The Cavs Could be SOOOO Good but blew it!
The Cavs have a ton of young talent on their team but if you look at the talent they SHOULD have it will make you sick.
Starting in the 2011 Draft
They nail the Kyrie Pick
They take Tristan Thompson the pick before Jonas Valanciunas. BIG mistake. Jonas clearly has a brighter future.
They take Dion Waiters who isn't terrible but appears to be a journeyman 6th Marcus Thornton type player.
Players taken right after were Lillard, Barnes, and Drummond. Let's say they pass on Lillard because they already have Kyrie. They pass on Drummond because they already have Jonas. So they take Harrison Barnes.
They take Tyler Zeller which isn't bad and I won't kill them over that pick. There are a few players I would rather have at that spot but to be fair Zeller isn't bad.
2013 NBA draft
Not a huge Anthony Bennett fan but let's say they take him and deal Varejao or keep him as a 6th man. Or they could have taken Oladipo/McLemore or whoever to fill one of the wings and left Varejao at PF.
PG - Kyrie
SG - Free Agent
SF - Harrison Barnes
PF - Anthony Bennett
C - Jonas Valanciunas
6th Man - Tyler Zeller/Varejao
I would say that lineup is much more potent than the roster they have currently and they didn't whiff on their picks but they had it in the palm of their hand to hit 2 home runs in Barnes and Jonas instead of doubles with Waiters and Thompson.
What also irks me is Harrison Barnes and Jonas Valanciunas were the consensus better players during the time. It's not like Thompson or Waiters were higher rated prospects and were overtaken in the pros. It was OBVIOUS to take them!
Anyway the Cavs aren't in a terrible position but they should be in a much BETTER position.
While your resoning makes sense you have to take account based on who they pick Their draft pick would change. They may not have had the first pick if they go Barnes for instance.
Would you rather have Harrison Barnes and the 5th pick in this draft or Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett? I don't know about you but give me Barnes and the 5th pick over Waiters and Bennett.
Also to the people sending out the negs speak your mind. I welcome it.
1. Jonas Valanciunas has a better outlook than Tristan Thompson.
2. Harrison Barnes and Dion Waiters is not even a comparison. Barnes is head and shoulders better.
If you disagree then please post.
I think there could have been better picks made but overall they did at least a B+ in drafting. Several reasons besides gut feel and analytics went into why the guys you wanted drafted didn't get picked.
The Thompson pick was a tough one because Jo Val who had been mocked to the Cavs for like 10 months and the front office saw play at least 20 times was represented by Leon Rose, Lebron's former agent. He wouldn't give the Cavs any info on what year Jo Val was coming over and wouldn't even answer their calls on draft night. If guys as clearly skilled as McLemore fall on draft night do to hangers on and shaky representatives then why would a team pick a guy repped by the Decision agent who left them hanging and had continually disrespected them before the draft. A team that needs everything and has the 1 and 4 pick in the draft and could have had locked up ten year bookends. Grant wanted Jo Val and Scott wanted Klay Thompson the son of former Laker teammate Mychal Thompson. Scott was his god father and brought on his older brother Mychal Thompson to the Cavs as a undrafted free agent. Tristan Thompson was both of their second choices and the numbers backed it up including a legendary workout in which he out worked everybody there.
Brad Beal out muscled, out hustled and out shot H Barnes in a workout before the draft in a combined Cavs workout and Barnes admitted he had a bad workout. A 6'5ish 2 guard out everythinged a 6'8 SF who is known for his shooting. Byron Scott said before the draft he didn't trust Barnes and he was referring to his ability to compete and passion. Scott and Grant wanted Waiters but MKG was the top choice (the brow was not an option) followed by Beal then Waiters and Drummond. Scott's statement was a bold and before the playoffs Barnes did have really low offensive numbers and a large degree of passivity. They wanted MKG because of his heart and settled to some extend on Waiters because he is fearless. Barnes has changed a lot of minds and I'm sure they are thinking twice about the picks just like you are. Remember a week before the draft Dan Gilbert followed Oladipo on Twitter the only non Cav he follows and only rookie candidate for sure. He likes passion and that is well known and if the owner and not the GM was picking he would have selected Dipo.
