NBA Draft 2011: Cavs Win Lottery, but Should Not Cement Kyrie Irving as Top Pick

Sam TothContributor IIIMay 17, 2011

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 01:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils watches on during their game against the Michigan State Spartans at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 1, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving very well might be the No. 1 pick. He very well should be the No. 1 pick. But unlike (seemingly) everyone else, I’m not ready to write that selection down in pen. Not yet, at least.

By nearly all accounts, Irving is not on the same level of the likes of a LeBron James or Blake Griffin—a.k.a. a slam-dunk, no-brainer, if-you-even-think-about-anything-else-you’re-crazy top overall pick.

He does not have an elite court vision like a Jason Kidd or Steve Nash. He does not have the elite athleticism of a Derrick Rose or John Wall. In fact, Chad Ford admitted to me in an ESPN chat: “I’m not sure he has one elite quality.”

Not sure about any one else, but that makes me as nervous as a card counter getting eyed by a pit-boss.

From my own personal account, I watched a few games of Irving’s. I thought he was very good, but was never in awe of his play. Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and even Jon Diebler all “wowed” me at one point with their play.

Now, am I saying the Cavs should consider Diebler with a first round pick because of that? Absolutely not. I would just hope that the top overall pick would have at some point. That’s all.

Having said all that, there is a reason Kyrie Irving is the near-consensus No. 1 pick. He is a very good player and would be a prominent piece in the Cavs future.

My whole point is that I am not ready to turn in the card with his name yet. I think it’s worth investigating all options.

Would it be better to take Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight? Or Enes Kanter and Walker? I don’t know. But it is worth checking.

Nothing bad can come from fans, media and, most notably, the Cavaliers’ front office questioning what to do with this pick. We’re not dealing with the next LeBron James, so it would not be succumbing to a vice of over-thinking. It is doing your due diligence.

If Irving is THAT good, then he will only cement his spot as the top pick the more you look into him.

Bottom line: No matter who the Cavs select, if they do their homework, they will get a great player. (And another great player just three spots later!)

Browns had a solid draft. Tribe is rolling. Cavs win the lottery.

Things are looking up, Cleveland.

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