Cavs Right To Pause Before Draft

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – After spending the past few days quizzing team officials from around the league, we’ve decided that it’s not only prudent for the Cleveland Cavaliers to pause for at least a few minutes and take one last look at their strategy before Thursday night’s NBA Draft, it’s a necessary move by an organization that owns two picks in the top four.

Even in a year when the Draft is considered to be top heavy with superstar talent (2003 and 2007 come to mind from recent years) or super deep with quality players at nearly ever position (2004 and 2008) , it pays to proceed with caution when you have one of the top picks. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism as the days leading up to the Draft turn to hours and them minutes.

This is, after all, the future of your franchise that is resting on you making the proper choice. Or, if we’re arguing semantics, it is the “right decision” about the player you choose to lead the organization out of the lottery some day.

But in a year such as this one, when the Draft class is seen by most as thin on “superstar” talents, it’s imperative that a team with a top pick operate with extreme caution.

“Bottom line, every player in this draft, 1 through 60, is going to be picked five to seven spots ahead of where he should be simply because this class is that weak,” an Eastern Conference executive said matter-of-factly. “It is what it is. And that’s not necessarily a knock on these guys that are coming out in this Draft. But it’s fact. There isn’t a Kevin Durant or LeBron James in this group. I don’t think there’s a Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin or even a John Wall in this group. What you hope is that there are some surprises, guys that will play above and beyond our evaluations. We need a few Russell Westbrook types to emerge from this class, because right now it’s tough to say with any amount of certainty that you are sure this guy or that guy is going to be an All-Star player in our league.”

While that certainly puts a damper on the spirits of some of Cleveland’s finest fans, it’s a dose of reality that the Cavaliers organization has surely grappled with in the past few weeks.

After the lottery, the professed love of Duke point guard Kyrie Irving as the likely No. 1 pick was nearly unanimous. And from all indications he’s done nothing to diminish his reputation since then. Yet the Cavaliers, per ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, have decided to push back from the table and study the situation again before making a final decision:

The consensus among NBA teams is that Cleveland will select Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft.

But the Cavaliers aren’t acting as if they’ve made a decision, and according to multiple sources, they are actively discussing a number of possibilities. They likely will go with Irving, but there are scenarios in which they might not.

The Cavaliers haven’t told Irving that he is the No. 1 pick, and Arizona’s Derrick Williams is a legitimate contender for the top spot.

Cleveland, which also holds the No. 4 overall pick, will bring in Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight for a visit early this week. Former Kentucky student Enes Kanter of Turkey, who was ruled by the NCAA to be permanently ineligible with the school, will return for a second visit.

Have you seen enough from any of these top four projected picks to feel safe about the future of your franchise?

Irving played just 11 games during his injury-shortened season at Duke, giving him roughly 11 more than we saw from Kanter, who didn’t play a second after being ruled permanently ineligible to play at Kentucky.

“There is potential galore in this Draft,” a Western Conference scout insisted. “Several of these guys could be special. But there are just so many unknowns right now that it’s hard to dive in without being skeptical about how things might turn out. The Draft is the surest way to rebuild your team in this league. But if you’re dealing in unknowns, it’s a much tougher sell than normal.”

This Draft is anything but normal.

33 Comments

  1. oh-iceman says:

    I think D-Will is the first choice because real talented bigs are rare vs. real talented PG’s. Besides Baron Davis is still a beast if he remains healthy. Then Grab Katner because the rebuilding starts now and they need a true Center. There will be plenty more point’s coming out next year.

  2. Rich says:

    I would go for Derrick Williams on the 1st pick and then Walker on the 4th.

  3. Arsiemonn says:

    i think the cavs need the most is a small forward, thats the spot they lack in, no worries about the distributor or the point guard coz there’s baron davis who are more experience in handling the ball, derick williams is suited for the cavs..

  4. croAT says:

    Since there will hardly be a superstar on this year’s draft, perhaps Cavs should pick the 2 players with the most potential in the long term, regardless of the position, and play them as starters, while preparing to get rid of the costly mediocre players – after another year or two of crawling at the bottom of the league they will find themselves with a lot of room under the salary cap, with a talented young bunch who had a lot of playing time in their first 1-2 seasons (who will in these circumstances probably have enough room to develop into above-average role players, the type of 92-93 Dennis Scott/Nick Anderson), new high picks at a future draft (possibly deeper than this one) and enough money to sign more than one star free agent and/or additional veterans as needed. After all, in 2-3 years they might have a chance at the championship, possibly before their ‘favorite son’ LeBron wins one…

    • Badgers says:

      Get room under the salary cap? What for? Who in their right mind would want to join the Cavaliers after the ugly behaviour of their fans and Dan Gilbert towards LeBron. The only players signing their will be wanting money, not players with a desire to improve a team. The Cavaliers shot themselves in the foot with the way they reacted to LeBron leaving, like they saw him as their slave. I bet Derrick Williams is glad that hes projected to be no.2 instead of first, I would be.

