WFNY Roundtable: Talking Cavs and the 2013 NBA Draft


Weeks of speculation, rumor and conjecture all come to a front at 7p tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers add another piece with their crosshairs placed precisely on (hopeful) perennial contention. We have all seen the mock drafts, read the scouting reports and watched the videos. We’ve listened to doctors, pondered the past and attempted to forecast the future. The Cleveland Cavaliers, once again, have plenty of ammunition at their disposal on a draft night—what they do with it remains to be seen. Needless to say, we give it our best shot at attempting to discuss what should, could and will happen once David Stern takes to the stage, smug smile and all. Do enjoy.

Scott: How would you guys characterize the last month of draft preparation as a fan? The rumors and attempted piecing together of various puzzles (Dan Gilbert follows Victor Oladipo on Twitter!) has been nothing short of a marriage between fascinating and frustrating. But has it changed much once it was official that the Cavs on the first-overall pick?

Rick: I would say that it has been more difficult. With Kyrie, we were fairly certain he would be the guy weren’t we? Last year, there was a pretty good consensus on the top three picks. I watched film on three guys thinking the Cavs would have their shot at one of them. I was wrong. This year, it seems that there are cases to be made for about a half dozen guys at No. 1, and the most important factor in all of this seems to be something we just can’t know: The health of Noel’s knee and Len’s foot. I wonder if the Cavs had gotten the fourth pick if it would be easier.

Andrew: If we’re talking from the fans/bloggers point of view, I would say it’s been frantic and apprehensive. The Cavaliers getting the first pick actually only made it worse as it put added pressure on the team to get this right while also removing arguably the best fit for this team (Otto Porter). I’m not sure too many people believe Porter is the best player in this draft, and that’s why the Cavaliers probably can’t/won’t pick him. But if they were sitting there at No. 3 or No. 4, I believe this pick would have been a lot easier. It’s safe to say that this is not the greatest year ever to win the No. 1 pick, especially if you’ve boiled it down to the consensus best player being a skinny guy with bum knees vs a consensus reach being a big guy with “potential” who happens to have bum feet.

Ben: I would say that it’s been roughly the same as the past couple of years. Once they got the first pick it was nice that Noel was an option, but aside from that it didn’t really change things for me. The Cavs have been drafting super high for three years now; the preparation is about the same.

TD: I’m not quite sure how to answer this. They have brought in as many of the tops guys as they could and have kept everything close to the vest. You have to respect the way they have done business.

Ryan: If the Cavs were picking third instead of first, this last month would have been much more fun. Instead of salivating over the good this group of top prospects brings to the table I’m left having nightmares about the bad. Each of the top names having glaring holes in their scouting reports would be much easier to overlook if they weren’t going to be the No. 1 pick, in my opinion.

Jacob: I would classify it as “chaotic.” I remember back on lottery day that I dreaded the next month of constant rumors, speculation and misdirections. Now that we’re finally here on draft day, I’m excited. I’m excited for someone to finally join the young and promising Cavs roster. I’m excited for the Cavs to do something—anything—decisive with that No. 1 pick. Owning that selection made this whole process even more up-in-the-air. At No. 3 or No. 4, the Cavs wouldn’t have controlled their own destiny, but the availability of certain players would have made it a bit more clear.

Kirk: It’s funny in that the only thing that’s changed is we have our pick of a half dozen guys rather than being left with whoever fell to us at the 4-6 range. It’s been a roller coaster of ceilings, floors, injury reports, and trade rumors, but thankfully, we are finally here.

Craig: It has certainly been more exciting. Not only do we have a bunch of prospects, but there have also been a lot of trade rumors as well as the Cavs might try to get a veteran rather than just use their pick. I refuse to not enjoy the fact that the Cavaliers are in the driver’s seat. Even in a draft without a clear overall No. 1 pick, it should be a benefit. I want to treat it as such.

nerlens noelScott: Drafts tend to be treated differently, at least on an annual basis, in Cleveland than in other markets—Cleveland’s Christmas, for better or worse. Given that the entire cabal of draftniks want to paint this draft a a non-event, have you been able to muster equivalent excitement when compared to the past two years?

