By winning the rights to the first and fourth picks in the 2011 NBA draft, the Cavaliers had just about the best possible outcome in last night's lottery. Special thanks to the LA Clippers for serving up on a silver platter what turned into the number one selection. Trading the rights to the top pick for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon was foolish and unlucky even by Clippers standards, but we do appreciate the Clip's apparent dedication to a speedy basketball renaissance in Cleveland.
And, with point guard Kyrie Irving on the board, let's go ahead and call the first pick a foregone conclusion. Irving, fresh off a short but dominant 14-minute career at Duke, is precisely the kind of explosive player the Cavs need in an increasingly point guard-dominated league.
The fourth pick? Not so easy to forecast. This draft has been called one of the weakest in recent memory by the people who get paid to know these kinds of things, but more optimistic types know that any draft will produce at least a handful of viable NBA players. Sometimes finding a 'diamond in the rough' requires a little bit of thinking 'outside the box,' so to speak. May we suggest an unlikely candidate?
The Sheffield Lake Girl, the sure-handed, hard-hitting first basewoman who has led the Cleveland Indians to a stunning 26-13 start, has understandably been flying under the draft radar. Having never played a game of college, high school, middle school or rec. league basketball (or, to our knowledge, Nerfoop), most mock drafts project her going mid to late first round at best. Since the end of a regular season that saw the Cavaliers finish with a lowly 19-63 record, our scouts have been staking out the fairgrounds of Northeast Ohio for a peek at the SLG's skill at the Pop-a-Shot. Our report? Not only will those long legs and short shorts mesmerize opposing players, The SLG has a positively filthy crossover dribble to complement what one top scout is calling the best two-handed set shot since Joe Lapchick was running with the Cleveland Rosenblums. Furthermore, the SLG brings the kind of hometown appeal that has been missing ever since You-Know-Who did You-Know-What.
Should the SLG be unavailable at #4, we believe that the 6'10" center Enes Kanter is an intriguing alternative.