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Cavaliers' head coach Byron Scott explained Cleveland's strategy in last Thursday's NBA Draft in this column on Cleveland.com via Terry Pluto
The main reason for taking Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson?
"Defense," said the Cavs coach. "We must get better on defense."
Scott sees some similarities in Irving and New Orleans' Chris Paul. In discussing Irving, Scotttalked about Irving's:
"court vision ... his change of pace dribble ... his crossover dribble ... his ability to run a team ... and he can flat-out shoot."
Changing gears to discuss Thompson, Scott said:
"He can defend the post, and he can defend the pick-and-roll out on the court," said the coach. "He wants every rebound. He blocks shots. We consider him the best running big man in the draft, meaning he can get a defensive rebound -- and then get down the court for a dunk."
Scott said that the Cavaliers would work with Thompson to improve on Thompson's 49% free-throw shooting, noting that the Cavs "must rebound better. We must defend better. We must be physical. He (Thompson) can help us get there.
I recommend the entire article for further insight into the thought-process behind the selections that simultaneously made the fanbase happy and scratching their heads.
He may not be the once-in-a-lifetime physical talent like LeBron James, but Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers selection at No. 1 overall in Thursday night's 2011 NBA Draft, certainly provides downtrodden Cavs fans with reason to be excited.
There's of course his ability on the court -- despite playing a grand total of 11 college games (including the three March Madness contests Irving return from injury to participate in), he was still widely considered to be the best player available in this year's draft. The fact that he's 19 years old is of course great. He'll have plenty of time to hone is game and adjust to the next level before coming even close to approaching his physical prime. Finally, he's mature. Spending a year with Mike Kryzyzewski at Duke undoubtedly helped him be the polished, humble young man that he's shown the world recently. But he also clearly just is an upstanding guy that isn't editing himself or preoccupied with image. At Thursday night's festivities in Newark, Irving showed up with one well-wisher and supporter, his father. No entourage, no posse, no business associates. Just his dad.
We'll have plenty of time to talk more about Irving and how he might be able to transform the Cavaliers back into a competitive contender soon enough. For now, let's first hear what Irving had to say about in his first press conference as an NBA player. We'll get to his first presser with the Cavs, which was conducted Friday back in Cleveland, soon enough.
AThe 2011 NBA Draft is in the books, and with its passing comes a new era in Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. After the bitterly disappointing past year beginning with LeBron James' 'Decision' and continuing with a lifeless regular season in which the Cavs won a league-low 19 games, Cavs fans deserve to finally have something to feel good and optimistic about. That's the case following Thursday night's Draft. The Cavaliers selected the consensus best player with the No. 1 pick, and then followed through on their stated intention of using their second high pick when they selected Tristan Thompson at No. 4. Some may feel like Thompson is a bit of a reach, but there's plenty others who wholly believe that he was the best player available there. We'll see.
The conversation about the Cavaliers draft largely ends right there, but Cleveland of course had a pick in Round 2 as well. At no. 54, Chris Grant phoned in Milan Macvan's name. Born in Serbia, Macvan like Thompson is 6'9". Thompson may be a bit more versatile and athletic, but Macvan is no stiff or plodder at 265 pounds. Here's a short video of him practicing and playing at the 2009 Nike Hoop World Summit Team competition.
Macvan can play, wouldn't you say? His ability was sure on display there, as the Serb was named the MVP of the Summit. Even though it's just a few clips, it's easy to identify the following skills in Macvan's game:
Ahh, the day after the NBA Draft. Time to debate the different ‘grades’ handed out by the media. It’s almost as entertaining (or frustrating depending on your point of view) as the lead up to the draft and the actual event itself. So how did the Cleveland Cavaliers do in the minds of the ‘experts’? Well, SB Nation gave the Cavaliers a B for their haul. They happened to think that Valanciunas is a better prospect at a more valuable position than Tristan Thompson, the Cavs’ pick at No. 4. I don’t think I agree with Valanciunas being the better prospect. Thompson is not just an athlete — he’s got a great natural feel for the game and is the perfect hybrid type of player for today’s NBA game. That said, I can understand the argument.
What about ESPN’s Chad Ford? Ford actually liked the Cavaliers draft more. Here’s what he had to say about the Cavs draft in his 2011 NBA Draft Grades ($):
Analysis: The Cavs got the best player in the draft in Irving. There was a temptation to get carried away by taking Derrick Williams No. 1 and then try to score a player like Brandon Knight at No. 4. But the Cavs kept their eye on the ball and took the best player available.
Will Irving be a star? Maybe not. But he’s going to be a starting point guard for a long time in the league and has enough upside to get to a star level someday.
I did think the Cavs reached just a little bit for Tristan Thompson. We might debate for years whether the Cavs would’ve been better off taking Williams and Brandon Knight ahead of Irving and Thompson. But I think history will be kind to the Cavs.
It’d be nice to hear more folks’ thoughts on the Cavaliers other pick in Round 2, Milan Macvan (54th overall; obtained from Oklahoma City via Miami). In just a two-round draft setting, it’d seem like the second round picks might be a valuable way to really differentiate which teams fared better than others in terms of addressing needs and identifying talent. I’m sure we’ll hear and read more about Macyan in the weeks and months to come if for no other reason than that an impending lockout should give us all the time in the world to really dig in and read up on the NBA’s newest crop of young talent.
Ah, the day after, when Draft Grades abound, Buyer's Remorse is a way of life, and the Walk Of Shame seems to follow David Kahn wherever he goes. A time where pundits prognosticate harder than Punxsutawney Phil starting at his little groundhog shadow.
Which isn't to say getting sucked in is bad...fans are excited and want to see their shiny new toys on the hardwood. But with the season still in jeopardy, and the Cavs still owners of the same chips that they arguably were shopping around on Draft Night, no matter what grade Cleveland receives or deserves, a more appropriate score is: incomplete.
