Defending the Cavs Draft

The Cavaliers haven’t made everyone happy with what they did on draft night a week ago.

The choice of Kyrie Irving with the first overall pick isn’t what has raised the ire of basketball fans in Cleveland. 

Although some have said GM Chris Grant should have taken Derrick Williams at #1, and then parlayed that by taking Kentucky guard Brandon Knight with the fourth overall pick, most people agree that Irving will be at the very least, a solid starting point guard in the NBA.

Others see a higher ceiling, but Irving was the best player in the draft, so he should be the first choice.  Not taking the most talented guy with the first pick would have been a mistake.

It’s the second first round pick that have people shaking their heads, Texas PF Tristan Thompson. 

Critics say that the Cavs already had depth at that spot in J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao, who started at center when healthy last season.

Those people also say the two areas where the wine and gold suited up presentable NBA players last season were at point guard, with Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, and at power forward with Hickson, Varejao, Antawn Jamison and rookie Samardo Samuels.

Therefore, the gaping holes at both wing positions, shooting guard and small forward, the most athletic positions in the league, were ignored.   The team still has no one who can score at those spots.

Be patient people.  The off-season didn’t end with the draft. 

In fact, with the ensuing lockout and the possibility of a shortened season because of labor issues, it might be the longest off-season ever.

Grant still has plenty of time and ammunition to get players to play those spots, with the lure being the excess of talent at the two positions already mentioned.

Sessions will almost certainly be moved because there is interest in him throughout the league, and even though Byron Scott has no qualms about playing two point guards together, it looks like Sessions would be the odd man out.

There is no question he can play though, averaging 13.3 points and 5 assists per night while shooting 46.6% from the floor.  He also gets to the foul line, averaging a little over five attempts a game.

Also, one or two of the power forwards will be moving on as well.  Certainly, Jamison, whose contract expires after next season, should be a desired trade chip for that reason and for his ability to be able to put the ball in the basket.

Varejao would also be coveted by contending teams, because he’s a very good rebounder and defender.  He doesn’t need the ball to be effective. 

Hickson would draw interest because he’ll be just 23 years old in September, and he scored almost 14 points with eight and a half rebounds last season.

He’s still regarded as a player on the rise.

With Thompson’s strength being defense and rebounding, he seems to be more similar to Varejao.  Add in the latter’s big contract and the Brazilian would seem to bring the most back in return.

So, with all the rumors out there talking about Hickson, Anderson Varejao might be the player to be traded ultimately.

He would have to show he’s healthy after his foot injury last season. 

Also, he’s a prominent link to the LeBron James era, and there are not a lot of those guys left on the Cavs’ roster. 

Just relax Cavs’ fans!  More changes are to come. 

NOTE:  This was published just prior to the strong rumor that the Cavs have traded Hickson to Sacramento for SF Omri Casspi and a future first round draft pick.

Casspi gives the Cavs a starting small forward.  He averaged almost 9 points and 4.5 boards a game in about 25 minutes.  He just turned 23 a little over a week ago, so he definitely is a player with upside.

If there aren’t, then you can line up to start bashing the team management.  Scott might be right with you.



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