Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:15 am
Posted by Royce Young
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote yesterday that if the Timberwolves were to trade the No. 2 overall pick, they'd have to be "blown away" by an offer. Well according to Yahoo! Sports, they got another offer. Does this one blow anyone away?
Reportedly, the Pacers offered big man Roy Hibbert and their No. 15 pick to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 2 pick, which would've been used on Derrick Williams. The Wolves were not blown away and turned that one down.
Wise move, David Kahn. Hibbert doesn't necessarily give you a real building block to success, especially when you consider you're giving up Williams, a pretty quality talent, in the process.
Interesting though that the Pacers offered Hibbert. The Indiana center made some huge strides in his game last season and at 7-3, is the kind of big man most teams crave. But he's inconsistent and sometimes fades out of games and gets in foul trouble. Not exactly worth the No. 2 pick.
But if the Pacers would've taken Williams, that tells me they're also interested in maybe moving Danny Granger. Williams and Granger are similar players playing similar positions. Keepign Granger might've stunted Williams' development which means Granger could've been dealt and some of the Pacers cap space opened up.
Really, that's a much more reasonable deal anyway. Hibbert, Granger and the No. 15 pick for Minnesota's No. 2 pick. Who says no there? The Pacers are probably giving up too much, but considering they want to clear cap space, that would get done in this deal. Now that deal might've blown them away.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 5:15 pm
The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly decided that they will draft Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Have the Cleveland Cavaliers officially decided on their man?
The Cavaliers hold the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's 2011 NBA Draft and have long been expected to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the pick.
ESPN.com reports that Cleveland has made up its mind:
The Cavaliers, after taking the temperature of the Timberwolves and Jazz to see if Kyrie Irving could somehow fall to No. 4 in Thursday's NBA draft, are now committed to the former Duke guard as the No. 1 pick and are fielding offers for the fourth pick, league sources said Monday.Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain Dealer disputes the report on Twitter, writing: "My NBA sources dispute ESPN report that Cavs have committed to Kyrie Irving at No. 1, but that doesn't mean they won't wind up taking him."
This one probably qualifies as non-news. Since the Cavaliers won the Draft Lottery, Irving has been penciled in as their selection. The only other prospect in the running for the No. 1 selection is Arizona forward Derrick Williams, and it would be a massive upset if the Cavaliers selected him over Irving.
Things get a bit more interesting with the No. 4 pick, as there is no consensus as to who should go there. Flipping the pick to another lottery team to move a few spots up or down is definitely an option that's in play. Trading out of the pick entirely to obtain a proven veteran to help make Irving's life easier wouldn't be the worst idea either.
It's just unclear how valuable the No. 4 pick in a 2-player draft is.
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 12:51 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There has been quite a bit of talk that the Wizards are looking to move up in the draft from No. 6 to as high as No. 2, as they seem to have their eye on Derrick Williams.
But to move up, you have to give up something in exchange. Not everyone lucks into a trade like the one the Wolves and Wizards had right before the draft that sent the No. 5 pick to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. And the player's name that keeps coming up is JaVale McGee, Washington's freakish seven-foot center.
Not happening though, says the Washington Post.
"The Wizards may have interest in moving up to getting a desired player, but this draft -- with so many question marks from top to bottom -- isn't the one that would convince the team to sacrifice McGee, a player that it has spent the past three years developing into a serviceable center in a league that is experiencing a dearth in talent at that position. With so much uncertainty atop the draft, the Wizards believe that a player that can help the team might very well be available at the sixth pick."McGee has been mentioned in trade talks for pretty much the last three years, and after an altercation with Andray Blatche earlier in the year, some of that heated up. Owner Ted Leonis always put that fire out, and it appears that the Wizards don't want to trade McGee.
And why should they? He's still extremely young (just 23) and has an incredible amount of untapped potential. McGee is already a pretty productive player, but if he could ever start to figure some of his talent out, he could be the same type of impact player as Tyson Chandler.
Derrick Williams would definitely be a prize to acquire, but it sounds like the Wolves are warming to the idea of adding Williams alongside Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Doesn't appear that the Wizards and Wolves are going to get together on another draft day trade.
Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: June 17, 2011 3:46 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
So the Cavs manage to hit the jackpot, win the lottery, and have a legitimate chance to start over. They've got a No.1 overall pick, the kind of asset that can become the next franchise player to lead a Cavalier rebirth, getting people excited about the team, taking them to the playoffs and eventually abandoning them leaving them crushed on national television.