That said, others are more inclined to assign a value (rightfully so, I suppose), and for the most part, the experts are lukewarm at worst about the Cleveland Cavaliers 2011 Draft, one that wasn't full of the fireworks initially expected, but still netted the point guard of the future.
SB Nation kicks off the grades with a B, praising the Kyrie Irving pick, but echoing concerns about Tristan Thompson's future position and his "project" tag. It is good to note that Tom Ziller at least had heard of Milan Macvan, something that couldn't be said for ESPN and their Cast of Clowns.
Perhaps Thompson was the pick all along -- it just doesn't remotely seem that way, and Cleveland management wasn't convincing in their comments late Thursday. Thompson's as much a project as Valanciunas at a lesser position. It could work out famously, or Jonas could thrive in Toronto while Thompson plugs away. We'll see. I think Valanciunas is the better prospect at No. 4.
I can't say I disagree here, but there is more to it than just who is the better prospect, I suppose. Jonas wasn't going to make it over to the USA (allegedly) until the 2012-13 season, his contract is reportedly a mess and he needs a lot of seasoning. Plus, I still believe halfheartedly that the Cavs aren't done. The Bobcats were enthralled with Thompson, and this whole thing is too eerie for it to just be the end result. Something seems off. Maybe we really have seen the last of J.J. Hickson in a Cavs uniform. I'm just not sure. We'll know more in the coming days.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports doesn't assign a specific grade, but gives the Cavs a gold star and a "winners" tag.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Irving is mostly a case of winning by default, but they wouldn't have been the first team to be unable to get out of their own way with an obvious pick. Irving gives them a franchise point guard to build around and was the best player overall in this draft. Going for Derrick Williams would have been sheer hubris in order to burn LeBron by choosing a replacement forward. Then, with the fourth, they could have opted for Valanciunas, which would have been a good pick. But there's a reason so many teams were chasing Tristan Thompson. His workouts showed how he would translate on the next level, and with that kind of athleticism, he provides a good running partner for Irving. They managed to not overcomplicate the combination of two top-five picks. They got good talent both small and big. That's a win right there.
Maybe Moore himself is oversimplifying a bit. But, I do see what he's saying. Size and speed. I get it. But, the PF mess is the issue. If the Cavs go into camp with a million power forwards and no true center, while continuing to have the arguably the worst wings in the history of the NBA, that's a problem.
Chad Ford is throwing out the highest grade I've seen so far for Cleveland: A-. At the end of the day, the Cavs leveraged Mo Williams and the willingness to take on a bloated contract for the number one pick in the draft. That cannot be understated. And they used that pick to select the best player on the board. That's good for major points no matter what else happens.
On the Cavs SB Nation blog, Fear The Sword, Conrad K posed the question to the fanbase at large, and results are largely...mixed. Everyone is pretty much universally sold on the Irving pick, but some fans are upset that the team didn't do more during the draft, and the Thompson question mark has soured others. Not to mention the head-scratching selection of Harper and gut reaction trade for two future second-rounders.
When the dust settles, I think the picture will become a lot more clear. The Cavs aren't done. The TPE has another week's shelf life, the stable of PFs will sort itself out in time, and the pieces of Ramon Sessions, Anderson Varejao and Antawn Jamison's expiring deal are all realistic trade assets. The Cavs will get a grade in due time, but right now, let's just consider them having received an extension on their Final Exam.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected guard Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick, forward Tristan Thompson with the fourth overall pick and forward Milan Macvan with the 54th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. The Cavaliers also traded the draft rights of Justin Harper, the 32nd overall pick, to the Orlando Magic in exchange for two future second-round picks (2013 and 2014).
"We feel absolutely fantastic about the two guys (Irving and Thompson) we added to our team. They are both players that were at the top of our board the entire season," said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant. "They are both young players that have the character, integrity and the make-up that fits what we want our young men to have on this team."
Irving, 19, played in 11 games this season with the Duke Blue Devils, averaging 17.5 points on .529 shooting, including .462 shooting from three-point range, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 27.5 minutes per game. The 6-foot-2 point guard started the first eight games of the season, scoring 16 or more points in five of the eight games, including a 31-point, six-rebound and four-assist effort versus Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Irving suffered a right toe injury that caused him to miss 26 consecutive games before returning in the NCAA Tournament. In the Sweet 16 versus Arizona, Irving scored a team-high 28 points on 9-15 shooting (.600) while adding three assists in 31 minutes.
As a senior in high school, Irving was named a McDonald's All-American and a First Team All-American by Parade Magazine and USA Today. He also helped the U.S. under-18 (U-18) National Team earn the gold medal in the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship.
Thompson, 20, was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.1 points on .546 shooting, team highs of 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 30.9 minutes per game in 36 games. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward posted a season-high 26 points on 9-14 shooting (.643), 10 rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes versus Kansas State and collected a career-best 15 rebounds and 17 points in 38 minutes versus Michigan State.
As a high school senior, he earned McDonald's All-America honors and was selected a member of the World Select Team, representing his native Canada, at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit.
Macvan, 21, split the 2010-11 season with Serbian club Hemofarm and Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel-Aviv. He has extensive experience overseas, playing professionally in Serbian and Adriatic leagues since the 2007-08 season. The 6-foot-9 forward was named the ULEB Eurocup Rising Star in 2008-09 and has competed for Serbia's senior and junior national teams. He led the World Select Team to a 97-89 victory over the U.S. Junior Select Team at the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit with a game-high 23 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and one block.
Well, the Cavaliers clearly don’t want a lot of rookies on their roster, and it looks like they will be sticking with the two top five picks, because in the second round, they selected Serbian forward Milan Macvan.