  5. TaCo says:

    Who even cares about Cleveland basketball anymore? Whichever players they move around or pick with that team still and will scare off A LOT of talents…

    6 years after James retires will be the first year the Seattle Cavaliers will make it to a Finals since 2007 of it’s franchise history. I will bet on them to lose.

  6. Groe zoe says:

    I agree wit “keep silent and watch the playoffs” pick D will at number one and then pick up kemba walker….best pg in da draft or not kryie only played 11 games and he a freshman kemba walker led his team to da title and d will is a beast, kanter is garbage we can pick up a big man later on or trade for one later D will + kemba walker= cavs bein a more sound team without baby bron bron line up would look like this

    Pg- B Davis: sub: kemba walker(sorry rookie gotta earn dat starting spot)
    SG: Anthony Parker: sub:dont really matter cuz cleveland week in the 2 guard spot anyway
    SF: D will: Sub:Antawn Jamison(he can play da 3 or da 4 so why not have a veteran leading the second unit
    PF: JJ hickson: sub-Samuel
    C: Anderson Verajo:sub- Ryan Hollins(needs to be traded though he garbage all he can do is block shots and rebound)

    makes more since to not play b davis and kemba walker together because you wont have anybody coming off the bench dat can handle the ball and put pressure on the defense

  7. Myith says:

    It seems apparent that the Cavs don’t have any free agents that already haven’t signed with Cleveland, it doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be any free agents that want to join with Baron Davis and the Cavs. Regardless, I believe that drafting Kyrie Irving is actually smart as the #1 pick because Irving is a playmaker just like Davis, except that Davis isn’t exactly the star he once was. With the #4 pick, they’ll most likely pick Donatas Motiejunas because he’s a good kid and Cleveland can spare to keep him stashed overseas like Minnesota did with Ricky Rubio

  8. Thinking logically says:

    @Adecron:

    Lebron screwed their front office by not making his intentions clearer and earlier. When you’re the biggest name in basketball and you’re planning on leaving your team you need to make that clear so the team can start preparing for when you leave. Cleveland wasn’t prepared for it because they sunk all their resources into getting Lebron to stay, and they did that because Lebron led them into believing that there was a real chance he would stay.

    Not a Cavs fan. Never liked the Cavs or Lebron, never liked Cavs fans, never liked the state of Ohio. But things are what they are, and Cleveland got a raw deal with Lebron, and what Lebron did was unfair to Cleveland (and there are plenty of other ways to raise money for kids without having to do a freakin ESPN special). Doesn’t justify the hate he randomly got from the rest of the country…but whatever.

    • Cavsfanatic73 says:

      @Thinking Logically:

      That’s a perfect way to sum it up. I became a die-hard Cavs fan post-LeBron, and so I harbor no ill will towards the guy. He made a business decision, plain and simple. The problem with the fans is not “what” he did, it’s “how” he did it. You can almost equate it to life in corporate America. If the computer guru or the whiz in Accounting left the office with no warning to the boss or even bothering to train their replacement, suddenly the go-to guy that everyone loved is the one everyone loves to hate.

  9. Kevin says:

    1 – williams – less risky and more talent
    2 – knight – two guard combo for ricky rubio
    3 – irving – pretty nice in rebuilding the jazz franchise then trade away harris and millsap for a center or draft pick
    4 – kanter – pretty solid frontcourt for the cavs then trade hickson and others away for another draft pick or a vet preferably a two guard or point
    5 – valanciunas – tough center to give way to bargnani to play his natural PF position
    6 – leonard – will boost up the frontcourt and be able to fend the lack of value of lewis and howard
    7- walker – considering the rise of marcus thornton, depth in F position, and the rise of cousins the kings may want to consider drafting walker as a backup PG for evans so he can also play the two in some rotations

    i think this is the ideal picks for the first 7 teams
    i think the cavs should think wisely taking the number one pick cause this would surely affect the rest of the draft. for me irving is over rated thinking that he only played 11 games during his tenure at duke and i doubt him running the team and being the face of a franchise.

    • ajpotpot says:

      problem is valanciunas won’t be available for the next few years coz he is still in contract to a league overseas, that’s a problem they see on him that’s why he can’t be at least top 5 in this draft, ^_^
      see now the situation for this guy, so i don’t think the raptors are the type of franchise that will gamble now, ^_^

    • Jake says:

      There’s know way Irving is dropping to three. I’d be happy if he did though.

  10. Adecron says:

    So they hated Lebron James for what? anohter five years of contneder would be drought?When they should have fixed the problem when LBJ wasn’t ending his contract.Now they scramble.hmmmp….beg LBJ comes home for Ohio and they will be eback in the playoffs.

