I will be joining the legendary Ken Carman on CBS Cleveland 92.3 FM The Fan around 8:20 this evening. We will be discussing the long list of tremendous opportunities the Cavaliers have to improve their roster this summer, beginning with the NBA Draft on June 27. It's always a great time talking basketball with Ken and I'm looking forward to the conversation. Be sure to tune in, or at least don't turn the show off when I come on. You can click here to stream the Ken Carman Show live.no comments
Leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, Nick Mancini will be profiling the top 20 players available. The Cleveland Cavaliers currently own pick Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33. Follow Nick on Twitter @nickmance.
No. 20. Tony Mitchell – North Texas, Sophomore SF, 6’-8”, 220 lbs
2013 stats – 13 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.7 BPG
As I write this, after the Cavs won the Lottery, I keep thinking; this won’t be as easy as the last two times they won the top pick.
But besides that top pick, they are also sitting at 19, where I think they have a great chance to get a guy who could provide an impact in 2013-14.
Rounding out the top 20 prospects this year is Tony Mitchell, a small forward from North Texas.
Mitchell, who could have declared after his freshman campaign, surprised many by returning for his sophomore season.
He didn’t put up the numbers many expected and actually regressed in most statistical categories. But he still remains a solid prospect. Mitchell has great size for a “3” and is an excellent athlete.
For a player standing 6'8", he has great speed and quickness with a solid motor. He uses his athleticism to get most of his points and has no problem playing above the rim. He also rebounds the ball extremely well and is a solid shot blocker.
Defensively, he can really be a force. He has the size to guard the post and the quickness to guard the perimeter. Add that to his shot blocking ability and there may be something interesting. But, as is the case with many players entering the league, he is very raw offensively.no comments
On Tuesday, laced with a more mature swag than we first saw three years ago, Nick Gilbert rolled in repping Cleveland with Machine Gun Kelly, his old man and a really excited local sports-talker and shook down David Stern, Adam Silver and the NBA establishment for another top pick.
After appearing disgusted to be seated among the losingest teams in the NBA, with good reason, the bowtie-wearing badass left with an asset that should help ensure that the Cavaliers do not return to the lottery stage in 2014.
But while winning each of the previous two NBA Draft Lottery's meant that your team would earn the right to select Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis respectively, this year it's anyone's guess.
That ultimate decision, thanks to Nick, now belongs to Chris Grant. His Cavaliers are on the clock, and however Grant chooses to use this newly acquired asset will ultimately define his career one way or another.
No pressure, bro.
But more than being forced to determine which player most deserves to be the No. 1 pick, the Cavs have an opportunity to simply select the one player in the entire draft that they would like to have on their team the most.
Meaning, just because Nerlens Noel is represented by the most powerful agency in the world in CAA, and managed to earn exclusive face-time during a lottery show preceding a draft where upwards of three players could be taken first overall, that doesn't necessarily mean that Grant has to take Nerlens at one.
He could, of course, but I'm not completely sold on the fact that the Cavaliers will.
To me, there are four different directions that Grant could go atop the draft that all yield distinctly different returns. I outlined each one below, along with my preliminary thoughts on said option.no comments
On May 21, 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery.
It's hard to express in words how incredible it is at this point to get the fist pick in the draft after suffering through the insufferable end of the season last month. But here it is.
We'll continue and increase our draft coverage here at Stepien Rules. I'm sure you noticed that our pre-lottery mock draft included PodCAVS veteran Alex Raffalli. Alex and I have followed the draft and NBA prospects very closely over the last 3 years and attended the 2011 Kyrie Irving NBA draft. Alex is a strong addition that Mr. Bowers and I are proud to bring you.
I'm immediately calling for Nerlens Noel. We'll see how this goes, but tonight, let it sink in Cavaliers fans. We all deserve this.no comments
The Draft Lottery will be determined by nightfall.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 15.6 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick, 15.74 chance of winning No. 2, 15.58 percent chance of winning No. 3, 22.56 chance of No. 4 and a 22.48 chance of No. 5. The worst they can draft is No. 6, where I'd maybe take Rudy Gobert, but that's a topic for another day.