Rick: I don’t think I will call it excitement this year. I think this year it is genuine fear. This is such a crucial moment in the rebuild. Bad time to have the top pick? Maybe. Grant has to find the best guy in the class. He gets the pick of the litter.

Andrew: Definitely not. I think the last two years have also taught me that spending a lot of time getting worked up and opining over who I believe they should take is ultimately a waste of time. The Cavaliers do things their own way, and they are going to take the player that they think is the best. Not the player the consensus thinks is the best. But beyond all that, I just haven’t fallen in love with any players in this draft. If anything, I find the later picks way more intriguing. I want to see Sergey Karasev on the Cavaliers in the worst way. I feel more passionate about his game than anyone at No. 1, so that tells you how weird this draft is.

Ben: Yes! The Cavs have the first overall pick and a million options. Of course I’m excited.

TD: I always get excited about the NBA draft because I am such a big college basketball fan. I just find it crazy how certain guys are ranked so high/so low by those who DONT WATCH THE COLLEGE GAME. For example, I think a guys like Isiah Cannon of Murray State and Ray McCallum Jr. of Detroit will be very solid pros and are getting very little love for the so-called experts. And then there is a guy like Steven Adams of Pittsburgh who is getting a ridiculous amount of attention despite the fact that he has the offensive game of my three-year-old daughter.

Ryan: As a Clevelander any draft is a special occasion for me. A chance to get together with friends, dream about the future, and then bury our heads in our hands as something unthinkable happens. The fact there is no clear cut top pick only adds to the excitement/disappointment of the evening.

Jacob: Absolutely. I love drafts. Dating back to the fall, I’ve been saying the same thing: This is not actually that awful of a draft. For what the 2013 class lacks in true star power (a la LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Andrew Wiggins), it makes up for in depth. While the teams in the 1-4 range are going to have some awful tough decisions to make, the teams in the 4-13 range should be loving life. There are lots and lots of solid role players that will stick around in this league from this draft. And I’ve been excited about all of the possibilities for the future with Kyrie Irving.

Kirk: Of course. I’ve been doing film analysis of the top tier players, and that’s been really enjoyable. With the film study, you get to see the intricacies of a player’s game rather than just highlight reels. It gives you a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses. I’m tired of hearing about how this draft is so bad. We’ve heard that the two previous years as well, and the Cavaliers still managed to pull players out of it that look like they’re part of a good, young future core. I expect two more pieces after tonight in that same light. The star power may not be there like it was with Kyrie, but the suspense of not even knowing who the Cavaliers are keying in on has and will ultimately make this the most suspenseful draft in franchise history.

Craig: Yes. Absolutely. There may not be a LeBron James or Kevin Durant type of first pick, but that’s all the more reason that I’ve been reading up on Noel, McLemore, Len, Oladipo, Bennett and all the rest. Plus, the Cavaliers have another first rounder and maybe even a chance to trade up for a third selection in the first round.

Scott: It truly has been a draft for the determined; the lazy fans who merely focused on March Madness or a few highlight clips on YouTube have been left out in the cold. Now that all of the cards are on the table, however, what player would you consider to be the biggest disappointment if selected No. 1? Why?

Rick: I hope this doesn’t sound like a cop out, but I’m going to say an injured player. This isn’t to single out either Len or Noel. What I’m saying is that if they get the medical part wrong, and take a guy who never really recovers from their injury I will be severely disappointed.

Alex LenAndrew: Definitely Alex Len, and it’s not even close. I don’t like it when players skyrocket up draft boards without playing any games. At the end of the college season, he was a fringe pick—a guy with intriguing “potential” and “upside”. Now suddenly he’s the best player in this draft? And you’re taking one injured guy because you’re scared of another injury? I’m not crazy about it. I’ll support whoever the Cavaliers pick and I fully acknowledge they have more info than I do. But I don’t love the idea of picking Len. It seems like they might be out-thinking themselves on this one.

Ben: Alex Len. Stress fractured feet. /fin

TD: Tough call. I don’t love Nerlens Noel. I don’t love Alex Len. Given what the Cavs are today and the fact that Dan Gilbert has openly said he wants to make the playoffs now, neither of those two are going to make a big impact today. They are both projects. If the Cavs are thinking long term, they should take Noel and hope that he can turn himself into Tyson Chandler. If they want to win now, then take either Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, or Otto Porter.

Ryan: Even though he may have the highest potential of the group, Nerlens Noel would be a big disappointment for me. The excitement of winning the lottery followed by selecting a guy who may not even step on the court next year is a major buzz kill.

Jacob: For me, the biggest disappointment would be 1) Alex Len, 2) Anyone but Nerlens Noel. I’ve been in Camp Noel for a long time; he’s the consensus No. 1 player. Most specifically, Andrew hit the nail on the head with his piece the other day about Len. I’ve written many times that Len could go as high as No. 1 or as low as No. 10; the actual concept of Cleveland taking him scares me to death though.

Kirk: Ruling out something totally off the wall and considering just the top six guys discussed, I’d say Anthony Bennett. He’s a little short, he’s a little overweight, and he’s not interested and engaged on the defensive end of the floor. The Cavaliers have Tristan Thompson who I think will continue to improve at the power forward position, and a timeshare at the four spot isn’t really ideal.

Craig: Right now, I don’t think any of them would be a disappointment. I’ve really taken the point of view this year that I have a preference, but Chris Grant will absolutely know more than I will and his pick should be given a chance. That doesn’t mean he’ll definitely hit a home run, but even his pick of Waiters a year ago is better than the initial reaction, I think. So, until proven otherwise, I’ll save my disappointment for when the pick earns it.

Scott: I tend to agree with Craig, save for anything completely off the wall (like Cody Zeller, for instance). Some of you jumped ahead a bit in the last question, but for those of you who haven’t, who do you want the Cavs to select?

Rick: I’m going to say a healthy Noel. (Like that caveat?) When he was healthy, everyone thought he was the best guy coming out. There was a bit of a consensus. Sounds good to me.

Andrew: A part of me still wants them to pick Porter, but they just can’t do it with the No. 1 overall pick. I wish they could trade down to No. 3 and take him, but that’s not happening. In the end, I want them to pick Noel. To me, he’s the consensus No. 1 pick for a reason. He has they more potential to offer a game-changing aspect to the Cavaliers and to really make the team better in a tangible way. You shouldn’t get cute with the first-overall pick. You need to pick the best player. Period. I don’t care about fit, need, etc. I want talent because in the NBA, it’s the only thing that matters. I think Nerlens Noel is probably the most talented player in this draft.

Ben: Add me to Team Noel. He’s the best prospect, he has highest ceiling. Could be a monster on the defensive end (especially with Mike Brown).

TD: Selfishly as a KU grad, I would love Ben McLemore. But in reality, with as weak as this draft is, I would take Victor Oladipo knowing at worst, he will be an immediate rotation player who can defend at an elite level right away. You just have to hope that he keeps developing offensively, and he can become a Dwyane Wade-type player.

Ryan: As a bit of a contrary to TD, I believe you can find role players such as perimeter defenders and shot blockers anywhere in the draft. At No. 1, I want a scorer. Ben McLemore has the best potential to score the ball of anyone in this draft. Sure, he disappeared at times, but at least he scored 30-plus on three different occasions this season.

Jacob: Hands down, Nerlens Noel. As I wrote in The Diff, on numbers and pedigree, he is the best defensive prospect in decades (Yes, better than Dwight Howard or Anthony Davis). Sure, the injuries are certainly concerning and bring up horror images of Greg Oden. But I think the Cavs should be patient with the super young stud who has been the consensus No. 1 player on Big Boards all year long.

porterKirk: It’s no secret: Otto Porter Jr. I think Porter is the best fit for the Cavaliers and has the best chance of making a solid impact on both ends of the floor. He’s a point forward on offense that can knock down shots but isn’t too selfish to steal his unfair share of shots from Irving and Waiters. Some of the other guys (Len, Noel, Bennett) have a higher bust factor, and I think Porter is more capable on offense than Oladipo, and better on defense than McLemore. In an unsure draft, take a sure thing that has the best chance at becoming the best player.

Craig: I’ve been pretty consistent all along on this and it has been pretty easy to second- (and third-) guess myself, but I’ll stand pat. I loved watching Ben McLemore play this season and I’d love to see him in the rotation for the Cavaliers this year with occasional offensive explosions.

