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Windhorst reports from the Cavaliers’ draft room

Former Cavalier beat writer Brian Windhorst was embedded in the Cavaliers’ draft room yesterday, and wrote about the experience and what went into the draft for the Cavs, particularly drafting Waiters-

“Trent Redden, the Cavs’ director of college personnel, had been to Syracuse’s campus several times to see and gather information on Waiters. Grant spent three days there watching Waiters practice and play and attended a couple of the Orange’s NCAA tournament games. Several of the team’s other decision-makers had watched Waiters extensively as well. In addition, the Cavs had talked at great length with Syracuse’s coaching staff. Grant has known Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins since they were both in high school.

Waiters’ basic statistics didn’t seem all that impressive for a player under such consideration: 12.8 points a game off the bench, a couple rebounds and a couple assists. But the more advanced stats the Cavs looked at impressed them further. He shot a high percentage on the kinds of shots they felt he’d take in the pros and they liked his numbers scoring out of the pick-and-roll.

So even as Waiters’ name stayed out of the mainstream news, as the days passed he was in the Cavs’ internal headlines. Coach Byron Scott had fallen in love with Waiters’ ability after watching plenty of film. As far as Scott was concerned, getting the 6-foot-4 shooting guard would be hitting a jackpot.”

The whole article is a must read.

[Related: With Waiters and Zeller, Scott’s dream becomes reality]

  • BrownsFanSF

    Awesome read! Thanks Rick

  • Harv 21

    really miss Windy writing about the Cavs.
    Comforting to know that Grant did not panic, as some are claiming, he had this Kidd as his second choice had done due diligence. His judgment might turn out wrong or right but it’s good that he got what he sought without caring how it looked initially.

  • Tom Pestak

    This is so great.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Windhorst is a good NBA writer. He also happens to be LeBron’s lap dog. Shame. Good article though and much more reassuring that our FO had a plan and executed it close to perfectly. Now its just a matter of the talent evaluation being spot on.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Why was Windhorst in the Cavalier’s draft room? I thought he covered some other team now.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I wondered the same maybe he’s slumming it.

  • cmm13

    Agreed on Windhorst being a good writer and great NBA Insider. The problem being for me that I have to add “two faced” to “LeBron lap dog” as well. And I quote: “no matter where LeBron goes in free agency, I will be right here reporting for our Cleveland Cavaliers next year”. He made that statement 1 day prior to “The Decision” and it has resonated with me everytime he pops in for a Cleveland interview, tidbit, spot on the radio, etc. Apparently things changed when ESPN/LeBron backed up the Brinks truck for him to be #6’s personal reporter.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    Can anyone answer why this schmuck was allowed in the Cavs draft room? Like Matt said, he covers some other team now. I have lost all respect for Windy. Go report on what plaid shirt LeBron is wearing today so the 14 Heat fans can be happy and read it on the Heat Index.

  • How could he possibly know ESPN would offer him a job? ESPN is the pinnacle of sports journalism. We all dislike ESPN, I get that. But to work for them is one of the highest honors and gets you in front more eyeballs than any other job in sports. I’ll never understand how Cavs fans can hold it against him. He didn’t choose for LeBron to go to Miami. That was LeBron’s choice. But when ESPN comes and offers you a job, you have to listen to them.

  • Harv 21

    Wouldn’t have been allowed in the Cavs draft room without Gilbert’s blessing. If Gilbert isn’t ticked at him, if he doesn’t feel he got hosed by Windy, why do you? He’s one of the top NBA writers and he took a better job.

  • MoreGolfLessWork

    I guess I like to take a man on his word. A man who says “no matter where LeBron goes, I’ll still be in Cleveland reporting” and then turns around and follows LeBron, in my opinion, does not deserve my respect.

  • Waffle1317

    Got zero ill will towards windy. Love him as a writer and miss him in Cleveland. Listen to his podcast with Whitlock (who I don’t like, but this particular interview is incredibly insightful for fans of windy.)

  • Wow

    He better be worth all the hype, or this team just got set back yet again,

  • WishfulDrinking

    Hmmm Gilbert invites Windy, who left for miami, forgives him…Windy goes back to Miami, says “Hey Bron Bron, you should go back to Cleveland, Dan isn’t mad, go win rings with this young team.” Lebron comes back to Cleveland, we will have “The Apology” or “The Return” and media will go nuts, then we win it all…or maybe I just worked in the sun too much today

  • Probably that last part.

  • I guess given the “under-the-radar”-ness of the pick, did people at Syracuse just assume they were scouting Fab Melo? They seem to have devoted some decent resources to it.

  • nxmehta

    If you EVER change jobs I’ll be sure to be there to dump on you for being a traitor. Seriously, I’ll send you hate mail and call you names if I see you in public. It’s what you deserve. Traitor.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Amen. Everyone hates the Yankees too – until they offer you a fat contract and a set of Pin-stripes, or Duke – until Coach K knocks on your door.

    Windy went to work for the man and we can all hate on him for it, but who wouldn’t have taken that offer.

  • BrownsFanSF

    It continues to interest me how into the advanced stats Grant is. I know the whole NBA is moving that direction, and Grant isn’t likely to have Brad Pitt standing in for him in a blockbuster any time soon, but he does seem to be one of the real strong early adopters of this method.

    Grant’s performance could very well have some effect on basketball’s continued adoption of “saberlike” metrical analysis. The success of Waiters and TT is very much tied to this.

  • mgbode

    Grant has to catch Presti and Morey for the fame. First one to win one gets the movie?

  • BrownsFanSF

    What’s Aaron Sorkin doin’ these days…