The 2011 NBA Draft is only a short five days away, and with NBA fans of all teams eager to see who their team will select in the draft process, no group of fans should be more excited than those of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After a more than forgettable 2010-11 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans are rallying together as they collectively head toward a new era of Cavaliers basketball. After winning forty-two less games in the 2010-11 season than they did in the 2009-10 season, it's safe to say that the Cavaliers are back to square one: the rebuilding process.
Luckily for Cleveland, the best way to rebuild a sports franchise is through the draft. Whether it be the NBA, MLB, NFL or NHL, the players that a franchise selects in a draft often will shape the future of the team for years to come.
With not only the first pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but the fourth pick as well, the Cavaliers have the chance to immediately revamp a roster that for the most part lacks the youthful talent needed when building a team for the future, a winner in the future.
Take a gander through any sports media headlines and you won't find a definitive answer of who the Cavaliers will take with the first pick in the draft, but instead you will only find speculation and guesses of who Cleveland will select. While I don't have any "secret" inside information to offer you, I can tell you why the Cavaliers need to select point guard Kyrie Irving with the number one pick.
Derrick Rose. Chris Paul. Deron Williams. Rajon Rondo. John Wall. Brandon Jennings. The list of young and talented point guards in today's NBA runs on and on. Today's current NBA could be defined as a "point guard-driven league," and that's one reason that the Cavaliers need Irving.
Cleveland needs to draft Irving not just to fill their dire need for a young, quick point guard of the future, but also just to stay relevant. Someone with the combination of talent and charisma of Irving would be the perfect fit to be the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers as they head towards a new, brighter future.
Also, considering the fact that the Cavaliers were tied for 19th in the NBA last year in team assists as they only averaged a total of 21 per game. Selecting Irving with the first overall pick would surely help that statistic rise.
Irving is a special player, and you would expect him to be considering some scouts have compared him to Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets for his ability to be a play-maker not only when he scores the ball, but when he dishes it to a teammate as well.
Perhaps Irving's best physical asset is his passing ability, which would be an asset the Cavaliers could use as they hope to groom forward JJ Hickson into a legitimate threat in the low post on the offensive end of the floor as he continues to develop defensively.
Not only is Irving a talented passer though, he also possesses a nasty cross over and an impressive jump shot to boot, further proving my point that Irving can be a playmaker by either scoring the ball or kicking it to a teammate for the assists.
Many cases can be made for the Cavaliers to select other talented players in the draft such as Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, etc. However, the rule of thumb generally is that if you have two players of similar or equal talent levels, you take the point guard.
Why? Because the point guard position in basketball is about as close as it gets in sports to being the quarterback in football. As a point guard, you lead your team on both sides of the court and stand tall by being the leader of your team.
As of now, the Cleveland Cavaliers don't have a player that is the face of their franchise. Guys like Baron Davis, Anderson Varejao, Antawn Jamison and Daniel "Booby" Gibson are all talented players in their own right, but they aren't what the "face of the franchise" that the Cavaliers so desperately need.
Following the draft on Thursday, I will be interviewing Cleveland Cavaliers senior vice president of communications Tad Carper, who works right under Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. While interviewing Mr. Carper, I'll find out first hand why the Cavaliers selected who they did, regardless of whether they select Irving or not.
Until then though, keep this in mind: Kyrie Irving has the charisma, talent and work ethic that it takes to be "the guy," to be the face of a franchise, especially one that has such dedicated and caring fans as the Cavaliers do.