July 25, 2014

HOLY CRAP: The Cavs land the first pick—again

cavs

The bow ties may not have been present but the luck did not run out. Having selected in the top four in each of the last three NBA Drafts, the Cleveland Cavaliers will, once again, have the first pick heading into the 2014 edition. Finishing the 2013-14 season with 33 wins, the Cavs had a 1.7 percent chance of landing the first-overall selection and somehow defied all the odds once again.

Antithetical to each of the last few NBA Drafts, the 2014 version is widely considered to be very deep throughout much of the first round. The Cavs were linked to several wing players such as Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas, but will now have their shot at players like Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid, or Duke’s Jabari Parker. They are also believed to be in the mix to be one of several teams who could trade their first-round pick this season in attempt to land a more proven veteran who fits the mold of what general manager David Griffin—who represented the team in Secaucus, New Jersey—is looking for as he builds his team going forward.

Holy. Crap.

  • Bob Maxwell

    Cleveland gets to ruin somebody else’s career… Yay! What a waste.

  • mgbode

    Go root for Buffalo!

  • cmm13

    “if healthy”

    This is the gamble you will take on Embiid for his entire career due to the type of back injury he sustained.

    As referenced in the Deadspin article the stress fracture in the specific part of his back is due to the exertion he has placed on his body at a later age.

    This is not a broken leg due to trauma or impact meaning it heals in a much different manner.

    I’m no team doctor but what I am is hesitant on taking Greg Oden v2.0 but potentially worse because the issue is in his back versus his knees.

  • cmm13

    Golden State has just as much if not more to offer for Love and it will turn into a bidding war.

    PS — don’t count out Miami in that war as well. They’ve got a chip in their bag as well and her name is Chris Bosh.

  • cmm13

    Because LeBron has had it so bad and Kyrie would be thriving in Detroit.

  • Jim

    This is incredibly simple: if the Wolves are interested in trading Love to the Cavs in exchange for the number 1 pick and others, the Cavs do it only if Kevin Love signs an extension and it is a sign and trade.

  • Harv 21

    Two words for you, pal: medication adjustment.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    The product of having the post pre-written for immediate publishing and having to scrap the entire thing once the results confirmed the unlikely. But yes, that’s a big deal.

  • BenRM

    Super annoyed by any retroactive-Cleveland draft history that mentions the Cavs passed on Lilard and Carter-Williams.

  • architrance

    Exactly – “if healthy.” What if he’s not? What if the Cavs dont see Wiggins/Parker as having the potential to become true Franchise Players? Love already is a Franchise, why not test it out? They need to be looking into all avenues of improvement. But wow, they are in such a better position than they were yesterday. So many options. With Kyrie, the pick and boatloads of cap space, they have a chance to build their own, young “Big 3″ and surround them with cheap young talent. That has to be attractive to players. Teams like NY and the Lakers are an absolute mess right now and cant offer the opportunity to build a dynasty. I’m sure they will be doing their due diligence on options this off season, but the future suddenly looks so much brighter!

  • architrance

    Great Deadspin read by the way (I love that we now get to read/watch/dream about these top 3). Embiid’s definitely a risk, hopefully the Cavs dr’s get his prognosis right. Its scary that he hasn’t played basketball long and that new stress likely caused it. But then Hakeem also didn’t start playing till high school too, and Drummond had the same injury, but has shown no ill affects this year? Risky, but I’d hate to be the team to pass on him and watch him excel, while getting maybe a Rudy Gay ceiling player. But that’s a much better problem than what we had yesterday!

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Consistency from a Cleveland sports franchise–this is the dream, folks! No one dominates draft lotteries like the Cleveland Cavaliers! Wiggins is the pick for me, but just for fun, can someone find out who Bill Simmons most wanted so we can be certain to choose that player? Watching his hissy fit last night was such a true joy that I don’t want to wait another year for the next one.

  • markn95

    Yep, Wiggins and Parker may not be Kevin Durant but Embiid could very well be Greg Oden. I’m not a doctor but guys with injury concerns in their early 20′s don’t tend to have long NBA careers.