Scott: I too have not wavered on my preference of drafting Nerlens Noel—his game-changing ability on defense, the team’s biggest weakness last season, cannot be overstated. It has, however, always been with the caveat that the knee checks out as corroborating with Dr. James Andrews and Company. That said, if it is in fact a long-term health issue, McLemore has been my 1A. This all said, who will they select? Assuming that they do not move the pick, of course.

Rick: The only pick I’ve gotten right the last few years has been Irving. Thompson and Waiters were pretty much complete surprises to me. So I’m pretty sure I’ll be wrong about Noel as well.

Andrew: Alex Len. It just feels like the writing’s on the wall for this. Of course, Chris Grant has been known to surprise us, but wouldn’t the Cavaliers picking the guy everyone is saying they’re going to pick actually be the most surprising pick of all? Plus, Len would be a perfect pick to agitate fans/pundits/bloggers/analysts/etc, just as Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters were. Len just seems to fit the culture of what the Cavaliers are trying to do.

Ben: Victor Oladipo, just to screw with all of us.

TD: Chris Grant and his staff have been amazing at keeping things mysterious. Nobody had Tristan Thompson two years ago and nobody had Dion Waiters last year1. That is why I think that they will go out of the box and take Victor Oladipo, just like Ben insinuated. He has never been mentioned as a guy they love, yet he has everything Mike Brown loves—a great defender, great character guy, and great fire on the court.

Ryan: As TD mentioned, Chris Grant has shown he’s not afraid to think outside the box with his selections of Thompson and Waiters. I expect him to do it to us again this year. All this talk about Len and Noel will lead to Otto Porter Jr. being the first pick of the 2013 draft.

Jacob: On lottery day, I made a prediction of if the Cavs stay at No. 1, there’s a 90% chance they’ll take Noel. I’ll lower that down to maybe 75% now, but I still think that’s the decision. Chad Ford has been writing for weeks that the Cavs’ recent draft history and usual line of thinking points toward Noel’s name at No. 1. In the other 25%, it’s a mixed bag of chaos: I could conceivably see the front office going any sort of direction with Len, Otto Porter, Ben McLemore, Anthony Bennett or Victor Oladipo.

Kirk: As much as I’d love to see them go for the hat trick of “gotchas” by taking Otto Porter or Victor Oladipo and fooling the media, I think it does come down to Noel and Len. If Noel’s knee checked out as is now being reported, Noel will be the pick. If their concerns are too great, then I think it will be Len.I won’t be upset if they take either, but each of them comes with their own set of bust and injury concerns. Then again, you can really pick apart any of the top six’s games.

Craig: Victor Oladipo. The real answer is I don’t know, but I just think Chris Grant will go off the board if the Cavaliers retain the pick and select a player. That’s not to say that Oladipo is “off the board” exactly, but I think it would be a surprise to a lot of people.

Scott: Very interesting. The fact that we all want different players and all believe they will select players whom we don’t want speaks volumes for how Chris Grant has been able to keep us all (including rival executives and beat types) guessing. For what it’s worth, I too believe that the Cavs will select Alex Len. I think the Cavaliers will be more than willing to sacrifice a bit on the defensive end to be able to have the pick-and-pop on offense, just like Brown had when he was here a few years ago with LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. A throwback, if you will. (This isn’t to say that I would not prefer the high-top fade swatting shots into the seventh row for the next decade…)

Shifting gears a bit, any bold predictions for any of the other three picks?

victor-oladipo-draftRick: I’m partial to the Dallas trade. I would love to see them make the move to No. 13. Could Shabazz Muhammad be there? I think it’s a possibility.

Ben: I’d be shocked if they actually selected players—and keep them—with those second-round picks.

TD: Reading the tea leaves—whether they move up to No. 13 in Dallas’s spot or wait until No.19—I believe Sergei Karasev is their man. The second-round picks will be dealt as a part of a deal to get Houston’s Thomas Robinson.

Ryan: If the Cavs go with a big at No. 1, I’m hoping Shabazz falls to Dallas at No. 13 and Grant jumps at the opportunity to grab a player who just a year ago was regarded as the best high school player in the country.

Jacob: Remember this name: Giannis Adetokunbo. Although it certainly would be unpopular for the Cavaliers to select two projects if they also take Noel at No. 1, six of the 40 mock drafts I analyzed on Wednesday had the Cavs picking this Greek small forward at No. 19. He’s got boom-or-bust potential. But Cleveland has a history of shooting for the stars. I’ll lay my head on the line in saying that Chris Grant will take some relative unknown to NE Ohio with their second first-rounder: It could be Sergey Karasev, Lucas Nogueira, Ricky Ledo or perhaps Adetokunbo.

Kirk: I think we’ll see at least two trades from the Cavs. Something like Miles for the 22nd pick followed by packaging of several picks to get as high as they can to get a small forward like Karasev, Reggie Bullock, or maybe even Shabazz Muhammad.

Craig: I said on the podcast with Joe Kotoch, I think Chris Grant will “disappoint” with the first pick in the draft and then pull something off in the form of a trade thereafter that will mitigate the risk of his “disappointing” first pick. So my prediction (as worthless as it might be) is a trade.

Scott: I’ll be very surprised if they pick at No. 19. The team has reportedly stated that there are roughly 15 guys whom they feel are of NBA caliber. If they cannot move up to No. 13, it wouldn’t shock me if all three of their last four selections are moved in some fashion. Home stretch, boys. Any parting words?

Andrew: I haven’t found this draft season to be particularly fun at all. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of this losing stuff and caring about the draft this deeply. Or maybe it’s just frustration that the Cavaliers have the No. 1 pick in a year with no No. 1-worthy pick. Or perhaps the truth is I can feel the pressure on this pick. This draft is enormously important. I feel like 3 or 4 years from now we’ll be looking at this draft as the pinnacle of where the team is, whether that’s looking back with fondness or regret. Mid-way through last season I felt great about the rebuilding process. Something about the way the season ended really turned me off and has me concerned. And so I feel this draft is more important than ever. If the Cavaliers are ever going to compete for a title with this group of players, I just think they need to find a potential star with this pick. And looking at the talent pool, that’s no easy task. So while I have a fair amount of trepidation, I’m also intrigued by the ramifications of this pick. I think draft night is going to be fun because it will mean the end of pointless speculation and we can get down to business on analyzing the future of the franchise.

Ben: I love how no one has any clue what the Cavs are doing. Chris Grant has done a pretty good job at holding his cards to his chest. I’m fully prepared to be shocked at whoever the Cavs pick.

TD: If I were the Cavs, I would still build for the future. this “playoffs now” edict is ridiculous Next year’s draft is LOADED. Being in the lottery again instead of being an eight seed is a much better long term idea

Kirk: I have a lot of faith in the Cavaliers front office, and given my minor freak-outs with taking Tristan Thompson over Jonas Valanciunas and Dion Waiters over Harrison Barnes, I’m willing to be more understanding and hear out what the team has to say regarding their rationale for their picks and/or trades. By all accounts, Chris Grant and company do their extensive research and if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be for a lack of information and risk assessment. I’ve spent a lot of time running down Nerlens Noel, but in the end, I’ll be okay if they take him, as long as the knee checks out. My main beef is/was with the notion that Noel is an open and shut case at #1, given his injury and positional concerns, rather than with Noel’s game itself. To me, the gap just isn’t as great as many believe.

Craig: Isn’t this where I’m supposed to say “Baba Booey” as if it’s 1992?

  1. Editor’s note: Former Sports Illustrated analyst Sam Amick did in fact have Tristan Thompson for the Cavs at No. 4 in 2011. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski broke the Waiters news roughly 24 hours before the 2012 draft. []

  • boomhauertjs

    Who does Lebron want the Cavs to take? 🙂
    I’m hoping for a big move for a veteran.
    What if next year’s draftees all suck as freshman? Not worth gambling on that vs. getting Kyrie et al. some playoff experience.

  • Andrew sums it up perfectly for me: this has not been a fun draft season at all. I’ve tried to get excited about it, but there’s just so much more bust vs. boom potential this year, especially at number one overall, when what this franchise desperately needs is a true impact player. Tristan and Waiters are nice pieces to have, but not cornerstone guys. Kylie is terrific, when healthy. We need a foundation guy, and I just don’t think there’s one to be had–certainly not an obvious one, anyway.

    My preference at No. 1, assuming we keep the pick (and I think we will), would go Porter, Oladipo, Noel, McLemore, not Len.

