Looking Back and Re-drafting the 2011 NBA Class

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With the 2016 NBA Draft in the books I decided to look back on another draft class that happened five years ago. If you may recall, during the 2015 Draft process I posted about the 2010 NBA Draft and re-looked at it five years later. Well today that is the same case.

Experts, sports writers and team management have always said it takes around five years to label players as great picks, bad picks, busts, steals, gems,  you name it. Before I start this re-draft let me lay down a few factors and the format I did for this.

  • Since the majority of second round picks are “draft and stash” type of players, I will be only doing selections held in the First Round only.
  • Similar to last year, these draft picks are based on those team needs in the 2011 NBA Offseason.
  • Also like last year, draft night trades will NOT be in affect.
  • For each pick you will see the team, their original pick (and team sent to if they did a draft night trade with), their current statistics as of the end of the 2015-2016 regular season, the re-pick, an explanation on how their original pick went and a explanation on why I went with the re-pick.

Introducing the 2011 NBA Re-Draft five years later..

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

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  • Original selection: Kyrie Irving (PG, Duke)
  • Career stats: 20.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 309 games. All with the Cavaliers
  • Re-pick: Kawhi Leonard (originally selected 15th)

When LeBron James left town Cleveland became a mess. Thanks to a trade with the Clippers they were able to land the #1 pick in the draft. Irving has been great for the Cavs, showing glimpses at times that he can be the top point guard in the league. This was tough for me in the re-draft as I was stuck on either Irving or Kawhi Leonard. While Irving has been great, Leonard is showing that he is the best two-way player in this league and him on that Cavaliers team would have been fun to watch. Who knows, maybe if they drafted him LeBron may have never came back to Cleveland to win the title?

2. Minnesota Timberwolves

Derrick Williams

  • Original selection: Derrick Williams (SF/PF, Arizona)
  • Career stats: 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 376 games with the Timberwolves, Kings & Knicks.
  • Re-pick: Jimmy Butler (originally selected 30th)

While he had a good rookie season, Derrick Williams fell out of the rotation by the middle of his sophomore year and eventually was shipped to Sacramento. This past season with the Knicks he actually performed well and is looking for another contract this season. In this re-draft we look at Jimmy Butler who was an absolute steal at #30. While we could of went with Irving, the Timberwolves drafted two point guards in 2009 in Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn. At the time the Wolves viewed one of those guys as the leader of the team. Having Rubio and Butler at the perimeter is a defensive nightmare for opposing teams.

3. Utah Jazz

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  • Original selection: Enes Kanter (C, Kentucky)
  • Career stats: 10.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 373 games with the Jazz and Thunder.
  • Re-pick: Kyrie Irving (originally selection #1)

Kanter was brought into Utah with an already log-jam in the frontcourt with Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors so playing time was tough for him. Once Millsap and Jefferson left he received more play time and was traded to the Thunder. The team decided to re-sign him this past year and hevhas been a nice role player for them going forward. Imagine if they had Kyrie Irving at the time? The Jazz have been looking for  point guard since Deron Williams.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

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  • Original selection: Tristan Thompson (C, Texas)
  • Career stats: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 388 games. All with the Cavaliers.
  • Re-pick: Klay Thompson (originally selected #11) 

Thompson was the second pick for he Cavaliers in the top 5. During his five year career he has been very durable for the wine and gold, only missing six games in his career (those were during his rookie year during the 66 game lockout season. He has been a double-double threat whether it is starting or coming off the bench. If the Cavs had the choice, you look at Klay Thompson, who along with Kawhi Leonard in this re-draft, would of been a nice duo to build around.

5. Toronto Raptors

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  • Original selection: Jonas Valanciunas
  • Career stats: 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 283 games. All with the Raptors
  • Re-pick: Nikola Vucevic (originally selected 16th)

Valanciunas was a highly recruited prospect and did not play in the NBA until a year after he was drafted. Nonetheless, he has been a consistent starter for the Raptors for the past couple of seasons. In this re-draft we look at another foreign big-man in Nikola Vucevic, who has a double-double nightmare ever since his time with the Orlando Magic and might arguably be on of the top centers in this draft class.

