The day has finally arrived for former Georgia and Georgia Tech basketball stars Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie, and Iman Shumpert. During tonight's 2011 NBA Draft these players will either realize their lifelong dream or have their hopes dashed. All are essentially expected to be drafted but projecting where they might end up has proven difficult due to the overwhelming uncertainty that goes along with this draft class.
SB Nation just finished conducting its annual first round mock draft and neither, Thompkins, Leslie, or Shumpert were selected in the first round.
ESPN.com NBA writer Chad Ford has a full two-round mock draft and Iman Shumpert is the big winner as he is slated to be selected at No. 17 by the New York Knicks. It was rumored last week that Shumpert could have received a promise from the Knicks. He has also been rumored to be in play as high as to the Suns at No. 13. Yahoo Sports' mock draft has Shumpert solidly in the first round at No. 23 to the Houston Rockets so his name is one to keep an eye on Thursday night.
Ford's projections aren't nearly as positive for the two former Bulldogs Leslie and Thompkins. Ford projects Leslie to the Washington Wizards at No. 34 and Thompkins to the Golden State Warriors at No. 44. Leslie is a player that wouldn't surprise me terribly to see selected at the end of the first round due to his athleticism but there are enough question marks about his overall game to see him slide into the second. Thompkins might not slide past Indiana at No. 42 but would in theory give the Warriors a big body and low post scorer if he were to be still on the board at No. 44.
Yahoo Sports projects Leslie to the Chicago Bulls at No. 30 as the final pick of the first round and Thompkins to the Pacers at No. 42. Leslie would be a more athletic version of Keith Bogans for Chicago and Thompkins reportedly had a good workout with the Pacers so neither projection seem that far fetched.