  • The one thing I’ve never understood when talking about drafts is the argument that a particular player is the perfect fit for a team but they “can’t take him” at the draft slot the team holds.

    If Porter is the best player for the Cavs they should just take him at No. 1. It’s baffling to say he would be the right pick if they Cavs were at No. 3, but the wrong pick at No. 1. If he is the right guy, he’s the right guy.

    We’re not talking about selecting some Div. III unknown with the first pick. If you have a group of five or six players who are all relatively equal, you take the player who is the best fit for your team, period.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Next year when there are four studs the Cavaliers will select fifth.

  • JNeids

    I just something along these lines a few weeks back. This ridiculous stigma attached to te #1 pick is just that – ridiculous. Don’t change your draft strategy just because the position of your pick.

  • Harv 21

    agree and have written as much here. The GM must answer to his own team first, and not fret about national writer backlash. Of all the GMs Cleveland has had recently, Grant has been about the best at this.

  • boomhauertjs

    That’s not saying much…

  • JNeids

    “I just find it crazy how certain guys are ranked so high/so low by those who DONT WATCH THE COLLEGE GAME. For example, I think a guys like Isiah Cannon…”

    While I’m sure Siri autocorrected you, I found it ironic that Isaiah Canaan’s name got misspelled the sentence after calling out guys who don’t watch the college game (just to prove this is friendly fire, I fully admit I’m in that group).

    But while I’m ribbin’ at TD, I’ll highlight one other thing he said (that many others have as well):

    “Being in the lottery again instead of being an eight seed is a much better long term idea”

    It very well may be a better long term idea, but how much losing can we subject Kyrie to? It’s his third freakin year already! I’m not saying “win now or he’ll pull a Lebron,” but how much losing can one endure before it becomes part of their nature? I agree with Andrew that there was something about the way last season ended that really rubbed me the wrong way, and I think it was because the team started losing so much (granted with the draft in mind), but that losing took it toll. Guys were fed up mentally, and you could tell it from the locker room quibbles. I’m not saying its playoffs or bust, I’m just saying there is a point where losing for too long sets in.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Agreed. In the end the records and accomplishments will speak for themselves.

  • Harv 21

    “Rick: I don’t think I will call it excitement this year. I think this year it is genuine fear.”

    Rick, I have felt this too but think carefully about this afraid to fail attitude. Would it be better if we picked 4, because there would be limited blame post-draft? Is that the point? (Lemme answer for you) NO!! This is the position Grant and Gilbert want: to get their fav player(s). They weren’t born here, they don’t flinch. At #1, they get to make their own breaks. It’s a good day, Rick, a very good day.

    Also, wanna say that Woj is full of it that Grant is now down to 2 players. Grant is nothing if not organized and thorough and scheming, and if there were no leaks until today he ain’t leaking now. His board was set probably long before the last interviewee left town.You’re being played, Woj, and he probably targeted you as his draft day tool long ago too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Nice highlights especially the quote about being in the lottery being better then making the playoffs. I put this right up there with Ryan Jones “I love the lottery” writing.

    This is a mentality I simply cannot understand and refuse to join. But then again that’s just me. I’m sick and tired of debating and dissecting players while the “L”s pileup.

  • JNeids

    It’s one thing if its the first year of a rebuild. This is now going into the 3rd (not including 1 A.L.). At what point does a rebuild turn into perennially losing? (Seriously, the Browns want to know)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Rock smells what ‘ur cookin’ believe me.

  • scott

    Chris Grant would agree 100% with this comment. HE holds the all the cards. The thing to remember is that the reason the Cavs are involved in so many rumors is that nobody truly knows what they are going to do. Everything is speculation, and THIS is exactly what the front office wants. Pundits think its Noel or Len based mostly b/c the trade rumors surrounding the Cavs have them dealing for a SF. If the trade rumors had the Cavs targeting a C, the pundits would assume that they were going to draft McLemore, Oladipo or Porter at #1.

    This is not to say that the rumors are completely made up…they’re more likely based on discussions regarding specific contingencies (ie: is player X available at pick #XX, if not, we’ll give you pick #XX for player Y) In fact, I’m not sure that DAL can even trade away the #13 pick…because of the Stepien Rule, they’d need to draft a player, then trade him away (therefore the trade would NOT be announced immediately) What fans need to remember is that these rumors/contingencies are common discussions had by every GM in the league…but b/c Grant gives away so little information, its reported as breaking news every time.