6. Washington Wizards

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  • Original selection: Jan Vesely (PF/C, Czech Republic)
  • Career stats: 3.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 162 games with the Wizards and Nuggets
  • Re-pick: Kenneth Faried (originally selected #22) 

The Wizards has a vision with John Wall and Jan Vesely as the future of the team. Sadly, that was not the case as he struggled with court time during his two and a half seasons with the team. He was traded at the 2014 trade deadline to the Nuggets and was again buried at the end of the bench. Since then, he has been playing with Fenerbahce, a Turkish League team. Looking back, the Wizards could have used a guy like Kenneth Faried to help out their frontcourt needs.

7. Sacramento Kings 

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  • Original selection: Bismack Biyombo (C, Congo) * Traded to Charlotte
  • Career stats: 4.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 284 games with the Bobcats/Hornets & Raptors
  • Re-pick: Isaiah Thomas (originally selected #60)

Bismack Biyombo was an interesting prospect during the 2011 Draft. He was a then 19-year old from the Congo with no college basketball experience. He opened some eyes in the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit, as he recorded a triple-double (12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks) with the World Team. His NBA career however has not lived up to expectations so far. He never averaged more than 6 points a game during his time in Charlotte and was let go and signed with the Raptors. He had an okay year in Toronto and helped the Raptors reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Now a free agent, he still has room to grow at 23 years old and he will latch onto a team. Since this pick was the Sacramento Kings pick at the time, we look at Isiah Thomas. While he was selected by the Kings with the last pick in the draft, it shows that a lot of teams missed out on his talents.

8. Detroit Pistons

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  • Original selection: Brandon Knight (PG, Kentucky)
  • Career stats: 15.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 328 games with the Pistons, Bucks & Suns.
  • Re-pick: Kemba Walker (originally selected #9)

We can make jokes about Brandon Knight with the L’s he has taken from Kyrie Irving or DeAndre Jordan but outside of that, he has made a name for himself as a scorer that plays both guard positions. After two years in the Motor City, Knight was traded to the Bucks and was dealt to the Suns. No matter what team he has played for he has shown he is a capable scorer for the team. In this re-draft however we look at Kemba Walker, who moved up one slot and might have been a better point guard for the Detroit Pistons and may have been the long-term starter there as oppose to Brandon Knight.

9. Charlotte Bobcats

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  • Original selection: Kemba Walker (PG, Connecticut)
  • Career stats: 17.3 points, 5.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 364 games. All with the Bobcats/Hornets.
  • Re-pick: Reggie Jackson (originally selected #24)

Walker was a fan favorite heading into the draft. He was coming off an NCAA championship but was considered undersize to be an NBA starting point guard. Well so far things have worked out. While he has never been an All-Star or made an All-NBA Team, Walker was one of the reasons why the then Bobcats became relevant in the NBA. This past season as the Hornets, Walker averaged a career high 20.3 points a game. Since Kemba Walker was taken a spot above in this re-draft we looking at another point guard in Reggie Jackson, who recently has been emerging as a top point guard in the league once he received more playing time.

10. Milwaukee Bucks

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  • Original selection: Jimmer Fredette (PG, BYU) * traded to Sacramento
  • Career stats: 6.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 235 games with the Kings, Bulls, Pelicans & Knicks
  • Re-pick: Brandon Knight (originally selected #8)

Next to Walker, Jimmer Fredette was also a fan favorite coming into the draft. Jimmer was the 2011 college player of the year and led the nation in scoring. His NBA career however has been nothing spectacular, as he was limited in playing time and was out of Sacramento by the middle of his third season. He has bounced around the league and is most recently playing for the Westchester Knicks of the D-League. In this re-draft the pick belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks and Brandon Knight would be the best available player for them.

