Credit the Cleveland Cavaliers for executing the ultimate misinformation strategy in the days leading up to the NBA Draft.
Nobody saw the Anthony Bennett pick coming. Not even the guy who made this slow motion highlight video that has Bennett looking like something of a superhero.
The guy I picked for the Cavaliers, Otto Porter, ended up going No. 3 to the Washington Wizards. Alex Len, the player I thought the Cavs were going to take, ended up going two picks later to the Phoenix Suns.
Nerlens Noel, meanwhile, was selected at No. 6 before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holdiay (!!!).
In Anthony Bennett, the Cavaliers have a dynamic forward who can score the ball in multiple ways. Some people have compared Bennett to Larry Johnson but that's primarily based him attending the same school and playing the same position.
If he can become Grandmama 2.0, however, well...that would be fantastic.
You'd have to assume that Bennett will come off the bench to back up fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson as a rookie.
If Anderson Varejao is eventually traded, maybe Thompson slides over to the five and Bennett becomes the starter at power forward.
I don't personally see how Bennett could play the three in the League in case you were wondering.
UPDATE: Cavs add Sergey Karasev at No. 19
Heading into the NBA Draft, I believed the Cleveland Cavaliers would be best served by spending their 19th overall pick on Sergey Karasev from Russia.
Turns out, after selecting Anthony Bennett at No. 1 overall, the Cavs did specifically that in acquiring Karasev on Thursday night.
Back on June 16, I selected Karsev at No. 19 for Cleveland in the SLAMonline.com Mock Draft. Below is an excerpt of what I wrote on Karasev at the time.
After making the No. 1 overall selection, the Cavaliers are back on the clock at 19. They originally acquired this pick through a trade that sent Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.
The Cavs will be targeting the highest-ranked prospect on their board at this spot and that is the now 19-year-old small forward from Russia named Sergey Karasev.
In 2011, while playing for the Under-19 Russian National Team, Karasev scored 17 points in a 79-74 victory over a Team USA. The American squad that day included Meyers Leonard, Jeremy Lamb, Tim Hardaway Jr and Doug McDermott among others.
During the ’12-13 campaign, while playing under the direction of his father, Vasily, Karasev averaged 16.5 points in 45 games for Triumph Moscow. He went for a season-high 27 in a five-point win over Khalid El-Amin’s Le Mans team on November 7 when he connected on 6-7 three-pointers.
Karasev also registered season-highs of six assists and 10 rebounds with Triumph last year. Like his father, Sergey has the ability to create shots for himself and others. He’s most comfortable scoring the basketball, however, and that is the role the Cavaliers will hope he can fill coming off the bench in the Association.
Besides Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee is the only other wing player Cleveland currently has under a guaranteed contract for ’13-14. Wayne Ellington is a restricted free agent, CJ Miles is on a non-guaranteed deal and Cleveland does need quality depth at the wing.
The goal for the Cavs in making this pick is to eventually build their second unit around Karasev.
Full Article: Sergey Karasev, No. 19 (Mock Draft)