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2014 NBA Draft Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Jun 17, 2014, 9:27 PM EDT

David Griffin David Griffin

Picks: 1 and 33

Needs: This is a critical draft for the Cavaliers, for a variety of reasons. After using the number one overall pick in last year’s draft to go with a risky selection in Anthony Bennett, the team can’t afford to take a chance on anyone who is not widely viewed to be as close to a sure thing as possible.

The only thing Cleveland doesn’t need from a player standpoint is help at either guard position, with there barely being enough basketballs to go around for Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters who are already in place. The Cavs need to select the best overall player here regardless of position, and the one most likely to be a franchise cornerstone for many seasons to come.

What the franchise needs more than anything, however, is simply stability. There will be a new head coach in place, after Mike Brown was fired with four years (!) remaining on his deal. Irving is likely to be offered a max contract extension this summer, but he’ll need to believe things are headed in the right direction before signing it. And what the Cavaliers end up with out of this draft may have a lot to do with Irving’s decision.

Trade possibilities: The Cavaliers reportedly had at least one team calling about getting that number one pick in the Sixers, but Philadelphia wasn’t willing to give up both the 3 and 10 picks to get it just yet. The third pick along with Thaddeus Young might be an option Cleveland would consider, depending on who they’re eyeing with the top pick. Joel Embiid seems to be their choice now, but remember, initially he wasn’t.

There’s also the option of trying to get a veteran superstar in exchange for a package involving that top pick (Kevin Love, anyone?), and while there’s a new GM in place in David Griffin, it’s worth noting how aggressive the organization was a season ago in trying to add pieces to make a run at the playoffs in a watered-down Eastern Conference.

Predictions: The Cavaliers have a lot at stake. If they’re not 100 percent sold on taking a player like Embiid with the top pick, then moving down to let Philadelphia draft someone like Andrew Wiggins might make a lot of sense. Dealing for a superstar like Love would only make sense if he were to commit to stay long-term before a deal was done, otherwise they’d just be getting a rental like they did with Luol Deng last season — and we saw how that turned out.

Expect a more conservative approach from Cleveland this time around. If there is a trade, it likely wouldn’t involve moving down more than a few spots, so that a widely-viewed impact player could still be selected, thereby giving the franchise hope while the fan base has something to get excited about.

  1. sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    With the 2014 pick of the NBA draft…

    The Factory of Sadness selects

    Joel “soon to have his back go out” Embiid…


    P.S. Just watch, Commish Silver will drop the jersey with the #1 on it just as Joel gets up to him and Joel will instinctively reach for it to try and keep it from falling and oops… oh no, can’t be…

    Joel is down and out for the count… his poor back was thrown out trying to reach for the jersey…

    Gilbert running up to Silver saying we want a do over, he didn’t even get his picture taken with you yet Commish… so it doesn’t count… It’s like the three second rule I use while eating lunch and dinner commish, you know, you do that too…

    P.S.S. In meetings later, after the draft night fiasco, Gilbert holds a meeting and tells everyone he has an idea. He says we’ll tell everyone that Joel is fine and on track to begin the regular season. But, but , but Mr. Gilbert, Joel is permanently hunched over now…

    Gilbert says we’re just gonna have Anthony Bennett wear a Joel Embiid jersey. See, I”m brilliant I tell ya.

    Employees opening up their resumes on their iPads and updating them… Gilbert asks one of them what they are doing and he says he’s writing down what he just told them because it was brilliant.

    Gilbert said, good because it was brilliant.

    I feel so badly for the fans in Cleveland. Ya’ll deserve so much better.

    The Browns…

    The Cavs

    Those two infected the Indians, who used to be good and ya’ll packed and rocked the Jake in the 90’s.

    Was fortunate to take in a couple of games there on business trips up to the Alcoa wheel and forged products plant ya’ll have up there.

    I mean, it goes against all known odds to have the things that have happened to ya’ll, year after year after year…

    Love reading Mr. Joe Posnanski when he writes about Cleveland as he grew up around there.

