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The 2011 NBA draft marked the final time the New Jersey Nets made an NBA draft appearance. After the end of the Nets' 2011-12 season, the franchise relocated to Brooklyn, New York and was renamed to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets made their first draft appearance with the Brooklyn moniker in 2012. Four of the first-round picks, including three of the top four picks, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert, would all eventually become teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 2011 draft is considered one of the most loaded drafts in NBA history; seven players in the draft would play in at least one All-Star game, including the final pick of the draft, Isaiah Thomas.
^Nationality indicates the player's national team or representative nationality. If a player has not competed at the international level, then the nationality indicates the national team which the player is eligible to represent according to FIBA rules.
^Kyrie Irving was born in Australia to American parents who returned to the U.S. when he was two years old. He has dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, but has represented the United States internationally.
^Although Enes Kanter enrolled at Kentucky, he never played because he was ruled ineligible to play by the NCAA for receiving financial benefits from his previous professional team, Fenerbahçe Ülker, during the 2008-09 season.
As of 2010, the basic eligibility rules for the draft are listed below.
All drafted players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft. In terms of dates, players eligible for the 2011 draft must be born on or before December 31, 1992.
Any player who is not an "international player", as defined in the CBA, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class. The CBA defines "international players" as players who permanently resided outside the U.S. for three years prior to the draft, did not complete high school in the U.S., and have never enrolled at a U.S. college or university.
The basic requirement for automatic eligibility for a U.S. player is the completion of his college eligibility.
Players who meet the CBA definition of "international players" are automatically eligible if their 22nd birthday falls during or before the calendar year of the draft (i.e., born on or before December 31, 1989). U.S. players who were at least one year removed from their high school graduation and have played minor-league basketball with a team outside the NBA are also automatically eligible.
A player who is not automatically eligible must declare his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no later than 60 days before the draft. For the 2011 draft, this date fell on April 24. Under NCAA rules, players will only have until May 8 to withdraw from the draft and maintain their college eligibility. This year, a total of 69 collegiate players and 20 international players declared as early entry candidates. At the withdrawal deadline, 41 early entry candidates withdrew from the draft (25 from US colleges and institutions), leaving 42 collegiate players and six international players as the early entry candidates for the draft.
A player who has hired an agent will forfeit his remaining college eligibility, regardless of whether he is drafted. Also, while the CBA allows a player to withdraw from the draft twice, the NCAA mandates that a player who has declared twice loses his college eligibility.
The first 14 picks in the draft belong to teams that missed the playoffs; the order will be determined through a lottery. The lottery will determine the three teams that will obtain the first three picks on the draft. The remaining first-round picks and the second-round picks were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win-loss record in the previous season. As it is commonplace in the event of identical win-loss records, the NBA performed a random drawing to break the ties on April 15, 2011.
The lottery was held on May 17, 2011, in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who obtained the Los Angeles Clippers' first-round draft pick, won the lottery. The Cavaliers won the lottery with a 22.7% chance to win, combining a 19.9% chance from their own pick and 2.8% chance from the Clippers' pick. However, their winning lottery combination came from the Clippers' pick, which had a significantly lower chance to win. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who had the worst record and the biggest chance to win the lottery, won the second pick. The Utah Jazz, who obtained the New Jersey Nets' first-round draft pick, won the third pick.
Below were the chances for each team to get specific picks in the 2011 draft lottery, rounded to three decimal places.
Players who do not meet the criteria for "international" players are automatically eligible if they meet any of the following criteria:
They have completed 4 years of their college eligibility.
If they graduated from high school in the U.S., but did not enroll in a U.S. college or university, four years have passed since their high school class graduated.
They have signed a contract with a professional basketball team outside of the NBA, anywhere in the world, and have played under that contract.
Players who meet the criteria for "international" players are automatically eligible if they meet any of the following criteria:
They are least 22 years old during the calendar year of the draft. In terms of dates, players born on or before December 31, 1989, are automatically eligible for the 2011 draft.
They have signed a contract with a professional basketball team outside of the NBA within the United States, and have played under that contract.
The NBA annually invites 10 to 15 players to sit in the so-called "green room", a special room set aside at the draft site for the invited players plus their families and agents. This season, the following players were invited (listed alphabetically):
c 12 On February 22, 2011, the Chicago Bulls acquired Miami's 2011 first-round draft pick (the 28th pick) from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for James Johnson. Previously, on July 9, 2010, the Raptors re-acquired their 2011 first-round draft pick (the 5th pick) while also acquiring Miami's 2011 first-round draft pick (the 28th pick) and a trade exception from the Miami Heat in exchange for Chris Bosh. Previously, on February 14, 2009, the Heat acquired Jermaine O'Neal, Jamario Moon, a 2011 first-round draft pick (the 5th pick) and a 2010 second-round draft pick from the Raptors in exchange for Shawn Marion, Marcus Banks and cash considerations.
h 12 On December 15, 2010, the New Jersey Nets acquired Sasha Vuja?i? and a 2011 first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Lakers acquired Joe Smith, Golden State's 2011 and Chicago's 2012 second-round draft picks from the Nets in a three-team trade with the Lakers and the Houston Rockets. Previously, the Nets acquired a 2011 second-round draft pick from the Golden State Warriors as a compensation for delaying the sending of the 2011 conditional first-round draft pick to at least 2012. In the original trade on July 22, 2008, the Nets acquired a 2011 conditional first-round draft pick on July 22, 2008, from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Marcus Williams.
i On July 12, 2010, the Miami Heat acquired 2011 and 2014 second-round draft picks and cash considerations from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Michael Beasley.
k On February 16, 2009, the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Alex Acker and a 2011 second-round draft pick from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a 2013 conditional second-round draft pick.
l 12 On August 6, 2008, the Houston Rockets acquired the option to swap 2011 second-round draft picks from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Steve Novak. The option to swap 2011 second-round draft picks was exercised.
m On July 8, 2010, the Chicago Bulls acquired Carlos Boozer and a 2011 second-round draft pick from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a trade exception.
n On July 22, 2010, the Golden State Warriors acquired Phoenix's 2011 second-round draft pick and a trade exception from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for C. J. Watson. Previously, on July 9, 2010, the Bulls acquired a second-round draft pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Hakim Warrick.
r On July 10, 2010, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired two first-round draft picks, New Orleans' 2012 and Oklahoma City's second-round draft picks, the option to swap 2012 first-round draft picks and a trade exception from the Miami Heat in exchange for LeBron James. Previously, on June 24, 2010, the Heat acquired a 2011 second-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the draft rights to Latavious Williams.
s On June 26, 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired a 2011 second-round draft pick and cash considerations from the Miami Heat in exchange for the draft rights to Patrick Beverley.
G 12 The Miami Heat acquired the draft rights to 28th pick Norris Cole from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the draft rights to 31st pick Bojan Bogdanovi?, a 2014 second-round draft pick and cash considerations.
H The New Jersey Nets acquired the draft rights to 31st pick Bojan Bogdanovi? from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a 2013 second-round draft pick and cash considerations.