When you cheer for a crappy team, the draft is the best night of the year. Hope is abound that your team will find new talent to replace the crappy old talent that put your team in its current state of suckitude. The Cavs are a crappy team. I cheer for the Cavs.
However, while the NFL Draft is a sort of a spiritual odyssey for me, the NBA Draft is more of a “I’m interested to see how things pan out” experience. I guess I like football more than basketball, and I watch a lot more college football than I do college basketball. Drafts are more interesting when you have seen the participants play. Thus, even though the Cavs had the number four pick, and were rumored to be hot ‘n heavy in talks to acquire the number 2 pick (presumably to take Bradley Beal), I was at the grocery store and subsequently grilling during the first 10 selections. Around pick 7, I did poke my head in to check out the draft ticker and see who the Cavs selected, or if they’d traded up, or what. I saw Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse, next to the Cavs’ name at number 4. My first thought was, “who the hell is that guy?” Of course, there was a little added confusion because I didn’t have my glasses on and I thought the “G” was a “C,” so I was initially under the impression that the Cavs had drafted Fab Melo’s backup at number four….thanks to my buddy Wayner for clearing that up!
I was led to believe that Anthony Davis, Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, and perhaps Harrison Barnes were the top talents in the Draft. I was also led to believed that the Cavs’ brass had man-crushes on Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Barnes. Supposedly they were in trade talks with Charlotte all week. eSPN kept reporting ad nauseum about how the Cavs were going to trade down to number two to get Beal. Kidd-Gilchrist was Kyrie’s high school teammate. Barnes is buddies with Kyrie and the Cavs have loved him since last year. So, who the hell is this Waiters character?
Lucky for me, fellow Legend editor, Cuse’ In Da House, watches infinity times more college basketball than I do. And as his handle would indicate, he knows volumes about the Syracuse Orangemen (also, Cuse’ In Da House is working on an awesome and ambitious post about the ramifications of the Four Team Playoff in college football if it had been in place since the BCS’s inception. Look for it!). I asked Mr. In Da House to talk me off the ledge, and although I think he was offended by the fact I’d never heard of Dion Waiters, he relayed some great stuff about Dion. Like the fact that Jim Boeheim thinks that no NBA player save Russell Westbrook will be able to guard Dion one-on-one. And that Dion is a badass scoring machine. And that he is arguably the most “NBA ready” guard in the draft. This is what the Cavs need since they have zero players besides Kyrie Irving on the roster who are good at that whole scoring thing. Color me happy on the Waiters pick.
Next up, the Cavs traded the rest of their draft for the number 17 pick, 7′-0″ Center out of North Cackalacky, Tyler Zeller. Since he’s been around for four years, I’ve heard of him. I naturally assumed that being a seven foot white guy, he was slow and stiff. Turns out he is actually athletic and quick, but also soft and weak. That’s okay with me. I’ve never known a slow and stiff player to become athletic, but players can and do gain strength. Let’s just hope Mr. Zeller doesn’t lift weights with Phil Taylor to bulk up. Reports tell me that Zeller is another fellow who is gifted offensively. This is good. The Cavs need a center, preferably one who can score. The more time that Sideshow Bob and Tristan Thompson spend at power forward rather than center, the better. Am I warming up to this draft? I think so. I was initially disappointed that the Cavs traded away three picks to get Zeller in what is supposed to be the deepest NBA draft ever, but luckily Mr. In Da House straightened me out again. Would you want the three headed monster of Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, and Jae Crowder (the players selected by the Mavs with the picks acquired in the Zeller trade), or an athletic center to run with Kyrie and Dion? I’ll take option B, thank you very much.
So, after some initial fear, confusion, and anger, I am now pleased with what the Cavs did last night. The Cavs desperately needed a scoring threat at either the SF or SG position. They got a SG who excels at scoring the ball. They also needed a center with potential who can score. Done and done. Do holes remain on the Cavs roster? Yes, but steps were taken to improve. I also learned some important things last night. Mainly the fact that I don’t know jack about college basketball. And this makes sense since I don’t really watch it until March Madness these days. Knowing is half the battle. Good job Cavs’ head honchos, keep up the good work!
About the Author: I am a Cleveland sports and Buffalo Sabres fanatic. I'm currently living in Erie, but even when I'm not there, Erie runs deep in me. I'm an ex multi-sport goalie, and we goalies tend to see things a bit differently. I went to college with Cecilio's Scribe and I am also a Big Red afficiando. Otherwise my college sports loyalties are all over the place. I try to keep my posts light, but I'm a Cleveland fan so the occassional rant is possible (inevitable?).