Welcome back kids to my annual NBA draft article. Last year I missed by having the Cavs taking Roy Hibbert. Turns out that I was on the right track, but they took little known JJ Hickson instead. JJ ended up being a bit of a disappointment once he could not crack Mike Brown’s rotation. Once he did, he injured his back and is still out and will not be able to play Summer League ball in Las Vegas like he did last year. Surgery is not an option at this point, according to Cavs sources.
Now on to this year’s draft. Many have stated that there are few big men that are worthy of a first round pick. This is both point guard and shooting guard heavy. Look for at least 12 players in the first round to be one of these two positions. The Cavs, according to the Plain Dealer, have looked closely at Patrick Mills (St. Mary’s College), Nick Calathes (Florida), and Toney Douglas (Florida St.). All 3 can play the point.
Here is a quick breakdown of all 3:
Patrick Mills is probably the most complete player of the three. He had an injury which kept him out the end of the year and which cost his team a spot in the NCAA tournament. Many teams question his point guard leadership, yet the team won over 25 games with him in the lineup.
Nick Calathes is a 6’5” point guard who left Florida early to sign with a Greek powerhouse team. The Cavs would own the rights to him and could have him play overseas for a few years before bringing him over.
Toney Douglas is a 6’1” 200 lbs of pure muscle. He has come on a lot as of late and had his best season this past year, his senior year. He averaged 21.5 points per game and was a scoring machine for Leonard Hamilton down at Tallahassee.
For me, after the Cavs have made the move for Shaq, as multiple sources have reported, they do not have to go after a big man. Let me remind everyone, that we still have Darnell Jackson and JJ Hickson as well as Joe Smith, Anderson Varejao, and big Z. Therefore, the Cavs can look to go with a Small Forward or a guard since the Cavs are not impressed with the ball handling of Delonte West and Daniel Gibson who are both undersized Shooting Guards. Look for the Cavs, if they keep the pick at number 30 to try to get an overseas player. I am defying the odds since Danny Ferry can do a number like the Spurs did with Manu Ginobili. Have a player play overseas (a la Omri Casspi or Jonas Jerebko) for a few years and bring them over in 2010 or 2011 along with the big free agent’s who will become available after the upcoming season.
There are many rumors also that the Cavs may look to trade up. If the Cavs do decide to get into mid teens to the low 20s, look for them to get Ty Lawson or Patrick Mills.
I have one request for Danny Ferry. Please do not get Tyler Hansborough. He will be a bench player and a spot starter. He works hard, but is not an elite player at the NBA level. Think of another UNC player who was a bombout. Like a better version of Brendan Haywood. Better Offensively, but limited overall.