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NBA Mock Draft 2011: Kings Take Kawhi Leonard At No. 7

With the No. 7 pick in the SB Nation 2011 NBA Mock Draft, Akis Yerocostas from Sactown Royalty took Kawhi Leonard for the Sacramento Kings. Here's Akis' explanation:

Leonard isn't the sexy pick here, especially with Kemba Walker, Jimmer and Jan Vesely still on the board. I'm of the opinion that Kawhi's the best pick for the Kings here, though. Yes, it's true the Kings have been on the lookout for another point guard, but what they're really looking for at that position is another facilitator, and Walker and Jimmer are more scorers, both with question marks about their defense. At their other hole, small forward, Vesely could be an intriguing option, but he's much too raw in my opinion, and while he has elite athleticism and length, he still can't shoot, rebound or play defense all that well.

The Kings don't need another scorer, particularly with Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins all demanding the ball at high rates. They also don't need another project. Kawhi is the best of both worlds; He can come in and make an impact defensively and on the boards from Day 1, and while he can score if needs be, he won't demand the ball on that end, or complain if he doesn't get enough touches. (*cough* Omri Casspi *cough*.)

Leonard does have some holes in his game, particularly shooting the basketball, but from interviews and pre-draft workout reports, it seems he's making a concerted effort to improve that part of his game. At just 19 years old, he still has plenty of room to grow.

Follow this StoryStream to see our entire SB Nation mock draft play out over the next couple days. See our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage.