Cavs receive straight A’s in 2014 NBA Draft grades

andrew wiggins_draft

andrew wiggins_draftWith the selections of Andrew Wiggins and Joe Harris last night, the Cavaliers are receiving rave reviews from around the national media … really. It’s a rare phenomenon for the Cleveland basketball team after three straight years of head-scratching drafts.

Listed below are snippets and grades from six different basketball writers. We’ll post others as we see them throughout the day:

Adi Joseph, USA Today Sports, Grade: A-

“This was solid draft redemption after the head-scratcher of last year, No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett. The Cavaliers took the right players who made sense for their slots and the team. Wiggins has tremendous upside and could blossom alongside a point guard like Kyrie Irving. Harris is the shooter that Cleveland needed. Anyone criticizing these picks needs to realize that, while messing up the top pick was a little harder this year, it still was possible. Both Wiggins and Harris could be impact players next year. Now, about getting that LeBron James guy …”

Nathan Giese, Hoops Habit, Grade: A

“Wiggins is one of the better defenders in the draft. He’ll be relied upon to use his UPSIDE to his advantage. One qualm I have about this pick is that Wiggins needs to develop into the player he can become. The question is, can he succeed with a Cavaliers locker room that has had a history of bad blood? He’s very athletic and has the makings of a great player. It’s just a matter of if he can become that player he’s capable of or not.”

Chad Ford, ESPN Insider, Grade: A

“The Cavs, in my opinion, did the right thing here. They could’ve taken Jabari Parker and justified it by saying they needed a player who could help them now. Instead they took the player with the most upside and showed a willingness to let him develop into the best player in the draft. I think Wiggins is a better fit for the team anyway. He brings defense, he can play the 2 or 3, and he won’t need the ball in his hands to make an impact on the team. Wiggins has as much or more talent than Kyrie Irving and, in time, will be the guy they build around. Harris is a shooter and is tough as nails. Though he’s not a great defender, he brings great effort. Overall, the Cavs improved their team this year and finally got a second long-term franchise building block next to Kyrie Irving. It was a good night, Cavs fans.”

Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report, Grade: A-

“The uber-athletic small forward from Kansas saw his stock fluctuate throughout his one collegiate season, but he finished exactly where he started—in the top spot. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been leaving that small forward spot open for quite some time, all in the hopes that LeBron James might eventually come back to the team that originally drafted him, but it’s now filled by Andrew Wiggins and his interesting wardrobe choice.”

Matt Moore, CBS Sports, Grade: A+

“The best overall prospect and they don´t need him with the ball early with Irving and Waiters. The future is now.”

Jeff Eisenberg and Marc Spears, Yahoo Sports, Grade: A

“He didn’t rack up absurd scoring numbers like Kevin Durant or propel his team to a national title like Carmelo Anthony, but the one-and-done star still flashed enough upside to merit being a top pick. Wiggins showcased an ability to defend multiple positions, an explosive secondary jump around the rim and a knack for finishing with aplomb in transition. The top criticism of Wiggins: he wasn’t assertive enough to take advantage of his physical gifts. In Kansas’ stunning NCAA tournament loss to Stanford, he scored just four points and attempted only six shots, inexplicably floating around the perimeter.” There’s no doubt Wiggins has a tendency to coast, but he still has the ability to make an instant impact and get better in years to come.”

Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo Sports, Grade: A+

“Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers entered draft night with the top pick in the draft, and for the second straight season there was some question as to who the squad would glom onto. New GM David Griffin chose Wiggins in this scenario, and it’s not hard to understand why – his mixture of offensive potential and at times dominant defense could turn him into a franchise player if everything develops as promised. Concerns about previous whiffs in the first round or Kyrie Irving’s permanence are for another day – Wiggins is a stud and a deserved top overall pick.”

Tyler Lashbrook, SB Nation, Upside: A+; Fit:A+; Immediate Impact: B+

“The Cavaliers surprised everyone last year when they took Anthony Bennett first overall, but didn’t pull any fast ones this year, picking Andrew Wiggins with the top selection. Wiggins’ upside is through the roof and he happens to fit nice with Cleveland’s young roster. He will immediately fill Cleveland’s gaping hole at small forward to compliment Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.”

