NBA Draft 2012: Time To Go Get Brad Beal?

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The NBA Draft is upon us, and the Cavaliers and their fans are sure to have an eventful week, climaxing on Thursday night. The Cavs hold the No. 4 overall pick in a Draft that has little locked in after Anthony Davis at No. 1 for New Orleans. After Davis, there’s another five prospects who have all consistently been rumored within the top four — the big man duo of Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond, and Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bradley Beal. At one time or another, the Cavaliers have been linked with all of these prospects, with a consensus coalescing around the latter three.

The Cavs, of course, will not have their pick of the litter at No. 4. It’s likely that Beal, for one, is off the board before Chris Grant is on the clock. In comes Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, who reported yesterday that many league executives expect Grant to approach the Bobcats with a trade for the No. 2 pick:

As Charlotte continues to ponder its decision at No. 2, numerous executives expect the Bobcats to be approached by Cleveland (No. 4) about the possibility of swapping picks (if it hasn’t happened already) in order for the Cavaliers to land Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal. While Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving is known to be a huge proponent of drafting North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, it appears Beal has shot up their big board just as he has so many others, and it’s widely believed that he won’t get past Washington at No. 3 if they don’t make a move.

The potential Cavaliers-Bobcats trade rumors have been festering for some time now. They’re natural partners to work out a deal, so it’s not surprising that media and other teams’ executives suspect that may happen

The Cavs have had the luxury of working out four of these top five prospects against each other over the past week. Beal worked out against Barnes in Cleveland last Saturday, and the Gator reportedly got the better of the UNC wing. But he’s impressed everyone he’s worked out for this draft season, and if the Cavs want him, they’ll likely need to pull the trigger on a trade. The thought is that the Wizards, who many project are looking for a shooter like Beal, signaled their intentions to take the Florida two-guard with their trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza this week. Mike Prada, at Washington blog Bullets Forever, attempts to clear through the brush:

But this is the consequence of making a trade eight days before the draft. There are likely to be plenty of rumors that will leak involving teams looking to trade with the Bobcats to land Beal, because so many believe there’s no way the Wizards pick anyone else at No. 3. Meanwhile, the Wizards, whether it’s true or not, want to create the impression that it’s not Beal or bust. This game is fun, isn’t it?

With little consensus on how things will fall after Davis, the misdirections disguised as rumors will inundate NBA consumers throughout the week. But if the Cavs think Beal is their guy, they need to make the trade and not run the risk of thinking he’ll drop to four, which seems like a fading possibility. Obviously, this depends on how strongly he’s “their guy.”

Trading draft picks in the NBA is just not the same as the NFL. Granted, low first-round and second round picks have more value to a team trying to build like the Cavs, but you just cannot count on those slots to provide consistent NBA contributors. If giving up some of those low picks means moving up to get the guy you want, then that’s how you should proceed. The lottery picks are what make-or-break the process of building a contender.

Between Beal, Barnes, and MKG, I think the choice is Beal. Despite a subpar season shooting from behind the arc at UF, he’s considered the best pure shooter of the group and has the potential to be an Eric Gordon-type two in a Cavaliers backcourt opposite Kyrie Irving. I think one can nitpick the other two — Barnes’ noticeably underwhelming play for UNC doing his two seasons in Chapel Hill, and MKG’s shooting and offensive ability at the NBA-level. Again, that’s picking nits in a forest of varying opinion, but I think there’s less to be concerned about with Beal and he’s the most complete player of the group. If Grant agrees, then he should put together the package to get him.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Feels sorta like deja vu with the football team and it’s supposed pursuit of Robert Griffin but I agree if Beal is the player the Cavaliers desire then they should go and get him. They certainly have the draft picks and financial flexibility to make it happen. Beal won’t be the end all hopefully people understand that but you team him with Irving and your backcourt is set for a number of years. The Cavaliers would then boast two dynamic guards who can create not only for themselves but teammates.
    If something like this happens I’ll almost be as interested in the next move as much as Beal. You’d have some sort of combination of Irving, Beal, Gee (assuming he’s retained), Thompson and Varejao. Personally I feel Thompson isn’t ready to be a starting PF and should come off the bench which would mean either a PF or a C would need to be added.

