The Crossover Chronicles 2011 NBA Mock Draft has presented a dream scenario for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Kyrie Irving already on board by way of the first overall selection, the Cavs had hoped that one of either Derrick Williams or Enes Kanter would fall into their laps at pick number four. If neither player was available at four, Cavs GM Chris Grant would have been working the phones feverishly while the second hand on David Stern’s pocket watch ticked towards pick number five, looking to trade out of this spot.
He doesn’t have to trade this pick now though, because just as Utah made Brandon Knight the third overall selection, a guy Cleveland hoped would fall just fell.
As a result, the Cavaliers select Enes Kanter with the fourth overall pick, and they are not trading him either.
Enes Kanter makes sense on multiple levels for the rebuilding Cavs. As Michael mentioned previously, he is the best player on the board in a draft that goes Irving, Williams, Knight. For a team that lost as many games as Cleveland did a season ago, they could use as many best players available as they can find. That reason alone makes him a solid way to invest the fourth overall pick.
Additionally, Kanter also both fits a need and can help the team immediately which makes this pick a no-brainer. The Cavaliers have a couple of decent PF’s when you’re talking about JJ Hickson and Anderson Varejao, but neither proved the ability to play Center last season for any significant stretch of the season. They both saw time at the position, however, because the Cavaliers didn’t employ a center for most of the season who wasn’t named Ryan Hollins.
Semih Erden is now on the roster, by way of a trade with Boston late in the year, but Enes Kanter would clearly come in as by far the best Center on the team. He would even have a good chance to start from day one, alongside JJ Hickson, and move Andy Varejao back to a 6th man role he’s been most comfortable playing out of for most of his career.
There’s been some talk that if it is Enes Kanter who the Cavaliers are able to take at four, they would then look to deal him and move back in the draft, theorectically also adding another first round pick as well. I don’t see the Cavs trading Kanter, however, in the event they are able to acquire him. The Cavs love this guy, he’s met with Dan Gilbert multiple times already, and the if the Cavaliers owner can write a headline that reads: Cavs acquire Draft’s Top Rated PG and Top Rated C in same draft, I imagine he’d be pretty stoked to type that out.
And why shouldn’t he be if that were indeed the case? Two pieces like Kyrie and Kanter could go a long way towards helping put this Cavaliers puzzle together over the next few years.