What a difference a year makes. Ten months ago the Cleveland Cavaliers experienced their darkest hour in franchise history when LeBron James left town. Now they have the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, in addition to the fourth overall pick, thanks to a midseason trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
While the franchise is still far from being a title contender and will likely struggle once again if there is a 2011-12 season, Cavs fans finally have a reason to look forward to the future.
At the moment the Cavaliers have a lot of needs and are not particularly strong at any position.
The player at the top of most people's draft boards right now is Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. He has already drawn comparisons to Chris Paul and the limited time he played this season proved that point.
Although there is no denying his talent and upside, Cleveland would be wise to pass on Kyrie Irving.
Arizona forward Derrick Williams can be just as dominant of a player. He single-handily carried the Wildcats past Irving's Blue Devils in dominating fashion.
Williams has been described as a David West/Michael Beasley hybrid. Neither is exactly a franchise player, but both were never as good as Williams was in college. While he will be criticized as a "tweener," it will be a mismatch for most power forwards and shooting guards to defend him.
The biggest reason why the Cavaliers should pass on Kyrie Irving is the availability of other intriguing point guards in the draft such as Jimmer Fredette, Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker.
Also, Irving only played 11 games this past season after suffering a ligament injury in his right toe. That is certainly something the Cavaliers management has to keep in mind heading in to the draft.
There isn't another forward in the draft with as much upside as Derrick Williams. If the Cavs select Kyrie Irving with the first pick, who would be logical to take at No. 4?
They certainly aren't taking another point guard and it's always risky drafting young European players like Jan Vesely and Donatas Motiejunas that high in the first round.
Cleveland would be better off taking the best forward in the draft and then settling for the second or third-best point guard prospect.
Jimmer Fredette was exciting to watch in college, but he seems more like the next J.J. Reddick rather than the next Stephon Curry.
The choice at No. 4 comes down to Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker. Either would be an excellent pick.
Knight is only 18, but has proven he can lead his team down the stretch and is still improving. He is a great shooter, but is not a great passer despite being a point guard.
Kemba Walker helped lead the UConn Huskies to the national title and would bring a winning mentality to the to the Cavaliers. He can score and be the quarterback for the offense, which is what is needed in today's game for a successful point guard.
Kyrie Irving may be the pick at No. 1 and Enes Kanter would likely follow at No. 4, but it would be wiser if Chris Grant drafted Derrick Williams and Kemba Walker instead.
Regardless of what happens, Cleveland basketball fans are finally moving away from that infamous decision.
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