NBA Draft 2011: Derrick Williams and the 10 Best Picks for the Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a very regrettable and forgettable season. Since July of 2010, the two best days Cavs fans got to have were when they beat the Heat once in the regular season, and when LeBron James failed to win a championship.
The departing of James left a rather gaping hole in the team, which was compounded by the eventual losses of Zydrunas Iilgauskas and Mo Williams (though Williams was traded).
Luckily for them, the Cavs now own the first and fourth picks in the draft, which is a great way to start rebuilding. Here, we will take a look at 10 players they should consider for those two spots.
10. Marcus Morris
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Lets be real just for a second. There is not much chance that the Cavaliers are going to pick Marcus Morris in the 2011 draft. However, that is not to say he would be a bad fit for them.
At 6-8, he is a combo forward capable of playing both PF and SF. The combo forward is one of their biggest needs going forward in 2011 thanks to the departure of LeBron James.
His tenacity on offense and ferocious defense make up for his lack of length, and he would serve the Cavaliers well, although 1-4 is too high for him to go.
9. Jan Veseley
Jan Vesely, an SF out of the Czech Republic, would be another unlikely but good pick for Cleveland. As a Small Forward standing at an unbelievable 6-11, he would bring a great deal of height and power to a team that sorely lacks those attributes.
His defense is fundamentally sound, and his low post game is weak but improving fast (at least he has a post game, *COUGH LEBRON*).
8. Jimmer Fredette
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
If the Cavaliers actually decide to use that fourth pick on a Point Guard, the entire dynamic of their draft changes. There could be a number of attractive prospects available at this selection, and my only question is, why shouldn't the nation's top scorer be considered?
Yes, he has problems with his defense, but a lot of that stems from the fact that BYU couldn't afford to have him in foul trouble, and therefore his defensive effort was lacking.
I'm not saying they should or will pick Jimmer at No. 4, but when you have a guy that can knock down a jumper from anywhere on the court...give him a look.
7. Jonas Valanciunas
This solid Lithuanian bigman would be a good pick if Enes Kanter were to somehow slip from their grasp. He is an explosive physical player who is not afraid of contact, has excellent shot selection, and is an excellent free throw shooter for his size.
As a 6-11 center, Valanciunas is obviously a tremendous rebounder, and his skills would nicely fill the hole left in the Cavs' lineup at center.
6. Kawhi Leonard
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
If the Cavaliers decide to take Kyrie Irving at No. 1, and then either lose out on Enes Kanter or don't take him, Kawhi Leonard would be their safest bet.
Similarly to Derrick Williams, he is a 6-7 forward with a tremendous motor. Leonard also possesses great quickness and athleticism, and has drawn comparisons to Gerald Wallace; a compliment to any forward.
Behind Williams, Leonard is the surest thing at forward for the Cavaliers to consider.
5. Brandon Knight
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Brandon Knight is a prolific scorer with an effortless shot. He posesses great size for a PG, standing at 6-3, and his athleticism around the rim is a joy to watch. He has a huge wingspan and great length and speed.
Though he has a natural ability to score, his ball handling leaves a little to be desired, as does his passing, placing him below the other point guards on the list. He almost plays like a 2-guard at times rather than a true point man.
4. Kemba Walker
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Yeah, so Kemba Walker is small. So what? If you can't see him on the court, it won't be because of his height, but rather because he's moving so fast your eyes can't keep up. His ball handling and quickness are electrifying, and his 23.5 points per game is impressive.
Despite his high scoring, he is also an excellent facilitator, a fact not to be overlooked.
Walker can run circles around the opposition and make them look like they are standing still. If the Cavs are looking for a point guard at the fourth spot, they need look no further than the champion out of UConn.
Oh that's right, he's a proven winner. (*COUGH LEBRON*)
3. Enes Kanter
If the Cavaliers want a new center, they need look no further than Enes Kanter. Mixing brute strength with soft hands and great athleticism is the combination any team looks for in a bigman.
Standing at 6-11 with a huge wingspan, Kanter is a fantastic rebounder, and it goes without saying that he is a force inside the paint on both sides of the ball.
With his only issue being durability, Kanter has the potential to be the next great Cavalier bigman.
2. Kyrie Irving
Harry How/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving is considered the consensus No. 1 pick by many, as much for his incredible athleticism and size for a point guard as his high character and work ethic.
He has drawn comparisons to Chris Paul, and has all the necessary tools to be a fantastic PG in the NBA. The problem with Irving is that he has only played 11 basketball games since graduating high school, missing all but those 11 games in his Freshman year due to a turf toe injury.
It is not his durability that is in question, but his experience to this point. Other than that he is the total package, but the Cavs need somebody who can improve them now, no questions asked. Not somebody who MIGHT improve them now, no questions asked.
1. Derrick Williams
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Derrick Williams is far and away the best player in this draft, at least in my opinion. As a 6-8 combo forward, Williams can do it all; shoot, drive, pass, defend, and rebound.
He shoots 57% from 3-point range, which is excellent if not incredible for a forward, he has explosive jumping ability and is a strong finisher around the rim. Moreover, he fills the gaping hole left by the self-proclaimed King, and alongside J.J Hickson he would be the start of a new era for the Cavaliers' front court.
With the plethora of point guards available other than Irving, it would be wise for the Cavaliers to take the draft's best player at No. 1, and then take who they can at No. 4