RISE UP, that's the slogan that the Cavaliers carried the last two years during their playoff run. It is also what the Cavaliers front office particularly Danny Ferry must do in order to survive. It begins to night with the NBA Draft. Ferry has been on the radio this week talking about a whole plethora of options the team is exploring, however rather then talk about them, he needs to produce results.
Before we go any further let's look at the Cavaliers drafts from the last 12 years:
1. Vitally Potaenko Wright State
Was a fan favorite and did some good things, never really amounted to much in the end, out of the league.
2. Zydrunas Ilgauskas Lithuania
It took him a while with all his foot problems, but he has been recognized as a legit starting Center, he has been an all star, and he did help a team get to the NBA Finals. Plus he still has at least a couple good seasons left in him. A very good pick. Not great, not Amazing. Not average, or lousy either though.
3. Reggie Geary Arizona
I don;t know if he ever saw much of the court, so I will recognize this pick as a throw away.
1.Derek Anderson Kentucky
You may remember his trademark was defense. He was a superstar in Kentucky however like many in his classmates ( Ron Mercer, Antwaan Carr) may have been big names, but were never anything very special either. Average draft choice at best.
2. Brevin Night Stanford
Do you regret trading him now? Not many people thought they would not but he is still playing and being used as a very valuable part of their teams. His leadership has been a great asset to many teams. Our loss has defiantly been others gain with him. A very valuable pick.
3. Cedric Henderson Memphis
Yikes! I think we could have explained his role on this team better then he could have to us. A bust
Ryan Stack South Carolina
If I recall he was hurt and never really saw time with the team he was a second round pick and the only of the Cavs this year.
1. Andre Miller Utah
Was a really good player for us, probably one of the only bright spots during the Randy Whitman are of this team. It's to bad a tassel with Ricky Davis forced him out of this city. A very good pick
2. Trajan Langdon Duke
You mat remember his lack of an ability to create his own shot got him the honor of the nick name Tragic Landon. Big time bust.
AJ Bramlett Arizona
Was pretty much a non0 factor on this team. Another throw away.
Jamal Crawford Michigan
He was eventually traded for Chris Mihm who was effectively a bust.
1. Desagna Diop Oak Hill Academy High School
Many laughed because we probably could have had Joe Johnson with that pick, but coach John Lucas insisted he have Diop. He has gotten his act togethere after having some injury problems and looks to be having a decent NBA career in Dallas. For us he was a below average pick.
2. Brenden Haywood North Carolina
Don't remember we had him? That's because he was traded away on draft night thus making him a non factor for our team.
3. Jeff Trepeagnier Southern Carolina
A non factor. Did nothing. Bust
1. Dajuan Wagner Memphis
Could have been special the way the media talked about him. He had health problems galore and never played a factor. A Major bust.
2. Carlos Boozer Duke
Let's not get started on him. Great pick to bad jealousy got the best of him.
1. LeBron James St. Vincent St. Mary's High School
A very special player with unbelievable talent. A great pick
2. Jason Kapono UCLA
A decent player. Good outside shooter. You would never had known that while he was here though with the way he was used. He was drafted by Carolina in the expansion draft. A decent draft pick.
Luke Jackson Oregon
There were other players with bigger impacts then him. He spent a lot of time on the disabled list with a injured back. Another major bust. He was the only pick that year.
1. Shannon Brown Michigan State
I don't think anyone himself included knew why he was here. He is very talented, yet Mike Browns one of the very people who choose him refused to play him go figure. A good pick but under utilized.
2 Daniel Gibson Texas
A great story he has become a integral part of this team. A great pick.
3. Ejike Ughoaja Nigeria
A non factor
So why have I done this you may ask? We have taken this walk down memory lane for one simple reason. othere then Gibson, LeBron, and Z. This team has seriously under valued the draft. You can make cases for some of the others guys, like Brenden Heywood, Carlos Boozer, and Andre Miller, but the fact of the matter is that they have gone on to othere teams. Could you have imagined us with a lineup of Andre Miller, Daniel Gibson, LeBron James, Carlos Boozer, and Haywood starting with Z coming off the bench? That's championship material.
That fact of the matter is all of the those players accept for LeBron, Gibson, and Z are with other teams now so we will never get the chance to find out. Now, that is for the most part Jim Paxon's fault, however Danny Ferry is the one with the keys to the car right now.
However most disappointingly by listening to Ferry you don't hear much differently about the draft then you did wih Paxon. Both seem to believe that this team does not need to hit a home run on draft day. They can no longer afford to have that attitude. This may not be the deepest draft but the cavs are still in a position to draft a special player, a difference maker that can be with LeBron for years to come. So I am begging Danny Ferry get Mario Chambers, get Chris Douglas-Roberts, get someone here that can help. The Future of basketball in this city rides on it!