Macvan is a 6’9" 265 pound forward who is called “tough as nails” by NBA Euro scout Fran Fraschilla. A 21-year old who has an NBA ready body and is a solid post player. If the Cavaliers can lure him over, he might be a nice addition.
**UPDATE** The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded the rights to Justin Harper to the Orlando Magic for two future second round picks
The Cavaliers continue to add quality talent in this year’s draft, getting one of the best shooting big men in the nation near the top of the second round in Richmond forward Justin Harper.
Harper is a poor man’s Kevin Durant who can really stroke the ball and score seemingly at will and from distance. He is a better defender than he’s given credit, but the knock on him is that he lacks toughness.
This was a great pick by the Cavs, and Harper can play either the three or the four position, and will give them shooting off the bench.
The Chicago Bulls made the 28th selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, but the picks rights were held by Minnesota who traded the rights to the pick to the Miami Heat, who selected Cleveland State point guard Norris Cole.
If your brain doesn’t hurt like mine, then a big round of applause for you. In what has been one of the most confusing drafts I have seen, especially since none of these trades have been finalized.
So, the Cleveland State product will take his talents to South Beach. Cole has been compared to New York’s Tony Douglas, and he will play the role of distributor to the big three in Miami. Congratulations to Cole and to Cleveland State.
SBN’s own Eddy Jansen and company will provide draft analysis of the 2011 NBA draft all evening long. Linked HERE is a podcast highlighting Cleveland sports news for the week.
(Click the link to play via internet browser, right-click the link and hit Save/Save As to download.)
After weeks of speculation about what the Cleveland Cavaliers would do with the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the 2011 NBA Draft, we finally got our answer Thursday night. With the No. 1 pick, Cleveland selected Kyrie Irving, the multi-talented freshman point guard out of Duke who missed most of his lone season in college with an injury. Still, nobody was too surprised to see the Cavs take Irving with the top pick.
At No. 4 however, the Cavaliers surprised some folks when they drafted another one-and-done player, PF Tristan Thompson out of the University of Texas. Thompson was expected to be a top to fifteen pick, but not too many mocks had him going in the top five.
Cleveland did need a big man in this year's draft, so I suppose it's not too shocking that they went this route. Even though there's only one year of college tape to analyze, Thompson certainly flashed his athleticism and intriguing upside during his brief stint in Austin. Take a look for yourself by watching these video highlights.
The Cavaliers are keeping Thompson, and some feel that could mean the end for J.J. Hickson. The Cavs selected a really nice young duo with their first two picks, and have begun to rebuild the core of their team that has seemingly disappeared since LeBron ditched them during "the decision." Thompson should be the Cavs' starting three next year, whenever that begins.
The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their rebuilding process by selecting Texas forward Tristan Thompson. The Big 12 Freshman of the year was definitely a pick out of left field, but he’s a great athlete with a long wingspan who is a great offensive rebounder.
Thompson is a 20 year old from Ontario, Canada, and the Cavs selected him over Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas, who was scheduled to play in Europe for at least one more year.
There are rumors that the Cavs could be trading this pick, but for now, Cleveland made the freshman phenom the highest drafted Canadian player of all time.
Again, there are reports that this pick could be heading to Detroit or Charlotte, but that is likely depending on who falls to them at those respective slots. It’s possible the Cavs still had eyes for Jonas Valanciunas. Stay tuned.
The Cleveland Cavaliers began their immense rebuilding project after the LeBron James era by selecting Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. A 6’3" 191 pound 19-year old, Irving committed to the Blue Devils as probably the best point guard in high school basketball.
Battling injuries, Irving only played in 11 games last year, but Jay Bilas on ESPN said that in those 11 games, he was the best point guard in the nation.
Irving is a very skilled player who is considered a “true” point guard, but he’s a fantastic shooter. He was a 46 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and he was 90 percent from the free throw line as well.
The newest member of the Cavs says he is looking forward to getting to Cleveland, and he will have a great fan base to turn to, and won’t skip a beat coming from a Duke program whose players have had success, but only two have won NBA titles. Irving hopes to buck that trend.
With the 2011 NBA Draft just hours away, teams are scrambling to work the phones and complete their draft boards. Final scouting reports and information is coming out on possible lottery players, and trades are within range, but not yet completed. Needless to say, Cavs fans are scouring the interwebs for any and all news before Cleveland is on the clock.
So what are some of the top stories to keep an eye on?
Sources said Biyombo's name was on a list sent out by the NBA Wednesday detailing players who were subject to a buyout. Teams have investigated and concluded that Biyombo would owe roughly $1.5 million, possibly equal to his NBA rookie contract, to get out of his deal with Spanish team Fuenlabrada.
Sources said the buyout figure could be negotiated, but the matter also could end up in court.
That sum is definitely not enough to keep a team sold on Biyombo from drafting the 18-year-old forward, but it may give pause. As it stands now, Biyombo is expected to go somewhere in the 7-12 range.
It is 3:45 p.m., on draft day, and Kyrie Irving still hasn't been told by the Cavaliers that they plan to choose him with the No. 1 pick.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAdrian Wojnarowski
The talks with Washington seem to be very real. The supposed deal? The Cavs trade the fourth pick to the Wizards for the sixth and 18th. It may not happen until both teams see if Turkish center Enes Kanter is still on the board at No. 4. That is who the Wizards want.
I'd love this deal for the Cavs, as it would give them more flexibility to draft Jonas if they think he'll slip past five...or Tristan Thompson, who assuredly should still be on the board at that point as well.
Details are still rolling in, but according to Chad Ford, the deal looks like this:
Milwaukee Bucks receive Beno Udrih, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the 19th pick.
Charlotte Bobcats receive the seventh pick and Corey Maggette.
Sacramento Kings receive the 10th pick and John Salmons.
Hold on tight. Here we go.
