NBA: With Correct Decisions, Cleveland Cavs Could Hit Jackpot After Lottery Win

Matt WagnerCorrespondent IIMay 22, 2011

Kyrie Irving, despite his injury concerns, should become the number one pick come the 2011 NBA Draft.
Kyrie Irving, despite his injury concerns, should become the number one pick come the 2011 NBA Draft.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

On May 17, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery.

However, in addition to being awarded the first overall selection, the team that is reeling from LeBron James' departure via the public relations fiasco known as "The Decision," also possesses the fourth selection.

The phenomenal stroke of luck was very much needed for the Cleveland team, who in one season fell from an annual NBA Finals contender to a woeful "cellar dweller," but now it all comes down to properly using those picks properly in order to turn around the franchise and avoid the widely expected extended rebuilding period.

In a year where the draft class is less than stellar to say the least as a result of lockout concerns threatening next season, there are still prospects to be had for the Cavaliers to take a big step towards completing the rebuilding process early.

Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant has multiple critical decisions to make come NBA Draft day on June 23, but the route I believe he should take is as follows:

With the first selection of the NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers should acquire Duke PG Kyrie Irving. Despite his injury concerns, as the freshman suffered turf toe which kept him on the sidelines for a good part of last season, Irving did show flashes of brilliance while attending the Durham, N.C., school.

Irving averaged 18 PPG, four APG, and shot 46 percent from three-point range throughout his 11 collegiate games, including the Blue Devils' NCAA Tournament appearance—leading me to believe that he can contribute from day one in Cleveland, as his toe injury has subsided.

Regarding the fourth overall pick, despite many NBA analysts suggesting that Cleveland should trade the selection, the Cavaliers should look to draft Kentucky Wildcats commit Enes Kanter.

The reason why I give Kanter the "commit" label is because the 6'10", 260-pound power forward was permanently suspended by the NCAA for playing for a Turkish professional team, thereby surrendering his amateur status.

The suspension leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the Turkish big man; however, judging from high school footage, he definitely has the potential to succeed in the NBA.

Kanter has the ability to take contact in the paint effectively as well as be a consistent three-point threat, which seems to be the standard for most international prospects.

He still has to improve on the defensive end; however, I see him as a cross between Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol and I would not be surprised if he becomes a premier offensive weapon for the Cavaliers after a few seasons.

Ultimately, Cleveland Cavaliers management has key decisions coming up on draft day; however, if the team drafts Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter with their first two selections, the Cavaliers' seemingly bleak future could improve considerably during the 2011 NBA Draft.