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2011 NBA Draft: Two Completely Unsubstantiated (But Fun) Cavs Rumors

June 22, 2011

In fact, don’t even call them rumors. These are just two entirely hypothetical scenarios I completely made up (let me know if you think they are likely or unlikely, favorable or unfavorable):


Cavs Get: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo/Kenneth Fareid

Cavs Give Up: Anderson Varejao, #4 pick, Ramon Sessions, Cash considerations

How It Works: Cavs select Irving 1st overall… Trade Anderson Varejao + #4 pick to Minnesota for the #2 pick, selecting Derrick Williams… Trade Ramon Sessions + cash considerations for a mid-to-late first rounder, selecting either Bismack Biyombo (if he falls) or Kenneth Fareid.

Why I’d Do It: I personally love this one. It’s not a very big secret that Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are the top overall players in this draft and the two players most coveted by the Cavs. In this scenario, they get to have their cake and eat it too.

Minnesota may be inclined to accept the offer because they are looking for veteran help (Varejao is a great veteran role player), and they have a logjam at both point guard (Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn) and power forward (Kevin Love, Michael Beasley), so drafting either Irving or Williams is not their top priority. At #4, they can still get their most critical position of need – center. Either Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas will be guaranteed to be available.

Now, I love Anderson Varejao and consider him a great asset… but he will also turn 29 this season and will be in his 30’s by the time the Cavs are ready to compete. So I am OK with giving him up.

But I want to get back another high-motor, all-out-hustler, 5-hour-energy rebounder and defender. So that’s where I trade the now-third-string point guard, Ramon Sessions (along with cash considerations and maybe one of the second rounders) in order to move back into the first to grab either Kenneth Fareid or Bismack Biyombo. I may like my chances against either in a game of H-O-R-S-E, but they both fit the bill of a “high-motor, all-out-hustler, 5-hour-energy rebounder and defender.”


Cavs Get: Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, Kemba Walker, 2012 First Round Draft Pick

Cavs Give Up: J.J. Hickson

How It Works: Cavs stand pat at #1 and #4, selecting Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter… Cavs trade J.J. Hickson for an ’11 first rounder (used to select Kemba Walker) and a ’12 first rounder (which is reportedly their asking price.)

Why I’d Do It: Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter would immediately give the Cavaliers one of the more promising front courts of the future. Williams is a freak of an athlete, can shoot the ball, and ambidextrous around the rim. Kanter is a relatively “safe” pick at center. He is big at 6-11 and solid weighing in at 265. He is more of an old-school center – one that likes to play around the basket, has a post game and likes to get physical. He is not one of those athletic (read: panzy) European centers that are more likely to bust – i.e., Darko Milicic.

It is certainly hard to pass on Irving, but Kemba Walker would not be the worst consolation prize. Irving does literally everything very well, but most scouts admit that he does not have any one particularly “elite” quality. I think Walker has two elite qualities: quickness and a “clutch-gene.” His first steps and step backs consistently left defenders in the dust and he was the key component in his teams going 14-0 (14-0!) in the three tournaments they played in this year (Maui Invitational, Big East Tournament, NCAA Tournament). If that’s not ice-water in somebody’s veins, I don’t know what is.

I like Hickson and think he is a valuable piece too, but his contract is almost up and I do not think he is worth the money he will surely be seeking and will most likely eventually get. Besides, Derrick Williams will prove to be a significant upgrade – he is a better finisher around the rim and his jump shot is light-year’s ahead of Hickson.

There would be several teams interested in Hickson’s services (and his cheap remaining contract), and if the Cavaliers could get Walker along with another first round pick in a loaded 2012 draft… I think you have to do it.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:21 pm

    This is splitting hairs here but the only way the Cavs get Minnesota to trade their #2 overall pick is to draft Williams #1 overall. This puts Minnesota in a tough spot: they dont want to become the detroit lions of the nba; Detroit infamously drafted 4 receivers in 5 years (williams/rogers/williams/johnson). And the twolves have drafted 2 PGs in the same draft 2 years ago and if they add irving they would have 3 in 3 years. (rubio/flynn/irving) To avoid this they would be willing to make the trade you mention, otherwise i think they stand pat and draft derek williams.

