The 2011 NBA draft was held on June 23, 2011, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (2300 UTC), and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. Kia Motors was the presenting sponsor of the 2011 NBA draft. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick due to a previous trade they had involving the Los Angeles Clippers, choosing point guard Kyrie Irving of Duke. Of the 60 players drafted, 7 were freshmen, 7 were sophomores, 14 were juniors, 19 were seniors, 12 were international players without U.S. college basketball experience (including the first-ever Qatari-selected player), and 1 was a D-League player.
The 2011 NBA draft marked the final time the New Jersey Nets made an NBA draft appearance. After the end of the Nets' 2011–12 season, the franchise relocated to Brooklyn, New York and was renamed to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets made their first draft appearance with the Brooklyn moniker in 2012. Four of the first-round picks, including three of the top four picks, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert would all eventually become teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is considered one of the most loaded drafts in NBA history. Seven players in the draft would play in at least one All-Star game, including the final pick of the draft, Isaiah Thomas.