    • Rich says:

      Best scenario would be to LBJ to go back to the Cavs. But don’t expect the CAVS to beg for it.

  11. Malvin says:

    Early exit still

    • Dieter says:

      They should use their first pick on Kanter, because guessing on his availablity for the 4th pick is a big risk. Use the fourth pick on Knight. Than trade Baron Davis or … for a high pick next year, play bad all year (let the rookies play big minutes). Than pick Perry Jones and Anthony Davis (or Harrison Barnes) and they got an exciting team … and become a contender in a few years.

  12. E K says:

    Kyrie irving is the best on the board, but that may be perhaps the best position the Cavs on the team. So I would trade out of that pick.

  13. Tyeo says:

    trade irving to boston

  14. D says:

    I like Irving at #1, but Derrick Williams seems like the best insurance for the future…

    PG- Davis
    SG-Parker
    SF- Williams
    PF- Hickson
    C- Kanter/Valanciunas

    I’d take Williams first, then force the T’wolves or Jazz to pick up Irving and leave Kanter on the table. If the other one bites on Kanter, get one of the other two Euro big men, preferably the one that can shoot 3’s. Those guys seem to get the rings…

  15. ian says:

    the only way the cavs can come out of the draft as playoff contenders is this. Trade some players and our 4th pick to the T wolves for their second. they already have a crowded frontcourt and don’t need williams as good as he is. There are continuous talks about giving them hickson and a pg of ours and we have enough cap space with lebrons contract gone. This plan is actually being considered by both teams and a williams-irving combo would be similar to if chris paul was on a team with blake griffin, godly

  16. PastorArod says:

    I think D-Will and B-knight would be the most prudent choice if B-knight would fall to us. B-davis has one year left on his contract and trading him this year is probable. I like Kyrie a lot but then we would be reaching a little at 4 i think with someone else. If we could trade up to get the 1st and 2nd picks like the Cav’s want to that would make life easy….

    but…

    Pg – B-knight
    SG – Baron Davis
    SF – D – will
    PF – JJ Hickson
    C – Wild Thing or Ryan hollins

    Don’t forget the rookies from last year, Manny Harris, Sam Samuels, and Eyenga!

    Go Cav’s!

  17. Keep silent and watch the playoffs says:

    Get Derrick Williams 1st dratt pick and Kemba Walker 4th draft pick ASAP, otherwise Cleveland Cavalier is doomed. Both players have no history of injuries and they are getting better.

    Kemba Walker reminds me of Dwyane Wade.

  18. The Rocker says:

    Honestly,they need the next LeBron James

  19. Troy says:

    Don’t pull a T-wolves move and use all your lottery pics on PGs!!!! :-)

  20. Arvin says:

    should get Derrick and Kanter so thyre line up would go like

    PG- Sessions -sub- Davis
    SG Parker -sub- Gibson
    SF Derrick -sub- Harris or Eyenga
    PF Jamison -sub- Hickson
    C Kanter -sub- Varejao

    Picking another PG in the draft will make lineup problems havnig 6 guards to shuffle in the rotation, unless they make trade talks, and perhaps davis will wear a new uniform once again.

  21. Charles says:

    How magnificently droll.

  22. Marcus says:

    A good advice for Cav’s Staff:

    Be smart. Pick the right players (unfortunately, I don’t know who they are). Invite Lebron James to return with his talents to Ohio State, add Varej√£o to that mix and… guess what!? … the road to glory. Three NBA Tittles in a row…

    • jhon says:

      i dont know about that lol…. but look cavs need to be smart.. why do they need a guard… they have baron davis which has a good three years left to play at top level…. now they need a big man… they should get derrick williams and kemba walker and then they have a great chance of being on top in 1-2 years

    • Swisher says:

      Are you stupid? LeBron will never return to Cleveland, because the fans are cruel to him now, and Miami is so good. The Cav’s should pick Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter, period. It would complete their weak roster.
      PG- Kyrie Irving (Baron Davis can be a veteran mentor for him off the bench)
      SG- Daniel Gibson
      SF- Anthony Parker (Weak, but the only other option)
      PF- Antawn Jamison
      C- Enes Kanter (Anderson Varejao can mentor the young center from the bench)

      That would be a good roster to rebuild with, but Cleveland will not be a contending team for a long time still.

      • Arman says:

        Gibson would be a relatively weak sg compared to the rest of the starting sg’s. I agree with jhon, that they should pick Williams as 3/4 forward playing along Jamison or Hickson but then they should pick a combo guard like Brandon Knight or a 2/3 wing player like Alec Burks when you look at their current roster. The trend shows that goog pg’s will be a lot more available later when B.Davis can’t play that effectivly anymore and there will be allways guys like Rondo or Darren Collison to get with higher picks, if cleveland should develop to the middlefield of the league.

      • Mike says:

        Kanter will NOT be a starter next year…