11. Golden State Warriors

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  • Original selection: Klay Thompson (SG, Washington State)
  • Career stats: 18.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 386 games. All with the Warriors
  • Re-pick: Iman Shumpert (originally selected #17)

Klay Thompson was a great scorer coming out of Washington State. A lot of scouts questioned this pick as he was really just a scorer coming out of college. A few years later and Thompson was been outstanding for the Warriors, becoming a multiple time All-Star and NBA Champion. Since Thompson was selected earlier we look at Iman Shumpert, a defensive stopper that would of been a nice compliment to the Warriors. Overall, I think Golden State is more than happy with their selection.

12. Utah Jazz

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  • Original selection: Alec Burks (SG, Colorado)
  • Career stats: 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 259 games. All with the Jazz.
  • Re-pick: Tobias Harris (originally selected #19)

Alec Burks had a great two years out of the University of Colorado and at times he has had great runs with the Utah Jazz. After signing a big contract extension in 2014 he has been hampered with injuries and looks to bounce back this year. Back then the Utah Jazz needed a lot of help and for them we look at Tobias Harris. Can you imagine if you combined Kyrie Irving and Harris in this re-draft with the team they had back then with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward?

13. Phoenix Suns

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  • Original selection: Markieff Morris (PF, Kansas)
  • Career stats: 11.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 372 games with the Suns & Wizards
  • Re-pick: Marcus Morris (originally selected #14)

Markieff Morris was a good player for the Suns as he rotated between starting at the power forward spot and coming off the bench as a stretch four. This past season was one to forget for him. After the Suns traded away his twin brother Marcus he demanded a trade and was fined. He was benched multiple times for his actions off the court and was later traded to the Washington Wizards. In this re-draft we look at his twin brother who had a better college career and would of helped at Suns at both forward spots.

14. Houstons Rockets 

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  • Original selection: Marcus Morris (SF/PF, Kansas)
  • Career stats: 10.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 337 games with the Rockets, Suns & Pistons.
  • Re-pick: Tristan Thompson (originally selected #4)

Markieff’s twin brother did not find success in his first couple of seasons. He was buried at the end of the bench and had multiple stints in the D-League. Once he was traded to the Suns he had more success and this past season with the Pistons was the best of his career. In this re-draft Tristan Thompson might have been an option for them as a double-double starting center for the team.

15. Indiana Pacers

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23: Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected #15 overall by the Indiana Pacers in the first round during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

  • Original selection: Kawhi Leonard (SF, San Diego State) * traded to San Antonio
  • Career stats: 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 324. All with the Spurs.
  • Re-pick: Chandler Parsons (originally selected #35)

What a steal for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs ended up trading this pick in return they sent backup point guard George Hill. In the end, I think the trade worked more in the Spurs favor as he has become the face of the Spurs and the best two-way player in the draft. Chandler Parsons would have been another option for the Pacers as a scoring wing for them starting or off the bench.

16. Philadelphia 76ers

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  • Original selection: Nikola Vucevic (C, USC)
  • Career stats: 14.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 324 games with the 76ers & Magic.
  • Re-pick: Enes Kanter (originally selected #3)

Vucevic did not receive a lot of playing time with the 76ers. After his rookie season he was involved in the Dwight Howard trade in 2012 and was sent to the Orlando Magic. Since he has been in Orlando he has been a double-double machine and has been the starting center ever since. In this re-draft since he was selected earlier we look at #3 overall selection Enes Kanter as a player the Sixers could come of the bench and gives you toughness down low.

17. New York Knicks

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  • Original selection: Iman Shumpert (SG, Georgia Tech)
  • Career stats: 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 294 games with the Knicks & Cavaliers.
  • Re-pick: Alec Burks (originally selected #12)

Shumpert was playing well for New York during his rookie season and looked to become something special. In the playoffs during his rookie season, he tore his ACL. Since then he has become injury prone and most recently won a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If not injured I think he could of been a great player for the New York Knicks. In this re-draft we look at another shooting guard in Alec Burks, who might not be as good of a defender, but is a better scorer than Shumpert.

