2013-14 Record: 33-49 (3rd in Central Division)
2013-14 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions)
Offensive: 101.3 (23rd in NBA)
Defensive: 104.8 (17th in NBA)
Cleveland had hopes of grabbing one of the very obtainable low playoff seeds in a weak Eastern Conference, and that seemed very reasonable. After all, they had two No. 1 overall picks from the past three years when they picked Anthony Bennett to pair with Kyrie Irving.
Irving was supposed to continue his rise to stardom and take the next step by leading the Cavs back to the playoffs, where they hadn't been since The Decision.
Fast forward a few months later and it was very clear those dreams weren't coming to fruition. Anthony Bennett and his sleep apnea were a total bust, Irving and second-year backcourt mate Dion Waiters seemed to have it out for each other, and it was clear team chemistry was an issue.
Yet by the grace of God - or perhaps the last(?) payment of a Sorry-LeBron-Left package from the NBA - Cleveland ended up with the first overall pick in this is year's draft, which coincidently has been called the best class since LeBron's Class of 2003.
*Fun Fact of the Day*: The odds of winning the lottery three times in a four year span is the same as getting struck by lightning.
The three guys at the top of this draft that appear to be surefire superstars - not All-Stars, superstars - are forwards Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) and Jabari Parker (Duke), as well as center Joel Embiid (Kansas).
Cleveland has their pick of the three, and barring something incredibly shocking, they won't go anywhere outside these three.
Each player has their own set of supporters who love their games and doubters who point out what's wrong with it, and both groups are right.
Wiggins has incredible athleticism, quickness, and has the highest ceiling, but he was too passive at Kansas and took himself out of games. Parker is the most-NBA ready and is a lethal offensive threat inside and out, but his conditioning is a question as well as if he's a true small forward or an undersized four. Embiid is the big man (7'0", 240 lbs) with great athleticism, upside (he's only been playing basketball for three years), and is an elite shot-blocker, but the are a TON of concerns about his back injury that cut his freshman season short.
Any would be credible selections that will immediately make the Cavs better, but the word out of Cleveland is that they like Joel Embiid, as long as his back checks out (which is no sure thing). They've expressed desire for a true center that is all too rare in this era of basketball and someone that will give size to their small roster.
They like him so much that Embiid is currently only scheduled to do a team visit with Cleveland, and he won't schedule any more until the Cavs see the MRI's of his back. So if Embiid does in fact visit other teams, we know he's not going No. 1.
If that's the case, look for Andrew Wiggins to replace him at the top of the draft, who's athleticism and upside - and ability to play without the ball - would be a dream fit with Kyrie Irving.
If Cleveland goes big and picks Embiid first as I expect, they will likely look for help to fill a hole and get depth at the small forward position. Cleanthony Early from Wichita State would be a great value at this point in the draft, as he has the size and skills to play both forward spots in the NBA.
C.J. Fair from Syracuse and Glenn Robinson III from Michigan would also make sense, but I don't think either would have as big an impact. Early brings a winner's mentality from his time with the Shockers (a Final Four appearance and a one-loss season ain't bad) and is more versatile with his abilities, allowing him to be on the court no matter if the Cavs want to play small, big, fast, or slow.
They could also look for size if they choose Wiggins first, making Mitch McGary from Michigan and Patric Young from Florida their prime targets here.
G Kyrie Irving
G Dion Waiters
F Alonzo Gee
F Tristan Thompson
C Anderson Varejao
G Jarrett Jack
G Matthew Dellevedova
G Carrick Felix
G Scotty Hopson
F Anthony Bennett
F Sergey Karasev
C Tyler Zeller
G C.J. Miles
F Luol Deng
C Spencer Hawes
Who should Cleveland will pick? Will it help turn the franchise around? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33.Back to the NBA Newsfeed