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NBA Draft 2011: What Has Kyrie Irving Done to Be a “Lock” at No. 1 for the Cavs?

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Bob EvansCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2017

Sometimes I feel as if I am the only person who does not want the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Kyrie Irving No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA draft.

Outside of my previously documented desire for the team to draft Derrick Williams with the selection, I just feel it would be irresponsible for general manager Chris Grant to select Irving first.

Given the current composition of the Cavaliers’ roster, point guard is far from an area of need.

The team currently has three-point guards under contract through the 2012/2013 season: Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.

I am not sure if you remember, but the Cavaliers played much better down the stretch with the combination of Davis at starter and Sessions coming off the bench. In fact, in the team’s 4-4 month of April, Sessions averaged 17.6 points and four assists per game, while Davis delivered 13.6 points and seven assists in that same time frame. 

For those of you doing the math at home, that is 31.2 points and 11 assists from your point guards. How much more production do you want?

Instead, analysts and fans all over the nation want the Cavaliers to put their faith in a 19-year-old kid who played in 11 games (due to injury) in his freshman season at Duke and averaged 17.6 points and 4.3 assists per game.

I know many of you are getting ready to lash out with Irving’s 31-point performance against a sub-par Michigan State team, his 21 points against eventual National Championship runner-up Butler and 28-point performance in a loss against Arizona in the tournament. But please give me a second before you do.

While he performed well in those games, please do not forget about this: He had 27 turnovers in 11 games, which included five against Marquette and Butler this season. A player who averages 4.3 assists and 2.5 turnovers a game is not a lock No. 1 pick.

I understand people are comparing him to Chris Paul because of his silky smooth dribbling, passing and shooting skills, which are all great things to have in an NBA point guard—when he has scoring options on his team.

There is a reason that distributing point guards like Chris Paul, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd have not won an NBA championship yet: They did not have a premier scoring shooting guard or small forward on their teams.

Sure, they have led their teams to deep playoff runs and have won numerous awards in the NBA, but at the end of the day the measuring stick in the NBA is how many championships you have won, and these guys do not have any.

So when you are sitting around talking to your friends, listening to the analysts and mocking the 2011 NBA draft, I implore you to see reason when you discuss the No. 1 pick.

Kyrie Irving is anything but a lock with the No. 1 pick, and if Cavaliers fans want to win a championship, then they will need a dynamic player like Arizona’s Derrick Williams.

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