The NBA Draft has traditionally been a marquee event, and -- despite a lack of star-power and the looming lockout -- the 2011 draft didn't disappoint.
There was, however, one key difference: There were no trades leading up to the draft until the Sacramento deal right before it got underway. General managers and owners were extremely nervous about the new collective bargaining agreement potentially being set at an all-time low, so they didn't want to risk making any deals.
I spoke with one GM this week who told me that "having a pick in the mid 30s may be as good as having one in the mid 20s." Fans apparently got the memo as well. This year's draft drew an average of 3.2 million viewers; the highest total in 15 years.
With that in mind, the real winners were the Lakers, Wizards, Warriors, Bucks Jazz, many of whom made quality second round picks. The Lakers made one of the best picks in the draft at 41, getting incredible value despite poor position. On that note, lets kick off our rankings with the fighting Kobes.
Note: WATCH my all-access draft coverage from the Prudential Center, including one-on-ones with Adam Silver and Marcus Morris.
LISTEN to my podcast with ESPN Radio in Louisville breaking down the draft from every angle.
Plus, check out my brand new HuffPost sports blog, The Schultz Report, for a fresh and daily outlook on all things sports.