Welcome to the forty-sixth installment of Right Down Euclid’s “Weekly Roundtable.” This Friday Trevor Magnotti and Zak Kolesar sit down and discuss the latest trending topics concerning your Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA. The combination of rotating RDE duos answer three questions regarding the hometown Wine and Gold and two questions surrounding the league.
Today the discussion revolves around what to look forward to on Thursday night, if the 19th pick will be moved, one last shot at the No. 1 pick, biggest draft day surprise and a wrap-up of the 2013 NBA Finals.
First Question: What are you most looking forward to on Thursday night?
Trevor Magnotti: Surprisingly I have found myself most excited to see what the Cavaliers do with their 31st and 33rd picks in this draft. The Cavs don’t have the roster space to be able to keep all four picks on roster (especially if they plan on being active in free agency). Even with the first pick being up in the air and rumors of the 19th pick being traded, I think it will be very interesting to see if the Cavs look to keep or trade these picks to move back into the first round. If they keep them, I expect them to draft a backup point guard like Isaiah Canaan or Erick Green with one pick, and use the other on an international to stash like Mouhammed Jaiteh.
Zak Kolesar: I agree with Trevor’s thinking that they will use this pick to nab a backup point guard. In the RDE Mock Draft, I went with a mid-major floor general in Nate Wolters. We’ve seen the success that mid-majors have had making the jump to the NBA as of late, and a prolific college scorer like Wolters would be a great player to fill 10 or so minutes of playing time when Kyrie Irving is off the court. But I’m most looking forward to being down at Quicken Loans Arena for the draft to see how the fans react to the picks this year. I vividly remember the Dion Waiters’ selection being mercifully booed, so hopefully we don’t have to witness a scene like that again.
Second Question: Will the 19th pick be shopped?
TM: Clearly the 19th pick is being shopped around. Rumors of a Dallas trade for the 13th pick and Shawn Marion have surfaced, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more rumors swirl. Whether or not the Cavs trade the pick remains to be seen, but with those two second round picks as leverage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar to last year, when the Cavs dealt the 24th pick and two 2nd-rounders to Dallas for Tyler Zeller on draft night.
ZK: Out of use, the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls, I think Cleveland stands the best chance of trading their pick with the Houston Rockets for Thomas Robinson. This rumor has been confirmed, and I think it would be a great move to swing our mid-round first-rounder for a player who was selected No. 5 overall just a year ago. He sat the pine for the most part, but I think he would be a wonderful contributor to this team. I also agree that we could see the Cavaliers pull something off like they did last year, but I think they’d be more inclined to include a player in the deal rather than shipping off all three of their later draft picks.
Third Question: Last chance to change your mind: If you were at the helm of Cleveland’s front office, which player would you pull the trigger on?
TM: Nerlens Noel. I hold fast in my opinion that he’s the most talented player in this draft and that the Cavs have overthought this entire process when it comes to the injury. Noel is going to miss a good chunk of next season, no doubt, but he still has enough skills that he can make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball, and his skill set offensively compliments Kyrie Irving’s PnR skills and shouldn’t cut down on spacing for the Cavs offense even when he and Tristan Thompson, neither of whom can shoot, are on the floor together. Plus, Noel has the upside to be a really special player on the defensive end. I will be quite sad if the Cavs don’t walk away with Nerlens Noel on draft night.
ZK: You guys know that I have flipped, and I’d now love to see Cleveland take Victor Oladipo or Otto Porter (my main man) with the No. 1 pick. I agree with Trevor that Noel would work well in an offense ran by Kyrie, but I also think that a trinity formed with Irving, Dion Waiters and Porter would benefit this team much more. If the Wine and Gold can’t work out a deal to move the No. 1 pick, I think they should fill the need that they’ve been trying to ever since LeBron James left for Miami. It’s evident by now that we’re not going to be able to work out a deal to land an established SF (except the possibility of nabbing Danny Granger) on draft day, and I’m not confident that we will see Reggie Bullock at No. 19 (I think he shoots up the ladder). Moving up to get a player like Shabazz via trade with the Dallas Mavericks would make me happy if we passed on Porter, but I think he’s everything that we need at SF right now to let him slip out of our hands.
Fourth Question: What will be the biggest draft day surprise?
TM: I think whatever Sacramento does at the 7 spot will control what happens through the rest of the draft. We pretty much know the top 6 are going to be Noel, Len, Porter, Burke, Oladipo, McLemore, and/or Bennett in some order. Sacramento, a team with a lot of needs, is our first real wild card. If Anthony Bennett is there, do they pull the trigger even though pairing him and DeMarcus Cousins will be a tire fire defensively? Do they take the chance on a shooting guard if he falls, even though they have a log jam at the position? If Burke is gone, do they reach and take Michael Carter-Williams? Do they draft Shabazz Muhammad because they need a small forward? All of these things will have an impact on how the rest of the draft shakes out. I have no idea what Sacramento will do on draft night, and their pick will be one that will be really interesting.
ZK: I agree with Trevor that those are the six players that are definite top-6 picks, and I don’t think we’ll see any surprises there. I think it will be interesting to watch where the mid first-round bigs will start to fall. I think that will determine how the Cavaliers will select at No. 19 if they don’t go with Noel at No. 1. Bringing up the point about Shabazz has me thinking that he will be the most likely player to slip the farthest out of players who were hopeful top picks. Remember when he was once the No. 1 favorite? Times have definitely changed.
Fifth Question: What were your thoughts on the hard fought series between the Spurs and Heat?
TM: I thought that was the best Finals I’ve ever watched. Yeah, there were some blowouts, but the first three quarters of every game were tightly contested, and the games were close to perfect basketball being played by both teams. I thought Game 1 was about as perfect as it gets for a basketball game; then Game 6 came through and turned into a March Madness game, and that took the crown. the series had so many signature moments; The Parker game-winner, the Block, Game 3’s barrage of threes from Danny Green, Game 4’s Dwyane Wade takeover, the Ray Allen 3, the headband thing, and the Duncan missed lay-ups. I’ll remember this series for a long, long, loooong time.
ZK: This was an extremely exciting Finals to watch, even though I saw too much flopping and complaining for my liking. The best player in the League shouldn’t have to cry that much, but I digress. Game 6 was just one of those moments that constantly remind us that we can never give up on a team, no matter if it is the well-disciplined Spurs. But those Miami fans…
Make sure to check back next week to see what Trevor Magnotti and Chris Manning have to debate at the “Weekly Roundtable.”