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Cleveland Cavs Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Highlights

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Cleveland Cavs Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Highlights
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers are living in a dream world. Three No. 1 overall picks in four years doesn't seem like a real-life possibility, but that's exactly what's happened to the Cavs since the departure of LeBron James in the summer of 2010.

Since James left, the narrative surrounding the Cavs has been about making mistakes. They missed when they reached for Anthony Bennett at No. 1 last year. They failed when they gave up draft picks to rent Spencer Hawes and Luol Deng on a team that didn't even make the playoffs in a woeful Eastern Conference. But things seem to be changing.

We're starting to see some smart, calculative, even innovative moves under new general manager David Griffin. 

First, the newbie hired David Blatt, a brilliant mind who is the first international head coach to take the same position in the NBA. Then, they made the intuitive move, something we shouldn't take for granted with this organization, drafting Andrew Wiggins No. 1 in Thursday night's draft.

Everything seems to be going right for the Cavs of late. Maybe we're going to see a changed team next year, one that could head into the postseason in that dreadful conference. If Wiggins can make an impact, Cleveland's got a shot.

 

Update: No. 33 pick, Second Round, 11:05 (ET)

Cleveland Cavaliers select Joe Harris, SG, Virginia (6'6", 215 pounds)

The Cavs have gotten their shooter in Harris. The 22-year-old sunk 40.7 percent of his threes over his four-year career at Virginia and has the size to get off a shot in the NBA.

At 6'6", Harris has legitimate size at the 2-guard, but it's not like he'll use that down low, as he was mainly an off-ball player at Virginia. That's how he gets his points: running off screens and chucking up shots from the perimeter. But at that one skill, he excelled. 

Harris had a ridiculous 66.8 adjusted field-goal percentage in catch-and-shoot situations as a senior, according to Synergy Sports. He isn't much of a ball-handler, doesn't have the athleticism to take guys off the dribble and won't defend particularly well but man, can he shoot. 

Grade: B-

 

Update: No. 1 pick, First Round, 7:40 p.m. (ET)

Cleveland Cavaliers select Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas (6'8", 200 lbs)

Wiggins may not have had the standout season we all expected during his sole year at Kansas, but he did enough to sustain his standing as best prospect in college. 

After averaging 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per 40 minutes as a freshman, the small forward decided to head for the NBA. Now, he joins the Cavaliers as the No. 1 overall pick.

Wiggins may still have some work to do on his offensive repertoire. His dribbling is raw, and his jump shot was inconsistent as a freshman, but he still scored efficiently in ways that are translatable to the NBA game.

He averaged 7.9 free-throw attempts per 40 minutes, one of the best indications of future success for an offensive player, and pulled down 10.4 percent of available boards, compounding his rebounding into some individually dominant performances, like his 19-board game against Iowa State.

Meanwhile, Wiggins put up those numbers playing for Bill Self in a system that doesn't exactly exploit the offensive skills of potentially high-volume wing players. We saw it last year with Ben McLemore and this year with Wiggins, and we'll surely see it in the future.

What really makes Wiggins appealing to Cleveland, though, is his defense.

He may have averaged only 1.2 steals per game, but isolation ball-handlers shot just 27 percent from the field with Wiggins as their primary defender per Synergy Sports. And keep in mind he put up those numbers consistently guarding the best player on the opposing team.

For the second year in a row, Cleveland selects a Canadian with the first pick, one who can slot nicely into its lineup with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters (for now) on the wings. The thought of taking Jabari Parker with this pick could've led to some tremendous scoring with the former Dukie and Irving, but guarding could have been an issue, considering both of those stars are offense-first players. With Wiggins, the Cavs don't have to worry about that.

Grade: A

 

Fred Katz averaged almost one point per game in fifth grade, but he maintains that his per-36-minute numbers were astonishing. Find more of his work at RotoWire.com, WashingtonPost.com or on ESPN's TrueHoop Network at ClipperBlog.com. Follow him on Twitter: @FredKatz.

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