NBA Rookie Class Draft Conversation: What Should the Cleveland Cavaliers Do?

Could Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and the Cavs use the No. 1 pick, or would they be better trading it away? (

Could Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and the Cavs use the No. 1 pick, or would they be better trading it away? (

Here at NBA Rookie Class, we figured it’s about time to start debating, and what better topic than the NBA Draft? In the first ever debate, our insiders Connor and Nate discuss what they think the Cleveland Cavaliers should do with the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

So much speculation has been made since the Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded the first overall selection at the NBA Draft Lottery as to whether they will keep the pick, or trade it away for the upcoming draft. Connor, what are your thoughts?

With the first overall pick in the upcoming draft, I think that they should use the pick on Nerlens Noel. Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson are a promising 4/5 duo, however, not only is Varejao’s health recently in question with the early injury this season, but they need better bigs off the bench. Speights was an excellent addition, but Tyler Zeller is underpowered and has ways to go to become dominant at his position. His brother is arguably better at this moment in time.

I agree that at this time, Cody looks better than Tyler, but Tyler also had a “welcome to the league” type season, as he was thrown around by many savvy veterans from around the league, but the Zeller argument is one for a later day.

My one concern with the Cavs taking Noel is that some of these prospects are going to have their potential slowed, and possibly greatly affected by an overly crowded frontcourt. Also, with Noel’s overall game as it stands, does he play too much like Thompson in a way that it would limit the Cavs options on the offensive end? I say move the pick.

I like the point about Zeller getting seasoned by some vets, that’s an extremely overlooked point that’s going to come heavily into play in the next few years as far as his develpment goes. As far as the Thompson/Noel closeness issue, I think that really wouldn’t be a problem. Start Thompson at the PF, Varejao at C and then rotate Marreese Speights and Noel in respectively. That way, both younger players get experience with a solid defensemen with years. If I’m Noel and Thompson, I’m stoked that I have the opportunity to learn from a defensive presence like Varejao, and Speights also has a well-rounded game that can be learned from. Who should they take instead?

Some may say it’s overdrafting, but I think Otto Porter helps them continue to move in the right direction much more than Noel. Don’t get me wrong; Noel is an athletic freak of nature, but after tearing an ACL even before entering the league, the only image that keeps popping into my mind is Greg Oden.

Also, even if the Cavs want to make a stab at LeBron in another year, they could simply turn Porter into their sixth man who can learn from arguably the best player of all time and turn into the next generation’s Manu Ginobili

Thank you for bringing up Otto Porter and NOT Ben McLemore. Cavs could definitely use a starting caliber SF. I’ve never been a fan of the decision to start Alonzo Gee, but then again, you can’t start Luke Walton or Omri Casspi. A SF is absolutely beneficial. Also, I think that Cleveland could benefit from a good backup PG (Trey Burke??) and maybe talk trades with a team that REALLY wants that #1 pick and will also hand over a decent SF in return. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

Oh, without a doubt, Porter would start right away over the likes of Gee and Casspi. I think he (aside from a health Noel) may be the most NBA ready prospect. Burke is a good thought, but the Cavs could probably find a savvy vet willing to back up Irving if Cleveland makes enough intriguing moves throughout free agency. You mentioned trading though…what do you think about the Cavs swapping places with the Sacramento Kings? The Kings could really use a defensive presence such as Noel in their frontcourt (even if they had to wait a year for him to be healthy) and I’m sure Cleveland would still be able to draft the likes of Shabazz Muhammad with the seventh overall pick. Some are really down on Muhammad for being a volume shooter, but I feel that the Cavs could use a bit of instant offense from the 3 spot as it is.

That’s an interesting trade. There’s no question the Kings could benefit greatly from Noel (and more or less anyone they draft), and Muhammad is a completely viable option for that SF position they have the greatest need for. Here’s a thought. Even though I have Anthony Bennett going at #4 in our mock draft, you have him at #9 which is two picks after the Kings’. What if the Cavs draft Anthony Bennett with the Kings’ pick? You know I really love Bennett and I think Cleveland could start him at the SF and have the starting 5 at Irving, Waiters, Bennett, Thompson, Varejao. That way, Kyrie and Dion can go bonkers with their shots and have a big lineup to rebound. Plus, Bennett’s got a nice stroke for a big man.

Very true that Bennett seemingly expanded his range throughout the college season, and would probably be able to knock down NBA-length three’s after plenty of summer league reps. Unfortunately, though, we are all out of time here for NBA Rookie Class. Don’t agree with our thoughts and opinions? Let us know! Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going! And don’t forget to tune in next week as we’ll be covering another topic in regards to the NBA Draft.

For continued coverage of the NBA’s rookies, keep visiting NBA Rookie Class. Also, stay tuned as we begin to look towards the next year of rookies and the 2013 NBA Draft!

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