NBA. The top pick went to Kyrie Irving, followed by Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter Freedom, Tristan Thompson, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely, Bismarck Biyombo, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, and Jimmer Fredette. But the interesting part about the 2011 batch are the players who were drafted outside the top 10.

We have Klay Thompson, the Morris twins, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Butler, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Isaiah Thomas. Fast forward to 2022, Jimmy Buckets, Kawhi, Vuc, Morris twins, Harris, and Bogey are still playing at a high level for their respective teams. However, one player leads the class in points scored, and it’s not someone you’d expect given the way he played last year.

Kemba Walker leads 2011 Draft in points

Anyone would expect Kyrie, Klay, Kawhi, or Butler to lead the class in scoring, but it’s actually Kemba Walker. Here’s the list based on points:

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  1. Kemba Walker - 14,414
  2. Kyrie Irving - 13,631
  3. Klay Thompson - 12,268
  4. Nikola Vucevic - 12,210
  5. Tobias Harris - 11,970
  6. Jimmy Butler - 11,873
  7. Kawhi Leonard - 11,085

Kemba is a forgotten man in the New York Knicks rotation. He is averaging the lowest points in his career. It’s sad that he couldn’t rediscover his old, lethal self in Coach Thibodeau’s system because of injuries, but Walker was a walking bucket back in his heydays. In his eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, he only missed 35 games while playing heavy minutes as the number one option on offense.

Another player derailed by injuries is IT. His story was a story of inspiration: how a 60th pick managed to enter the MVP discussion and almost towed the Boston Celtics to the promised land. However, he suffered a serious hip injury in 2017 and never regained his All-Star level game.

The 2011 Draft was a deep one and one of the most underrated in recent NBA history. The fact that players who were selected late are still killing it in the league speaks of how talented that batch was. 

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