After finishing the season with the second-worst record in the NBA, the Cavaliers conquered pretty steep odds with a lottery pick acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers, and landed the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night. They also landed the No. 4 pick in the lottery with their own pick from finishing the season with a 19-63 record.
Since the Cavaliers landed the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the draft, there has been a lot of speculation on whether the Cavaliers will draft Duke’s Kyrie Irving or Arizona’s Derrick Williams with the No. 1 pick.
National pundits, members of the media and social bloggers across the Internet have basically stated that the Cavaliers will be selecting Irving first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, leaving Williams to fall to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves organization at No. 2.
But what makes everyone think that Minnesota will take Williams?
I understand that the organization has stated they will take whoever the Cavaliers choose not to select out of Irving and Williams, but that could just be general manager David Kahn blowing “smoke” in order to gauge trade interest around the league. I mean, it would not be the worst idea, considering the Cavaliers have openly stated they would like to have both players at the center of the team’s massive rebuild.
As much as Kahn would like the NBA to believe he is taking Williams after the Cavaliers take Irving (as many people believe), how exactly does he fit in Minnesota?
The team just used the No. 4 pick in the 2010 draft on small forward Wesley Johnson, they acquired 22-year-old Michael Beasley from Miami last year (who averaged 19.2 points per game in his best season as a pro) and the team also has Martell Webster. That makes three players who the team has a combined $16 million invested in for the 2011-12 season playing the same position as Williams.
For those of you who think of Williams as a power forward, the team has some guy named Kevin Love starting there as well.
Sure, we are talking about David Kahn here, so you really cannot rule anything out. I mean, he is the guy who drafted three point guards in the 2009 NBA Draft, only to trade away Ty Lawson, who is the one of the three that has had any impact thus far in his career.
This is why the more I think about the situation, it is actually a clever way to try and get a team like the Cavaliers to make a move so the Timberwolves can move down and get two players or a veteran out of their No. 2 pick. With Ricky Rubio coming over from Europe finally, the team will need veteran scorers to make his life easier.
In fact, the Timberwolves will probably be looking for a real center (Darko Milicic is not that guy) and a starting shooting guard if they can move down from No. 2.
After Minnesota, there is only one speed bump in the way of the Cavaliers getting Williams at No. 4, and that is the Utah Jazz. However, reports around the league are that the team will select Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight as the future point guard of their team.
While that may be assuming that Williams is gone, I cannot imagine the team selecting a small forward after 2010 No. 9 pick Gordon Hayward’s emergence in the final month of the season. The team needs to replace former franchise point guard Deron Williams, and they will do so with Knight.
I know many of you may be thinking this is just a pipe dream from a guy who wants Derrick Williams as the centerpiece of the Cavaliers franchise for the next 10 years, but I am really just reading between the lines.
The NBA draft is a wild ride of smoke screens, trades and attempting to figure out which player is the best fit for your franchise moving forward.
So, if the Cleveland Cavaliers decide to stand pat and not trade up to No. 2 to select Derrick Williams on Thursday night, they could just end up with a big surprise waiting for them when their next selection rolls around at No. 4.