Tonight's the night for hungry Cleveland Cavaliers' fans wanting to forget the LeBron James-era. The Cavaliers have two of the first four picks and need to hit a grand slam with both. Here's all the information you need to get your Draft fix this year.
OFFICIAL CAVALIERS NBA DRAFT PARTY: The Cavaliers Official 2011 NBA Draft Party on Thursday, June 23rd tips off at 6:00 p.m. for a night of fun and festivities with the Cavaliers Game Entertainment Team and draft night coverage with Cavaliers Legends Austin Carr and Campy Russell and play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod LIVE from the FOX Sports Ohio Stage at Quicken Loans Arena.
Starting at 6:45 p.m. and throughout the night, the insightful trio of Carr, Russell and McLeod will provide exclusive in-depth analysis on the 2011 Draft prospects. There will be live updates on Q Tube (the arena's four-sided center-hung video board) from Cleveland Clinic Courts where General Manager Chris Grant will be coordinating the draft.
Concession stands will be open with a variety of food and refreshment options, including $1 dogs and $1 sodas! Entertainment, interactive games and contests for the whole family will take place on The Q's concourse and arena floor - AND all fans who come out to the Draft Party will receive a numbered "lottery ball" for the opportunity to win prizes!
TV VIEWING: Can't make it down to The Q? No problem! ESPN will be handling TV duties for the 2011 NBA Draft and will get their coverage underway at 7:00PM. The first pick is schedule to be made at or around 7:30PM et, so be sure you have your eyes on who the Cavaliers believe can help carry them into the next era of Cavaliers basketball.
DRAFT ORDER: This is subject to change, of course, with all the talk of trades leading up to the Draft. When it all starts, however, this is the way the first round will look:
1 Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Clippers)[a]
2 Minnesota Timberwolves
3 Utah Jazz (from New Jersey)[b]
4 Cleveland Cavaliers
5 Toronto Raptors
6 Washington Wizards
7 Sacramento Kings
8 Detroit Pistons
9 Charlotte Bobcats
10 Milwaukee Bucks
11 Golden State Warriors
12 Utah Jazz
13 Phoenix Suns
14 Houston Rockets
15 Indiana Pacers
16 Philadelphia 76ers
17 New York Knicks
18 Washington Wizards (from Atlanta)[c]
19 Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans via Portland)[d]
20 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis via Utah)[e]
21 Portland Trail Blazers
22 Denver Nuggets
23 Houston Rockets (from Orlando via Phoenix)[f]
24 Oklahoma City Thunder
25 Boston Celtics
26 Dallas Mavericks
27 New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers)[g]
28 Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto)[h]
29 San Antonio Spurs
30 Chicago Bulls
The Cavaliers are being pretty tight-lipped about what they intend to do with their two first round picks in the 2011 NBA Draft tonight. But there are now reports emerging that the Cavs have settled on a player at No. 4, and it's big man Jonas Valanciunas, according to Ric Bucher.
League sources now believe Jonas Valanciunas goes to Cavs at #4 even if Enes Kanter is still on the board. Story
Valanciunas is somewhat of a complicated pick due to buyout restrictions. Based on his contract situation in Europe this year, there is no way that he will be able to play in the NBA for the upcoming season. That could scare off some teams that would like to see immediate dividends from their picks, but the Cavs aren't winning anything any time soon, and Valanciunas is so young that it may be worth waiting for him. At least that's what it appears the Cavs think.
The Cleveland Cavliers already have two of the first four picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. But according to Chad Ford of ESPN, the Cavs are trying to get a third pick in the lottery for Thursday's Draft.
Sources say the Cavs have been very actively trying to do just that, with a massive $14.5 million trade exception as the device. The offer? Give us your pick and we'll take back a bad contract into our trade exception, which permits the Cavs to take back salary of more than $14 million.
Ford lists Sacramento and Detroit at seven and eight as two possibilities for the Cavs. If they were to trade for an additional pick, Ford thinks that Tristan Thompson would be the target. This would also allow them to take Jonas Valanciunas and not worry about having a thin front court while he works to negotiate a buyout for the next few seasons. I'm not sure that this is the draft to stock pile picks in because it is so weak, but if the Cavs really like some of these guys and the cost is just a trade exception that is set to expire anyway, it might not be such a bad idea.
Who knows what might happen between now and the end of the 2011 NBA Draft tonight. When it begins, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a total of four picks in the Draft, though there has been plenty of talk as of late that the Cavaliers could be looking to move up, move down, and even buy a pick later in the first round.
Let's take a look at when - and where - the Cavaliers will make their selections in tonight's NBA Draft.
#1 Overall - By now everyone knows the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery and will have the #1-overall pick. We also are pretty sure - as sure as you can be in the high-stakes poker game that is the NBA Draft - that the Cavaliers will use the selection on Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving has the biggest upside of any player in the Draft, and the Cavaliers have had a glaring weakness at the point since the days of Mark Price - at least it seems that way.
#4 Overall - The Cavaliers also have the #4-overall pick, though the talent pool seems to shrink immensely by the time the fourth pick comes along. The Cavaliers need to add size to the front court, but the talent that could be available will be young and raw or international. In both cases, the Cavaliers would likely NOT see any return on their investment until 2012-13 at the earliest. That's the reason we have heard rumblings that the Cavaliers would like to trade this pick for a young, NBA-ready player. Easier said than done.
#2(#32-Overall) - The Cavaliers also own a couple of picks in the 2nd Round and as we've seen in the past, you can get some solid value early in the 2nd Round. The Cavaliers could have their pick of players like JaJuan Johnson from Purdue, Chandler Parsons from Florida or even Norris Cole from Cleveland State. This would be a good time to pick up an athletic wing player.
