Ahh the Number One Draft Pick. Are there any sweeter words, any better prize for fans of a team that had a bad season? Outside of the obvious (that you have the chance to get the most talented player, who can have the biggest impact on your teams performance), being the first team to select in a draft has some other perks. Let’s take a look at those and go over the Cavs most likely options.
3. Trade the Pick
The Cavs front office has made it clear that they’re willing to hear offers to move up and snag that #1 overall pick. While the value in this draft probably isn’t terribly high, there are a couple of teams in the top ten who would probably feel better if they knew with certainty that they would get their guy. That said, its usually not worth the return on investment in the NBA to give away the top pick. The cut off in talent after the top 5 or so usually just doesn’t translate well, and there may only be one true star or even starter in any given draft year. This year, I feel like that’s probably the case. There are at least a dozen trade scenarios that I’ve read being floated, but none of them make sense to me, so I won’t go over them individually. The Cavs have been on the right track the past few seasons with building young and building by fit, so moving away from that strategy seems a little foolish to me.
2. Draft Nerlens Noel.
If this draft was ten years ago, I would be livid if the Cavs entertained any strategy other than drafting Noel. Injury aside, he has the potential to be a dominant interior force (once he bulks up a bit) in the league for years to come. A nice balance of size and athletism, Noel would beef up the front court for the Cavs. Even with the ACL injury, Noel has the best sports doctor and the best physical therapist in the country. I’m confident that he’ll recover, but I don’t think it matters. The NBA has become a wing league. Teams don’t run their offense through bigs and into the post anymore. You need a SF, you need someone who can facilitate/move the ball, and you need shooters. Which brings me to the best fit for the Cavs in my opinion…
1. Draft Otto Porter
Porter seems to make the most sense of anyone in the discussion to me. The Cavs have a solid set of bigs in Andy Varejao and Tristan Thompson, and a dynamic backcourt with Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving. The big piece we’re missing, as we’ve been missing since Lebron’s departure, is a SF to rack up points and play the wing. Porter is probably the most game one ready player in this years draft, and should develop into at minimum a consistent scorer and starter in this league. Pair him with Kyrie, who can effectively play the point, shoot and score, and the Cavs will have a nice one-two punch on offense. Also, given the Cavs draft strategy in recent years of character and fit, and drafting Porter makes more and more sense.