In fact, don’t even call them rumors. These are just two entirely hypothetical scenarios I completely made up (let me know if you think they are likely or unlikely, favorable or unfavorable).
Scenario No. 1
Cavs Get: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo/Kenneth Faried
Cavs Give Up: Anderson Varejao, No. 4 pick, Ramon Sessions, cash considerations
How It Works: Cavs select Irving first overall. Then they trade Anderson Varejao and the No. 4 pick to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick, selecting Derrick Williams. After that, they trade Ramon Sessions and cash considerations for a mid-to-late first rounder, selecting either Bismack Biyombo (if he falls) or Kenneth Faried.
Why I’d Do It: I personally love this one. It’s not a very big secret that Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are the top overall players in this draft and the two players most coveted by the Cavs. In this scenario, they get to have their cake and eat it too.
Minnesota may be inclined to accept the offer because they are looking for veteran help (Varejao is a great veteran role player), and they have a logjam at both point guard (Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn) and power forward (Kevin Love, Michael Beasley), so drafting either Irving or Williams is not their top priority. At No. 4, they can still get their most critical position of need—center. Either Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas will be guaranteed to be available.
Now, I love Anderson Varejao and consider him a great asset, but he will also turn 29 this season and will be in his 30′s by the time the Cavs are ready to compete. So I am OK with giving him up.
But I want to get back another high-motor, all-out hustler, five hour energy rebounder and defender. So that’s where I trade the now third-string point guard, Ramon Sessions (along with cash considerations and maybe one of the second rounders) in order to move back into the first to grab either Kenneth Fareid or Bismack Biyombo. I may like my chances against either in a game of H-O-R-S-E, but they both fit the bill of a “high-motor, all-out hustler, five hour energy rebounder and defender.”
Scenario No. 2
Cavs Get: Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, Kemba Walker, 2012 First Round Draft Pick
Cavs Give Up: J.J. Hickson
How It Works: Cavs stand pat at No. 1 and No. 4, selecting Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter. Then the Cavs trade J.J. Hickson for a 2011 first rounder (used to select Kemba Walker) and a 2012 first rounder (which is reportedly their asking price).
Why I’d Do It: Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter would immediately give the Cavaliers one of the more promising front courts of the future. Williams is a freak of an athlete, can shoot the ball and is ambidextrous around the rim. Kanter is a relatively “safe” pick at center. He is big at 6'11" and solid, weighing in at 265. He is more of an old-school center—one that likes to play around the basket, has a post game and likes to get physical. He is not one of those athletic (read: pansy) European centers that are more likely to bust, such as Darko Milicic.
It is certainly hard to pass on Irving, but Kemba Walker would not be the worst consolation prize. Irving does literally everything very well, but most scouts admit that he does not have any one particularly “elite” quality. I think Walker has two elite qualities: quickness and a “clutch gene.” His first steps and step backs consistently left defenders in the dust and he was the key component in his team going 14-0 (14-0!) in the three tournaments they played in this year (Maui Invitational, Big East tournament, NCAA tournament). If that’s not ice-water in somebody’s veins, I don’t know what is.
I like Hickson and think he is a valuable piece too, but his contract is almost up and I do not think he is worth the money he will surely be seeking and will most likely eventually get. Besides, Derrick Williams will prove to be a significant upgrade—he is a better finisher around the rim and his jump shot is light-years ahead of Hickson.
There would be several teams interested in Hickson’s services (and his cheap remaining contract), and if the Cavaliers could get Walker along with another first round pick in a loaded 2012 draft, I think you have to do it.
For this, and more, check out my blog Ten Cent Beers.