#24(#54 Overall) - The scouting department really earns their money here. By this point in the Draft, the Cavaliers will likely find a athletic player that has little else to their game. Their best best would be to find someone who can play defense at a NBA-level, even if the rest of their game isn't up to par. A home-grown kid, like David Lighty from Ohio State, would be a nice pickup here as well.
Irving is a 19 year old point guard from Duke. At the NBA Combine he measured 6'4" and weighed in at 191 pounds. One of the main concerns regarding Irving is the fact that a toe injury sidelined him for most of his season at Duke. He managed to play in only 11 games, but was mighty impressive when he did take the court. He averaged 27.5 minutes per game as a freshmen and tallied 17.5 PPG along with 4.3 assists per game.
People don't like this year's draft because there is no surefire superstar a la Blake Griffin or John Wall, however, Irving is going to be a solid pro. He's got all the tools to be a very good point guard in the NBA and reminds many scouts of a young Chris Paul. That's not to say he will ever reach the superstar status of Chris Paul (the best PG in the NBA), but it's a pretty good name to be compared to.
Kyrie Irving allows the Cavaliers to look into moving Ramon Sessions in order to acquire more picks or assets. While Baron Davis showed that he still has the ability to be a competent point guard, Kyrie Irving fits very well in Cleveland. We know that the Cavs are going to be rebuilding for the next couple years and by adding a young, solid point guard, it will make the process much easier. Derrick Williams may fill the holes that the Cavaliers have a little bit better but when you are as starved for talent as the Cavs are, you take the best player available. In this draft, the best player is Kyrie Irving
Tom Ziller is back mocking the NBA Draft for SB Nation, and his latest projection has the Cleveland Cavaliers taking two pretty familiar faces in Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter.
There had been some recent talk that the Cavs weren’t so sure on who they would be selecting with their top overall pick, and Arizona’s Derrick Williams was brought in for a second workout. According to Williams, he has only had three workouts, and the Cavs were two of them.
Still, Ziller thinks the Cavs are set on Irving, and the day before the draft, here is his analysis:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, G, Duke
Surprise surprise! All that smoke about picking another dude at No. 1 was a ploy to boost the value of No. 4! I’m shocked!
The Cavs have recently been talked about in trade rumors for the fourth overall pick, and if Enes Kanter is on the board, that pick becomes more attractive. Certainly, the Cavs can choose to keep the pick for themselves if Kanter is available, and in this mock draft, that’s where he lands:
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Enes Kanter, C, Turkey
This is the one spot on the board where Jonas Valanciunas’ NBA delay actually clarifies matters … assuming that the Jazz don’t take Kanter.
With only one day until the annual NBA Draft, you can really expect the trade rumors and rumblings to heat up. Teams are calling others about their respective picks and players, and some big names are being floated about. Here is the latest from around the NBA:
Tony Parker is reportedly being offered in exchange for a lottery draft pick this year. The first team I immediately thought of that both needs a point guard and loves European players is the Toronto Raptors, who pick at five overall. Not to my surprise, the Raptors were among the teams reportedly interested, as well as the Sacramento Kings, who pick seventh.
It’s unclear who the Spurs would be targeting, though Doug Gottleib on ESPN opined that they could be looking to jump up for Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanian big man who is rumored to be falling because of his buyout situation in Europe.
The Phoenix Suns are apparently doing their very best to land Arizona forward Derrick Williams. They have reportedly offered Minnesota Marcin Gortat and the 13th pick for the rights to draft Williams, and now a rumor has floated through that they offered point guard Steve Nash. Nash wants to be on a title contender, and Minnesota certainly is not that, and the report on ESPN reads that both teams came to a “mutual conclusion” that such a deal could not work. So, in essence, this is non-news.
“If it’s not what I think I can be, and somebody else sees me as a person who can be what I think I can be, then you’ve got to go somewhere else. Doc is Doc. He has his ways and that’s it. If he sees me as something, that’s how he sees me. If I’m still here with the Celtics, then I will play that role.”
The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly put power forward Josh Smith on the trading block, and it appears as though they might get some feelers. While no teams have come out and expressed interest, a natural fit would be in Orlando, where Smith could play with his buddy Dwight Howard (at least for a year).
ESPN analyst Tom Haberststroh doesn’t see Orlando in the mix right now, but he thinks there will be teams ready to make offers for the big man:
“Josh Smith could be a defensive player of the year under the right coach and program. Teams that could be looking to add a power forward are the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and New Orleans Hornets.”
The 76ers continue to dangle guard/forward Andre Iguodala, who has likely played his final game in a Sixers uniform. Philadelphia has been rumored to be talking about a deal with the LA Clippers for Chris Kaman, which works in terms of salary, but seems like more of a salary dump for Philly than they probably want to do.
The Washington Wizards really like Turkish center Enes Kanter, and they are willing to pay up for him. Reportedly, they are interested in a potential trade with Cleveland, provided Kanter is on the board. The proposed trade would send the sixth and 18th picks to the Cavs, and the 4th pick to the Wizards. Washington would then select Kanter, and the Cavs could look to a guy like Kawhi Leonard with the 6th pick, and possibly a shooting guard or big man with the 18th pick.
The Grizzlies are not expected to make any trades on draft day, particularly as it pertains to shooting guard OJ Mayo, a player that has drawn interest. The Grizzlies nearly dealt Mayo to Indiana at the trade deadline for Josh McRoberts and picks, but the trade was not filed in time and it never went through. Now that the bar has been set, Memphis can’t get a satisfactory offer for Mayo and likely will keep him.
Continue to check back to SB Nation Cleveland for updates on the Cavs and the NBA Draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are apparently not satisfied with having the first and fourth overall picks in the 2011 NBA Draft, and are trying to obtain another first-rounder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Citing "sources," the Cavs might be offering both of their second-round picks (nos. 32 and 54 overall) and cash to teams with picks "in the 20's" in hopes of moving up. From this information, one can infer the Cavs covet a prospect sure to go in the late first-round who won't fall to them at no. 32.
