Cleveland Cavaliers: What's Next, Part II

Scott MilesSenior Analyst IMay 22, 2008

All right Cavs fans, as we all know, this team has had great success the past few years only to fall short in the playoffs.

There are several gaping holes on the roster, specifically the lack of a guard who can consistently create his own shot and score, as well as an aging frontline filled with one-dimensional players.

Even though the Cavs have virtually no cap room, the team does have a first round draft pick. Cleveland’s draft history is really a hit or miss; for every Daniel Gibson or Andre Miller, a Luke Jackson or Dajuan Wagner sneaks into the mix also.

The Cavs can go several different ways with their pick, which is No. 19 overall. Though this may sound dumb, I think GM Danny Ferry just needs to take the best player available at that point, regardless of position.

There’s about four or five “elite” point guard prospects, none of whom will slip to the Cavs. However, all these mock draft projections have me excited about several other players who could find their way into the “Q” next season.

Chad Ford’s latest mock draft has the Cavs taking Ohio State center Kosta Koufos, who declared for the draft after spending one season in Columbus. Koufos had a great start to his freshman year, slumped in the middle, but responded with a huge effort throughout the NIT in leading the Buckeyes to a championship.

The biggest knocks on Koufos are that he’s not a great rebounder or shotblocker despite being seven foot, 265 pounds. Still, he largely carried the Buckeyes in the NIT and has a great outside game that extends beyond the three-point line.


He would be able to spell Z—with the long term goal of replacing him in the lineup —right away next season and add another weapon, and length, to the Cavs’ frontcourt.

Regardless, if the Cavs were to draft a big man with the first pick, it should be in this type of mold, someone with athleticism and range to help LeBron.

Several shooting guards who are thought to be mid-to-late first rounders also intrigue me. Chase Budinger from Arizona, Chris Douglas-Roberts of Memphis and Brandon Rush from Kansas all have potential to be valuable contributors to the Cavs rotation next season.

All are about 6-6 or 6-7, which is good size for the position. Rush’s numbers have declined from his freshman season—he played three years at Kansas—but he might be the best shooter of the bunch and helped lead Kansas to the national title this past season.

Budinger, perhaps better known as the volleyball player who also plays basketball, is a pure scorer who can rebound as well. Coming out of college, Budinger’s like a more athletic version of Adam Morrison, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not, but he’s not really known for playing any defense.

(Which means he’ll be in Mike Brown’s doghouse from day one. Which means he won’t play a meaningful minute—ever—for the Cavs. Which means we’ll have wasted another first round pick. Which means I’m re-thinking this whole Chase Budinger thing. Moving on…)

Douglas-Roberts scored over 18 points per game for the Tigers as they advanced to the national title game. His style of play, and body size, remind me of Rip Hamilton, without the stupid face mask.

I’m hoping that the fact “CDR” comes from a fluid offense in college means he can give Mike Brown a few pointers on that side of the ball as well.

Anyway, it’s really so difficult to say what the Cavs can do or be able to do with 18 teams drafting in front of them. Again, I really just think we have a shortage of basketball talent on our current roster and need to seriously address that issue.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a second-round pick this year either. So we’d better make this one count, and hope we don’t end up with another Luke Jackson or Dajuan Wagner.