NBA Draft 2011: Cleveland Cavaliers & 5 Teams That Will Make the Biggest Splash
The NBA Draft takes place next week and while this might not be the best class, there is still plenty of potential out there for the lottery teams to land a franchise-type player.
Out of the lottery, there are five teams that have the opportunity to draft the player that will put their franchise in the right position to be a playoff team.
It will also be interesting to see what new head coach Mark Jackson does on draft day for the Golden State Warriors.
5. Golden State Warriors
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The Golden State Warriors have a brand new coach in Mark Jackson; he will bring the same type of attitude he had as a player; a giant heart and a relentless attitude.
The Warriors are sitting at the 11th pick and they have some good choices to choose from there, but of course it will also depend on who is still available.
There are two players that are high up on the Warriors list: Jordan Hamilton from Texas and Donatas Motiejunas from Lithuania.
Both players bring different elements to the table. Hamilton is a shooter from Texas and Motiejunas is a seven footer who can play the power forward position or center. Hamilton is tall at 6'8 to be a wing type player, but is that exactly what Golden State needs?
Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are both good shooters, but they are both considered small, so Hamilton could provide that type of big body shooter.
As for the power forward position, David Lee is a very reliable player, but he's just 6'9. Starting center Ekpe Udoh is 6'10, so Motiejunas could provide the height this team needs.
Either player would be a good pick for Jackson and the Warriors, and both players are good enough to help this team in 2011-12.
4. Indiana Pacers
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The Indiana Pacers made some noise this past year. They finished with a 37-45 record and made the playoffs, but the most noise came when they won Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls at Chicago. They eventually lost to the Bulls in five games, but they played them hard every single game.
Now you have to look at the major needs of the Pacers. They need a shooter as well as a big man. They have some good pieces and young players. Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Paul George and Darren Collison are the five starters and all players are young and full of potential.
There is one player that could fit in nicely with this bunch, and that player is Jimmer Fredette. He might be gone at the 15th pick, but if he's there, the Pacers shouldn't hesitate to draft him. Nobody can deny how great of a shooter Fredette is, but he will need to gain a defensive mind.
Another player who could help if Fredette isn't available is Alec Burks from Colorado. The 6'6 guard could help at either the point or as a shooting guard.
Both players provide good shooting ability, and both players could help the Pacers to a winning record and another playoff appearance.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are sitting at the second pick of the draft and they just received news that Ricky Rubio will be joining the team, so that will give them another player that they expected to have a couple years ago, making this draft seem almost like a two-fer.
With that being said, it's almost common knowledge that Kyrie Irving will be the No. 1 overall pick, so the T'Wolves will have the rest of the pack to choose from.
The obvious pick is Derrick Williams out of Arizona. Williams made a name for himself this year with his consistent play and his hard-nosed attitude.
Williams is a 6'8 power forward, but he might not be tall enough for that position in the NBA. Therefore, he would be a small forward type player.
Combine his play with the likes of Kevin Love, and that's a pretty good combination of big men who can rebound and score in the post.
Williams is the overwhelming favorite for this pick, but Minnesota may try and go with a shooter, but not likely since they will be getting Rubio.
Either way, Williams is going to make this team better.
2. Utah Jazz
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If Kyrie Irving weren't in this draft, Brandon Knight would certainly be the best in it. Knight proved why he's good enough to enter the draft after a stellar freshman season at Kentucky.
He led the Wildcats to the Final Four and he's another point guard out of John Calipari's system who will have plenty of success in the NBA.
The Utah Jazz are sitting at the third and 12th pick, and there's no reason why they shouldn't draft Knight with the third pick. Knight can be the replacement for Deron Williams, who was traded to the Nets. Knight is a dynamic point guard who can not only pass, but he's an excellent shooter.
At pick No. 12, the Jazz could be looking for a small forward type player and there are a number of players who could fill that need. If Marcus Morris is still on the board, he could fill the need, but many NBA experts predict he will be going between the seventh and 10th pick.
If Morris is not available, Kawhi Leonard would be a nice pick as well. Leonard had a great year at San Diego State and the 6'7 small forward is a double-double machine.
Either Morris or Leonard would be perfect fits at No. 12 and both picks would help this team to compete in the West again.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
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Cleveland has the first and fourth picks. The No. 1 pick is freshman standout Kyrie Irving out of Duke, but there are plenty of options with the fourth, and in my opinion most important, pick.
Irving is going to be a solid player in the NBA and he's going to provide the Cavaliers with a solid point guard, but he's not going to be a one-man show. The Cavaliers need to find a way to win without LeBron James, and they clearly failed doing so this year.
With the fourth pick, the Cavs should take Enes Kanter. The 6'11 center from Turkey was supposed to play for the Kentucky Wildcats this past season, but was ruled ineligible.
Kanter is a big-time player with the ability to play the power forward or the center positions, both big needs for the Cavs.
If they decide not to go with Kanter, Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic could fill the need for a big man. Vesely is also 6'11 and can play multiple positions.
The combination of Irving and either Kanter or Vesely will give the Cavs two big needs. A point guard and a big man who can be franchise-type players and help the Cavs to have life without LeBron.
This might be one of the most important drafts for this franchise, and they will make the biggest splash at the draft this year.