Brad Rowland, FanSided, Grade: A+

“I loved everything about the way that Cleveland emerged from this draft. First, Andrew Wiggins was the top overall selection, and in the wake of the Joel Embiid injury, he was easily the best long-term prospect for the Cavs. In addition, Wiggins is the best perimeter defender on Cleveland’s roster from the moment he touches down in Ohio, and that makes him a better immediate fit than Jabari Parker would have been. It’s a win-win.”

(Photo: Brad Penner. USA TODAY Sports)

  • RGB

    Now, if we can just get Bennett to progress to “Does Not Suck”, or even better, “Average”, we may actually be decent this season.

  • mgbode

    Cmon, it’s still June. We should be hoping he transforms into full Grandmama mode:

  • RGB

    He was Grandmama last year. My Grandmama.
    Baby steps.

  • mgbode
  • boomhauertjs

    I’m hoping Wiggins is another Paul George with at worst another Andre Iguodola. Of course, I would trade him for Kevin Love in a heartbeat if it meant bringing back you know who…


    I feel like Michael Bluth watch Jim Cramer

  • Harv 21

    And now I’d waiting to hear inside-the-war-room accounts proving that the FO was still debating their choice at zero hour as so widely reported. Sounds completely ridic. More likely they either planted that impression to encourage stupid trade offers, or this was frustrated speculation by media the FO refused to speak to.

  • mgbode

    So, Cavs get A’s for not being stupid. Good to be graded on a curve, I suppose.

    Anyway, the East may have some extremely interesting teams in a couple years. Along with the Wizards and Raptors (both building extremely athletic teams that have already shown some success), the Cavs, Magic, and 76ers all just had a very nice draft.

    Orlando – Payton, Oladipo, Gordon make for an absolutely electric athletic pairing in the 1-3 slots. They still have Harkless coming off the bench and Vucevic down low. They are missing some pieces and will take some growing pains over the next year or two, but they should be a fun team to watch.

    Philly – Embiid + Noel could be absolutely devastating. I’m down on MCW (inefficient) and Thaddeus isn’t special, but they do have quite a bit of interesting youthful pieces as well and they banked Saric and Micic overseas for the future.

  • nj0

    I think the trick to drafting in any sport is “don’t try to be the smartest guy in the room”. Do the boring thing.

  • nj0
  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I would have really been excited had they drafted Early instead of Harris especially since Early went the very next pick to NY. This team has a lot of guards I’m hoping they add some front court help preferably a guy who can play with his back to the basket.

  • Pat Leonard

    I would prepare yourself for a more European style (aka Spurs style). The Cavs want bigs who can shoot from deep, and I think they took a big guard like Harris over Early because of his shooting as well. The Cavs are going to look to space the floor. I like Early, but I get why they took Harris over him.

  • eldaveablo

    Especially true with the #1 overall.

  • eldaveablo

    They landed a couple of Bigs in the trade with Charlotte. Admittedly, I don’t know if Haywood is still worth anything, but we only gave up Alonzo Gee.

  • mgbode

    if we cut Haywood, then we only lost $2mil on him, which we can say was the price for getting a prospect for Gee (who we likely would have not picked up the team-option on).

    if Haywood is healthy enough, then he’s a 7-footer who is strong and can play defense against other strong 7-footers. that’s valuable to a degree.

  • The Other Tim

    You know who else didn’t want us to draft Harris?

    Sergey Karasev, I’m guessing.

  • woofersus

    I feel pretty strongly that it was hardcore smoke. Not every team wanted Wiggins, so it was in the Cavs best interest to make it a mystery who they would pick. The media makes it so easy to just obliquely imply that some controversial decision may in the works and have it spread like wildfire because “read it on some guy’s twitter who heard it being speculated about by local radio” counts as a source these days.

  • B-bo

    If only Cleveland teams would subscribe to this more often

  • vespo09

    Then again, if you were the smartest guy in the room you probably wouldn’t be picking #1 overall.

  • hanover_fist

    We got Haywood for his contract. He gets paid 2M this year but has a team option for 10M next year. That’s a trade piece.