    • June 22, 2011 10:55 pm

      I agree with your premise (in that they don’t want to become the detroit lions and keep 3 pg’s)… But, they will jump on the opportunity to pick Irving. They would then trade him to the highest bidder. When you are in the gutter, you want to be in asset collection mode. Taking Irving and holding an auction is the best move possible for them.

  2. Dan permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:23 pm

    I think both of these scenarios are “favorable,” but also “unlikely” (kind), “borderline-impossible” (ehhh), or “KAAAAAAHHHHN!!!” (unduly harsh).

    In terms of Scenario #2, I’m in love with both Williams and Walker, and Kanter is going to be a very safe pick for Grant if the Cavs stay at #4, so I love this idea. But I don’t know of a team who would take Hickson for a top-10 pick in this year’s draft (especially swapping out for next year’s first-rounder). Although there are rumors swirling about Walker slipping down past the lottery, I just don’t see it–he’s a proven winner and has ginormous confidence (that’s a term I’m going to start using to describe my own balls, as well). So the Cavs would almost have to be back in the top-10 to get Walker, who is the guard the Cavs would want in this scenario.

    Scenario #1 is actually more practical. By taking Williams #1, the Cavs have limited Minnesota’s options. Minnesota will NOT–I repeat, WILL NOT–take a point guard at #2. I don’t understand why draft pundits have overlooked this fact when dismissing Minnesota’s desire to trade the second pick to the Cavs. By taking Williams, Cleveland forces Minnesota’s hand. They can select Irving, and trade his rights for other pieces; or they can trade with the Cavs, who will bait them with almost anyone on the team. I just don’t know if Varejao is the piece they’ll want, since his rebounding won’t help any team with Kevin “Black Hole” Love under the boards. It won’t be Hickson; it won’t be Sessions; and it won’t be Baron. What other pieces can the Cavs offer? That’ll be what keeps this deal from getting done.

    In all, I’m starting to feel resigned to the fact that the Cavs will stay at No. 1 and No. 4, select Irving and Kanter, and wait to see where the chips will fall at the start of the second round. The reality is that the Cavs don’t have that many pieces to offer teams to move around if they want to keep their high draft picks. If the Cavs were willing to move down–that would be another story. But I don’t see it this year because of the lack of high-level talent, and because Grant will probably stay risk-averse in his first real draft.

    • June 22, 2011 11:00 pm

      I’ll repeat what I said to the other dan above. The TimberWolves WILL take Irving 2nd if we pass on him. Keep him? Probably not. But they will trade him (or Rubio or Flynn) to the highest bidder. It’s absolutely the right call.

    • June 22, 2011 11:01 pm

      As for why the T-Wolves might take Andy… They are rumored to want to get veteran help. Andy is a veteran and can play the center, a position they most need. And by moving to 4, they are not dropping all that much and can still get their center of the future without a problem. I don’t think that scenario is too ridiculous at all the more I think about it.

  3. Dan permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:29 pm

    Also, Chad Ford is now reporting that the Wolves are looking at Kanter at #2 now. If that were to happen–Cavs select Irving at #1, and Wolves take Kanter at #2–look for the Cavs to try to jump back to #3 with Utah by trading either Hickson or Varejao. Utah has a strong need for frontcourt help, and Varejao might be the kind of defensive stopper who would entice them to give up the pick.

  4. June 22, 2011 7:22 pm

    Interesting scenarios. I would like to see Andy get moved due to his enigmatic play.

  5. Dan permalink
    June 22, 2011 10:20 pm

    Bill Simmons put together some really interesting trades, this one involved the cavs and I think it solves the problem of finding a good PG (this trade assumes Cle takes Williams #1 overall)

    San Antonio trades Tony Parker and DaJuan Blair to Cleveland for no. 4, Anderson Varejao, and $7 million in cap space.

    If we can coax the Spurs to part with Blair we get a proven player as opposed to rolling the dice on a prospect. The only knock is taking a 29 year old Tony Parker, but we need players like him (read: stars)way more than players like Varejao (read: scrappy role player) right now

    • June 22, 2011 11:07 pm

      The other Dan posed this to me via twitter. I say no… We don’t need to be doling out $50 mil to ANYONE over the age 27. We’re not competing this year or next. Patience is a virtue for a reason. Follow the Presti model, do as the Thunder do.