  • Gren

    If the Cavs can just swap picks and maybe unload someone (looking at you Parker / Boobie), I would do it 100% of the time. Just don’t give up assets when we can still grab a potential starter and #2 for years to come at 4.

  • Brett

    If they really think he is a cut above Barnes and MKG, then go ahead and get him. Id rather have them give up #4, #33, and #34 in stead of #4 and #24, but if they think he is that much better…..

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Parker is a free agent now I believe has no value and while I’d love to see Gibson jettisoned I think this is finally his last year under contract. Plus I can’t see some team wanting him in a trade.

  • Lyon25

    Now that’s a great base to start with.

  • DaVerbal360

    I hope this is all to distract everyone from Barnes. Barnes is taller, at least as athletic, and a versatile scorer. Plus, I’m not a fan of a small backcourt. Beal will probably be solid, but I’d rather have Sean Elliott than Eric Gordon. Defensively, the length is a big plus as my nightmares of the 2009 playoffs constantly remind me. Lastly, Barnes is likely a better piece in a sign and trade for LeBron in 5 years (did I say that in public? gulp…)

  • devildog2006

    Beal plays short and has a funky release on his shot…he has mediocre NBA player written all over him. Kidd-Gilchrest is a mega athlete that has yet to develop an outside shot, so he is boom or bust. Barnes can shoot and has some skills so I agree with Irving, Barnes over Beal or Gilchrist. At this point I kind of even like Lamb over Beal as Beal seems over hyped…he could be good and I would root for him if that is what we did…I think he will end up being average and you don’t trade up for average.

  • Jay

    Charlotte is trying to get Washington to bite.

  • Kizo

    He has the potential to be like Eric Gordon? Be still, my beating heart.

  • AS

    You obviously haven’t watched Beal play in a game. He’s actually the exact opposite; although he’s only 6’4.5″ he plays like he’s 6’7″ and has textbook form. Read literally ANY reliable scouting report and it will say the same.

  • AS

    We’d probably have to take on a guy like Tyrus Thomas or Diop, but we’ve seen Gilbert take on terrible contracts for picks before (Baron/Walton).

  • TobaccoRoad

    Glad Beal measured out at 6-4, but pairing him with Kyrie would definitely give us a backcourt on the smaller side. Cavs had a similar problem pairing Mo Williams with Delonte West; the size mismatches Cleveland endured as a result were glaring at times (Orlando – 2009 playoffs).

  • erchoov

    You’re exactly right. If the Cavs think Beal is that good then go get him. If they think MKG and Barnes are just as good of a fit then hold off. This draft is so deep with shooting guards I would much rather see us address the small forward postion and try to trade up from 24 to get a guard. At the same time, if they think Beal is only player other than Davis that is going to be special, then do what it takes to get him. One great player is better then two good players in the NBA.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    The starting PG and SG for the Magic in that series were Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee… both are about the same size as Kyrie and Beal respectively. I think you’re making your point about when Turkoglu slid over to SG, but he’s really a SF in the NBA. Reddick would be the backup SG on that team now, he just hadn’t shown enough then to get into Orlando’s rotation. Honestly, I think what was embarrassing was that our SGs couldn’t take advantage of how slow Turkoglu is when he’s playing SG. I wouldn’t worry too much about the height so long as we have players who can help inside.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Speed and quickness are just as great as height. Pat brings up a good point in that it was more a lack of being able to move i.e. use quickness against a player like Turkoglu who was playing out of position. Those couple of years drove me crazy with Ferry. The first failure came against Boston so Ferry rebuilt only to run into Orlando the next year. The following year it was Boston again. Horrible horrible ends in the playoffs to what were three stellar regular seasons.

  • Roosevelt

    When the early rumor was that the Cavs would trade up to get MKG, and the late rumor is that the Cavs would trade up to get Beal, that tells me that there’s no clear cut winner, and it would be silly to give up extra assets for such a small marginal gain. I also think that he’s too short. At best he’s a poor man’s Ray Allen, and he’s shorter and didn’t shoot so incredibly well in college.

