Though he estimates that the top six could go any of ten different ways, ESPN’s Chad Ford sticks to his guns this week by saying that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select shooting guard Bradley Beal with the fourth-overall selection. With the Florida product having made his way to Cleveland to show what he has, Ford thinks that his performance may have solidified his selection if he finds a way to make it to the No. 4 pick.
“The Cavs had Beal and Barnes in for a head-to-head workout on Saturday,” writes Ford. ”While both played well, the word out of Cleveland is that Beal was a little better. That could seal the deal for Beal at No. 4 if he falls this far. But remember that workouts are just one small part of a much bigger process. The Cavs have been very interested in Barnes for the past year and could decide they prefer his size.”
Four inches of added height and a historical bout of romance dating back to last summer’s draft are certainly in Barnes’ corner, but there is increasing speculation that he could be had as low as sixth-overall. Would the Cavaliers be willing to reach beyond the opinions of the pundits? How about a trade down? Other teams are certianly interested in Beal, so a deal could be done if the price was right.
Addressing the shooting guard slot early, Ford has the Cavaliers focusing on the small forard spot later in the first round. Their means? The 6-foot-10-inch small forward out of Baylor, Quincy Miller.
“If the Cavs add Beal, they could try to swing for the fences with Miller,” says Ford. ”There are a lot of concerns about his knee and what position he’ll play in the pros. But his upside is so high that it might be worth taking a gamble this low in the draft. There’s very little risk and a lot of potential reward here.”
Ford’s last mock draft had the Cavaliers selecting center Fab Melo with the 24th-overall selection. This week’s has Melo’s name flying off of the board with the 18th-overall pick. Notables like Perry Jones III (19), Jared Sullinger (20) and Andrew Nicholson (21) pepper the latter half of the first-round.