The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had previously been coy about their intentions for the No. 1 overall pick, announced Monday that they’ll be taking Duke point guard Kyrie Irving over Arizona forward Derrick Williams in Thursday’s draft.
The Cavaliers, after taking the temperature of the Timberwolves and Jazz to see if Kyrie Irving could somehow fall to No. 4 in Thursday’s NBA draft, are now committed to the former Duke guard as the No. 1 pick and are fielding offers for the fourth pick, league sources said Monday.
In a perfect world for the Cavs, they would draft Irving and former Arizona forward Derrick Williams, which is why they were also interested in dealing for the second pick.
Analysts often refer to the early stages of the draft as psychological warfare, with team executives doing everything they can — including feeding misinformation to the media — to mask their intentions. This doesn’t feel like a ploy, though. Given what’s happened this year in Cleveland, the last thing the organization wants to do is deceive its fans. And this would be deception of the highest order.
So, it’s Kyrie Irving and, most likely, Enes Kanter — Kanter is in Cleveland for a second workout as we speak — for the Cavs. Not exactly the talent-maximizing gamble I was hoping for (Williams and Brandon Knight would have been the better play in my opinion). But Irving will definitely be a good NBA player for years to come.
As for Williams, he’s likely to land in Minnesota, according to the same ESPN report. The Timberwolves reportedly have no interest in trading Michael Beasley or Anthony Randolph, creating a logjam of talent at the forward positions. Oh well, I’m sure David Kahn will won’t figure it out.