Okay, that sounded mean. The point I'm trying to make, dear Ohioans, is that there's no way you get LeBron'd again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime screw-job and if Irving works out ability-wise, you don't have to worry about the utter demolition again thanks to ego and hubris. Now all you have to worry about is whether Kyrie Irving really is a franchise player.
At some point the overall diminished value of the draft started to have a weird effect on Irving's value. Despite the fact that Irving has been considered the top overall prospect since last summer when he blew doors off hinges in summer exhibitions, the fact that so many top players dropped out before next week's draft has somehow left Irving being considered less than other top picks.
The doubt isn't completely without merit. After all, Irving did miss most of his freshman year with an injury before returning for the NCAA tournament. If you don't think that can be a bad omen, please find the nearest Portland Trail Blazer Fan Support Group and sit in for a session. ESPN recently noted that Irving's assists decreased and turnovers increased in his latter games versus his earlier outings.
But given the context of Irving's games in terms of increased intensity on little to no practice and integration back into the team from injury, you have to look beyond just the metrics and more into the play style and approach. And both of those elements support the idea that Irving's going to be incredibly successful and well worth that Cavs pick.
Comparing a player to Chris Paul is pretty daring and will cause a great amount of "Whoa, ho, settle down there!" comments because, well, everyone freaks out if you qualitatively compare an unproven player to a player with high quantitative value. In other words, if you say that a patch of grass is like a $100 bill because they're both green, people freak out because the grass isn't worth the buck, despite that not being your point at all. You'll find the same phenomenon when you talk about LeBron James' post game, comparative religious philosophies and reality television shows.
But when you start to analyze Irving's game, you begin to figure out how those comparisons come about. Irving shows the smoothness of Paul's game, as well as the oh-so-rare established jumper entering the league. Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, all of the elite point guards of the last few years taken first at their position have lacked that jumper, with really only Stephen Curry a notable top point guard taken with the J already established. Irving on the other hand has a silk stroke but isn't just a shooter. He's got the playmaking ability. While he doesn't have Paul's vision (who does?), again, we're talking about qualitative ability, and Irving can play in CP3's role, even if he's not as incredible.
One of the minus points on Irving in comparison to Rose and the other Calipari star guards is Irving's limited athleticism. But really, it's only limited in comparison to those other super-freak athletes, and Irving has a shorter distance to go in terms of polish. While Irving doesn't have the straight-line speed of the other elite point guards, he does have great quickness which is just as valuable in the half-court set.
Beyond all this though, is an attitude that is key in establishing a franchise-player quality prospect. In the NCAA tournament, Irving had every reason to be passive, returning for the first time in months to an established team with more senior stars. Instead, Irving immediately gave the Blue Devils the necessary spark to make it as far as they did, even with Derrick Williams crashing the party (and making his own claim to that No.1 spot). Irving made plays at both ends, converting steals into scores and knocking down transition 3-pointers. (Imagine that, a point guard with range, in this day and age.)
The Cavaliers could use a player who doesn't have the kind of ego their last mega-star did. They could use a player who can make his teammates better without operating a frequency that makes him difficult to play with. They could use a player who can immediately act as a scoring threat and run the offense efficiently. Are Irving's turnovers a concern? They were a concern for all the great point guards in their first season (and continue to be for the MVP). They're a product of usage. And while Irving isn't the most pure of all point guards, he's still capable of running an offense. That's a different type of building block. Coaches constantly talk about consistency. Irving's curve for consistency is much shorter than other prototypes.
Maybe his highlight reel isn't as flashy, or his athleticism as knock-your-socks-off. But if we're examining talent and capability, Irving shows every sign of being the franchise player the Cavaliers need him to be. Now all they need is to take him. If they don't, with Minnesota committed to Ricky Rubio... chaos breaks out in the draft really quickly.
