Commentary

Vitale's dazzling dozen for NBA draft

Updated: June 20, 2011, 5:36 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Kyrie Irving, Derrik Williams, Brandon KnightGetty ImagesNBA Prospects Kyrie Irving, Derrik Williams and Brandon Knight have impressed Dick Vitale the most.

This is the time of year when several NBA teams will look to improve. This year's draft doesn't have a great number of instant-impact players, and with labor issues looming, fans will hear the word "potential" a lot when these players are picked.

There is the dream of having an instant-impact star. The bottom line is the players tabbed in recent years have taken time to influence many rosters. The payoff has come; just look at Derrick Rose in Chicago.

My dazzling dozen consists of only players I have seen at some point. I defer to ESPN's Fran Fraschilla for the foreign players who will influence this draft. Obviously, several international players will be slotted into the top 12 of many mock drafts.

Here is my top 12 in Thursday's draft:

  1. 1. Kyrie Irving, Duke
  2. 2. Derrick Williams, Arizona
  3. 3. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
  4. 4. Enes Kanter, Kentucky-Turkey
  5. 5. Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
  6. 6. Kemba Walker, Connecticut
  7. 7. Alec Burks, Colorado
  8. 8. Klay Thompson, Washington State
  9. 9. Marcus Morris, Kansas

  10. 10. Chris Singleton, Florida State
  11. 11. Tristan Thompson, Texas
  12. 12. Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.