Dan Gilbert says all the right things about building the team and doing things the right way. As a rich guy, you know he must have seen the story play out at least a hundred times in the financial world since the recession began. Making plays for short-term profitability to boost stock price quite frequently sees CEOs out of a job and stockholders holding a very heavy bag. Same thing in sports. Without the autonomy to do his job and pick who he thinks are the best players as opposed to those that might be the most popular or productive right away, Chris Grant could find himself out of a job and labeled a failure.
Grant’s right to make unpopular decisions is even more crucial in wake of recent news that Jonas Valanciunas will most likely not play in the NBA until the 2012-13 season. I feel I’m parroting every other sportswriter who doesn’t watch college or European basketball, but I am not a talent evaluator. Chris Grant is, or at least he has a team of talent evaluators at his disposal. If he believes Valanciunas is the guy to anchor the Cavaliers’ painted area for the next 10-12 years, then he should select Big V with the number four pick. Perhaps Chris Grant is an Enes Kanter guy. That’s terrific, and I’ll trust his judgment over my own, but the important thing here is that he selects the player he believes in regardless of short-term circumstances. Netting the seven seed and the right to be swept by Boston next May should not be a priority. Being legitimately good in three to five years is the goal.