Irving began the year as the top overall pick in the mock drafts. When Thursday night rolls around, it should be his name said first, and the Cavs should feel good about trusting him with the wheel of the fortune-ravaged franchise.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 5:42 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
The Cleveland Cavaliers have seven days to make a decision. After that, there's no more time for second-guessing or consideration about who the No.1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft will be. The pick will have to be sent in, and the direction of a franchise will be decided. You would think that after having started scouting months ago (you'd hope), knowing they had the pick for nearly a month, and having had the book on all possible prospects since the end of their season, a decision would be clear. And you would be wrong, according to Byron Scott. From Yahoo! Sports:
“The main reason is we want to do our due diligence on the other guys as well,” Scott said on why a decision hasn’t been made. “We have a few more workouts we want to get in before we really want to start evaluating on who we think is the best possible pick at No. 1 and who we think is the best at No. 4. So, by no means has anyone in our organization who has been to our workouts said, ‘Derrick Williams is our first pick’ or ‘Kyrie Irving is our first pick.’via Cavs still debating No. 1 pick - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.
The Cavs have the luxury of debating the pick to the last moment while they try to see what value they can get for the fourth or try to move up for the second. But if we're looking at this from a purely objective standpoint, they should know who the guy is going to be. They may just not be saying who that is, but if we take them at their word, this is a little unnecessary. They've had the time, they know what they're getting. If we're talking ceilings, it's pretty much Chris Paul for Irving vs. Carmelo Anthony for Williams, though Williams has more physicality and size. Antawn Jamison and Paul Pierce are other forwards Williams is compared to. The Cavs can go in whatever direction they want, provided they have that direction set in stone by the time the clock hits zero. No need to be scrambling on Thursday trying to make up your mind.
Make a choice and go with it.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 3:23 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Wolves have been shopping the No. 2 overall pick the past few weeks. But it's looking like no one is willing to trade a good veteran player for it so the Wolves will just do what we all expected: draft another talented player who doesn't really have a place on the roster.
Except this time, there's more to it.
According to Draft Express, if the Wolves hang on to No. 2, they'll take Derrick Williams but instead of having him in a logjam with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, Minnesota will immediately put Michael Beasley on the trading block.
It’s likely that Williams will be the one taken since he is the consensus second-best talent in this draft, according to NBA decision makers. If Minnesota keeps the pick and indeed selects Williams, sources say the Timberwolves will look to move Michael Beasley as they try to improve the “culture of the team.”Well that's a nice little twist. And one that actually makes a lot of sense.
See, that's been the problem with the David Kahn plan. He keeps adding talented young players but without any sort of plan or cohesion for the roster. It's just one guy after the other stacked on top of each other. People wonder why Sam Presti has been able to succeed with drafting youngsters and developing them. Why have the Thunder's players progressed while Minnesota's really haven't? A big reason is because they've got to be put into a position where they can learn through experience and develop in a role they're comfortable in.
Finally, with Williams, it sounds like that might be the case. Instead of planting him in an awkward role behind Beasley who will eat possessions and shots, Williams could actually maybe make small forward his spot in Minnesota.
I can't just say, "Good job Kahn!" and move on for two reasons though: 1) This hasn't actually happened and with Kahn, I'm like Kevin Love: I'll believe it when I see it and 2) because remember how Kahn said in an interview after the season that the building of his roster was complete? That was an idiotic thing to say then and this type of thing just makes it even more so.
Losing Beasley wouldn't be a big deal because the Wolves didn't give up much to Miami to get him (a second-round pick). And while Beasley showed flashes last season, is he really a building block? This would be smart for Minnesota, but that's what also makes me skeptical about it's reality.
Posted on: June 4, 2011 8:35 pm
Sources reportedly dispute a trade rumor involving the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Thursday, a report surfaced that said the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards were among the teams most aggressively seeking the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which belongs to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota was said to be looking for a "veteran big man" in exchange for the rights to draft University of Arizona forward Derrick Williams.
At the time, we noted that the Suns had better options to fit that bill than do the Wizards.
On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Washington and Minnesota have not yet discussed a trade involving the No. 2 pick.
Draft rumors are tricky business. It can be very difficult to sift through the noise to find legitimate rumors. One thing is for sure, though: Every rumor, whether there is merit or not, is going to be met with denial by team sources this far before the draft. It's in every team's best interest, publicly, to have a blank slate when it comes to draft strategy and the wheeling and dealing that goes with it.
In other words, while you probably shouldn't put too much stock into any specific rumor, you shouldn't put any stock into a specific denial.
In this case, as mentioned previously, the Wizards aren't likely to part with their only big man that's good enough to be worth trading for: center JaVale McGee. If he's not on the table and the Timberwolves are looking for bigs, the two teams really don't have much to discuss.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 7:41 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:46 pm
A look at which NBA teams should move up or down the draft board in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Even in a weak draft crop like this year’s, the potential for movement – even if minor – is always there. Here’s a look at three teams that might consider moving up the board and three teams that might look to move down.
