The great city of Cleveland has not had much to perk up about in the past few years, though it feels like much longer than that. After watching a superstar walk away via an overly dramatized public viewing of "The Decision" on national television, the ensuing season resulted in the number one overall pick in the NBA draft.
What goes out of town comes around.
The Cavs' top pick that year, Krie Irving, is looking like one of the top young point guards on the rise. He was the unanimous pick to win the NBA Rookie of the Year. The Cavaliers have one All-Star, and in this year's draft, they need another one, and fast.
Whoever is going to be their top pick at number four overall better be ready to contribute almost immediately. With a few of the Cavaliers current best players on their way out, there are plenty of holes to fill. A top draft pick wouldn't be a savior at this point, but it would be a nice whipped topping with Irving's cherry on the Cavaliers' ice cream Sundae.
Yes, this is beating a dead horse, but this city is desperate for a contending franchise. The Cavaliers are on the right track and getting closer to being back where they were in the mid-2000's. Owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager Chris Grant cannot afford to strike out with this draft class. The team has a lot invested in this year's upcoming prospect. The Cavs dealt Ramon Sessions to the Lakers to get the 24th overall pick, and also received a pick from New Orleans through Miami that could be used to bump them up a few picks. Seldom does a team draft with back to back picks, in the Cavs case, at 33 and 34.
Will the Cavs have four draft picks come draft day? The odds are slim. But they will have a young gun that can help them improve as soon as they take the floor in the fall. As for who they will take at number four, it's anybody's guess. Anthony Davis is a pencil in at number one. From there, the possibilities tend to focus on Brad Beal, Harrison Barnes, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
One of a few lead candidates to go fourth overall to Cleveland is the Florida Gators' Bradley Beal. Though one of the youngest players in the draft at age 18, Beal is anything but young due to his maturity level and smart shot selection. The freshman first-team All-Southeastern Conference player might have the highest basketball IQ of anyone coming out of college this year, and is a great defender. Shooting guard is on the list of the Cavaliers' needs, but there are more pressing voids to fill.
The Cavaliers were not terrible in rebounding, but they were second worst in shot-blocking, and could use a defensive presence in the post. Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond would dramatically improve that statistic, but his lack of hustle and mental awareness make him a potential headache for teams around the league. He is there physically, and has tremendous strength, but drafting him fourth overall, or even taking him period might bring back bad memories of J.J. Hickson to Clevelanders, an unfulfilled promise best left avoided.
The player that makes the most sense for the Cavs needs is Harrison Barnes. The wing position for the Cavs has been as lonely as Progressive Field in April. Barnes' midrange jumper is as crisp as it comes, and he can also get to the rim off the dribble. However, his off-the-ball skills on both offense and defense need a lot of work. A solid NBA coach, such as the Cavaliers' Byron Scott, could erase that flaw.
Whichever player Grant decides to choose at number four must have one thing; the readiness to contribute at the NBA level early and often. It is quite likely that this pick will be in the starting lineup come opening night. And thank goodness there is no lockout this year, with Irving and this new pick having adequate practice time, the Cavs really are on the verge of something special.