With Cleveland Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry, you never really know what’s about to happen. The 2008 NBA Draft could be no exception as Ferry prepares to work out plenty of 2nd round caliber prospects.
Danny Ferry is short on NBA drafting experience. Thanks to moves of his predecessors such as trades involving Milt Palacio, Jiri Welsh, Wes Person, etc, the Cavaliers have been short on picks in the Ferry regime. For just the 2nd time in his career, Danny Ferry will get to make a selection in the first round of the NBA Draft. I talked a little bit last week about some of the Cavaliers’ options. But is it possible that spending all that time without picking first round guys Danny Ferry has forgotten what first round talent looks like?
According to Bob Finnan in The News-Herald on Sunday, there are a handful of guys that Danny Ferry is expected to bring in for workouts. One such guys is Memphis PF Joey Dorsey. Finnan writes,
“The NBA draft is less than a month away, and now that the predraft camp is over, the Cavaliers have set up workouts with several prospects. They have the 19th pick in the first round. The following are some prospects they reportedly plan to work out at their practice facility before the June 26 draft:
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, forward⁄center: He helped the Tigers get to the NCAA championship game this season. He’s very athletic for a big man. He averaged 6.9 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior.”
The other guys that Finnan says Ferry is bringing in? Danny Green (SG/SF, North Carolina), Lester Hudson (PG/SG, Tennessee-Martin), Jeremy Pargo (PG, Gonzaga), and Brian Roberts (PG, Dayton).
The funny thing is, #19 is entirely too high to draft any of these guys. Browsing through the Mock Drafts listed in our Draft article last week, you’ll find Dorsey picked to go anywhere from 29 to 49. Danny Green is off all draft boards, Hudson is going anywhere from 36 to 48, Jeremy Pargo is off all draft boards except one (42nd overall), and Brian Roberts is unlikely to be picked. So what is Danny Ferry doing?
First of all, Green and Pargo for sure are unlikely to stay in the draft as both guys are underclassmen going through workouts without an agent. Green could stay in the draft if he turns heads in individual workouts, but #19 still feels like a huge reach for him. Lester Hudson is more likely to stay in the draft, and prior to being schooled in Orlando by Ty Lawson, his draft stock was really rising. However, he still projects out to a 2nd round pick, and no way can Cleveland justify taking him at #19.
In Green and Pargo’s cases, I think Danny Ferry is just working them out to see what they have, if nothing else, as a head start on scouting them before they enter the draft for real next year. Brian Roberts is most likely being worked out to scout him as an undrafted free agent signing. Which leaves us with Joey Dorsey and Lester Hudson. Both guys are players that Ferry is surely interested at they are more under the radar guys at positions that the Cavaliers need. But if Danny Ferry drafts either one at #19, you can expect one of the most vicious backlashes from the city, the fanbase, and the national media that you will ever see.
Perhaps it is possible that Ferry is looking at these guys to take in the 2nd round. Right now, the Cavaliers do not have a 2nd round pick. I see these workouts as proof that Ferry is doing his due dilligence and keeping his options open. If he is looking to trade the first round pick, he might be looking for a late first round pick and/or an early 2nd round pick in return, where Dorsey and Hudson could be lying in wait.
Hudson, in particular, is an intriguing prospect. A guy who didn’t even graduate from high school, he wound up at Tennessee-Martin and played in his first Division 1 game as a 23 year old Junior. That first game was against Joey Dorsey and Memphis, and Hudson torched them for 35 points. In Hudson’s 3rd game as a Division 1 player, he put up the first quadruple-double in NCAA history with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals. Hudson is athletic, a supreme shooter who can finish in the lane and can knock down 3s. He’s arguably one of the best shooters in the entire draft. The issue with Hudson is his age and inexperience, along with questions of whether he can handle the PG position or if he is destined to be an undersized 2-guard in the NBA.
No matter what happens come draft time, these pre-draft workouts tell us one thing, and that is that Danny Ferry is keeping his options open and nothing is off the table. We’ve said before how unpredictable following the Cavaliers front office can be, and this is just another example. All we can do is speculate what these workouts with 2nd round caliber players means for the Cavs future.