Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NBA Lottery Winners And Losers

The good news is the Cleveland Cavaliers came away with the 1st and 4th picks in the 2011 NBA draft. The bad news is they can't pick someone named Lebron James with either of the selections. After all the heartache and fall out from "The Decision" last summer Cleveland is in a position to turn their team around rather quickly. It's unfortunate there are only a few marquee players in this draft after Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones, and Harrison Barnes all decided to return to school. The draft pool is thin and if I was the Cavs GM I would trade the #1 and #4 picks to get quality players that can help immediately. Although the draft lottery technically has 14 teams participate only 7 have a legitimate chance of landing an impact player. Here's how the top of the NBA draft should look come June.

1. Cleveland - Kyrie Irving. It the Cavs don't take my advice and trade the pick Kyrie Irving is the best player available. The 6-2 point guard can do it all. He has great handles, good range on his jumper, and tremendous athleticism.

2. Minnesota - Derrick Williams. The Pac-10 player of the year will make a smooth transition to the pros and the Timberwolves need to find help up front for Kevin Love. Wesley Johnson (the #4 pick in last year's draft) is still a work in progress so they can use Derrick right away.

3. Utah - Enes Kanter. the 6-10 Turkish star can play along side Al Jefferson and give the Jazz a formidable front court. Before his suspension last year Enes was projected to be one of the nation's top players. He has an excellent all around game for a big man.

4. Cleveland - Jonas Valanciunas. If the Cavs don't trade the pick they might as well go for size. The other top players available (Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight) are both point guards and if they take Kyrie Irving with the #1 pick they'll have no use for those guys. Of course if they trade the #1 pick (as I suggested) Brandon Knight is a good fit at #4.

5. Toronto - Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors are looking to Jerryd Bayless as the point guard of the future and need help at the small forward position. Leonard can provide the size and athleticism the Raptors are lacking.

6. Washington - Alec Burks. The 6-6 shooting guard can pair up with John Wall to establish a nice back court for the Wizards. Once again, it makes no sense to draft Walker or Knight after drafting John Wall #1 last year.

7. Sacramento - Chris Singleton. The Kings are in desperate need of a small forward and Chris Singleton is the best one available. He's a big time scorer that can take some of the pressure off of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.

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