June 28, 2012
By Joe Kotoch
It's draft day and early this morning things got off to a bang when Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Syracuse SG Dion Waiters was a target of the Cleveland Cavaliers. While the Yahoo! report is accurate in that Waiters is in the mix for the Cavs are 4. A source informed PBD that Waiters is not the "top guy" the Cavs are targeting.
Cleveland's board appears to be set with Bradley Beal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the top of the board. Who comes next is what is interesting. The Cavs organization appears split on Harrison Barnes and there is a growing faction that prefers Waiters. Waiters in many ways will remind Cavs fans of Tristan Thompson as a prospect who was under the radar for the fourth pick but had the athleticism and upside to warrant the Cavs to pull the trigger.
According to sources around the league if Charlotte trades with a team that selects Beal then the Wizards are set to take Kidd-Gilchrist, which in turn would cause the Cavs to fall back on Waiters at 4. Waiters to his credit is seen by many as an explosive scorer. Several respected executives have said that Waiters could turn out to be one of the 3 or 4 best players in this draft over time. PBD has described Waiters as a Dwyane Wade type for much of the year in terms of style of play and ability to score. Note that Waiters is not the next Dwyane Wade.
Onto other Cavs news Cleveland is dialing up its efforts to acquire an additional lottery pick and the target appears to be Terrence Ross, the Washington SG who worked out yesterday for the Cavs. Cleveland has already offered Anderson Varejao to the Golden State Warriors for the 7th overall pick but were rejected. Do not be surprised if Cleveland eventually packages the 24th pick and Varejao to try and get 7. At 7 the Cavs would also be in a position to select Harrison Barnes, if he slips, or Andre Drummond in addition to Austin Rivers or Ross.
If Cleveland holds on to 24 keep an eye on Tony Wroten and Quincy Miller. Both players have plenty of upside and could be great picks. Wroten is a freakish athlete and could pla alongside Kyrie Irving and allow Irving to play off the ball at times while Miller would instantly be the most talent SF in Cleveland and should be 100% healed from his torn ACL by the start of the season.
In round 2 don't be surprised to see the Cavs target their need for a center with Festus Ezeli, Miles Plumlee, Kyle O'Quinn, and Bernard James all of whom would be upgrades for Cleveland. PBD sticks to its initial report that Fab Melo is not an option for the Cavs for various reasons.