After having a full day to soak in the 2012 NBA Draft I can see the pieces of the puzzle coming together. The rebuild is in full steam now with two more young players in the fold. My thoughts:
THEY’RE REALLY HAPPY
I think most Cavs fans felt that initial jolt when #4 was announced. The results of our mock draft based craziness when it comes to drafts reared it’s ugly head. REACH!! WHO?? I’m Done!!! We all saw it on twitter or heard it in person. Basically nobody, and I mean NOBODY, had Waiters slotted to us therefore it was a crazy thing to do right? Well, don’t tell that to Chris Grant or Byron Scott because they’re acting like that dude in Die Hard 3 riding out of NYC with dump trucks full of gold. Based off of what they’re saying and the insight in the great article by Brian Windhorst, who was in the Cavs war room, it appears the Cavs had a plan and executed it to a tee. My own initial reaction was about 10 seconds of disappointment followed by happiness. I wanted Barnes because I wanted the Cavs to think scoring. They clearly had that mindset but just had Waiters way over Barnes on their board. I also was high enough on Waiters to tweet a few days before the draft that I could see him winning rookie of the year. I just had no idea he’d be in play for us at #4. It seems, on the surface, the Cavs came away with two young players at extreme need positions that they were targeting all along.
ON DION WAITERS
I love a lot about this pick but have questions also. I guess my only gripe is not sitting down and interviewing this kid. If I’m Chris Grant there’s definitely questions I want answered but I’m not going to focus in on that right now because I’m feeling pretty optimistic about this pick overall. First off, I love that he truly loves basketball. I love the story of him almost collapsing in tears after the Buckeyes ended his season this March. I love that when he was dealing with family tragedy after family tragedy he took to the courts. His Mom said he was out there all day and night rain or shine playing basketball. He has a bravado on the court that leads people to refer to him as “a pit bull” or say that he “doesn’t shy away from anyone.” He brings a playground toughness to our team that we don’t have. He’s physical and he thinks he can destroy anyone. I get the feeling we’re going to love rooting for this kid because on top of his mentality he has loads of talent. According to Draft Express he shot 47% from between 17 ft and the 3 point line. He shot 36% from 3 point range (better than Beal) and is a nightmare in both transition and in pick and roll. But his overwhelming strength is, scouts say, that nobody can keep him out of the lane. I can already feel myself berating NBA officials on his behalf.
ON TYLER ZELLER