  • markn95

    Simmons can go jump in the lake. It’s one thing to be a homer when you’re a local guy, but when you’re national you should at least pretend to be objective. I know it’s ESPN, so half their staff are Boston diehards (and the other half are NY honks) but this guy is over the line. Maybe he should just stick to pop culture. Or go away entirely.

  • Pat Leonard

    Yep… I mean, come on. I know that you could draft one of those guys if you have Kyrie Irving… but you’re not going to. Only the Timberwolves are ballsy enough to draft a million point guards and hope they can play together.

  • woofersus

    Especially since they passed on both of those players after they already had Kyrie Irving. Never mind other teams who passed on them.

    Part of the draft problem has been that not only have they been historically weak drafts, but the best players in the last three have all been point guards. Everybody was afraid of Drummond, so I can’t really fault passing on him, and other than that it still looks like Waiters has among the highest upside coming out of that draft after Beal, who we couldn’t take anyway. Last year’s draft is tough to judge yet, and although Bennett clearly wasn’t what we hoped (still could be, I guess) a lot of the other options available still look pretty bad. Alex Len was hurt most of the year, Noel hasn’t played a game yet, Porter barely got on the court, and the next best SF was terrible. (Shabazz Muhammed) In hindsight the best move probably would have been to just take the best player available, which would have been a guard. (Oladipo, most likely)

    Chris Grant got some things wrong in the rebuild, but I don’t actually think he drafted all that badly, given what was available.

  • Steve

    You reap what you sow (not you specifically, just ESPN readers in general). Simmons made it huge by being a partisan homer who cracked outdated pop culture jokes only because a lot of people like partisan homers who crack outdated pop culture jokes.

  • Pat Leonard

    Even Oladipo had a very mediocre rookie season. Bennett still has a decent chance to be the best player from that draft if he can get some playing time (although it’s tough to beat out MCW in that fast-paced Philly system).

  • JNeids

    Any time you can use the same joke for the 1,364,837th time, you have to do it.

  • JNeids

    Any time you can use the same joke for the 1,364,837th time, you have to do it.

  • cmm13

    TRUE STORY BRO.

  • cmm13

    TRUE STORY BRO.

  • Steve

    I think Embiid has the highest potential too, Wiith talent like Wiggins and Parker there, I’m fine with them passing on Embiid, and I think no one is clamoring for a big man more than me. Of course, this shows the need to take a shot on guys like those three you named when your opportunity cost (other talent in the draft) was a lot lower.

  • Steve

    I think Embiid has the highest potential too, Wiith talent like Wiggins and Parker there, I’m fine with them passing on Embiid, and I think no one is clamoring for a big man more than me. Of course, this shows the need to take a shot on guys like those three you named when your opportunity cost (other talent in the draft) was a lot lower.

  • Pat Leonard

    My favorite argument is that if you take Michael Jordan’s career and swap it with LeBron, MJ didn’t win a title until his eighth NBA season. LBJ’s first was in his ninth. So if the Cavs squandered LeBron’s first 7 seasons, well then so did the Bulls with MJ.

  • Pat Leonard

    My favorite argument is that if you take Michael Jordan’s career and swap it with LeBron, MJ didn’t win a title until his eighth NBA season. LBJ’s first was in his ninth. So if the Cavs squandered LeBron’s first 7 seasons, well then so did the Bulls with MJ.

  • woofersus

    Yes he does. I’m just pointing out who we probably would have taken if we had been willing to duplicate at the guard position. Bennett represented a gamble on upside then, and still would now with the benefit of a first season.

    One player who was less hearalded, but I really like from the 2013 draft is Kelly Olynyk. He had a roller coaster season, but after seeing his rookie year I’m really digging on his potential. He needs to work on some things (especially defense) but his size/skill-set combo is Nowitski-esque.

  • Steve

    I can’t stand reading Simmons anymore, but that’s mainly because there’s nothing resembling analysis anymore (not that there ever was much). But I can’t blame him for going back to the same well over and over. It’s proven to be a golden goose for him.

  • Pat Leonard

    Olynyk actually reminds me more of a young version of a guy we’re very familiar with: Spencer Hawes. Not to compare white players to white players simply for the sake of doing so… that’s just the guy who reminds me the most of a young Hawes.

