NBA Draft 2012: Players Who Will Bring Cleveland Cavaliers Back to Relevance
Dan Gilbert’s credibility hangs in the balance.
If both are on the board, who should the Cavs select?
Scratch that—it’s already history. But if the Cleveland Cavaliers owner wants to come close to keeping his promise to win a ring before the self-proclaimed King, than he must hit the jackpot this summer. Here's the ideal 2012 NBA Draft class for the Cavs.
First Round—Third Overall: Bradley Beal (SG, Florida)
Cleveland is the third-most likely franchise to land the first overall selection. If the odds hold up, Beal should be the Cavs' pick. Antawn Jamison is a free agent, so finding a player capable of putting the ball in the basket is their most pressing need.
Beal would instantly take a chunk of the scoring load off of Kyrie Irving’s shoulders. He possesses unimaginable upside along with the potential to form the most lethal backcourt duos in the league with Irving for years to come.
First Round—24th Overall: Fab Melo (C, Syracuse)
Instead of selecting Jones Valanciunas last summer, Cleveland chose Tristan Thompson. While Thompson showed promise as a rookie, the choice left the Cavs without a true center on their roster. They must find one this offseason.
That should be Melo. The Syracuse seven-footer wouldn’t need to keep his GPA up in the NBA. Melo and his invaluable defensive presence would create a solid big-man rotation with Thompson and Anderson Varejao for the Cavaliers.
Second Round—33rd Overall: Draymond Green (SF, Michigan St.)
Irving is more of a scorer than a distributor, so it’d be wise for the Cavs to add a wing capable of playing point forward. Green definitely fits the bill as the Spartan captain is one of the most versatile prospects in the draft and projects as a phenomenal role player.
He isn’t a freak athlete, so his upside is lacking. Because of that, he’ll likely fall to the second round where the Cavs shouldn’t hesitate to select him. They must find better talent at the three than Alonzo Gee.
Second Round—34th Overall: Will Barton (SG, Memphis)
Cleveland lucked into having four picks in the deepest draft since 2003. Last year, Green and Barton would’ve been first-round selections.
Barton is one of the most explosive scorers in the draft, but he’s undersized at 6’5”, 165-pounds and has questionable shot selection. Given his weaknesses, he’d fit better in a sixth man role.
Again, Cleveland needs scorers badly, and Barton would be instant offense off the bench.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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