Cleveland’s Options with No. 1, 4

        The general consensus is that Duke point guard Kyrie Irving will go No. 1 overall to Cleveland, a franchise destined with the luck of the lottery and two of the draft’s top four selections. Last week, we were ready to lock in Irving for good, but there has not been word from the Cavs’ camp that Irving was the pick, and rumor has it that Arizona forward Derrick Williams, and even Enes Kanter, the draft’s top big man, is in the mix here. Four days from the draft and the team doesn’t know what they are going to do yet? At least they are acting that way.

        Scenario 1: Cleveland will likely partner up with Irving, the draft’s top player and fills a need for the team as well. This would allow Cleveland to take the best available player at No. 4, which they are hoping would be Turkish center Enes Kanter, Lithuanian power forward Jonas Valanciunas or Czech small forward Jan Vesely.

        Scenario 2: What if the Cavs shocked everyone and took Williams as the top overall pick? The selection would be justified as Williams was one of the top three or four players in all of college basketball last season, while Irving played in just 11 games for the Blue Devils. Williams is a power forward in the mold of current-Cleveland forward Antawn Jamison- a versatile forward, who could play some minutes at small forward, but with his inside-outside game, he is a better fit at the 4. Taking Williams at No. 1, would still leave Cleveland with the ability to take a point guard at No. 4 overall, where Kentucky’s Brandon Knight and national champion Kemba Walker would be around.

        Scenario 3: Had he played this season (ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits from his Turkish professional team), Enes Kanter could have very well been the top prospect in this draft. Kanter has the size, strength and skill level to do it all. He’s a bull- he loves to be physical and create contact in the blocks, where he can finish with contact or go right back up and get the offensive rebound for a put-back. All the while, Kanter can handle the ball a little bit and has range that extends to the NBA 3-point line. Kanter would give the Cavs that physical presence they have lacked in the post since Carlos Boozer and would allow the team to take either Knight or Walker.

By President Corey Ruff - 6-20-11