  6. Doug permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:05 pm

    Sam – I think Scenario #1 is more likely but I highly doubt it will happen exactly that way. Scenario #2 would not sit well with me and I’ll explain why. First let me touch on Dan’s comments which were Simmonsesque in length (pot calling kettle black here)

    I agree with Dan on several topics, especially his assessment of JJ Hickson’s value not being as high as Sam may think – who knows though…all it takes is one orgainzation to really like a player. Personally, I like Hickson’s game but I don’t think the money he will most likely receive after this year’s contract expires is something the cavs will want to pay. Dan’s analysis of forcing Minnesota’s hand, leaving them looking to trade with us, but,then realizing we have nothing to offer them, is an interesting argument. I agree for the most part. However, doesn’t a situation in which the Cavs leave Williams on the table force their hand even more? They may just end up taking him but I think that would be even more like a Lions draft move to give yourself that many players at the 3.5 position. In that scenario, they either start looking to trade the pick or take Kanter in all likelyhood. Either way it would give the Cavs a chance (and that’s all they can really hope for in any of these hypotheticals) to trade with Utah which would be an interesting situation. The Cavs would be looking to move up one spot which reminds me of the Ravens moving up one spot to get Ngata who was so obviously unblockable and what they needed that they had to do it. I could see something panning out in that scenario I guess.

    Let me now get this out there- I do not want Kemba Walker. I hope the Cavs have learned their lesson that they need a PG for the future and that recent Cavs history has not included a well rounded PG and that contributed to a lot of unmet goals (cough…championship…cough cough). We had a super defender that couldn’t shoot or create (Snow), a super shooter that was below average at creating and a terrible defender (Mo), and then throw in a couple role players that were also one dimensional and had fill in starts (Jones and Gibson). I want a point guard that can do it all even if they aren’t extraordinary at everything. I think it makes them tougher to match up against in NBA defensive sets if there isn’t one skill to attempt to shut down. Plus, you just have to be able to defend at the PG position even if that means sacrificing some offensive firepower (see Rondo). I see Kemba putting up decent numbers and hitting clutch shots but I don’t think he has the potential to be the starting PG and main star on a championship team (in the NBA that is). I’m basing most of this off what I think are trends in the league right now – Kemba is a great player but should not be the first PG we select.

    I truly think the Cavs will select Irving at number one since they know they need a PG for the future and they think there is a slight chance after that they will still be able to trade up to 2/3 for Williams. I think they have to think that simply in making the decision to take Irving too. They’ll definitely overthink these hypotheticals similarly to how we are before the draft but in making the pick you cannot base that on guessing what another team will do which is what we would be doing in drafting Williams and looking back at them to react. It’s fucking KAHHHNNNNNN. Who knows what kind of offers other teams would be throwing at the Wolves at that point – we wouldn’t be able to match any of them IMO.

    Alright, I’m done – hope it makes sense..not even going to proofread.

    P.S.: Someone explain this Lebron trade exception and what value it has.

    • June 22, 2011 11:22 pm

      1) JJ’s value – I’m just going off of what people-who-know-more-than-me said on twitter. A team in particular they brought up was Charlotte (9th pick).
      2) 3.5 position – love that phrase, and totally agree that taking Williams would be just as awkward as taking Irving, only they will have less willing trade partners than if they had Irving to dangle.
      3) PG – Eric Snow was always a joke. Mo was a super shooter… in the regular season. I like the guy (and liked him on twitter) but he crapped the bed in the playoffs. Kemba is clutch and quick. We’ve never had that before in the PG. I’m not saying he is the best PG available… but he’s no doubt a guy I’d want to roll the dice on (especially after getting Williams and Kanter)

      P.S. – The trade exception is super weird. But basically, we can trade it to someone and it gives the other team immediate cap relief, something that is highly valued in a league where only 25% of the teams turn a profit. BUT, we cannot add a player of ours in a trade involving the trade exception. (For example, we couldn’t trade Varejao + $5M in cap relief for Rudy Gay). But we can add draft picks (we could trade the 4th pick and $13M in cap relief for Rudy Gay).

      The most likely scenario is that we take on an unwanted contract + a draft pick for doing so. (For example, again, Detroit trades us Rip Hamilton’s terrible contract + their first round pick for the cap relief… that was a trade rumor with legs earlier, but they ended up falling for some of the potential draft picks).

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  1. An Underwhelming Success: Some Perspective on the Cavaliers 2011 NBA Draft « Ten Cent Beers

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