    • balsagna - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      I grew up in Cleveland too, but just because you like Joe Posnanski doesn’t mean your posts have to be as long as his articles. Also, it wasn’t very funny.

    • dondada10 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      Joe Posnanski didn’t write this article.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        No, Joe didn’t write THIS article.

        I was referring to the article he wrote about “The Factory of Sadness” on this site actually, Dec 30th, 2013.

        I was just saying that I like reading Joe Posnanski and when he writes about The Factory of Sadness, it’s good.

        I can’t write, but my message was no different than his…

        Cleveland fans deserve better. I wasn’t putting Cleveland down or their fans…

    • campcouch - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      You really hate Cleveland. I’ve noticed this. Did you get a bad corned beef sandwich there once?

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:43 AM

        I really feel sorry for the fans.

        They deserve much better than they’ve gotten over the years.

        It’s the owners and the teams front offices I haven’t care for.

        I lived in Ohio for 5 yrs, down south and west though.

        Been to Cleveland like 10 times on business trips up to the Alcoa Wheel and forged products plant there.

        Nothing wrong with Cleveland or their fans.

        Everything wrong with their teams and lack of championships, in ALL THREE sports for decade after decade after decade.

        I mean, a town may not come to be called the Factory of Sadness for one or two bad seasons mind you. And not even for just one sport.

        Browns, a great franchise and wonderful traditions. I used to root for the Cardiac kids, great stuff.

        But, in the 15 seasons since the Browns have returned, they’ve had 19 different starting QB’s.

        19 in 15 seasons from 1999 through 2013.

        Their new coach going into the 16th season in 2014 is their 8th head coach.

        A new head coach every 2 yrs on average. And new president’s and G.M.’s too…

        I’m not a Johnny football fan (don’t hate him either) but if he fails many will say “see, I told he would be a bust”.

        My take is that many have failed as QB’s in Cleveland since 1999.

        Maybe it has MORE to do with the way the teams have been poorly run, coached etc…

        Other, more stable environments allow for a greater chance of success. I’m not saying the reason Johnny won’t make it is because it’s the Browns, not solely.

        But, hey, 19 different starting QB’s in 15 seasons from ’99 thru ’13.

        Know it’s different, but the Colts from ’98 thru ’10 season only had ONE starting QB.

        The Cleveland fans DESERVE better than they have gotten. Period.

        Factory of Sadness is sadly a title that took some doing to earn and have bestowed upon them and the area.

        Dislike Cleveland you say? No, not at all. Dislike the way the owners have run their teams. Definitely.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:34 AM

      Cmon…that was funny!

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      “Factory of Sadness” was funny last year…..

  2. nflcrimerankingscom - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Don’t let the lamestream sports media fool you – the Cavs have had pretty solid drafts and a nice foundation.

    Nice enough that Vegas is giving them the 8th best odds to win the title next year.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:07 PM

      Vegas is boosting Cleveland’s odds on the off chance LeBron does go back to them. Or else they would have them at 100 to 1 odds like they did last year.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Sold drafts as in plural?

      Name ONE SOLID draft will you?

      Take your time… you’re gonna need it…

  3. campcouch - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    None of the top 10 picks in the 2013 draft vaulted their teams into the playoffs (Zeller’s 3 starts and 6ppg are not the reason Charlotte made it).Bennett had health issues as well and got tossed in unprepared. They should have sat him the whole year like Noel or D-Leagued him to rehab. other than that,only Burke and Oladipo contributed significantly and those were two positions Cleveland had filled. So I don’t get how people think they bungled any of their recent lottery picks. They’ve managed to grab a PG,SG,PF and maybe a quality 6th man in 3 drafts. Now they could grab a SF or center and take another step. Any team that has had a certified superstar struggles when that guy is gone,so thinking the Cavs would be different is nonsense. They’ll draft who they need and move on.

  4. 1historian - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    Organizations win championships. The Cavaliers have a lousy organization, so they mess up year after year.

    In Basketball you build around your best player, regardless of position.

  5. ljl2 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    The town isn’t called the factory of sadness. Ha. Just Cleveland browns stad… Er, first energy field

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