16- Boston Celtics (David) - Jamaal Franklin: He just fits, simple as. He’ll score the ball, he can handle it and spend some time as your point man, he’s an exceptional athlete and he’s quick too -- two things the Celtics are sorely lacking. There are probably four or five guys better than him who were still on the board when I made this pick, but I just love the fit here. He was a standout at SDSU due to his scoring, rebounding and playmaking ability, and his transition to the pro game may be a little less seamless on a veteran laden squad. Great size for his spot also, he stand 6’5” and has major tools as a defender.
17- Atlanta Hawks (Brendan) - Jeff Withey: The second sentence on Jeff Withey's Wikipedia page describes the Kansas product as being "known for his shot-blocking ability and his defensive presence". During his short time on the national scene, Withey has already developed this type of repuation that also needs no statistical evidence to support. You draft ballers like that at pick No. 17 and you keep it moving.
18- Atlanta Hawks (Jack) - Glen Rice Jr.: He might have the biggest boom or bust potential of anyone in the draft in the last few years. He can shoot, drive and pass. He has nasty athleticism. He has professional experience. He’d probably be a high lottery pick in this draft based on his talent, ability and potential, if he wasn’t a total jerk. Literally kicked off his college team after a number of incidents, including one involving a gun, Glen Rice, Jr. went in the D-League draft to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers where he averaged 25 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals. Who’s in a position to take a chance on a 6’6” shooting guard with some personal problems and all the potential in the world? Danny Ferry with his second pick.
19- Cleveland Cavaliers (from Lakers) (Alex) - Kelly Olynyk: You were sick of Tyler Zeller’s softness? You will love Kelly Olynyk. Although I doubt he’ll really be available at 19 on Draft Day (and I blame the people taking part in this Mock for not selecting him earlier...), if the Cavs can get a 7-footer who shot 63% last season as the primary offensive option for Gonzaga and who raked up a CRAZY 27 and 11 per 40 minutes, I think they sign right now. Just because he has moves and footwork, he should probably go 5 spots higher since it’s a forgotten skill in the NBA today. Please, all the other teams, fck up this draft so bad that the Cavs get Olynyk! PLEASE!
20- Chicago Bulls (David) - Dennis Schroeder: He’s a little bit turnover prone (4.2 per-40) but he’s young, so that can and will be fixed. He’s got a wicked first step, he’s unstoppable in the open court and he’s got an extremely good handle already. He’s got good size for his spot and will fill out well once in an NBA environment, I think. His ceiling may be a whole lot higher than his draft position may imply; plus he’ll instantly be backup to Derrick Rose, if Rose ever returns, because somebody somewhere will throw a wad of cash at Nate Robinson that I don’t think Chicago will match. Nice pick here; could be an absolute steal.
We completed it just in time to revise this mock draft as soon as the lottery positions are assigned on Tuesday night. For now, though, Part 1 is below. Part 2 is coming later.
Team need was considered with each selection in combination with an overall talent ranking.
1- Orlando Magic (Brendan) - Nerlens Noel: His weight is a bit concerning along with the fact that he won't be healthy enough to make his rookie debut until Christmas. But Noel is the best shot-blocker in the country while also possessing a combination of size and athleticism you can't teach. It would be hard for Orlando to pass on a replacement-ish player for Dwight Howard here with the Kentucky freshman on the board.
2- Charlotte Bobcats (Jack) - Ben McLemore: This is the portrait of an athlete, a human shooting guard machine standing 6 foot 4 and a half inches in sneakers. McLemore has superhuman quickness, explosive leaping ability and picture perfect shooting mechanics, which have at times been compared to Ray Allen. He’s so good, that he could go first overall in this draft if a team had concerns about Noel’s health. His athleticism makes him excellent on defense and he has every tool to become a star in the league and his weaknesses are only in areas where he has undeveloped potential. There may be a conversation someday as to whether McLemore should have gone #1 in this draft, and I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the debate. If the Cavs somehow end up in a lottery position to take this guy, you draft him and figure out how to make it work later on.