18. Washington Wizards

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  • Original selection: Chris Singleton (SF, Florida State)
  • Career stats: 4.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 148 games. All with the Wizards.
  • Re-pick: Jonas Valanciunas (originally selected #5)

Singleton had a decent rookie season, playing in all 66 games in the lockout shortened season and looked to become a top on-ball defender for the team. He ended up losing playing time the following two seasons and has yet to find a spot in the NBA since. He currently plays for Anhui Wenyi in China’s minor league basketball league (otherwise known as the NBL). Jonas Valanciunas would of been a nice pickup for them as he and Faried selected earlier in this re-draft could of helped the frontcourt problems Washington was facing. It is clear that after looking at this first round, the Washington Wizards were clearly of the losers in this draft with their selections.

19. Charlotte Bobcats

Milwaukee Bucks first-round draft pick Tobias Harris tosses a ball as he poses for a picture during the team's NBA basketball media day on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in St. Francis, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) ORG XMIT: WIMG101

  • Original selection: Tobias Harris (SF/PF, Tennessee) * traded to Milwaukee
  • Career stats: 13.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 302 games with the Bucks, Magic & Pistons.
  • Re-pick: Derrick Williams (originally selected #2)

Tobias Harris is one of my personal favorites in this draft class because we are both from the same area in Long Island. Harris has had a nice career so far in the NBA. His first year and a half were a struggle in Milwaukee. Once he was traded to Orlando that is where Harris made his mark in the NBA as a dynamic scorer and looks to do the same with the Pistons for the next couple of seasons. For the re-draft we look at Derrick Williams for the then Bobcats. While he did not live up to expectations as the 2nd overall pick he still is a solid role player in the league today.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves 

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  • Original selection: Donatas Motiejunas (PF, Lithuania) * traded to Houston
  • Career stats: 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 214 games. All with the Rockets.
  • Re-pick: Markieff Morris (originally selected #13) 

Motiejunas was a draft and stash player and came into the NBA a year after he was drafted. He has been a consistent player for the Houston Rockets when healthy. We look at Markieff Morris for the Minnesota Timberwolves as he could of been a nice strech four for the future.

21. Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers Fan Fest

  • Original selection: Nolan Smith (PG, Duke)
  • Career stats: 3.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 84 games. All with the Trail Blazers
  • Re-pick: Norris Cole (originally selected #21)

Nolan Smith had a great four years at Duke University. He was expected to become the starting point guard however inconsistent play and the rise of their next years first round selection Damian Lillard the next season forced him out of the Trail Blazers rotation by 2013. He currently is an assistant coach for his alma mater Duke. Perhaps the team could of taken a shot with Norris Cole, a standout at Cleveland State?

22. Denver Nuggets

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  • Original selection: Kenneth Faried (PF, Morehead State)
  • Career stats: 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 348 games. All with the Nuggets.
  • Re-pick: Nikola Mirotic (originally selected #23)

Faried was a beast at rebounding in college and became an interesting player to look out for on draft night. For the past five years in the Mile High City, Faried has been the starting power forward for the rising Denver Nuggets. He does everything, rebound, put-backs, dunks and blocks shots. He is an energy guy and thats someone every team needs. Since he was selected 6th in my re-draft we look at Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic may have been a draft and stash for them but once joined, he would of had an impact with the Nuggets, especially with what they have in the frontcourt now.

23. Houston Rockets

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  • Original selection: Nikola Mirotic (SF/PF, Montenegro) * traded to Minnesota followed by Chicago
  • Career stats: 10.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 148 games. All with the Bulls.
  • Re-pick: Cory Joseph (originally selected #29)

Mirotic was selected by the Rockets and was traded twice on draft night. He was a draft and stash prospect and came into the NBA two seasons ago and has become a great all-around player for the Bulls. In this re-draft it is the Houston Rockets pick and we look at Cory Joseph as a backup role player for the team.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder

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  • Original selection: Reggie Jackson (PG, Boston College)
  • Career stats: 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 351 games with the Thunder & Pistons.
  • Re-pick: Shelvin Mack (originally selected #34)

During his time in OKC, Jackson did not play much in the first two years but received more time once Russell Westbrook went down with injury. He ended up getting traded to the Detroit Pistons and has improved greatly, becoming one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference. Since he was selected earlier in this re-drafted he look at former Butler standout Shelvin Mack, who like most second round picks in this class has established himself as a good role player for any team he has played for.

