Monday, April 16, 2012

A First Look into the NBA Draft

By: Kyle Schimming

Last year's draft was no doubt an important step in turning the franchise back into a winner. It brought with it the cornerstone of the future in Kyrie Irving and another potential building block in Tristan Thompson.

A swing and a miss on both picks would have likely left the Cavaliers with a record along the lines of the Bobcats or Wizards. The draft got the Cavs headed in the right direction, but the team's record has made it clear that there is still a ton of work to be done.

That's why this upcoming draft is even MORE important than last year's, and arguably the most important part in turning the Cavs back into an elite team.

Finding a top notch starter with the first pick is a must. So many people point to the Thunder as the blueprint for rebuilding. But for three consecutive drafts they nailed their top overall selection. For every successful draft story such as the Thunder there are countless failures like the Bobcats, Kings and Nets.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden could have easily been Greg Oden, O.J. Mayo and Tyreke Evans.

For that reason, nailing down a big-time starter with this year's top pick can go a long way towards establishing a future identity for the franchise. It's also important for GM Chris Grant to find a player capable of contributing in some form with the first rounder gained from the Lakers for Ramon Sessions.

Grant essentially threw away the second round picks last year while players such as Chandler Parsons and (the other) Isaiah Thomas turned into draft-day steals. The Cavs are in desperate need for depth and a bench that can keep a game close and need to take every opportunity to try and strengthen those areas.

Grant has done an excellent job of acquiring picks since taking over as GM. Now it's time to begin cashing those picks into solid NBA players. Grant has done a good job separating the team from the Lebron James-era while also setting the team up to be loaded with young talent for the future.

So as what could be the defining moment for the franchise moving forward approaches, I'll begin to look into different scenarios for the upcoming draft and weigh in on which route the Cavs should take.

While it wont compare to playoff-level excitement, this year's draft should give Cavs fans something to look forward to over the summer.

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