I would prefer KI, KT, , Bennett, Drummond if I were well-wishing. Shooting everywhere except the great energy big and they could play like the Rockets, nothing but drive and finish or kick. Kawhi Leonard could be considered at 4 in the Irving draft also since I would rather have him than Barnes. Not that he is light years better at all but because he seems like a guy who basketball is the most important thing in his life. Leonard, Vucevic and Klay Thompson has done more in the league than Jo Val or Tristan Thompson and are in place so far for second best guy in that draft class.
You can do this for like 80% of teams in the league. I'll do the twolves for instance:
2009 Draft - Take Curry with the 5th and Derozan with the 6th instead of Rubio and Flynn
2010 Draft - Take Paul George instead of Wes Johnson
2011 Draft - Take Valanciunas instead of Derrick Williams
Pg - Curry
Sg - Derozan
Sf - George
Pf - Love
C - Valanciunas
I agree with you. I picked the Cavs to do it on but I think it would be interesting for you to do a breakdown of the Wolves which I completely agree with you on. They made a lot of very bad decisions and could be soo much better if they had made better decisions. That is what separates the teams like the Spurs who can find Kawhi after the lottery and the Wolves who whiff on Wes Johnson in the top 5 or draft Derrick Williams who basically plays the same position as Kevin Love. I like Derrick Williams as a player but to draft him when you already have Kevin Love made no sense just like drafting two points guards at picks 5 and 6 then drafting Ty Lawson in the same draft. It's not fantasy basketball where you can draft 5 PG's.
In 28.8 mpg, Dion Waiters averaged 14.7 ppg on 41.2% shooting with 3 apg, 2.4 rpg, and 2 TO per game as a rookie.
In 25.4 mpg, Harrison Barnes averaged 9.2 ppg on 43.9% shooting with 1.2 apg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.2 TO per game as a rookie.
Especially when you take into account the fact that Waiters got to the FT line more, made more threes, and plays at a weaker position, I would say Waiters had a more impressive rookie season. Barnes also benefitted from playing for a team where the defensive attention was all focused on the backcourt.
To call Barnes a home run pick is premature. Waiters is a later blooming prospect than Barnes and is not necessarily a low upside pick. If he had started and gotten more minutes in college, I think he may be more hyped.
I do agree that the Thompson pick wasn't great and I didn't like it at the time, but he hasn't exactly been a bust. He is still a young player who is developing and looks the part of a solid NBA role player.
The Cavs have a very promising set of scorers and could become a dangerous offensive team through internal improvement.
I understand your point on Waiters and he did have better numbers in a few categories in his rookie year. If you look deeper though Waiters was on the Cavs and they have Kyrie as their only pure scorer on the team which by default makes Waiters the second option. Harrison Barnes is the 5th option on his team. Curry, Klay, Lee, Jarrett Jack, and Bogut when healthy are all above him on the pecking order for points.
Barnes is a much better defender than Waiters and he has an NBA body that will hold up long term. Barnes will have a better career than Waiters. Waiters is on pace for a Marcus Thornton type career as a hallow scorer which isn't bad but when you had the option to take Barnes it has to hurt.
If you put Barnes on the Cavs last season and gave him the minutes Waiters received I think it is safe to say he averages around the same amount of points with a better efficiency. With that being said and what I said previously, I do like the future outlook for the Cavs but I think it could be even better.
Why would Barnes have better efficiency if he was on the Cavs? He wouldn't be nearly as ignored on offense if he was a team's second option. Sure, Barnes would have averaged more points on the Cavs, but his efficiency would suffer, as it would for any player in the entire league. I doubt as a rookie Barnes could have averaged 14.7 ppg on the efficiency Waiters had in the same number of minutes Waiters played.
I am not going to dispute the fact that Barnes is the better defender, has a physique less prone to weight gain, and has a height advantage, which helps his long term potential. On the other hand, pretty much as SFs have height advantages over SGs, and usually SFs are more efficient as well.
I think it is close to a toss-up over who is better right now, Waiters or Barnes. Barnes has the edge on defense, but Waiters is better on offense. Long term, it depends what you are looking for, but I would give a slight edge to Waiters. Waiters is known for his work ethic and has apparently been cleaning up his shooting form and his physique fairly dramatically over the offseason. Barnes is the more polished player as of right now, but Waiters is more athletic and has more room to improve physically. I also like that Waiters is better at getting to the rim, which is the one area of the game that is difficult to improve with age.