3- Cleveland Cavaliers (Alex) - Otto Porter: The Cavaliers need everything Otto Porter brings, and they need it now. He has the length, the shooting ability, the basketball IQ and the defensive mind to fit in the Mike Brown mold and help the Cavs greatly at a position where they have been so bad since LeBron James left. He is the biggest upgrade the team could wish for. Of course, he isn’t the most athletic guy or the strongest (he needs to put a good 20lbs on his frame to defend bigger wing players, but what rookie doesn’t need to put up some weight anyway?) and might not be the most talented possible pick, but he will help the Cavs win! Also, given that his name means eight in Italian, I think he should be forced to have jersey #8. I mean, makes sense, right? (the only problem with this logic is that the most famous man named Otto in history is most likely Von Bismarck and he was German... Doesn’t make sense anymore, does it? And of course, I’m waiting for suggestions on “more” famous Otto's)
4 - Phoenix Suns (David) - Anthony Bennett: I don’t know if there’s a team more in need of help at either forward spot than the Suns. Bennett is a low post animal with an insane wingspan who’s already very accomplished at finishing in a crowd and while absorbing contact. Sure, he’s a tweener and he’ll have trouble guarding small forwards most of the time, but he could be real good real fast. Plus, he’s a brute who’ll bully his way to buckets from day one. The only downside here with this pick is that we could break up the possibility of the Suns starting both Morris twins next year, which for obvious reasons would have been brilliant on about 37 different levels.
5- New Orleans Pelicans (Brendan) - Victor Oladipo: This guy successfully completed a 360-dunk in a Big Ten Basketball game while also completing 19 credit hours to graduate from Indiana in three years. He wowed scouts at the combine with a 42-inch vertical, while also suggesting that those concerned with his height (6'4.25") simply round up to the nearest tenth and then he's 6'5". Relax. According to Oladipo he is "abnormal", which in my opinion gives him the potential to be great.no comments
As the measurements of this year's top draft prospects emerged from the NBA combine, I started wondering how each prospect compared to the current members of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In order to find those answers, I searched through the wealth of historical data provided by DraftExpress.com.
I was unable to locate measurements for Anderson Vareajo, C.J. Miles, Mo Speights or Daniel Gibson.
I did find the predraft measurements for Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington, Kyrie Irving, Shaun Livingston, Alonzo Gee and Omri Casspi.
I compared those eight Cavaliers to the top-rated big man, shooting guard, point guard and small forward on most people's boards by selecting Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Trey Burke and Otto Porter, respectively.
I then made the following chart in excel to answer my initial question.
Data gathered above via DraftExpress.com
For more of a power forward comp, I tried using Anthony Bennett. He measured 6'7" with shoes, weighed 239 points and has a 7'1" wingspan but he wasn't measured in the other three areas.
As far as Bennett is concerned, though, he weighs 12 pounds more than Thompson did at the combine and is almost two inches shorter.
Zeller, meanwhile, weighed 41 pounds more than Noel in case you were wondering.
Ben McLemore is about an inch taller than Waiters and in a little better combine shape from a body fat perspective.
Trey Burke is not as tall as Irving and doesn't weigh as much as Kyrie did either, which suprised me for some reason. It sure would be really interesting if you could go make some futures bets on some of these measurements at sports.bwin.com/en/nba. I know I'd be intrigued to see what kind of props they could come up with!
Otto Porter's 7'1.5" wingspan was pretty surprising too in the sense that he's not only longer than Alonzo Gee, he also has a longer wingspan than both Thompson and Zeller. Or is it wider?
Either way, Porter has some freaky measurements for a small forward.no comments
Even though we both grew up in the Cleveland area, I first met Rodger Bohn a couple years ago through writing for SLAM. Besides being a great dude, Rodger also grinds as hard as anyone I know in the basketball business.
In addition to covering the game, Bohn also works for Synergy Sports and is breaking down film on a full-time basis.
