Chad Ford, basically the Adam Schefter of professional basketball, has all but declared Kyrie Irving a Cleveland Cavalier. He said last night on the ESPN NBA Draft Lottery special that barring a medical check (foot) Irving would be the top pick to the Cavs. He is already getting excited about the possibility in his latest mock draft on ESPN.com:
What a big win for Cleveland — it trades away Mo Williams and gets back No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving. Yes, the Cavs have Baron Davis, but he’s not a big part of their future plans. Irving can come in and immediately give them a backcourt foundation to fit with J.J. Hickson and the No. 4 pick.
Ford also has the Cavs taking Turkish center and former Kentucky basketball player Enes Kanter with the fourth overall pick. He believes Kanter, while raw, can bring some much needed toughness and an inside-out game to the Cavaliers’ offensive attack:
Few teams watched Kanter play during the past year unless they saw a Kentucky practice, so they are projecting Kanter’s potential largely on the strength of a stellar performance at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit. But if Kanter plays the way he did at the Hoop Summit and in workouts in Chicago (where I saw him for several days last week), he’s a good fit for the Cavs and worthy of this pick.
Kanter is tough, can play inside and out, rebounds the basketball and has a higher basketball IQ than most other players his age. While a bit undersized for a center, his toughness in the paint would be very welcome in Cleveland.
Stay tuned, as SB Nation Cleveland will have all major NBA Mock Draft updates from around the web for your viewing enjoyment. If you believe what you hear, it’s all but a lock that the Cavs will take Kyrie Irving with the first pick, but the 2nd pick—at least according to Ford—is where things could get really interesting. Who the Cavs wind up with at number four overall is anyone’s guess.