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Better Fit for Cavs: Harrison Barnes or Bradley Beal?

At this point, it almost seems a foregone conclusion that the Cavaliers will take Florida shooting guard Brad Beal with the fourth overall pick should he be available when the draft rolls around in June, but is he for sure the best fit?

What do I know, really, I mean last year I thought the best option for the Cavs was to take Derrick Williams and Kemba Walker with their first two picks over Kyrie Irving and whatever else they could get, but they clearly made the correct choice in taking Irving. The NBA is a very point guard/star driven league, and Irving fits both categories. While Derrick Williams was the star of the NCAA tournament two years ago, Irving (who played a handful of games in college) was definitely a better NBA prospect.

The Cavs got that one right.

However, I think this year is a bit of a different story. The Cavs really need to surround Irving with the best talent possible, and last year’s “other” first round pick—Tristan Thompson—really didn’t make much of an impression and needs to make serious improvements this summer.

One thing that makes me think adding Beal could be a great move for the Cavs is that in the scouting report I read, it says he doesn’t need to dominate the ball to be an effective scorer. That is good news, since he won’t be able to dominate the ball with Irving on the floor, presumably at the same time.

On the other hand, Harrison Barnes is an interesting player who reminds me a lot of Luol Deng in his overall game. Barnes is probably a better ball handler, but his quiet demeanor and overall inside out game are pretty comparable to the Bulls’ All Star.

Both players are good fits for the Cavs because Kyrie Irving is going to be able to create offense for them, something they both struggled with in college. Barnes can be extremely effective and even dominant at times when he is not the focal point of an offense, and the same could be said for Bradley Beal.

Both play different positions and would play obviously different roles for the Cavs if they were obtained. If Barnes is added to the mix, he’d be called upon to guard guys like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, other dominant small forwards in the Eastern Conference. Beal is more of an undersized two guard who is going to play a Ben Gordon or Eric Gordon type of role for Cleveland.

I am not sure the Cavaliers can really get this pick wrong, but I will be very intrigued to see who they decide to pair with the reigning rookie of the year.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.