25. Boston Celtics

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  • Original selection: Marshon Brooks (SG, Providence) * traded to New Jersey
  • Career stats: 7.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 164 games with the Nets, Celtics, Warriors & Lakers.
  • Re-pick: E’Twaun Moore (originally selected #55)

Brooks had a successful rookie year with the Nets earning All-Rookie Second Team honors. Ever since then, he declined every year and has bounced around from the NBA to now overseas. He is currently playing for the Jiangsu Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association. In this re-draft we look at E’Twaun Moore, who was selected by the Celtics with the 55th pick and has made a nice career for himself playing for the Chicago Bulls the past couple of seasons.

26. Dallas Mavericks

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  • Original selection: Jordan Hamilton (SG/SF, Texas) * traded to the Denver
  • Career stats: 5.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 151 games with the Nuggets, Rockets, Clippers & Pelicans.
  • Re-pick: Kyle Singler (originally selected #33) 

Following a good two years at Texas, Hamlilton was drafted by the Mavericks and was immediately dealt to the Nuggets. He only lasted two and a half years in Denver before bouncing around the league, most recently with the Pelicans. In this re-draft we look at Duke standout Kyle Singler, a three point marksman that could of helped the Mavericks in certain situations.

27. New Jersey Nets

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  • Original selection: JaJuan Johnson (PF, Purdue) * traded to Boston
  • Career stats: 3.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 36 games. All with the Celtics.
  • Re-pick: Bojan Bogdanovic (originally selected #31)

Johnson had a successful career with the Purdue Boilermakers. In his lone season in the NBA with the Celtics he was very inconsistent and has yet to return to the league. He is currenlty playing for Pallacanestro Cantu of the Italian basketball league. With the Nets pick they select a guy who is already on the roster with Bojan Bogdanovic, a reliable shooter and role player with the Nets currently.

28. Chicago Bulls

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  • Original selection: Norris Cole (PG, Cleveland State) * traded to Minnesota followed by Miami
  • Career stats: 7.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 347 games with the Heat & Pelicans.
  • Re-pick: Justin Holiday (originally undrafted)

How lucky was Norris Cole in his first few seasons in the league. In his first three years with the Miami Heat, he made it to the NBA Finals and won twice. During his time he was a valuable role player for the Heat as the backup point guard. He has been hampered by injuries with the Pelicans and looks to make a jump next season with whatever team he signs with. The Bulls have this pick in the re-draft and we look at the undrafted Justin Holiday, who has had a nice run in the NBA and won a title with the Warriors in 2015. Not bad for a guy who did not hear his name called on draft night.

29. San Antonio Spurs

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  • Original selection: Cory Joseph (PG, Texas)
  • Career stats: 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 284 games with the Spurs & Raptors.
  • Re-pick: Bismack Biyombo (originally selected #7)

Cory Joesph was a good role player for the Spurs and helped San Antonio win the NBA title in 2014. After he signed with his hometown Toronto Raptors and became a more vauable role player with them this past year and looks to have that type of role in the future. For the re-draft we go with Bismack Biyombo and knowing they Spurs, they would know how to utilize a guy like that to his full potential.

30. Chicago Bulls

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  • Original selection: Jimmy Butler (SG, Marquette)
  • Career stats: 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 323 games. All with the Bulls.
  • Re-pick: Lavoy Allen (originally selected #50)

This by far the biggest steal in this entire draft. The Bulls found a franchise player in the bottom of the first round, which is rare. While it took Butler two years to make a name for himself, by his third year he became a regular starter and in the past two seasons, he became the face of the Chicago Bulls. Since Butler was taken earlier we look at Lavoy Allen, a second round pick that has had backup roles with both the 76ers and the Pacers.

Well there you have it. This draft class has had their fair share of superstars and valuable role players. Let me know what you readers think about this. Is a certain player re-drafted to high? to low? or am I missing anyone? Let us know @BBallSociety_ and @FonzyDeFalco

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