On Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers allowed Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com access to the team's war room in anticipation of the 2012 NBA Draft. In his story published on Friday morning, Windhorst details the strategy and thought process behind the team's aggressive decisions, which brought Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller to Cleveland.
As was well documented days before the draft, Windhorst explained how the Charlotte Bobcats were able to dictate who Cleveland was going to pick. The Cavs were interested in three players; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal and Waiters. However, the team was not as interested in Beal as was previously reported and had Kidd-Gilchrist and Waiters rated as the two highest players on their board.
Cleveland believed that if Charlotte held onto the pick they would pick either Kidd-Gilchrist or Kansas forward Thomas Robinson. If the Bobcats wouldn't trade the pick and selected Robinson, the Cavs would have selected Kidd-Gilchrist.
After Charlotte selected the Kentucky forward at No. 2, picking Waiters was a foregone conclusion.
Despite the surprising nature to individuals outside of the Cavaliers organization, the team officials in the room were ecstatic with the pick.
In terms of the Zeller trade, the Cavs were not interested in bringing a bunch of rookies into camp.
The Cavs had a handful of players they were looking at in the mid-teens, hoping to use their other three picks to move up. This is again where planning came into play. Before the draft started, they had agreed that moving into the teens was worth their No. 24 pick plus their two high second-round picks, Nos. 33 and 34. Three picks for one seemed like a lot but Grant had decided that he wanted a better player now much more than four rookies
With the Dallas Mavericks looking to clear cap space, the teams came to terms on the deal that sent Zeller to Cleveland.
For the full story, you can read Windhorst's article, here.
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