Tomorrow night could be a huge new beginning for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a new GM in David Griffin making the selections, including the first pick in the draft.
They also introduced a new coach in David Blatt. In his introductory press conference today, he proclaimed himself, not an offensive coach or a defensive coach, but a basketball coach. That is music to the ears of all critics of Mike Brown.
We still remember Brown’s ridiculous comment when the Cavs were struggling on the offensive end early in the year, and he said they didn’t spend any time on offense during training camp.
The new head coach realizes you have to play well on both ends of the court.
We believe the new team of Griffin and Blatt will make wholesale changes to the current roster, with at least 1/3 of the players (that’s at least five guys) being turned over this summer, and it could all start tomorrow night.
Will the wine and gold hold on to the pick or will they make a deal to bring in a proven young player to add to Kyrie Irving.
If they keep the number one choice, we feel they should take Duke forward Jabari Parker.
Parker, listed at 6’8″ and 241 pounds (although it has been reported he weighs 15 more than that) averaged 19.1 points and almost nine rebounds for the Blue Devils last season.
Why take him over Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins? Because although Wiggins is the better athlete, Parker is the better basketball player.
Many experts say Wiggins has a huge upside, but will he reach that vast potential? He shot just 44.1% from the floor for the Jayhawks last season. Parker shot 47% from the floor and has a better mid-range and post up game than his Kansas counterpart.
Of course, if Joel Embiid hadn’t broken his foot, it would be a moot point. Embiid might be the best big man to enter the league in many years, but the injury factor is too much to ignore. He also missed time this season due to a stress fracture in his back.
Still, Embiid may have impressed Griffin enough that he would trade down to the 4th to 6th pick range, pick up another young player and still take the big man later in the first round.
If the Cavs’ brass truly think the injuries are not career threatening, then they may do just that, thus having their cake and eating it too.
One thing the front office needs to ignore is the temptation to make moves on draft day to entice LeBron James to come back to Cleveland, because if he doesn’t sign with the Cavaliers, it could set the franchise back a few more years.
If James wants to come back to the Cavs, and we feel he will either do that or go back to Miami, then that will just be icing on that cake.
Cleveland has several good young players and could move some depth at the power forward and point guard spots to get another big man and a shooting guard. Even if James doesn’t return, they would still be set for the future.
After having the top choice in the draft in three of the last four seasons, here’s hoping we don’t have it again for a long, long time. That is, of course unless James leaves the Heat and we get it again through their first round pick.