I wrote a blog on May 22nd on “The Cavaliers win the 2013 lottery“, now that the extreme cheering from the Dan Gilbert entourage has calmed down, they have to weigh their options on what they should do with the pick. I will give you my “two-cent” on what I would do.
First, I think the Cavaliers are a young and promising team…maybe too many young players; they need a veteran presence to rally behind. They have two first-round picks (1 and 19) and two second-round picks (31 and 33); they can put a package together and go after a LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland.
Rumors were out there in April about a trade, but the Cavs aren’t willing to let go of specific players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. They might have to release one of them in order to get Aldridge. I think it is worth it because you are going to need another star to pair up with the one you already have in Kyrie Irving; if you don’t make that type of move, Cleveland will have another All-Star caliber player they will be mad at…when Irving leaves.
If they go ahead and use the #1 pick instead of dangling it and see which team bites, I would go for the unthinkable (in the public’s eye) and pass up Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and pick Otto Porter from Georgetown. I know most of you are thinking I’m crazy to pass up height and Noel definitely has it with being a 7-footer with a 7′ 3.75″ wingspan and a standing reach of 9′ 2″ that protects the basket averaging 4.5 blocks per game, but the number that concerns me is 206 pounds. This player is extremely under ideal weight for that size and he tore the ACL in his left knee chasing down a blocked shot in the open floor against Florida. He won’t be ready for the beginning of the NBA season, he needs to gain weight in order to bang with the big boys in the NBA and if he gains that weight, who’s to say that his recently repaired knee would be able to carry that weight. There’s too many cons than there are pros when it comes to Noel.
Otto Graham on the other hand, might be the right fit for the Cavs. Porter has the terrific size and length for the small forward position, standing just under 6-9 with a 7-1 ½ wingspan. His frame is very lanky still at just 198 pounds, but should continue to fill out in time. He has improved his 3-point shooting substantially, from 23% as a freshman to 42% as a sophomore. Even though he doesn’t have the explosiveness to blow by opponents and needs to work on his strength, he’s one of the smartest and polished players in the draft class. He can be effective when the ball isn’t in his hands and has great court vision and passing abilities. He would be my go-to-guy when draft day comes around if I was Cleveland.
The Cavaliers have a $20 million cap space right now, if Otto Porter (or Nerlens Noel) pan out to be a productive player, you have a rising star on a rookie contract with Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup; that would leave room to give a max offer to…you know who. The organization might not want to say it in public, but rumors are going around that they are prepping themselves to go after the prodigal son–and the Cavalier fans will end up being WITNESSes again.