Three Teams That Should Move Up
The New York Knicks need to fill their center position and will likely do whatever they possibly can to accomplish that goal in free agency. Samuel Dalembert makes all sorts of sense. But there’s another option. Sitting at No. 17, it’s possible the Knicks would only need to trade up 5-8 positions to have a crack at Bismack Biyombo, the fast-rising big man prospect out of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Biyombo is hyper-athletic, has an endless motor and is a very skilled shot-blocker, both in one-on-one defense and from the help side.
Putting him alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony would arguably give the Knicks the most dynamic 3-4-5 combination in the entire league. Biyombo doesn’t need touches, can finish putbacks in traffic and will work hard at all times. Does he need some polish and refinement? Of course. Are there questions about his age? Absolutely. But if he falls to the 9-12 range it’s worth whatever price it takes – it shouldn’t be exorbitant – for the Knicks to move up and nab him.
The Cavaliers own the top pick and will wisely use that on Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving. The intrigue comes with their No. 4 selection, which doesn’t do them much good. The best available names will either be point guards – and therefore redundant with Irving – or European big men. With Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson in place, the Cavaliers are not the ideal breeding ground for a project big.
The rumored trade with Minnesota to get the No. 2 pick makes all sorts of sense. The Cavaliers need starpower and they need talent on their wing badly. Derrick Williams would be an ideal fit. Cleveland, with a deep-pocketed owner and nowhere to go but up, is in a position where it can overpay for the luxury of drafting Williams. Whether that’s by absorbing salary into its massive trade exception, sending over cash or future pick considerations, or making anyone on their roster outside of Varejao available. The reward of building around an Irving/Williams/Varejao core is worth virtually any risk for a Cleveland team coming off a very, very bad season.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a gigantic hole in the middle. Addressing the center position through the draft can be a difficult process even if you’re at the very top of the board, but picking at No. 9 in a weak crop with no American-born, star big men makes it an even trickier proposition.
Here, the need is so great that they have to bring a big man home, pretty much no matter what. There’s a distinct possibility that Valanciunas, Kanter and Biyombo are all gone by pick No. 9, although there's variability in the stock of all three players. The good news: The Bobcats also possess the No. 19 pick, good bait to move up the board a few spots, so they can manage this risk nicely. Package the picks, move up a bit and snag whichever of those three big men are the most appealing to Michael Jordan and his staff.
Three Teams That Should Move Down
The rumors surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves' draft position started within minutes after David Kahn lost the Lottery ping pong ball drawing to Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. The reasoning is simple: The second most coveted player on the board, Derrick Williams, is not of particular use to the Timberwolves, as his combo forward skillset is similar to that of incumbent Michael Beasley and the Timberwolves have greater needs at both the guard and center positions. With the recent reports that Ricky Rubio will agree to come stateside, those needs have narrowed to a two guard and a center.
An ideal situation for Minnesota would be to auction the No. 2 selection – perhaps along with its No. 20 selection -- into a pick in the 5-10 range and two ready-now rotation players. That would allow the team to draft a big of their choice – Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas or Biyombo – or one of the class’s elite wings – Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks or Klay Thompson – while simultaneously speeding up the rebuilding curve. Coming off of 32 combined wins in the last two seasons, this team badly needs to win some games.
The Utah Jazz are in a similar position as the Minnesota Timberwolves, although it’s a bit trickier. The obvious fit for Utah is Brandon Knight, the best point guard on the board not named Irving. He’s an intelligent leader, excellent citizen and has loads of upside. For a team looking to move past Deron Williams, he’s as good as the Jazz can hope for.
Knight might not necessarily be the third most valued prospect on the board, though, especially because teams at the top of the draft order often favor big men. Players like Kanter, Valanciunas and even Biyombo might wind up with more buzz when all is said and done.
The Jazz also hold the No. 12 selection, which could turn out to be a bit of no man’s land in this draft. If there's a run on wings – say, if Leonard, Burks and Thompson all go off the board – the pickings get pretty slim for a team that already has a fairly stocked frontcourt. Jimmer Fredette looms as an excellent back-up option, but he’s more novelty than impact player.
A best case scenario: the Jazz land a veteran guard by swapping picks to move down a few slots and are able to still snag Knight wherever they land.