Cleveland Cavaliers Have Two Big Rebuilding Opporunities in This Year's Draft

Daniel AbelsonContributor IIIJune 4, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils waits to enter the game 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

When the Cavaliers landed the first and fourth pick in this year's NBA draft, it seemed that they were finally ready to move on from "The Decision" and start a new chapter in the franchise's history.

The last time they had the first overall pick was in 2003 when they drafted LeBron James, and we all know how that turned out. While this year's top talent is far inferior to the draft class from eight years ago, the Cavs have two big opportunities to make a stamp on the future of their team.

With the first pick, Cleveland should select Kyrie Irving, freshman point guard out of Duke. Irving missed the majority of the season with a foot injury, but showed a lot of promise and maturity for a young player during the first few weeks of the year and again in the NCAA Tournament when he returned.

In a league that is becoming dominated by point guards, the Cavs cannot afford to pass up on a talent like Irving. With Byron Scott teaching him the game, Kyrie could become a special point guard in the NBA.

After the first pick is made, things start to get interesting. The Cavs currently hold the fourth overall pick, but there have been rumors that they are working on a deal with the Pistons and Timberwolves to acquire the second overall pick.

They also could use the fourth pick to trade for a more experienced player. But if they decide to keep the pick, the best choice would be to select Enes Kanter, a center out of Turkey. Kanter was one of the few top talents to compete at the Chicago Draft Combine in May, and he really impressed scouts with his athleticism and high motor.

Kanter had committed to play basketball at the University of Kentucky this past season, but was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for receiving benefits while playing for a team in Turkey. With J.J. Hickson already in the frontcourt, the Cavaliers need to add a low post presence and a great rebounder, and Kanter fits that mold.

Building through the draft would be the best decision the Cavs could make. They're not ready to compete at a playoff level, so it would be silly to trade the fourth pick for a veteran. Moving up and grabbing the second pick to select Derrick Williams of Arizona would be a great move, but they're still left with a big hole at center.

Adding Irving and Kanter would be a great start to a big rebuilding process in Cleveland.

If you look at the Thunder, just four years ago, they selected Kevin Durant with the second overall pick in the draft. This year, they made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. For any young team trying to rebuild, adding players through the draft is the most efficient and intelligent way to do it.

Although Kanter and Irving both turned 19 in the past few months, they can make an impact immediately in Cleveland. If the Cavaliers are able to add more pieces around them, in addition to Christian Eyenga and J.J. Hickson, they could become a dangerous young team in a few years.