Teams within that range perhaps willing to move their picks include the Minnesota Timberwolves (no. 20), Houston Rockets (no. 23, though they'll reportedly trade that pick to the Milwaukee Bucks if certain conditions are met), Boston Celtics (no. 25), and Chicago Bulls (nos. 28 and 30).
The Draft takes place Thursday at 7 PM, with ESPN carrying the national telecast. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for Cavs Draft updates.
Chad Ford put up his sixth mock draft of the season for those of you who have ESPN Insider, and he has two pretty familiar faces heading to the Cavaliers as far as mock drafts go. Right now, it seems like everyone is questioning the Kyrie Irving to Cleveland selection, as they should be. I don’t think Irving is worthy of the top pick, and the Cavs recently had Derrick Williams in for a visit, as they should to cover all bases.
Ford is sticking to his guns and putting Irving to the Cavaliers with the top overall pick, but he doesn’t seem quite as sure as he has in the past. Here is his analysis:
Analysis: Two days before the draft, the Cavs are still claiming they haven’t made up their mind. ESPN’s Ric Bucher reported the Cavs had settled on Irving on Monday, but while the report was running on the ticker, owner Dan Gilbert was meeting with Derrick Williams in Cleveland.
While sources continue to point toward Irving’s being the No. 1 pick, Williams’ camp is holding out hope that it has a chance. Could the Cavs still have concerns about Irving’s toe? Or are they worried that at No. 4 they can’t get a solid big man?
With the Cavs’ second first round pick, Ford acknowledges that Cleveland is in a precarious position with the fourth pick. They like Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas in that slot, but his buyout makes it almost imossible for them to use that pick on him when he won’t even be in the NBA next year. Ford says the Cavs are looking to possibly trade the pick, but that if they end up making the selection with the players available, the pick will be Turkish big man Enes Kanter, a risky but high upside pick. Here is Ford’s analysis:
Analysis: We had Jonas Valanciunas in this position last week. But on Monday, we reported Valanciunas’ buyout with his team in Lithuania would prohibit him from coming to the NBA next season.
The Cavs love Valanciunas, but do they love him enough to draft him even if he won’t be coming to the NBA next season? I doubt it at No. 4. The Cavs have been exploring a number of trade possibilities to move down a few spots in the draft. If they stay here, I think Kanter is their guy.
The NBA Draft is merely two days away. Will the Cavs make the right decisions?
The Cleveland Cavaliers will select Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, according to ESPN's Ric Bucher, citing "league sources." The Cavs looked around the league to see if Irving might still be available when they pick again at no. 4, but when it became clear the Minnesota Timberwolves (no. 2) or Utah Jazz (no. 3) wouldn't let the Duke point guard slip past them, they committed to taking Irving first.
Irving, 19, averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals in his lone season at Duke, shooting an impressive 52.9 percent from the floor, 46.2 percent on threes, and 90.1 percent at the foul line. His apparently imminent arrival would seem to make either of incumbent Cleveland point guards Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions expendable.
With the fourth pick, the Cavaliers could select Enes Kanter, if still available. Cleveland had the Turkish center in for another workout on Monday, though it's possible Minnesota or Utah could snap him up first, given their own needs on the front line.
The Cleveland Cavaliers invited NBA Draft prospect Enes Kanter, a 6-foot-11 Turkish center, back for a second workout, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Max Ergul, Kanter’s agent, believes the workout indicates the Cavs may use the first overall draft choice on him Thursday. “It wouldn’t be necessary for Enes to go again if he isn’t being considered for the top pick,” Ergul told Spears.
Cleveland owns the first and fourth overall selections in this year’s Draft and insists it has yet to determine whom it will pick first. Kanter, Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, and Arizona combo forward Derrick Williams are the most likely candidates.
Could the Cavs really be considering Kanter over Irving and Williams? Only they know for sure, and obviously they aren’t telling. It is, however, worth noting that Draft expert Jonathan Givony said last week the Cavs are “doing the absolute best job of telling every prospect (specifically their agent) exactly what they need to hear.” Perhaps the second Kanter workout is a ruse on the Cavaliers’ part to keep other teams guessing. If so, the ruse benefits Kanter and Ergul as well, given that associating him with the top pick ought to increase his draft stock.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of flexibility heading into the 2011 NBA Draft, as they own the first and fourth overall selections. Though trading the top pick, certain to be Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, is out of the question, it’s becoming clearer and clearer the Cavs are open to dealing the fourth pick on Draft night. From a chat ESPN’s Chad Ford conducted Thursday afternoon:
Irving’s imminent arrival means either Davis or Sessions, the Cavs’ incumbent point guards, will find himself out of the rotation were they to start the season with the club. Packaging one of them with the fourth pick clears playing time for Irving and should bring back quality talent in return.
Davis, acquired in the midseason trade with the Los Angeles Clippers which also netted Cleveland the top overall draft choice, has $28.6 million remaining on his contract over the next two seasons. In 15 games (nine starts) as a Cavalier, Davis averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 assists.
Sessions, 25, averaged 13.3 points and 5.2 assists for the Cavs last season, his first in the wine-and-gold since arriving in a summer trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Cavaliers have two of the first four picks int he upcoming 2011 NBA Draft. In their latest mock, the guys over at SB Nation gave them two pretty good building blocks with those two picks. The no brainer is Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick. Here is their rationale.
Cleveland has done nothing to imply the No. 1 pick will be anyone other than Irving, the next entrant in the Hall of Young Point Guards. (Animatronic Brandon Jennings is kinda creepy.) Chad Ford has even already gotten his annual "Is [Definite No. 1 Pick] Actually The Definite No. 1 Pick?" column out of the way to minor fanfare. Spoiler alert: Irving is a lock at No. 1.
