Following a season led by rookie Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves in an interesting situation. The 21-45 team had four draft picks in the top 34, highlighted by #4 overall. As a team desperately looking to rebuild, let's take a look at the Cavs' selections.
#4: Dion Waiters
With multiple draft picks, there were a lot of questions surrounding the Cavs organization. The team had their eyes on a few prospects and understood they probably needed to give away a pick or two to get who they wanted. One of the things Cleveland did know was that their main priority was a guard, but fans were not expecting Dion Waiters.
While the Celveland faithful booed the decision, Waiters impressed GM Chris Grant enough to turn down the offers to move back in the first round, and expressed confidence in his decision to take the Big East Sixth Man of the Year. Although many were expecting Harrison Barnes- or Thomas Robinson, Grant is happy with the pick and claimed, "We don't really care about where the guy gets picked, as long as they're the right pick for us."
As one of the players in the draft who has true star potential, Waiters was an excellent choice for Cleveland. The 6’4” guard from Syracuse has an uncanny ability to get to the rim and put in the toughest of shots, even after contact. He has extraordinary strength and athleticism, and both should help make up for his lack of size in the NBA. Because of Irving's ability to penetrate, he will see open looks and continue to develop his jump shot. His defensive abilities will also be a plus and he should have an immediate impact.
The fact that he is following in the footsteps of the NBA Rookie of the Year should also help. Irving is an excellent leader and will be able to facilitate Waiters' transition into professional basketball. Waiters is also following Tristan Thompson, the Cavs' #4 pick last year who had solid rookie averages of 8 points and 6.5 rebounds. As the #4 pick this year, it will be interesting to see if Waiters is driven to play harder to prove he can be just as valuable.
#17 Tyler Zeller
With eyes on players projected to go in the teens but only the 24, 33, and 34 picks, the Cavs used their picks to trade up for the Mavericks' #17 pick. Due to a huge void in their paint, the Cavs were targeting a big man and were able to get Tyler Zeller. The 7-footer possesses a lot of quickness for his size and was the ACC Player of the Year last season.
As Irving usually takes care of most of the Cavs' scoring, Zeller will be a huge help. The former UNC standout averaged 16.3 points (at .553% shooting) and 9.8 rebounds a game during his final season. He is a great scorer and boasts an array of shots, making him a tough cover, and his personality and work ethic will make him a good teammate, which is crucial for such a young team. He will need to add some strength to excel in the NBA, but with time should be a solid player. Although quality is usually better than quantity, if Zeller turns out to be a bust Cavs fans will not be happy.
After turning three picks into one and surprising many with the #4 pick, pressure is on for the Cavaliers. Similar to the Hornets, Cleveland will be looking to build around their recent draft picks and have created a nice core for the team. Despite their seemingly successful draft night, the Cavs still lack depth and will need to make moves in free agency.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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