If you’ve been on the site lately to soak up some great draft content, you would’ve noticed that we conducted a 2013 RDE Mock Draft of our own. We split the 60 picks between the four of us and did a snake format with a paragraph description after each pick we made. Since we all didn’t get to give our opinions on the Cleveland Cavaliers 2013 draft picks, I decided to give everyone on the site a chance to do so in this post. We’ll keep the standard four picks in mind (Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33), but we may have some creative and progressive minds trying to work out a trade with those picks to land something big. So before I go on and on, here are our Wine and Gold draft predictions from all the writers here at Right Down Euclid.
Zak Kolesar – Site Editor:
If you’ve been reading any of our Right Down Euclid draft content, you should know that I have flipped on taking Nerlens Noel with the No. 1 overall pick. Noel has actually slipped to third on my prospect list, behind Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo respectively. Trevor and Chris bring up the success that Noel would have in the PnR offense ran by Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland offense, but Noel’s one-dimensional offense wasn’t anything that impressed me during his shortened freshman campaign. When he did have successs on the offesnsive side of the ball, I thought that that was more of a product of the level of talent he was going up against. Obviously a player like Noel – like any other big coming into the League – is going to have his fair share of struggles against the menacing bigs in the NBA, but there is nothing that tells me that Noel has what it takes to be a threat from any other place than from under the basket. You want a player like him to thrive in the paint, but we need to clear things up on the perimeter in order to open opportunities like that in the PnR offense. Porter, who is very crafty with making moves to get to the hoop and has a sweet stroke from outside (42.2 percent from three), would only improve the play of bigs Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller with the long-range onslaught that would now consist of Dion Waiters, Irving and Porter if the Georgetown prospet is mentioned. He brings more to the table (great perimeter defender thanks to his long wingspan) than a big like Noel would.
If the Cavaliers select a small forward at No. 1, then I would definitely want to bite on a center at No. 19. Gorgui Dieng of Louisville, who has slid down the draft board as of late, would fill the shot-blocking needs of the Cavaliers (ranked second to last in 12-13) that they would be missing out on passing on Noel. I don’t see a player with the capabiliites at SF at No. 19 (a player like Shabazz Muhammaed should be off the board by then, and I think he would be the next best option at SF for the Cavaliers in this draft, and he doesn’t come close to matching Porter as a defender) that Porter possess. With Dieng, Mike Brown would be able to work with his 7-3 wingspan to create a solid shot-blocking foundation for this team. Dieng has come a long way in basketball terms from where he once was as a player, so I think the growth that we saw from him at Louisville will only continue to be on the side of Dieng in the NBA.
As for the second-round picks, I expect them to be shopped in a trade. I don’t think the major blockbuster that people have been hearing about in the rumor mill is going to happen, but I do think that sending these two picks as a package (not for a player like Thomas Robinson) would prevent the Cavaliers from taking on four draft contracts (which they can’t do on their roster) at the end of Thursday. One of these second-rounders is not nearly sexy enough to entice a team to bite, but having these picks so close to each other may land us a viable backup point guard via draft-day trade.
Chris Manning – Senior Writer:
1. Nerlens Noel – Noel has the shot blocking force written all over him and he also fills a huge need for the Cavaliers. If it weren’t for his knee, he’d be the top pick in the draft without question. I think he is the top pick, without question.
Note: I ultimately think the Cavaliers will select at 13 after trading with Dallas. Fingers crossed that Shabazz Muhammad is still on the board.
Dan Pilar – Staff Writer:
So many reports going out right now about the Cavs and all their draft picks they own. It’s fun to sort through what if fact, and what is fiction. I’m interested in how some NBA writers come up with these rumors and if they actually have “sources”. I can say with confidence that the Cavs will make a trade, but you know as well as any one else what that trade will involve. The Cavs biggest need is small forward, but they need to be careful and not pass on what they think is better talent just to address a current need. Therefore, Chris Grant will go big.
When I look into my crystal ball, I see two trades. One takes the Cavs out of the top 5 and the other puts them back into the top 5.
I predict the Cavs make a deal with the Minnesota T’Wolves, and no, it does not involve Kevin Love. The Cavs will dish out their No. 1 pick and Minnesota will send Derrick Williams, No. 9 and 26, as well as a 2013 first-round pick. The T’Wolves have new life with Flip Saunders running things, and I think they go after a guard they can pair with Ricky Rubio.
Now the next trade the Cavs will do involves the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are in a perfect spot to trade down because they can’t target one area of need because, well, they need help at just about all positions. With a new GM and head coach the Suns will look to acquire assets and the Cavs give the Suns No. 9, 19 and 31 for Phoenix’s No. 5 pick.
This leaves the Cavs with picks 5, 26 and 33.
5 – Alex Len, Center, Maryland
26 – Tony Snell, SG/SF, New Mexico
33 – Glen Rice Jr., SG, Rio Valley
And they acquire Derrick Williams from Minnesota.
Trevor Magnotti – Staff Writer:
I’m not going to get preachy here again. We all know where I stand on the Noel issue, as well as my feelings about the Cavs taking any of the other top prospects. I want Noel. I think he’s the best player in this draft. I think he has the most potential of anyone. I think his injury isn’t a concern, and I think he’s going to come back very much the same player as he was before. I think he’ll improve offensively, I think he’s already better offensively than many people give him credit for, and I think he’s going to be a defensive juggernaut. For the last time, I want the Cavs to take Noel.
I want the Cavaliers to draft Sergey Karasev, but I think his stock has risen over the past couple of weeks and I don’t think he’ll be available for the Cavs, because I see Milwaukee or Atlanta grabbing him. Instead, I think the Cavs draft Bullock, the athletic wing who can play shooting guard or small forward, and does what the Cavaliers want from a player at that position; he shoots threes well, makes smart off-ball cuts, and plays great defense. Bullock is a great value at 19, and should be able to make an impact off the bench right away, and eventually become a starter.
I want the Cavaliers to come out of draft night with three things: a rim-protecting big, a small forward, and a backup point guard. Noel takes care of the first in a big way. Bullock does his part on the second. Green covers the third. Green is a natural scorer who has a lot of the same strengths that Kyrie Irving has, although he’s a little better suited off the ball than Irving. Green might go in the first round, but if the Cavs land him at 31, he’s a guy that could be an Eric Bledsoe-type behind Kyrie and give the Cavs a backup point guard with some versatility to play the two.
The Cavs can’t take on four rookies if they want to sign guys in free agency, so with the last pick, I expect them to draft a guy they can stash in Europe. Todorovic makes sense because he brings the versatility to play the 4 or the 5, is an outstanding rebounder, and is developing into a solid low-post player. He’s perhaps my favorite of the 2nd-round international guys, and I could see him coming over in a couple seasons and being a real first-round talent. Since Mouhammadou Jaiteh withdrew his name from the draft, I see Todorovic as a fine choice for the Cavs last draft spot.
Thanks for reading along with our predictions and make sure to check back on Right Down Euclid immediately following the draft for our analysis on which player the Cavaliers choose.