Last night, I lobbed the question into the bat-wielding folks on Twitter.
Having watched the NBA Draft special on ESPN, featuring Chad Ford and the windbags from First Take, the discussion circled around power forward and sure-fire first-overall selection Anthony Davis.
Ford discussed that, if one was to poll general managers throughout the league, they would provide a very short list of players who would not be moved for the rights to select Davis this Thursday night: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and (“maybe”) Chris Paul. Dwight Howard and Deron Williams are nearing free agency. Derrick Rose has the injury risk coupled with the allure of bringing Davis — a Chicago-born player — back home. Plus, big men are at a premium and point guards are a lot easier to replace.
Which led me to the masses.
Cavs fans, would you part ways with Kyrie Irving, last season’s Rookie of the Year, the player who has helped repair the rubble that was left in the wake of the 2010 off-season, for the right to have Anthony Davis in a Cavaliers uniform for at least the next four seasons?
The response on Twitter — and there were a lot of them — were almost unanimous. No. No chance. Absolutely not. No [expletive] way. I even received a “That is the most stupidest thing I have ever heard in my 23 years of life1.”
But then as the dust settled and the emotion started to give way to potential logic, some of my followers started to think otherwise. Mike Curry of Cleveland.com’s Cavs HQ said, “As good as Kyrie was in his 51 games, the Cavs would have to ship him out for Davis. Davis’ value is so much higher because of his size.”
There was a lot of debate surrounding Davis’ offensvie prowess, or lack thereof due to a specifc roll within John Calipari’s offense. There were also comparison’s to Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Patrick Ewing and even Bill Russell — arguably the most valuable player of all time. Irving has the potential to be the above-mentioned Paul. It’s a point guard-driven league. But there’s also a reason that there are a bus full of seven-foot stiffs being paid very, very well to be reserves on NBA rosters.
In Cleveland, we love our own. This much is known. But do we tend to overvalue them? Peyton Hillis may very well be the poster boy for such. Madden cover and all.
Certainly a bird in the Wine and Gold hand is worth more than the relative unknown of a player yet to step foot on an NBA floor. But is this a hypothetical debate worth having? I cannot see any scenario where Chris Grant would even consider including a player of Irving’s caliber in a deal. But should he?