Tonight is the NBA Draft and with it, the beginning of a new era in Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. As many of you probably know by now, the Cavs hold the 1st and 4th overall picks tonight. Speculation has begun to run rampant over what exactly they plan to do with their picks and the 14 million dollar trade exception still on their books from the LeBron James fiasco. It could and should be a very exciting night for Cavs fans. I believe the team has a lot of tricks up its sleeve and is looking to make a lot of moves for both extra picks and veteran players.
Here’s a few different scenarios that I think might go down:
With the first pick it seems likely that the Cavs have narrowed it down to two obvious choices. The first and most logical choice (also the one being reported) is the Cavs choosing point guard Kyrie Irving. He is projected to be a can;t miss option and the best overall player in the draft. The second option for the Cavs is to select combo forward Derrick Williams. He’s more of a scorer than Irving, but there are questions surrounding him in regards to what position he will play in the NBA. Is he a 3, or a 4. Many believe he’s an undersized 4. Williams believes himself to be an oversized 3. I tend to think he’ll play scorer and just guard the best option for him each night regardless of position.
Of course that most awesome thing that could happen would be if the Cavs somehow could acquire both Irving and Williams. It’s not as far-fetched as you would believe. Minnesota is looking to swap the #2 pick and it is rumored that the Cavs have been in discussions over the course of the past couple or weeks. They could trade the #4 pick to Minnesota along with one or two extra pieces to acquire the pick and take Williams.
Another scenario that has presented itself today is the possibility of the Cavs acquiring the #7 pick from the Scaramento Kings. Their owners, the Maloof brothers are going broke and swimming in debt thanks to the crash of the casino industry in Las Vegas. They’re looking to dump salary and reportedly want nothing to do with the #7 pick. It’s rumored the Cavs would acquire the #7 pick from and an additional player (unamed at this point) in exchange for the $14 million trade exception. The Cavs could then keep the #1, 4, and 7 picks and take Irving, Kanter, Thompson, or Valanciunas in some combination, or they could also get creative. Doesn’t it make sense to offer the #4 and #7 to Minnesota in exchange for the #2 pick and the right to draft Williams? I think it does. Supposedly though the Kings might have a deal in place with the Bucks and Bobcats so this dream seems dead. (Apparently the Bucks, Bobcats and Kings have agreed to swap Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston for the #7 pick and Corey Maggette with Sacramento getting cap relief (check that… something has gone down their but I’m not exactly sure what. All i know is Charlotte has picks 7 and 9 and Sacramento has pick #10))
There was also a deal being reported between the Cavaliers and the Bobcats that would net them Charlotte’s #9 and #19 picks in exchange for the #4 pick. I think the logic here is that Valanciunas will drop all the way to #9 and then with #19 they could take someone like Chris Singleton. I don’t like that scenario at all. Thank god that scenario appears to be dead.
Allegedly the Lakers have also inquired about a trade for Anderson Varejao. As it turns out Mike Brown is still in love with the Wild Thing and wants him in L.A. It was reported this morning that the Lakers offered either Odom, Gasol, or Bynum in exchange for Varejao’s services. I’m not a fan of the move. First of all, I like Andy too much. Second I think there are too many issues with any of the three whether it be knee issues, or money issues, or a Kardashian issue. I hope the Cavs hung up on them.
So what do I think will happen. If the Cavs don’t make any trades involving their picks I expect they’ll take Irving at #1 and either Kanter or Valanciunas at #4. Personally, I’m pulling for Kanter. There’s something about Valanciunas I don’t quite like. Seems too much like Darko. Kanter, meanwhile, seems like he has a mean streak and has been a bit Americanized after spending a year with Kentucky. He also has shown he can dominate (just ask Jared Sullinger).
Regardless of what happens, this is going to be a very fun and interesting night for Cavs fans and NBA fans alike.