In 2003, there came a man to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ organization that orchestrated some of the best seasons the franchise has ever seen. Seven seasons later that same man walked away from Cleveland with the shame of the city resting heavily on his shoulders. Owner Dan Gilbert had hoped the recovery would not be like it was in the 2010 season, but it was one of the worst performances in professional basketball history.
The spirit had been removed from the seats of fans and from the men they had readily cheered for. The futility record has been set and now that it is time to move past the hardest part of their master reset, the Cavaliers have the opportunity to snag two of the most talented prospects in the draft this year.
It may not be as stacked as its predecessor in 2003, which produced the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, or even as memorable as either the 2007 and 2008 draft which allows the showcase of the league’s leading scorer Kevin Durant or arguably the best active point guard in Derrick Rose. This year’s draft still has the possibility to breed strong-willed winners.
The first overall lottery pick is about as predictable as the Carolina Panthers first overall pick in the NFL Draft of 2011.
It is suspected that Cleveland will swipe Kyrie Irving off of the list immediately, but there are a lot of arguments being made that if they are not able to receive the second draft pick as well, they would go after Derrick Williams instead. This would be the biggest mistake of the franchise’s history.
Although he is an undoubtedly exceptional athlete, at approximately 6’9 hitting 56.8 percent of his three-point field goals and averaging 23 points against teams like Duke, UConn and Texas, Irving is geared more towards what Cleveland needs to become a .500 team next season.
The league became point guard driven this year. If we were not talking about the heroic efforts of Derrick Rose, we were struck by the point guard abilities of LeBron James. Russell Westbrook broke through the barriers to prove his place among great active players and Jason Kidd is still moving along the court like he was 100 years ago. Baron Davis may be a decent addition to the roster, but there are just some things that he cannot do, athletically. It is even more admirable for Kyrie Irving to join the roster because Davis has relayed that he is more than happy to take on the role of seasoning and mentoring a raw point guard, as reported by Ohio.com.
”I’m great with that,” Davis said at the thought of the Cavs taking Irving. ”For what I’ve been through in my career, playing against all the top guards — John Stockton, Gary Payton, now to Derrick Rose and Steve Nash — it would be great for me to mentor a young point guard and have a relationship.”
Irving may have been out of play for a majority of the season, but before and after his toe injury, he was the centerpiece in every Blue Devil success. Nolan Smith did an excellent job of filling in where Irving had left off, but there was no doubt that Duke’s brand shifted when Kyrie was unavailable. The gaps in his game are few and far in between. He has excellent speed and court sight in transition as well as his amazing ability to remain agile as he is changing direction. He scores effortlessly around the hoop and makes the most athletic shots look flawless.
Derrick Williams, on the other end of the stick, has issues when it comes to rebounding against bigger and stronger players in the paint. Williams also has the tendency to misread the defense while searching for a pass option. To succeed at the small forward position in the NBA, one must be more than prepared to use their body in any way possible to beat an opponent in the air and on the ground. His statistics may not be a telltale sign of those significant keys to a victory, but tape reveals all. Even a draft prospect rival feels as if Derrick Williams is a little on the overrated side. Markieff Morris, one of the infamous Kansas Morris twins, was reported by CBS Sports saying this about Williams’ draft stock.
“I didn’t think he was as good as advertised,” Morris said. “He got the benefit of the calls from the ref and we had to guard him different. He definitely had a good game against us, because we couldn’t guard him how we wanted to guard him, and that’s what happened.”
So when he hears that Williams is a lock to go in the top two, Morris said, “It’s still surprises me. What he did to Duke, he wouldn’t do that to me or my brother [Marcus]. I’m dead serious. He wouldn’t. At all. He’s good. But if we was to work out, I would go at him and I would be able to stop him more than people would expect, you know what I mean.”
Although Morris’ opinion may be rather bias because of the upcoming draft, Kyrie Irving is still the more complete player at his position than Williams is.
If Cleveland is lucky enough to grasp hold of the top two picks in this year’s draft, then by all means take Derrick as well as Kyrie. But, if they must choose at the number one spot between either or, Kyrie Irving is the better decision of the two.