Can The NBA Draft Save The Cleveland Cavaliers?
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has seen things go his way over the past two months. From landing the #1 and #4 picks in the 2011 NBA Draft to seeing his promise to Cleveland that the Cavs will win a ring before LeBron James does stay alive. With a rush of emotion and a difficult decision on who to select with those picks at the NBA Draft, this could quite possibly be the moment that will dictate the future of a basketball team that was crushed by their hometown hero and subsequently saw their team crash into the NBA’s dumpster.
But that could all change beginning tomorrow night.
All Cleveland has to do is make the right decision. That’s easy enough…right? Not really.
The Cavs have a helluva decision to make. Do they take Kyrie Irving at #1 despite the fact that he only played 11 games of college ball? Not to mention that they still have Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions. They aren’t necessarily hurting at the PG position. What they do need is an explosive player who can light up the scoreboard and bring fans to their feet. Arizona Wildcats PF Derrick Williams might be that guy. With Williams shaping up to be more of a “tweener” at the SF and PF positions, people may be fooled into thinking that this is a bad thing. However, with the Cavs small forwards for next season featuring Alonzo Gee, Christian Eyenga and Joey Graham, it’s hard to see who Irving will be able to deliver the ball to.
This isn’t to say that Irving isn’t the right pick at #1 by any means. It’s just a tricky pick.
At #4, it’s beginning to look like Enes Kanter may be the pick. He’s a rangy center who can be a presence in the middle. However, he was ineligible last season and is one of the great mysteries of this draft. Will he be able to bang on the inside with the likes of Dwight Howard? Can he develop the mid-range jumper and be a threat in the post? It’s all left to be seen.
There are some interesting combinations that Cleveland can go with considering the picks that they have. Perhaps they should draft Derrick Williams at #1 and go with Kentucky’s Brandon Knight at #4. That’s a dynamic combination that could bring some excitement to the Cavs and be a building block. How about Kyrie Irving at #1 and Texas’ Tristan Thompson at #4? The combinations are endless and there’s absolutely not a single combination that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s not like 2003 when LeBron James was the hands down #1 pick and Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were available at 3, 4 and 5.
It’s going to be tough and hopefully for Cavs fans, the front office gets it right and the open wound from LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach can slowly begin to close. But should they screw this up, Cleveland will be in for several more years of misery.
It all hinges on the 2011 NBA Draft.