NBA Draft 2011: Making a Case for the Cleveland Cavaliers Drafting Kemba Walker
Normally, this wouldn’t be a hard sell.
Kemba Walker has been arguably the best player in college basketball this season.
The 6’1” guard from the University of Connecticut has led his team on an improbable run that will finally come to an end Monday night in the NCAA championship game.
Walker averaged 23.7 points, 4.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. Inside these totals, you can find an insane 25.5 points per game average during their current Big East and NCAA tournament 10-game winning streak.
If those numbers don’t impress you, go ahead and watch this game winner in the Big East tournament a few times.
The kid isn’t afraid to put the team on his back when they need him most.
Walker’s skill set has been compared to the likes of Allen Iverson and Tim Hardaway at different times this season.
After watching Walker, I can honestly say that this is a pretty good analysis.
He has Hardaway’s ability to find the open teammate when necessary and not back down from his opponent; he has Iverson’s freakish ability to get to the hole, despite being much smaller than the defenders.
Do You Think the Cavaliers Should Draft Kemba Walker?
The negatives on Walker have been that he forces the issue and makes bad decisions—this is an issue that I have not seen over the last two months of basketball.
One thing you will find different between Walker and Iverson is Walker's demeanor.
When Iverson came into the NBA he was followed by legal issues, gambling problems and domestic problems throughout his career. These issues had been shown on a smaller level during his collegiate career.
In the case of Walker, those issues do not exist.
So, why should the Cleveland Cavaliers draft him?
Let’s start with the desire to put his team on his back when they need him.
One thing has been apparent during this transitional season without LeBron James: The team doesn’t have a go-to guy. This is not only a role that Walker embraces, it is one he has mastered thus far in his career.
How about the Cavaliers' need for a point guard who can take over the game?
Let’s face it: The Cavaliers haven’t had a point guard who can go toe-to-toe with the best point guards in the league since Mark Price. Adding Walker would give someone the fans can get excited about from the minute he puts on that Cavalier uniform.
Finally, the Cavaliers do not have a young point guard to build around for the future.
I don’t want to hear the talk about Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson right now.
Don’t get me wrong, it has been nice to see Davis add some life to the lineup because he is a veteran who isn’t afraid to shoot. And Sessions’ aggressiveness is something nice to watch after not having a point guard who was willing to attack the hole for a long time.
But neither of these guys brings to the table a skill set quite like Walker.
Walker isn’t afraid to take over a game when necessary. He can take his defender off the dribble or he can pull up and shoot right in his eye.
But the greatest thing about Walker is his toughness.
He led his team through a five-game gauntlet in the Big East tournament and hasn’t let up in the NCAA tournament as they enter the championship game on Monday night.
With two first-round lottery picks in the 2011 draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the opportunity to make an impact on their franchise for a long time.
And using their second of those two lottery picks on Kemba Walker would be a great starting point for the Cavaliers organization.
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