  • devildog2006

    Nope, Just went back and watched some youtube game footage, his form is funky and release point is low…no wonder people thought he was 6’2; his shot will be blocked a lot without some adjustment in the NBA. I am sure a quick release etc. can compensate, I am just not sold on it translating since he does play short…

  • Steve

    That lineup gets you 30-ish wins next year and maybe gets to a 7 or 8 seed by the time Varejao’s contract is up, and is desperately in need of someone who can play at least close to an all-star level. That is the worst spot a NBA franchise can be in. Picking near the bottom of the lottery, with little chance to get that star that will make you a real contender.

  • Steve

    Being able to do a bunch of things at a fairly mediocre level does not make you a complete player, especially as you transition from college to the pros. He rebounds the ball very well for a guy his size, but as an undersized 2, I’m not sure how much he’ll be able to really impact a game that will feature legit 7 footers each and every night. I know, I know, he’s got that great stroke. He still had mediocre shooting numbers. I don’t see much more in the guy than a mediocre starter on a mediocre team. The Cavs cannot focus on the player with the least concerns, but with the player who has the potential to be an important contributor on a championship contender.

  • Drew

    If the Cavs want to win a championship, not just make it to the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs every year like so many stagnant teams in the East, this pick is the deciding factor. They need a superstar to pair with Irving. I agree with everyone who says Beal looks mediocre – some scouts like him, but the numbers don’t like him (look at John Hollinger’s predictor, which is usually deadly accurate), and he’s not going to be a superstar.

    I would rather they went with MKG, a guy who’s like basically hasn’t been seen in the NBA, who they can work with on the nuances of a fine offensive game but will shut down the other team’s best wing for the next five years, or if he isn’t available, trade down and wait for Dion Waiters. All the scouts are saying that Waiters is the only other player in this draft with superstar potential. He plays a Russell Westbrook/D. Wade style, and is long and athletic.

    Beal is a role player. We’ve got plenty of those.

  • floydrubino

    There is only one thing the cavaliers need to do and that’s not trade to move up unless it is with later picks. Trading up to get anthony davis is smart. The rest of them if you trade up is an act of desperation. T-Rob to me is the clear cut no.2 and the draft is so deep that a smart team is definitely trying to accumulate more picks in the top 20. In order to compete for a championship in a couple years they should have the mentality of acquiring more picks in the 1st round then giving them away for anyone other than davis. If they really want to win they have to hit on 2 picks this year with the draft so good. One player other than Davis and T-Rob are difference makers single handily. If we don’t get T-Rob trade down and get more picks in the top 11. We will end up with 1 player that is decent which won’t help us win a title. We gotta hit on more than 1 so get 2 more picks in this draft and we will definitely hit on 2 if we have 5 or 6 picks in this draft.

  • Jack

    You can argue whether the decision is prudent or not, but I hardly think taking all the steps necessary to guarantee you get a player that your evaluators say is going to be significantly better than his peers should ever be considered “an act of desperation.” I’m not even sure what that means really…

  • Dan

    I feel it’s pretty obvious Beal should get the nod over MKG. With Jamison leaving, we have a huge need for a spot-up scorer, which MKG simply is not. Beal’s height should not be a problem: DWade is only 6’4. I still believe Barnes will end up being the best scorer out of this draft class, but that is a different debate.

  • mgbode

    wade and chalmers heights you mean? they seem to be okay on defense

  • mgbode

    NO made it obvious they are not shopping #10 with the ariza/okafor trade.

    so, unless Portland is interested, a trade down is off the table now

  • Jono

    when you have an upcoming superstar in Kyrie, your not gonna get stuck in that area…..

  • Steve

    Unless Kyrie is going to move into Lebron territory, then yes you are. It took 6 years to build a team of mediocre to decent pieces around Lebron that won more than 50 games. And now the East is no longer the pushover it used to be. You need to add a second star.

  • Steve

    The Cavs have huge needs in every aspect of the game not related to PG-play. Filling holes for 2012-13 should not be the priority. And Wade had elite quickness and finishing at the rim. Beal is no slouch, but he’s no Wade with the ball in his hands.

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    Or it means you can’t rely on rumor.

  • BenRM

    I still think people are underestimating the difference between being 6’3″ in college and 6’3″ in the NBA

  • Steve

    Chalmers is whatever defensively, and again, Wade should not be in the comparison here because of his elite athleticism.

    And, even if Cavs fans don’t want to admit it, Irving was a sieve last year, and there isn’t much reason to expect Beal to be a good defender at the next level.