  • Pihc

    Hate to tell you this, but the bow tie WAS there. David Griffin had Nick Gilbert’s bow tie, which he showed t.v. cameras after the pick and to a reporter on film, when asked about not having Nick Gilbert there.

  • Pat Leonard

    Yep… he doesn’t have time for analysis anymore with all of his commitments, but he still offers up his opinions as if he did the work to analyze. Weak.

  • Steve

    To be fair, that’s exactly how most fans work, and is part of his appeal toward them.Two seconds of thought is enough for many to feel they’ve formed a valuable analysis.

  • mgbode

    At least we’re not Detroit!!!

  • mgbode

    don’t forget Kawhi Leonard. he always gets brought up and umm, well, the Spurs got him mid-1st round.

  • Steve

    Would you rather have SVG, Drummond, Monroe (for the moment at least, and I’d guess probably in the long-term), or what we have? I’m actually pretty torn. They’ve got to find a way to move Jennings and Smith, but even with those two, they were a tick better than the Cavs, and just got a lot better than us in the management office.

  • mgbode

    no doubt, our cap situation, #1 overall pick, and Kyrie. it’ll somewhat depend on the coach, but Detroit has a couple years to unravel out of their mess still. we are a more blank slate. we might mess it up, but i’d rather take those chances than have to wait to mess it up.

  • Pat Leonard

    I love Kawhi Leonard, but he’s no Irving. Put him on the Cavs in place of Irving and he’s a low-efficiency guy who can’t create for himself. He’s a great player on a lot of teams in the league, but he’s probably only mediocre on the Cavs.

  • Pat Leonard

    True, but I personally feel like Simmons used to actually do a decent job of analyzing. He was never much for advanced stats, but you could at least tell that he watched the players and understood their games. He doesn’t have time to watch a team like the Cavs before making comments on them anymore, and hasn’t in years.

  • cmm13

    Exactly the reason sports talk radio is still on the air…

  • Steve

    I did overlook the cap space, which plays a huge part. And yes, I’d agree that the #1 pick will put us ahead of them talent-wise, but I guess I’m so skeptical of Gilbert to hire the right guys at this point, that I think it’s almost all made back up by SVG.

    Our coaching situation vs their ability to move Jennings/Smith and get a halfway competent PG.

  • woofersus

    To be honest, I never paid much attention to Hawes before last season, so I can only go by what I saw when he was in a Cavs uniform. However, I would imagine that said young Hawes probably got compared to Nowitski more than once himself since he is also a 7ft white guy who can shoot the ball well. Of course the thing that set Dirk apart as an mvp caliber player was that he’s a 7ft white guy who can create his own shot. (and make it)

    The real reason I think Olynyk is a closer comp to big Dirk is the hair, though. It probably helped his draft status.

  • markn95

    I’m officially mad at Disqus because it’s only letting me upvote this ONCE. How bout a hundred times?

  • cmm13

    It’s a race to the bottom… which coincidentally is also the top if you are in the Eastern Conference.

  • woofersus

    Between the talent we have on the roster, cap flexibility, and draft assets, I think we have a far greater chance of seeing a dramatic roster makeover than Detroit does.

    In addition to our young players (at least four of whom have some trade value in addition to being contributors on the court at one level or another) and the top pick in a very good draft, we also have two more future first round picks from the Grizzlies and Heat as trade assets, Andy’s expiring contract, ~$21 million in cap space, (projected cap, and assuming the non-guaranteed contracts of Gee and Hopson don’t get paid but Andy’s $9.7M does unless he’s traded) and Bird rights on both Hawes and Deng.

    Griffin has tons of options. He can trade players and picks, he can work sign-and-trades, He can bring in a top free agent, he can draft his favorite player in the draft, and even if we make a blockbuster trade AND bring in a FA acquisition, he can still offer Hawes whatever it takes to keep him if he so desires. (so long as Gilbert is willing to pay luxury tax for a winner, and I suspect he is)

    It’s possible our coaching search could result in tragedy, but until that happens I’d take our situation over theirs every time.