Grading The Draft

With the draft in our rear view and the overanalyzing under way there seems to be a wide range of feelings from Cavs fans regarding what we accomplished Thursday night.  Here’s my take pick by pick (and non-picks):

Kyrie Irving smiles after being selected by the ...Kyrie Irving – A+

You suffer through a 26 game losing streak on the court with only one silver lining involved.  Maybe you can turn that misery into the #1 pick.  Of course as it worked out Danny Warbucks basically purchased the rights to it by taking on the untradeable.  Anyway, I thought a lot of fans were over complicating the pick when thinking about drafting #1 based on who then would be available at 4 (Williams/Knight Combo).  I gave this an A+ simply because Grant resisted that urge and went to sleep that night having taken the best player in the draft and has presumably shored up one of the toughest positions to fill for the next decade.  Kudos.  

Tristan Thompson – B+

Looking back to Thursday afternoon I feel shame even thinking that Utah would pass up a big white guy.  If that miracle would’ve happened I think Kanter was the guy, although Grant would obviously never admit to it.  Leading up to the draft what played out was the Cavs worst case scenario.  We were holding #4 with Kanter and Williams off the board and no trade partner.  I think all will agree that at this point there were no more players without serious questions or known deficiencies.  That’s why I’m not buying that this pick was such a reach.  There were no sure things.  As opposed to a Valunciunas, Thompson will be able to start developing and playing with Kyrie immediately.  I don’t think that can be understated. Besides, Valunciunas became a hot name in the days leading up to the draft and I think our interest was pure smoke screen to find out just how much other teams might want him. Gilbert had to know what a tough sell that pick would’ve been.  The added bonus was that we made Ric Bucherlook like an ass.  Jan Vesely had a lot of questions as well including his jump shot and his ability to create his own shot.  In the end we basically went with defense.  Which appears to be a sure thing with Tristan Thompson.  His D was on display when he harrassed Derrick Williams intp a 4/14 shooting night with 4 TO’s in last years NCAA tournament.  With Kanter gone we saw the weakness of this draft and I have no problem with us picking a 20 year old big that atleast has a chance to be great on one end of the court. He seems to have a pretty strong work ethic as well which he’ll need to shore up his game offensively and at the stripe. I look forward to watching him flush home Irving drop passes for years to come.  What may this mean for my boy JJ though?

# 32 – F

I think this is where some consensus appears in Cav fans.  Why the hell didn’t we add a player here?  Better yet why did we trade it for 2 picks years from now that are sure to be later in the draft than this one.  I went with an F however mainly because one of the guys I was hoping would fall to us here actually did (Jajuan Johnson or Justin Harper).  Are you selling me that Justin Harper can’t be a better stretch 4 than Luke Harangody?  We also passed on Tyler Honeycutt who could’ve at least competed for a spot with Manny Harris or Alonzo Gee. This team is historically bereft of talent.  Scout, evaluate, make a pick and hope they work out and improve your team for the future.  True head scratcher.

#54 – Milan Macvan – C-

I hope he and Sasha Kahn have a great life together.  This croatian Brian Cardinal probably never wears a Cavs Uni.  If Deandre Luggins was still on the board it would have been an F.  I still would’ve loved to see us take a flyer on the hometown Lighty or Etuan Moore.

This just in, a panel made up of Boobie Gibson, Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga, Joey Graham, and Alonzo Gee gave the collective draft an A++++.

On to Free agency and hopefully some news that we are able to put that TPE into use.  We shall see.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.