2011 NBA draft: Best players available

Kyrie Irving tops this year's draft crop in part due to his craftiness, shooting skills and position. Lance King/Icon SMI

Ahead of Thursday night's NBA draft, here's my ranking and analysis of the top 30 players in the 2011 class. A few things to keep in mind: First, this is not a mock draft, nor is this a prediction of the order in which these players will be taken. The list simply represents my opinion of the most talented players in this year's draft pool. Take a look:

1. Kyrie Irving, Duke
A pure point guard that changes speeds, can really shoot it and is efficient. Irving is not a better athlete than Derrick Rose or John Wall, but he is a better pure point and a better shooter.

2. Derrick Williams, Arizona
He's the most efficient frontcourt player in this draft, and the most explosive athlete. Williams will score from day one. The question is whether Williams will be able to defend NBA power forwards, because that will be his position.

3. Enes Kanter, Turkey
Skilled, strong, with an NBA body, Kanter is the best center prospect in this draft. He can hit a face-up jumper, and he knows how to use his body. Defense will be a challenge, but Kanter is the best among the big guys.