Barnes would not have been a bad pick for the Cavs, but Waiters presents even greater upside and, despite being more of a late bloomer as a prospect, arguably had an even better rookie season than Harrison Barnes. If Waiters can learn to go straight-up on his jump shot and continue to refine his decision making on both ends of the floor, I can see him being a 20 ppg scorer in a couple of years.
Although I do like the Bennet pick. The Cavs team could be so much better. They drafted wrong when they picked Thompson and Waiters. Harrison Barnes was a much better pick than Waiters at the time. Although Waiters had stronger numbers in his rookie year Barnes had the better Rookie year especially after you seen the type of contributions he made during the playoffs. Thompson isn't going to be an All-star caliber player and with the 4th pick in the draft I think you should get an all-star caliber player. Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard were much better options at No.4. They are both better than Thompson and Waiters at this moment. There has to be something said about the fact that Waiters didn't start for Syracuse. We seen this before with Marvin Williams and UNC. There's a reason why these guys are coming off the bench in College.
All these points are nonsensical. It's all pretty much a guessing game. Especially when you're talking about the teams(like the Cavs) who are in the top of the lottery every year. Most of the time, most teams have similar mock boards. Meaning, most of the teams picking in the top 10 this year probably had Dipo, McLemore, Len, Noel, etc... high on their draft boards. It's just a matter of picking the guy you think is the best or fits the best for you're team. It's all shoulda, woulda, coulda. Like Costy15 said, you could go back and redo most teams drafts and have them end up with awesome lineups. Every year there are sleepers or guys who have injury concerns or character concerns that they end up getting straightened out and become great players unexpectedly. And let's face it, sometimes these highly paid scouts and gm's aren't as good as they should be either. All us on this site know about a ton of good prospects and underrated players too. even we can pick guys that don't get drafted high that we think will be good someday and are right sometime. We have YouTube. It just all depends on who puts the work in when they get to the league.
But that's what these Forums are for and its a valid conversation if we're being practical. Barnes was a better prospect coming out of highschool and college than Waiters. Waiters was a serious reach where he was drafted.
But I'm saying, maybe he wasn't a serious reach to the Cavs. They spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out who they thought was the best at they position they wanted. The ROY last year was picked 6th. So, the player who played the best and was the best fit for his team was passed up by 5 teams. I know that team need played a role but can you tell me that the kings didn't need a PG when they drafted T. Rob #5? And traded him half way through the season? It's basically all chance. If I didn't know anything about basketball at all but someone asked me to make the #1 pick in this draft, just using the Internet and 10 minutes I could make a pretty educated guess and have as good of a percentage chance of actually ending up with the best player 5-10 years from now. I just thought it was unfair to say the Cavs "blew it" with hindsight being 20-20.
Why I agree this is just a hindsight exercise, the Cavs did go against the grain in making those selections. That's what makes it different for them than some other teams. Most regular fans to experts with inside information had the selections they made going later in the draft. Harrison Barnes made sense at the time and is a friend of Kyrie Irving, I remember him referring to him as his little brother at the Nike Hoop Summit a few years ago or they tried to trade up to 1 to take Anthony Davis offering their whole draft (4, 24, 33,34) then trying to get to 2 (4 and 24) to take MKG (former HS teammate of Irving). So even there selections were up in the air until they made them just like the Bennett selection. It's not a coulda, woulda, shoulda scenario.
More to my point on why they should have taken Barnes. They clearly wanted a 3. If you couldn't draft MKG than you go for Barnes. They tried to get cute with the waiters pick. People can say what they want about Barne's last year at UNC but it was clear that he could shoot and he was athletic. MKG is a motor defense guy which is great if you're drafting from 9 down but at no point did I see MKG being a better basketball player than Barnes.
So my point is Barnes was the guy and should have been the guy to take at 3 last year. Considering that there was some talk of him being better than the second guy taken in the draft
but if any of the teams nails one of their earlier picks, odds are they are picking higher the next year and don't have the opportunity to get any of those other subsequent players.
That's not always true. Case and point OKC. they nailed 3 drafts in a row and including the Serge Ibaka pick. Blazers as well. They nailed the lillard pick and even a few years earlier they nailed the Brandon Roy pick/trade
Draft hindsight is always 20/20, unfortunately.