Addressing two major weaknesses with two first-round picks, ESPN’s Chad Ford has adjusted his mock draft and has Florida’s Bradley Beal falling to the fourth-overall spot.
Kansas’ Thomas Robinson has unseated Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the second-overall selection, presently owned by the Charlotte Bobcats, allowing Beal to slip down to the fourth spot where the 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard would instantly provide a backcourt scoring threat in Cleveland to go alongside Kyrie Irving.
“The Cavs need a wing and like [Kidd-Gilchrist], Beal and Harrison Barnes,” sayd Ford. ”Andre Drummond is also in the mix, but the Cavs don’t yet have a comfort level with him. If this comes down to Beal or Barnes, I think Beal will have the slight edge here. But it’s not a given. The Cavs have been interested in Barnes for the past year and could decide that his size is what they need.”
Beal recently surprised many pundits when he measured in north of 6-feet-3-inches. He’s striving to make his mark as a dynamic player, repeatedly saying that he can work on or off of the basketball, but continues to compare his game to that of shootin guards Ray Allen, Eric Gordon and Dywane Wade. He will only work out for the top-four teams in the draft, heading to Cleveland later this month.
With the 24th-overall selection, Ford has the Cavaliers addressing the front-court needs that would be prevelant having passed over Drummond with the first pick. The player of choice, per Ford, is the seven-footer out of Syracuse, Fab Melo.
“The Cavs could really use more help at the 5,” says Ford. ”Anderson Varejao is around for a few more years but after that the cupboard is bare. Melo might need a few years anyway before he’s ready to be a serious contributor at the next level.”
Melo, 22, averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in his lone season for Syracuse, providing physical toughness and good mobility. As insinuated by Ford, Melo’s offensive game needs a lot of work while his dedication and motivation will continue to be questioned until he shows what he can do at the next level.
The other potential center who could be selected at the end of the first round, Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli, went 30th-overall to the Golden State Warriors.