Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kyrie Irving vs. Derrick Williams/Brandon Knight

The Cavs are considered by most to be going after Kyrie Irving, however some believe they should rather get Derrick Williams and then Brandon Knight with the 4th pick.  So who is the best player for the Cavs and what are the reasons they should go after each one?

I think Kyrie Irving is the best of them and is the whole package.  He has elite quickness for the position, good height, and decent strength and athleticism.  He gets great marks for character and work ethic, and has already shown the ability to be a true point guard.  He also is a good scorer with a great shot an already a very polished passer.  He missed games as a freshman, but looked advanced and could easily translate to the NBA.

Best/Worst case sencarios: Chris Paul/Devin Harris

Why the Cavs should draft him:  He is the #1 player by most peopleand compares favorably to Chris Paul.    He is a very safe pick at a position of need.  Part of the decision has to be how likely they think it is a player will stay and Irving seems to have an attitude suggesting he would.  I do think he will develop into the next CP3.

Why the Cavs shouldn't draft him: He is not as NBA ready as Derrick Williams and possibly an injury concern.  The Cavs see a big man as a big need in this draft and may not focus as much on the backcourt.

Derrick Williams:  Williams dominated at the college level and is clearly the most NBA ready player in this draft. He can shoot from just about anywhere.  He has a great wingspan which helps him to be a solid defender and and rebounder.  Great athleticism for the position and quickness, however he is a bit undersized and could use to add strength.  He also is a combo forward and may not have a true position.

Best/Worst case scenarios: Antwan Jamison (or David West)/Jeff Green

Why the Cavs should draft him: He will likely win rookie of the year.  He is the most likely to make a big impact.  They could use a big man and have a glut right now at PG.  This team needs size and athleticism and he can bring both.  

Why the Cavs shoudn't draft him:  He may have no true position.  Like Jeff Green, he could end up being too slow for SF and too weak to play PF.  He will probably be a better rebounder, but because of his size, he may be limited.  He also may not have a great attitude.

Brandon Knight: Very solidly built.  Good height, strength, and maybe the quickest player in the draft (close between him and Irving).  He is an excellent shooter and a great 1 on 1 offensive player.  Very intense competitor who has a high motor and is a high character guy.  Already a very good defender.  He also has very good potential.  His passing however does need work

Best/Worst case scenarios: Jason Terry (or Chauncey Billups)/mo Williams

Why the Cavs should draft him:  They need scoring.  Brandon Knight may be the best combination of athleticism, size, and shooting ability for his position.  He is a very high character guy and everyone raves about his attitude and leadership. He doesn't have to be an elite passer to be a floor leader.

Why the Cavs shouldn't draft him:  He may be a Shooting Guard trapped in a Point Guard's body.  In this sense, he may turn out to be a shoot-first point guard and the Cavs need a true point guard.

I am optimistic about Irving so I see him becoming close to a Chris Paul type of player.  I question whether Brandon Knight can ever develop into a classic "true point guard".  I see him being a mike Bibby type: a good defender and shooter, solid passer but not a true star.  I also see Derrick Williams as developing into that solid, but not star kind of player.  He has the physical skills and body of All Harrington but is a good passer and rebounder like Odom.  He can be a 15-9 guy with solid D, but thats not truly star level.

To me, its a no-brainer to take Irving.  When it comes to the most likely scenario they will develop into, Irving is much better in my eyes.  I also don't see a huge drop-off between what D-Will will likely develop into and what Enes Kanter will likely develop into.  Similar level of stardom.

The NBA is becoming a point guard driven league.  Point Guard has also turned into one of the safest positions in the top 10 (as long as you don't draft Ricky Rubio too high).  

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