The Best Options for the Cavaliers

5/22/13 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Nov 29, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) gets ready to shoot a free throw against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Joyce Center.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsSo the rumor around town right now is that Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers are considering a trade to move the number 1 pick of the draft.  While I can’t disagree with the strategy at all, I also think it may be difficult to find the right suitor for the 1st pick.  It’s one of the weakest top-5’s in the last 20 years or so, and it’s likely that the Cavaliers will just be out of luck in the trade department and just go with the best available.
If that ends up being the case, there are 5 plausible routes for the Cavaliers to take - who can remember an NBA draft where you could consider as many as 5 options at the top pick?  And here they are, counting down to the player that will help them the Cavaliers the most…
5. Ben McLemore, G, Kansas
Regarded by many as the top prospect in this year’s draft and the player with the most potential to be an all-star caliber scorer, McLemore is an attractive pick, but after drafting Shooting Guard Dion Waiters a year ago, picking a similar talent like McLemore is a tough sell.  Waiters had a very solid rookie campaign and should prove to be a great complement to Kyrie Irving going forward.  Talent alone makes McLemore an intriguing consideration, but not the best choice.
4. Otto Porter, F, Georgetown
A smart player who had a great Sophomore season at Georgetown, Porter would be a great starting lineup replacement for current Cavaliers starting Small Forward Alonzo Gee.  Porter can create for himself and play well off-the-ball as well.  His ceiling is lower than McLemore and a few other players projected in the top 10, but there’s little doubt that Porter will be a solid contributor in the NBA.
3. Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV
Overall, I love this fit for Cleveland.  If they were picking 4th or 5th, I’d almost consider it a lock, but at 1st overall, Bennett is a bit of a question mark.  Similarly to Porter, Bennett is a smart player with a limited ceiling.  At 6’7”, Bennett plays the Small Forward position more like a power forward, and reminds me a lot of Corliss Williamson in his ability to post-up and play physically as a Small Forward.  He would give the Cavaliers a great option for scoring in the half-court set, maybe when Irving needs a ball-handling break, and he’s just a heady player that’s sure to make his presence felt in the NBA.
Blog Photo - The Best Options for the Cavaliers2. Victor Oladipo, F, Indiana
One of the hardest workers you’ll find in the game of basketball, Oladipo has an incredible motor that runs 110% on both ends of the floor.  He has the potential to be an excellent stopper defensively as well as an explosive finisher on the offensive end.  Unlike Bennett, Oladipo may not be able to create for himself particularly well in the NBA, but he gets a leg-up on Bennett because if he were able to develop his dribbling and penetrating better in upcoming years, we could be looking at a future All Star.
1. Nerlens Noel, F/C, Kentucky
The ACL situation is a little scary, but if you’re thinking long-term, and highest reward, Noel is clearly your guy.  A shot-blocking stud in his half-year at Kentucky, Noel’s college production is a bit overshadowed by the ridiculous Freshman campaign of Anthony Davis in 2012.  Averaging 4.4 blocks, 2.1 steals, and 9.5 rebounds in 2013, Noel was doing all of the dirty work for the Wildcats.  At 6’10”, 228, he doesn’t have the ideal size of an NBA Center, but his stunning athletic abilities may allow him to prove otherwise.  All in all, whether he’s playing Power Forward or Center, Noel has the potential to become a top-notch defender in the NBA, and when you match that up with the young, promising backcourt of Irving and Waiters, Cleveland may not be busy on lottery night for a number of years to come.
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