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.