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:
- He understands cutting lanes and spacing on the floor. If Irving turns out to be as good as advertised from the point guard position, Macvan should be a nice complimentary asset in the pick-and-roll game.
- Good hands.
- Ability to shoot from 12-25 feet. In Byron Scott's uptempo offense, Macvan should find himself open for uncontested jumpshots in transition.
- Good anticipation and craftiness. Mavan has a canny ability to quickly get his shot off in traffic, and like a poor man's Kevin Love I'd argue, hauls in more rebound than you'd think thanks to a sound understanding of angles and where to position himself. These are both huge, god-given traits that are rare but definitely necessary for someone who doesn't jump very well.
- Finally, Macvan may just be 21 years of age, but having played professionally since 2007 is no stranger to grueling schedules or all that raw from a developmental standpoint.