Evaluating Cleveland Cavaliers’ Future Roster
No one wants to be in the middle of the donut. Teams either want to be very good and contend for championships, or they want to be at the very bottom and try to draft franchise-changing players. After losing LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten as lucky as possible, winning the Draft Lottery twice in the last few years. After hitting on superstar PG Kyrie Irving, the Cavs now have the number one overall pick in another weak draft.
Assuming there are no major trades, the Cavaliers have many options this offseason. The Cavaliers’ core consists of Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. Thompson is likely an average starter while Waiters is probably a sixth man. With the first pick, assuming no trades, the Cavaliers look destined to take C Nerlens Noel. Incumbent C Anderson Varejao is in the last year of his contract, so he will keep the spot warm while Noel learns and rehabs in 2013.
At pick 19, the Cavaliers should consider a scorer who could play at the 2 or 3. Potentially Shabazz Muhammad, Allen Crabbe or Dario Saric could all be in play at that pick. Starting with an elite PG and strong interior play, the Cavaliers will have to fill in with scoring on the wing. With picks 31 and 33, the Cavaliers should grab more depth on the wings, but they could also use a backup PG. Potentially Erick Green or Lorenzo Brown could be one of those picks while someone like DeShaun Thomas, Jamaal Franklin or Reggie Bullock could be the other one.
If the Cavaliers emerged from the draft with Noel, Muhammad, Green, and Thomas, they would be infinitely more talented along with an extreme amount of cap space. With the four rookies, Irving, Waiters, and Thompson, seven of their rotation guys will all be on rookie contracts. They could be in play for a free agent like David West, Josh Smith or Al Jefferson, and there have been obvious rumors that they may save cap space to re-sign James in 2014. This is viable, but the Cavs could also believe that their window is now and there are impact pieces available.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.
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