Forecasting the Cavs Draft

The 2012 NBA Draft is tonight and the Cavs have four picks. That means four chances to substantially improve the team or four chances to completely screw it up beyond repair. With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Cavs are likely to do with their four picks and possible alternatives.

Round 1: #4 overall

  • The likely pick at number four is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. That’s provided things continue to go as planned. Right now the first three picks are projected to be #1 Anthony Davis to New Orleans, #2 Thomas Robinson to Charlotte, #3 Bradley Beal to Washington. That would leave Kidd-Gilchrist available for the Cavs at #4. He’s arguably the second best player in the draft and most scouts feel he was more vital in Kentucky’s title run than Davis. He has a non-stop motor and was also high school teammates with Kyrie Irving. However, there is talk, albeit diminishing, that the Cavs will blow up the draft and move up to #2 to take Beal. They might also stand pat and choose Harrison Barnes over Kidd-Gilchrist.
  • Other Options: Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters, Andre Drummond, Thomas Robinson (I didn’t profile hims because I don’t believe he’s in the mix at #4, but you never know).

Round 1: #24 overall

  • The Cavs need either size or scoring in this draft. Given the players likely in play at #4, it would seem likely that the Cavs would address their size issue at #24. With that said, the prevailing choice for the Cavs at #24 is 7 ft center Fab Melo out of Syracuse. He lacks and offensive game, but he has an NBA ready body and size that would allow the Cavs to shift Varejao back to the four spot and bring Tristan Thompson off the bench. He’s also Brazilian, allowing him to mesh well with Varejao.
  • Other options: Draymond Green,SF/PF Michigan St., Jeffery Taylor SF Vanderbilt, Andrew Nicholson,PF/C St. Bonaventure, Jared Sullinger PF Ohio St., Quincy Miller SF Baylor, Tony Wroten SG Washington

Round 1: Trade Up/Down Scenarios

  • The Cavs could also trade down from #4 or up from #24 to the late lotto/mid first round. Of the two possibilities, the prevailing thought appears to be that the Cavs will try to move up rather than down. The only way they’re moving down is if they are blown away by a package including multiple picks and or players. The evidence supporting possible movement by the Cavs is their growing interest in both Terrence Ross and Dion Waiters, both of whom are projected in the 7-14 range. Possible targets should they go this route include: Terence Ross SG/SF Washignton, Dion Waiters, Jeremy Lamb SG UConn, Perry Jones III SF/PF Baylor, Royce White SF Iowa State

Round 2: #33 and #34 overall

  • The Cavs have back to back picks early in the second round. At this point the strategy will be to either find a sleeper pick that the rest of the draft has undervalued, choose a player that tumbled out of the first round and the possible reward outweighs any risk, or choose foreign players who can be stashed over seas for a couple of years until they are ready for the NBA. They could also use these two picks in order to move up or back into the first round. If neither is packaged to move up in the draft here are the possible targets for these back to back picks: Tony Wroten, Jared Cunningham SG Oregon St., Furken Aldemir PF Turkey, Robert Sacre C Gonzaga, Bernard James C Florida State, Miles Plumlee C Duke, Festus Ezeli C Vanderbilt
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