Cleveland's Draft Plans

        With four picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, including two in the first round, beginning at No. 4, look for Cleveland to be active, but not necessarily in using all of their picks. After all, aside the NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year at the point in the dynamic Kyrie Irving and a second-first round pick in 2011 used on forward Tristan Thompson, there are few other promising pieces.

        Andy Varejao is slotted in at center/power forward with a new contract last summer, so Cleveland will look to attack their void on the wing early. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a consensus top three player on every team's board, is the favorite, but there is almost no scenario where he doesn't get off the board before the Cavs' first pick at No. 4. Ditto for Bradley Beal, an undersized, but aggressive 2-guard, the top in this year's draft with his sweet shooting stroke (better than his Florida numbers suggest) and ability to crash the board. This gives management two solid available options- North Carolina's Harrison Barnes and a less likely scenario of Andre Drummond, the UConn center. Wing would be ideal, but the best player must be taken for this team to recover from losing their superstar a few years ago.

        According to team sources around the league, Cleveland was targeting Barnes last season before he pulled out for his sophomore season. His second year with the Tar Heels showed a few weaknesses in his game, mostly his limited ability to create for himself with a crafty point guard in the fold. But with Kyrie Irving securing holding the reigns to the team's future, Barnes wouldn't have to worry about that. He has great size at 6'8" and is just 19 years old still. Barnes is lethal as a spot-up shooter on the wing and could step right in and give this team an offensive boost that they desperately need.

        Drummond must be considered as he is certainly a top five prospect in the Draft, but seemingly could have gone as high as No. 2 if he showed more consistency in terms of energy and effort in his first collegiate season. Drummond has great size and tremendous strength, even with his slimmed-down frame, for an outrageously talented center. He is a big of a project, but then again, the Cavs are at least a year or two away from contending for a playoff spot in the East.

        There is also the option, especially for Charlotte, that Cleveland could trade multiple assets, including No. 4 and No. 24 to move into the top two or three and select Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal. Or the Cavs' could package No. 24 and one or both of their early-second-round picks to move into the late-lottery/mid-first and select a 2-guard like Terrence Ross or Jeremy Lamb.

By Staff Writer - 6 - 5 - 12