Not a Tristan Thompson fan with the fourth-overall selection? Still one of the shrinking-by-the-day contingent of individuals who think the Cavaliers should have selected Derrick Williams and some other guard — Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Jimmer?? — with the fourt selection? Well, ESPN aims to make you feel in more silly than you already should.
In a revisionist redraft of the 2011 class, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are selected first- and second-overall.
Viewed by most people as the top prospect in this class back in June, Irving has not disappointed. In fact, he’s probably been better than anyone expected considering his injury at Duke and the lockout. He’s had a terrific rookie season by anyone’s standards.
Not only is he the best player in this group, but he also has the brightest future. That’s what a team hopes to get from a No. 1 overall pick — impact now and more impact later.
This is not a slight on Derrick Williams but rather a dream of featuring powerful bigs Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic with an athletic and long phenom like Thompson. As good as Minnesota’s two brutes are, they are still below-the-rim players, which is not an issue for Thompson.
Although Thompson is still a raw player on offense, he would be helped by Rick Adelman’s system. He’d be bad today, amazing tomorrow.
Fresh off of an outing where the two rookies combined for 53 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists, this redraft is certainly well-timed. Had Thompson’s skill set been publicized a little more and this redraft been reality, ESPN feels that Williams would have fallen to the fourth-overall pick, landing many Cavaliers their one-time dream pairing.
Cavaliers GM Chris Grant was recently panned by ESPN for the trade he made involving Ramon Sessions and the Los Angeles Lakers. The long-term implications of this write-up will certainly help make up for any potential hurt feelings.