Can we just stop reporting on the first overall pick until it's someone other than Kyrie Irving? The other pick is a little bit more of a surprise, because they have Enes Kanter still on the board when the Cavs pick.
Kanter should be the first true big man off the board, though, unless someone falls deeply in love with Bismack Biyombo. (Unless. Like we all aren't head over heels for Bismack already.)
That would give the Cavs two potential stars at point guard and power forward, and a much brighter future than it looked like just a few weeks ago.
The centerpiece of the deal would be the Cavaliers absorbing Richard Hamilton of the Pistons into the trade exception received last year in the LeBron James sign-and-trade, and Cleveland getting Detroit's number eight pick, and then completing the deal by sending that eighth pick and the Cavs' number four selection to the Timberwolves for Minnesota's current second pick.
Cleveland, according to the report, would then buy out the remaining two years of Hamilton's contract, making him a free agent.
A potential stumbling block would be if the Pistons nixed the deal, Detroit is said to be possibly looking for players in return for the deal to be done.
The sources said that -- if the deal gets done and Cleveland indeed gets both of the first two picks -- the Cavaliers would take Duke point guard Kyle Irving first, and Arizona forward Derrick Williams second.
There hasn’t been too much to cheer for or feel good about for fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cleveland Indians are doing their best to make the city forget about the Cavs’ precipitous decline since The Decision. But when it comes to their NBA team, it’s been a year full of agony, disappointment and futility.
Finally on Tuesday night during halftime of Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals series, Cavs fans had something to cheer about as Cleveland won the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery, with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft as the reward. Thanks to a mid-season trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland won the rights to the top overall selection, which most everyone agrees will be used on either Kylie Irving or Derrick Williams. The Cavaliers will also select at No. 4, the slot they landed with their lottery assignment.
Two picks in the top five. Great stuff, and just what the Dr. ordered following the rapid demise of the squad in the post-LeBron James era. Unfortunately, there is no LeBron type talent in this year’s draft. Or anything close to it. But Dan Gilbert will still be adding two undeniably talented and much-needed prospects in this year’s Draft, which could in turn help the team turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later.
On Wednesday, Gilbert joined WKNR in Cleveland to talk about winning the Lottery and what’s next for the organization as they try to assess how to best cash in on the opportunity in this summer’s Draft.
If he had a good feeling going into the draft:
“My gut said we had a good chance on the Cavs pick to come out one especially since it hadn’t come out one in 13 years in the two slot. If you look at the two slot with a 20 percent chance you’re supposed to come out one every five years theoretically so I said we’re due. I had no idea it was the Clippers pick. Somebody, when I got up there on the stage right after it happened, somebody said it was the Clippers pick and I thought they were just messing with me or bs’ing me then 20 minutes later someone said no really it was the Clippers pick. I mean that’s just crazy stuff, but we will take it right?”
How big getting the first pick is for the Cavs:
“Absolutely huge because I think contrary to most public opinion here this draft particularly the high end, according to our guys, and our guys go deep, they do all kinds of intelligence on the player not just from a skill standpoint, but their life – they talk to their kindergarten teachers, their aunts and uncles, their friends and enemies, and everyone in between, and they just really love the character of some of these top guys. Who they are and what they represent and what they are as people and human beings. As we all know, because we have seen both ends of it in this town for many years, the good and the bad, I think character and integrity wins out in the end holding all the other stuff equal. To get a couple of picks like this in the top four, including number one, it’s going to be a seminal event that’s going to change the franchise for years to come. Combining that with the trade exception that we’ve got still, potential trade opportunities, free agency, and some guys coming back, this thing can turn around quicker than people think.”
Whether or not the front office has a good idea of who they are going to take at number one:
“I think they have a pretty good idea of who they like and who they favor in the draft overall. Now that the owners know they are going to huddle deep. I don’t think there’s a 100 percent consensus, but I think there’s a pretty good feeling of who they like at one. I wish I could comment on that but they would kill me before I walked in the office.”
If you think the story of a 14-year old with a health condition representing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery when the team improves their draft prospects by winning the rights to the #1 overall pick has the makings of a Hollywood movie, you're not the only one. For Cavaliers fans, the outcome of tonight's Lottery is a summer blockbuster. For the Minnesota Timberwolves, however, it's a movie with an all to familiar ending.
Wolves general manager David Kahn said he knew Minnesota was 'toast' when it came down to a final three of the Wolves, Utah Jazz and the Cavaliers.
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
Sounds like a bit of sour grapes, and besides, how many point guards does one team need anyway?
As for the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert feels the Wine and Gold are now headed in the right direction.
"We have some very good, young talent and we got a couple of great players hurt early or in the middle of the year and they are coming back," Gilbert said. "We have some great talent and hopefully who we pick up at 1 and 4 and I just can't believe this is really happening."
The Cavs took a little bit of a risk trading some valuable pieces to the Los Angeles Clippers and getting a lottery pick in return, but at least as far as the lottery process, it has paid big dividends.
Cleveland traded mid-season with Los Angeles, who finished with the 8th worst record in the NBA, and that resulted in lottery night victory for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will select first in the NBA Draft thanks to the Clippers.
Cleveland is now in the ideal situation I have talked about all offseason, and they are in great position to get two very good players. The Cavs will have their choice between Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving, the consensus top two players available this year.
This is a big night for Cavs fans, who have not had the top overall selection since 2003 when they took LeBron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have two lottery picks heading into the prime time NBA draft selection event on ESPN Tuesday night, and they have more than a fighting chance of landing the top overall pick in the draft.