He is currently kicking off his annual pre-draft workout tour for SLAM where he will personally attend and cover the individual private workouts for over 40 of the NBA's top prospects.
I caught up with Bohn earlier this week to talk about his pre-draft tour, as well as to ask him who he thinks the Cavaliers should be targeting in this June's draft.
StepienRules: Before we get into the draft prospects, can you first fill everyone in on your journey through the basketball world prior to covering the game for SLAM and other outlets?
Rodger Bohn: I grew up on the west side of Cleveland and headed to Lakewood for high school. We had the winningest team in our school's history my senior year and I was fortunate enough to play with numerous college players like Matt Fannin (Navy), Dave Fox (St. Bonaventure), Mark Fannin (Navy), Greg Vlosich (Cleveland State), Verdell Billingsley (Toledo, then Ferris State), John Dillingham (Fairmont State), and others.
I was always more of a glue guy on the team, trying to lead by example with my hustle and never putting up huge stats. From high school, I went to Cleveland State for two years. I coached at Lakewood during my freshman year of college, then tried to walk-on at Cleveland State during my sophomore year. I recall guarding Modibo Niakate in open gym (who is now playing professionally in France’s top league) and realizing I certainly wasn’t equipped to defend a D-1 shooting guard.
From Cleveland State, I went to Kent State for my last two years. It was at this time that I began working with Cleveland Basketball Club on the AAU circuit and doing some freelance work for Rivals. I then went on to be a student assistant my last year at Kent, learning from some great guys like Jim Christian (Ohio U head coach), Rob Senderoff (current Kent State coach), and Josh Oppenheimer (Chicago-based NBA trainer). At that point, I knew that I was destined for a career in basketball and have worked my way up ever since.
SR: And now you're living in North Carolina these days when you're not traveling, correct? How long have you been down there?
RB: I’ve been down in North Carolina now for about three years. I came down here right around the lockout to do more college work. Living in ACC country, I see far more college games than I saw living in Cleveland. Of course, I’m not watching as much NBA basketball as I used to given that the Bobcats games are blacked out here, so I’m forced to spend my fair share of time catching up on the NBA game via Synergy.
SR: Reading up on your High School High blog at SLAM, looks like you've been spending time recently with Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, James Ennis and others--who all have you attended workouts with so far on your predraft tour?
RB: Man, I’ve been all over. We’ve got stuff with Burke, Oladipo, Jamaal Franklin, Ricardo Ledo, Peyton Siva, Erik Murphy, James Ennis, Mark Lyons, Deshaun Thomas, Zeke Marshall, Colton Iverson, etc. It’s honestly kind of insane to think that I’ve seen more players workout than most NBA teams have at this point.
SR: Who has impressed you the most?
RB: Naturally, guys like Oladipo and Trey Burke are going to impress you the most being the most talented guys. Oladipo went through his workout as if it were Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Trey Burke went straight from the airport to the gym, then shot the lights out of the ball from the NBA line. Jamaal Franklin is a guy who showed a lot more than what he did at San Diego State, namely off of the dribble and with his consistency from three, which should shoot up him draft boards.
Colton Iverson is another guy who really surprised me by measuring right around 7‘0 in shoes, setting the hardest screens of anyone in the Draft, and being deceptively athletic. Then you have a guy like Peyton Siva who everyone already basically knows, but actually to see that his reputation is accurate. By that, I mean that he really does push his teammates, gives max effort at all times, and is the type of guy you’d love to have as a teammate. As with most players, you can see a whole lot more when you’re in the flesh than you do when you’re watching from your couch.no comments
The “green room” at the 2012 NBA Draft is not a room. It is a cordoned off section of a giant indoor arena to the front and the right of the stage. 14 men, selected by NBA Commissioner David Stern, sit there with their families and friends and agents at small black tables of 6. When the draft begins, the lights in the entire arena will dim, including this area. The stage will be lit, and in what has become tribute from fans of the league, Stern will emerge to a reliable chorus of boos from the crowd in attendance.