    My only hope is that the Cavs do not try to be “the smartest team” in the league. Whether you like Dion or not (and by all measurables, he had a solid rookie year), Grant is guilty of reaching for him last year. Had he taken the consensus pick (Barnes), the Cavs draft board may look very different (and simpler) right now. Bottom line, don’t get cute. When in doubt (and especially at #1), draft the best player. Worry about fit later. Just last year, in 2012, Hou drafted three guys in the 1st round (all while the pundits bashed them for not moving/packaging the picks). A few weeks later they turned those picks and other assets into James Harden. Its time for Grant to do the same. Tonight is just the start of the offseason…if its also the end (of impactful moves), then Grants future will already be sealed.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This has been my POV as well. It’s something that sounds good in theory, but won’t work in actuality… you can’t risk losing a franchise player like Irving just to add another high draft pick.

  • mgbode

    Jacob, interested to see if you think the Cavs would bring over Giannis now or if they would keep him in Europe for a couple years.

  • mgbode

    is Barnes better then Waiters?

    honestly, that should have been the only question Grant was asking last year. after their rookie years, I think the answer is still unknown, which means there’s no reason to second guess that decision.

  • scott

    In my opinion, Barnes will be the better NBA player. Cavs need(ed) a wing player who could shoot the three to aid Kyrie. Beal was the (consensus) best SG available, Barnes was the best (again, consensus) SF…MKG omitted b/c he was a poor shooter, and despite the ‘intangibles’, i’m glad he wasn’t avail to draft. Taking the 2nd best SG over the best SF to me was an unnecessary risk.

    But forget the Dion vs Barnes comparison…if McLemore (or Oladipo) are considered to be the best prospects in THIS years’ draft, the presence of Dion on our roster shouldn’t deter the pick. Pick the best player, sort out the rest later…

    I happen to believe that McLemore is the best player in the draft (Noel prob #2, but boom/bust potential very high)

  • Steve

    “when what this franchise desperately needs is a true impact player”

    This doesn’t really reconcile with favoring Porter at #1, especially over Noel, to me. Porter seems to be another “nice piece to have”. If you want that impact player (and you should), the pick is Noel. It’s far from a guarantee that he hits it, but the downside to him struggling is having a better shot at Wiggins, or at least a higher pick in a stronger draft, which isn’t that bad a consolation prize.

  • Steve

    “My only hope is that the Cavs do not try to be “the smartest team” in the league”

    Maybe not at the #1 overall pick, where no one can get interfere with your strategy, but you have to find something you can do better than the rest of the league. I’m all for the Cavs exploring alternative avenues to roster building.

  • Harv 21

    agree. Something about Waiters makes me think he might be poised for take off. His rookie year we learned he can put up 20 points in the NBA without it being a career game, and that he has that dog in him that makes him a big moment player. At the end of this season we will have a much clearer idea of what we have and what Barnes is.

  • mgbode

    I’m struggling following the logic. MKG was w./o question the consensus best SF — he may not have been your personal preference, but he was the consensus.

    Regardless, 2nd best SG v. best SF doesn’t matter. In any given year, the 2nd best SG ‘could’ be better than the best SF (or vice versa, play with any positions there). That is why you trust your metrics/grading.

    Grant, obviously, trusts in his metrics/grading/scouts.


    I completely agree that at #1 overall, we should take the BPA by our metrics and worry about how to make it fit the rest of the summer/fall.

  • Noel is a long ways from being a contributor on both ends of the floor, while Porter can now. I have a hard time believing a guy coming off a knee injury and sporting the bulk of a parking meter is going to be such a radical force in the paint that his limited skills on offense can be overlooked. Not saying a kid that young cant develop these things over time, but Porter seems to have the better chance to impact the team right now, and the skills to remain a major piece over time as well. And as great as everyone seems to believe Wiggins will be, what do we think the odds of getting the top pick two years in a row would be, assuming we could even be that bad yet again?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Word on the street is that he’s not willing to be stashed… wants to come over to the NBA now.

