Posted by Matt Moore
(Follow along with our DraftTracker)
With the fourth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Tristan Thompson, PF, from the University of Texas.
Tristan Thompson had made a meteoric rise throughtout the late draft season. He went from being a mid-teens pick all the way to the fourth pick. His length and size started to catch eyes in the combine and in workouts. His frame and body give him the ability to out-muscle other players, which is rare in a draft low on size.
Cleveland now has a power forward to pair with Kyrie Irving. The other option, Jonas Valanciunas, won't be available until 2012. Thompson can make an immediate impact. Defensively Thompson's got good ability as well. There are questions about his touch and face-up game, but he showed enough in workouts to convince GMs... like Chris Grant, obviously.
This may have been a reach, but in a weak draft this fills a need. With a surefire lock in Irving, the Cavaliers were able to gamble on who they thought was the best big in this draft. The question will be how he translates to the NBA and if he can put some polish on the raw athletic game he brings off the bat.
The question now turns to whether the Cavs will trade J.J. Hickson, who disappointed last season and who rumors said clashed with Byron Scott. Hickson will likely gather interest on the open market.