The 14 young men will wait to be called to the stage and selected by teams as NBA players. There are other prospective NBA players present, seated in the lower bowl further off to the right side of Stern’s stage beside spectators, agents and an overflow of eager families and friends.
Few of the men in the “green room” know when and by which team they will be drafted. Anthony Davis from the University of Kentucky, the consensus best NBA prospect in the country, is expected to go first. Beyond that, it is conjecture. The press corps sits to the left of the stage behind tables and lap top computers that resemble pens and furious caged animals. Each writer has his suspicions, prognostications for which man will be taken by which team, trades that may occur or have been discussed between teams.
The Cleveland Cavaliers draft process has been saturated with wild rumors for the two seasons that General Manager Chris Grant has run the organization. This draft is no different. The Cavaliers have 4 selections to make this evening. Two first round picks: their own at #4 and a pick acquired for Ramon Sessions from the Lakers near the trade deadline which had been highly criticized at the time by the national media, but which netted Cleveland the Lakers #24th pick overall in the draft. Two second round picks, their own at #33, and the New Orleans Hornets at #34, a pick acquired from the Miami Heat as the result of the sign and trade transaction in 2010 that allowed the Heat to obtain the rights to LeBron James.
The media has been reporting for weeks that it is unlikely that the Cavaliers will obtain four new players. The consistent report is that this is too many rookies at one time for the team to add. Further, that picks will be used as trade currency, either to move up in the draft or exchanged for future draft picks in another draft or for a player already on another team. These rumors culminate on draft day, when the final rumor reported is that Chris Grant has offered all the Cavaliers four selections to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for the first pick overall.
But when the lights in the house finally go down and the stage lights up for the first pick to be announced, Anthony Davis, a franchise forward with otherworldly defensive abilities as well as a signature eyebrow conspiracy in the middle of his face, is selected by New Orleans. And the clock begins on the rest of the draft and uncertainty for the remaining 13 in the green room.
Dion Waiters, who will be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has some measure of certainty. He has reportedly been given “an assurance” by some team, and perhaps multiple teams that they will select him. The most popular rumors are that the Phoenix Suns, who will select at #13 or the Toronto Raptors, who will select at #8 have told Waiters that they will draft him. The Raptors rumor is based at least in part on the fact that Waiters has shut down his workouts early, an indicator that he was given a reliable promise by someone in some organization. He knows he will be drafted. He knows it will be in the lottery.
Waiters leans back in his chair in a three piece suit at a table next to the Zeller family. Dion Waiters always sits with confidence. He is a bench player from Syracuse University whose explosiveness coming into games catapulted him up draft charts into the lottery and into the 4th overall pick. He is selected 4th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where many expected them to draft Harrison Barnes, a North Carolina player they had reportedly coveted in the 2011 Draft, but who had elected to stay in college.no comments
In October, I wrote about the unique opportunity that Dion Waiters had to contend for NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012-13. The award obviously went to Damian Lillard in a landslide, but Waiters still finished the season in good company.
Along with Lillard, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis and Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters was named NBA All-Rookie First team on Tuesday.
According to the release issued by the Cavaliers, Waiters received 21 first-team votes and eight second team votes for a total of 50 points.
This after finishing the season at 14.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds. In the event you were wondering, below is what I initially predicted in terms of Waiters' statistical production this season in that October article I was talking about.
Which brings me to my prediction for Dion Waiters' final stat line this season: 16.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
For those keeping score at home, I was off by 1.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists. And while he was never really close for ROY--outside of being named Rookie of the Month once--I've remained proud of that prediction.
As was Waiters proud to be named All-Rookie First Team according to the press release.
“I’m honored to receive an award like this and it makes me hungry to keep working hard and focus on taking the next steps to improve my game,” said Waiters. “I can’t wait to get back to work with my teammates and Coach Brown, though, because I’m excited about what our potential can be as a group.”
Humble and hungry as always.
The other young Cavalier recognized on Tuesday was Tyler Zeller who was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.no comments