Only a handful of times in the history of this process has the team with the best odds come away with the top overall pick in the draft, giving the Cavs more than a fighting chance to take the top slot in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Not only do the Cavs have the second best odds of winning the NBA Draft lottery, they also have the 8th best odds at 2.8 percent thanks to a mid-season trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. While that may seem like a long-shot to happen, don’t forget that just a couple of years ago, the Chicago Bulls held only a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, and by some stroke of luck landed the top pick, and selected the youngest MVP in league history, Derrick Rose.
This is not a deep draft by any means, but there are definitely some talented players, and the Cavs must capitalize on both selections. I have said over and again that I feel the best two picks for the organization (unless they are selecting 1st and 2nd in the draft) would be Derrick Williams and Kemba Walker. Those guys really helped their respective teams turn it around in 2011 at the NCAA tournament, and they were two of the best players if not undoubtedly the two best players in the tournament overall.
There was one bit of somewhat breaking news that could definitely alter the way this draft goes. Hoopsworld reported over the weekend that the Minnesota Timberwolves were close to signing point guard Ricky Rubio. Nothing was set in stone or official, but it seemed like it was bound to happen. There is no doubt the Wolves need to move on from Jonny Flynn, who has been a massive disappointment, but if they lock up Ricky Rubio, I doubt that they would select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, who has got to be one of the top candidates to be picked by the Cavs with whatever pick they wind up with.
One thing I continue to see in mock drafts across the web is the Cavs taking players from overseas. Now, I have no problems with overseas players, but are the Cavs looking for that type of player? Chad Ford’s first mock draft has the Cavs taking Derrick Williams and Jonas Valanciunas, a big man from Lithuania. For me, looking at this all from a distance, I would say the last thing the Cavs need with one of these two picks is a risky player. Those guys from Europe and beyond can be extremely talented, but you rarely see them work out as legitimate top ten talents, at least that is the way it seems in recent drafts.
The best thing for the Cavs to hope for is to find a stroke of luck with their later lottery pick, and hope both end up in the top five. That way, they can get two players who can come in and help them right away, two young players that can potentially turn around the franchise.
The Cavs’ future could be decided tonight via the NBA Draft lottery. They need to make sure they hit on both of these picks, and give the large fan base reason to be excited once again.
Nick, the 2011 National Children’s Tumor Foundation Ambassador, is 14 and suffers from Neurofibromatosis, a nerve disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in the body at any time.
"We talk a lot about heroes in sports but sometimes we overlook the heroes that are in front of us every day. Nick Gilbert was born with NF more than 14 years ago. Despite enduring brain surgery, the loss of vision in one of his eyes, four long rounds of chemotherapy and countless visits and time in doctors' offices and hospitals, he has emerged as the happiest and most optimistic person I know. Nick has never complained a single time about the bad card he was dealt, and instead, chooses to focus on all that is good and exciting around him. He is an example of perseverance, determination and life the way it should be lived. Nick is my personal hero. BTW….The kid is also quite lucky, which Cavs fans should take solace in, since he is representing us in the lottery on Tuesday evening!" Dan Gilbert said in the press release.
They key to Cavs fan in that quote might be the fact that Nick is lucky, considering Cleveland can use every bit of a luck it can get in landing the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft. The release also suggests fans follow Nick on Twitter as he's already giving away different prizes while promoting Neurofibromatosis awareness.
When James left this team, little did this city and fan base know that it would make the team the absolute worst in the NBA, but all is not lost in Cleveland. Despite the fact that this draft lacks the star power of most drafts, there are two players that I firmly believe can turn a franchise around, and the Cavs are in place to possibly get both of them—with a little bit of luck.
First things first—the Cavs have to be hoping and praying that they win the number one pick in the lottery.
Second, they have to hope Arizona swingman Derrick Williams decides to leave school and enter the draft. I have been saying for a long time that Williams is the best player in the draft, regardless of what other player would enter the draft. Williams is a guy who has a similar skill-set to LeBron James. Is he the same type of polarizing athlete? No.
However, Williams is a big man at 6’9" who can play in the post, he can create his own shot, he can hit threes, and he is a great athlete. He is a guy who will get rebounds for you, and he is only developing in terms of his vision. He has the intangibles it takes to be the star for a team, and I think he could be a breath of fresh air for the Cavs franchise.
The third factor here is, the Cavs need to hope they score big with the pick they obtained from the Los Angeles Clippers, possibly moving that choice into the top five. Why do they need to be in the top five?
The Cavs need to be in the top five—and preferably ahead of the Sacramento Kings—so they can take UConn point guard Kemba Walker. Walker took the Connecticut Huskies on an 11 game winning streak at the end of the season, and showed that he has ice running through is veins.
I don’t think there was a more clutch player in college basketball all year, and this guy is simply a playmaker. Walker seems like he could be an Allen Iverson type of scorer at the NBA level, and would be the leader of this Cavs team from the moment he steps into camp.
I think Derrick Williams and Kemba Walker could turn this franchise around. What do you think, Cavs fans?
The NBA will determine its 2011 Draft order on May 17, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have the second-best chances of landing the first overall pick. Teams with worse records have better odds, which is why only the Minnesota Timberwolves, with a 25 percent chance, have a better shot than the Cavaliers at winning the right to select first.
The Cavaliers stand as one of two teams with two lottery selections, as they obtained the Los Angeles Clippers' pick when they swapped Mo Williams for Baron Davis at the trading deadline. The Utah Jazz, similarly, have their own pick as well as one obtained from the New Jersey Nets in the Deron Williams trade.
The lottery drawing, which takes place at the league's Secaucus, N.J. studios this May 17, decides the first three picks only. Won-lost record determines the 11 remaining selections.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller put together this table to show the chances of each team winning the NBA Draft Lottery outright and winning one of the top three picks.
|Team||No. 1 Pick||Top 3 Pick|
|Jazz (from Nets)||7.6%||25.4%|
|Cavaliers (from Clippers)||2.8%||10.0%|
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