ESPN's Chad Ford has released his first official 2011 NBA Mock Draft of the season. He places a player already mentioned by at least one Sacramento King (Tyreke Evans), star guard Kemba Walker.
The Kings have finally come to two realizations in the past year. One, Tyreke Evans isn't a point guard. Two, character and leadership matter. Enter Walker. Not only does he play the right position, but no one in college basketball showed more heart, leadership or a desire to win than Kemba this past season. He has his weaknesses, but he should give the Kings something they really haven't had in a while -- a winner.
None of Ford's testimony is necessarily true; the Kings certainly haven't announced that Evans will not play point guard going forward, given that 'Reke played with Marcus Thornton (a true shooting guard) a lot in the final weeks of the season, with Beno Udrih on the bench. I'll also note that it's unclear Walker will be any more of a point guard than Evans is.
But that said, while I'm not completely sold Walker can translate to the NBA in terms of a high-usage guard, it's a solid pick that would seem to have a serious chance of coming true. The Kings have said they need another guard, and Walker's the No. 2 guard on the board behind Kyrie Irving.