This is – hopefully – the last Draft Lottery piece I’ll be writing that provokes a strong interest from us Cavs fans. I wanna be done with it, I’m sick of waiting for the numbers to be drawn and finding out where the Cavaliers are picking.
I’ve had enough, it’s over with now. Send the memo to Kyrie, Coach Brown and co. that this is the last year I want to be in the lottery before Kyrie actually turns into Uncle Drew for real. But seeing as we do have a keen interest in this draft – spots 1-5 could be real good real fast – it’s time for me to dust off my keyboard and crack out my usual three or four pieces on the draft.
We’ll hold off on the Mock Draft until we find out who's picking where and when; today we’ll focus strictly on certain types of players. I’ve broken it down into five sections:
1) Absolutely, positively no regrets in taking this guy.
2) Not our first choice, but I’m happy with this pick
3) I’ve got concerns, so I’ll take him late lottery
4) Red Flag Alert, call the Pentagon
And my own personal favorite section, “If we don’t pick him, he’s going to turn around and bite us in the ass down the line”, otherwise known as the Andre Drummond section.
Before we start, let’s get it clear here by clarifying that this draft isn’t as weak as people are saying it is. Sure there isn’t an out-and-out franchise player here – we need to wait for 2014 for those guys – but there are at least 8 guys who will come in straight away and play, and play well.
And besides, in the last five drafts, how many true franchise-level guys have we unearthed? I think there is anything from 2 to 5 All-Stars in this draft and I really believe that. Anyways, let’s get the ball rolling…
“Section One – Absolutely, positively no regrets in taking this guy”
Let’s start with what he can’t do–it’ll be easier. He can’t make free throws, he can’t shoot and he’s pretty raw in the post. Now, as for what he can do, well…he’s a monster inside as a shot blocker/rim protector. His leaping ability and intuitiveness for snuffing out shots is already at a very high NBA level, and with seasoning he’ll only get better.
He doesn’t bite on pump fakes as much as you’d think, and he’s got very quick hands that helped him to rack up two steals per game in college. He will get called a lot for reaching in when he’s starting out in the pros, but again, with seasoning and the steep learning curve he’ll face he will learn and will improve. If you’re a team in need of defense, athleticism, intensity on the boards and a leader in the middle he’s your guy.
I’d argue that there are only five NBA centers right now I’d rather have than Noel for the next 3-6 years. And even then, five might be pushing it. He’s an absolute stud, and I’m going to go as far as saying he’s a “can’t miss” prospect. He’ll be the number one pick, that’s for sure. I’d love for the Cavs to luck out (again) and end up choosing first, but it’s probably going to be Orlando. So start looking for suitors for Nikola Vucevic cause Noel should be let loose from day one, and by day one I mean when he’s ready to roll after the ACL injury. I said I’d keep that bit til last.
As a freshman on a national title contender, McLemore was, at times, jaw-droppingly good at Kansas. Remember his 30-point game against rivals Kansas State? Or his whichever-you-want-I-don’t-care-I’m-scoring-anyway performance against West Virginia? The kid can flat out score the crap out of the basketball–and has a tendency to do so at an efficient rate.
He has next-level athletic ability and will be a monster in the open court from day one as a pro. His gaudy college shooting percentages will naturally drop his rookie year, but when he fully figures himself – and his game – out, this guy could be pretty good.
Player A – 32 minutes a game, 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and a 50-42-87 shooting line
Player B – 34 minutes a game, 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and a 45-34-77 shooting line
Player A is Ben McLemore, Player B is Bradley Beal. The same Bradley Beal scouts were enamored with in the buildup to last years draft and the same Bradley Beal who had pro executives drooling over his potential when he played this season without John Wall by his side. Bradley Beal is a damn good rookie and will have a very good NBA career – but Ben McLemore could be special, real special. That’s the difference.