  • mgbode

    interesting. wonder if that’ll help or hurt him. only know he’s a freak athletically, but that he also doesn’t seem to want to use that to his full potential (layups instead of dunks) and that he’s raw. all read or youtube’d (obviously).

    I guess D-League could be good for him.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I know, seems like a really bad move in my opinion. As someone else said today, “That’s an expensive D-League player.”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Barnes landed in a perfect place for him too. That’s something that can’t be discounted. I don’t think he’d have done what he did in GS in Cleveland.

    I’m trying to bite my tongue on Waiters and give Grant the benefit of the doubt. Tristan Thompson made great strides a year ago (which is why I can’t see using a top pick on another PF regardless of accumulating talent) and made Grant look like a smart man. This more then anything allows me to have hope for tonight.

  • mgbode

    it is what OKC essentially did with Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb. 2 players with a ton of upside but who weren’t physically ready for the NBA.

  • Steve

    “we need to look at the safer bet for solid contributors who can help now”

    So you’re already eschewing your ‘find a superstar’ plan?

    And if we are looking for guys who can contribute now, the plan is hopeless. This team isn’t going to be a true contender next year. Build a team that can truly contend and not just sneak into the playoffs to satisfy the impatient fanbase.

    And I think Porter will be fine, but the all-around decent player is becoming increasingly less valuable. You need to find niche players that fit around your stars. Find someone that can do something extremely well, not who can do a few things somewhat well.

    And the odds of getting Wiggins will be whatever they are for our record compared to everyone else’s. Having won the #1 overall pick this year has nothing to do with how the lottery balls bounce next year.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Tread lightly for you are about to UNLEASH THE STEVEN!!!!

  • I think I may be failing to connect with you here. A draft with a superstar would be much preferred given our number one pick. That’s my reason for disappointment overall. But, this is the draft we have to work with. In that case, it’s about getting someone who can offer the most impact now, and that’s why Porter would be my preference.

    In terms of contending, I tend to agree with you in that the emphasis should be about building fo sustained, legitimate contention. However, any team has to balance that with real life circumstances. We can say we as fans are willing to tolerate another lottery-worthy season. But what about the players? Losing takes a toll. Is Kyrie on board with piling up more losses for yet another season?

  • Steve

    As long as Kyrie is missing significant stretches and not improving on defense, he has nowhere else to look but the mirror if he’s not on board with more losses. And while the players may want to make the playoffs now, getting stuck in the rut of a perennial first round loser isn’t any better. You can’t appease people with suboptimal goals.

    You said you wanted a true impact player. This is your shot. Getting Porter and finishing at the end of the lottery or maybe taking a game in the first round puts you out of the range to get one next year. You’re putting all your eggs in the ‘sign-Lebron’ basket. Get Noel, and either you’ve got your star or you’re in a great position to get another star, regardless of how tanking works in the NBA.

  • JNeids

    Need new rumor…been too long…getting withdrawal…

  • Harv 21

    OK. Per ESPN, more teams eyeing Karasev, enough that he may be gone by the Dallas spot at #13. Zeller on the rise too.

    We really need to talk the nincompoops in Charlotte into a trade. Find the mark and steal him blind, that’s what I always say.

  • JNeids

    Thanks Harv, good lookin out. That should hold me over for half an hour or so…

  • mgbode


  • Harv 21

    Dallas Morning News: Marion will not be dealt by Dallas. So don’t know how they’d pull off that trade (my stomach aches at the thought of Vince Carter, but that can’t be the cap relief they need). On the other hand, Dwight Howard supposedly leaning toward the pay cut of not signing with Lakers so he can go to a different org, and plans to visit Dallas. Marion must agree to a trade here so there’s that too. Maybe the sitch is fluid. Like my gray matter at this stage.

  • mgbode

    man, tha’ts some old stuff. Marion has to opt-in on his contract by Friday (tomorrow). But, until he opts-in, Dallas cannot trade him, which essentially makes him in control. Unless, of course, Dallas waits until after the deadline. Heck, at that point, they can just wait until they know they have Dwight and trade him (w/ 2014 1st or something) to a willing team. possibly.

    I’d still check-in on them, but that’s the latest.

    more silliness to follow I’m sure 🙂

  • “Trying to be the smartest team in the league” is property of the Cleveland Browns (1999-present)