Of all the rumors out there, I like two the best: picking MKG at #4 or trading the two first-round-picks for Brad Beal. That said, if the Cavs proceed a different direction, no complaining from me…not worth the wasted breath.
Earlier this season; I posted a series called “Building a Winner”. In the first post, a discussion of the “OKC Plan” entailed. I pointed out that the Thunder really posed an exception to the rule. Most runs of high lottery picks result in continued mediocrity. Over the last two drafts and next few, Cleveland owns an outstanding opportunity to insert themselves on the OKC side of the ledger. If they do – another exciting era begins for Cleveland basketball. If not…no need talking about that; the Cavs surely draft three future hall-of-famers tomorrow.
So with those as the stakes, here are four favorite draft day scenarios.
#4 – Michael Kidd Gilchrist
#24 – Evan Fournier
#33 – Doron Lamb
#34 – Festus Ezeli
Three years from now, a Kyrie, Fournier, MKG back-court would be amazing – provided one of the two teenaged wings learns to shoot. Great size, scoring, defense, and if MKG or Fournier never learn to shoot, they only need to play a quarter together. Doron Lamb spells the Frenchman at shooting guard, as Fournier switches to small forward while MKG rests. Ezeli serves as an upgrade over Erden, Samuels, etc.
#4 – Michael Kidd Gilchrist
#24 – Will Barton
#33 – John Jenkins
#34 – Mike Scott
Same story as before, except four NCAA players are drafted, tempered by the aged influence of 24-year-old Mike Scott. The Virginia Senior does not add great size, but his floor spacing at the four might look really nice next to Andy.
#2 – Bradley Beal
#33 – Quincy Miller
#34 – Jae Crowder
In this scenario, Miller slips a little, as ESPN shows him at #30 and draftexpress at #31, but I can dream. Best case scenario, Miller turns into the 6‘ – 10” wing scoring machine envisioned of him in high school. Relied upon as a back-up; perhaps Crowder can defend both back-court positions. Maybe not, but as a quality defender with an amazing physique and a great combine agility test, back-up shooting guards might struggle with his strength and length. And obviously, the scenario is rounded out with Brad Beal, eight-time-all-star and one-time Finals MVP (The voters didn’t want to give Kyrie four in a row).
#6 – Dion Waiters
#11 – Tyler Zeller
#33 & 34 – repeats of above
Ahh, the fabled Portland trade. I have halfway convinced myself that Dion Waiters becomes the next Russell Westbrook and Zeller provides a needed seven-footer with shooting range.
Finally, a sixth tier of players that I’ll define as “in the right situation, with good coaching, you might here these names again”. I didn’t invest much time sorting these players, but this takes me from 38 through about 70. No one not included in this list will play in the NBA. It’s impossible.
- Kevin Murphy – I have a certain affinity for the Tennessee Tech senior.
- Khris Middleton – The Texas A&M Junior struggled this season, but played solidly his soph year. This year was a mess, with his coach leaving before the season and new coach diagnosed with Parkison’s.
- Jared Cunningham – I think there are better slashing & defense wings in this draft.
- Miles Plumlee – I liked him before the combine, because of his offensive rebounding and how hard he played.
- Drew Gordon – Started at UCLA before transferring to New Mexico. NCAA’s fifth best defensive rebounder is a relatively young senior, turning 22 next month.
- Furkan Aldemir – A young Euro energy big man, but he just signed a four-year extension with his Turkish club.
- Tyshawn Taylor – I could have been talked into ranking Taylor higher in Tier 6.
- Darius Miller – 6′ – 7″ tall, reasonably athletic and a quality jump shooter and, he may stick as a fourth wing somewhere.
- Casper Ware – The little dynamo from Long Beach State will not approach the season Isaiah Thomas finished, but his speed, shooting and intensity make him a decent bet as a back-up point guard.
- Hollis Thompson – 6′ – 8″ and hit 43% of his threes his junior season. Marginal athleticism and associated defensive consequences possibly serve as his undoing.
- Kim English – He turns 24 before the next NBA season, but his sweet-shooting as an NBA sized two guard throws him in the mix as a nice spot-up shooter to have around.
- Jamychal Green – An athletic power forward that tries to dunk everything; he made 55% of his catch & shoot jumpers his junior year, but only 39% this season. Which percentage he approaches consistently will determine his NBA ability.
- Kevin Jones – Lead the Big East in scoring and rebounding.
- Kyle O’Quinn – I think he has gotten by based on overwhelming his competition with his size. That is not going to work anymore.
- Jordan Taylor
- Orlando Johnson
- Ricardo Ratliffe
- Bernard James
- Henry Sims
- Garrett Stutz
- Kostas Sloukas – Greek point guard made over 50% of his threes in Europe this year.
- Terrell Stoglin
- Darius Odom-Johnson
- Zack Rosen
- J’Covan Brown
- Robert Sacre
- Herb Pope
- Alex Young
- Robbie Hummel
- Tony Mitchell
- Quincy Acy