On Bobcats shopping pick, Barnes & Irving, Beal not being short & DeSagana Diop

There’s been a lot of news-ish commentary coming out of Chicago’s Pre-Draft camp this week. Heat won last night also, and somebody dumped a beer on LeBron. Plenty of info-tainment to digest across the NBA universe today. I’m waiting to see what happens in Game Seven before I weigh in on the Eastern Conference Finals myself, but I am thinking Rondo might need post a 43-16-12 triple double in order for Boston to win. Not that I’d put anything past the most underrated point guard in NBA history since Mark Price. For now though, back to the Draft…

Thomas Robinson had a solid line about himself in response to Anthony Davis’ Check My Stats shirt. The more I hear from that kid the more I like him. Just not for the Cavaliers right now. The tweet from Alex Kennedy about a player last year who made sure he told the GM he was interviewing with during the pre-draft process that he liked his vodka cranberry was a gem. Watching national writers tweet out each draft prospect’s official measurements as individual tweets has been amusing. Although after I laughed about that, I did go on to read every one of Chad Ford’s individual tweets about each draft prospect’s official measurements. How are dudes gaining two inches in shoes anyways? I need a pair of those. 

Sorting through all that, there are three pieces of reported information that I’ve found most interesting so far as it pertains to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Each of which I’ve listed below in the event you find it similarly interesting:

1. The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping the 2nd overall pick - I’ve been talking about them potentially shopping this pick ever since they lost out on Anthony Davis. Charlotte needs a lot of help. I think Kentucky could have seriously given them a game last season if the two teams squared-off at Rupp. As of now, MJ and company are asking a ton for that pick though; by that I mean you might have to take back former Cleveland Cavaliers Lottery Pick DeSagana Diop to get it. 

This from Bill Ingram at Hoopsworld (via Twitter): “League source confirms #2 pick for sale, but Bobcats asking for the world and will look to include Diop or Tyrus Thomas….”

Orlando Magic's Ryan Anderson,rear, dunks on Charlotte Bobcats' DeSagana Diop (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C. , Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. The Magic won 100-79.
If the Bobcats would take pick number four to allow themselve to dump Diop and/or Thomas on the Cavaliers in order for Cleveland to move up two spots I’d give the tires a quality kick on that. The Cavs are way under the cap, and per the new CBA they may need to look for ways to actually spend money in order to get themselves to the minimum salary cap floor. They could take a bad contract right now, so long as it doesn’t tie them up too much moving forward. I really wouldn’t want to give up pick number 24 as well though if you’re making me eat those contract dollars. Maybe I throw in pick 33 or 34 instead. Maybe.

2. Harrison Barnes, Kyrie Irving, best friends and jokes  – 
MKG told me that Kyrie Irving was his best friend. I suppose you can have multiple best friends. My girlfriend refers to just about every friend she’s ever introduced me to as her best friend, for example. But regardless of official friendship status, I do know that Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes are close. Maybe best friends, maybe not. Maybe you should punch me in the face for talking about best friends as long as I just did. 

North Carolina's Harrison Barnes talks with reporters during a gathering of top prospects for the NBA basketball pre-draft combine, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Chicago.
At the same time though, you should also prepare for the possibility that Harrison Barnes is that pick at four should the Cavaliers not end up with a chance at MKG. His relationship with the Cavaliers franchise player is a factor, just as it is with MKG. Barnes and Irving have the same agent too, which is also more of a factor in situations like this than people may think. Barnes was the best player in Kyrie Irving’s McDonald’s All American Game too, they both went on to play in the ACC, and Barnes is a top-10 prospect at worst on everybody’s board. 

According to Charlotte beat man Rick Bonnell, Irving and Barnes also tell each other jokes on a regular basis:

“North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes is close friends with rookie of the year Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who missed most of his single season at Duke before turning pro. Asked how a Tar Heel could get so close to a Blue Devil, Barnes said Irving’s 10 games in Durham don’t really count as a Duke career. Barnes added Irving has a good comeback: That it took Barnes 60 college games in Chapel Hill to get himself drafted.”

Zing. Point, Irving. 

3. Bradley Beal is tall enough to play Shooting Guard in the NBA - This according to those in sports who hate on shorter people so much that they make rules about how tall you need to be to play certain positions. In fairness to all those haters, I’ll also admit that Brad Beal checking in at 6’2″ is at least reason for pause. Top-5 picks are a heavy investment. He measured 6’4″ though, which is totally fine. If he laced up a pair of those shoes that are making guys two inches taller he could even be as tall as Jordan theoretically.

Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal celebrates his team's win over the Marquette Golden Eagles during the NCAA men's West Regional basketball tournament in Phoenix, Arizona March 22, 2012.
This was reported by everyone, but I’m referencing Ford again based on his diligence in this area earlier this morning:

“I have official measurements from#NBACombine Brad Beal 6′ 3.25″ socks 6′ 4.75″ shoes and 6′ 8″ wing 8′ 3″ reach”

Only other thing on Beal: for as great a jumpshooter he is, Bradley Beal only shot 33% from 3-point range last season. He attempted 186 3’s, made 63, for an average success rate of 1.7 made three balls per game. That’s kinda nuts, right? To be honest I never even realized that. I guess jumpshooting in the NBA really has gotten that bad, Jeff Hornacek cannot be pleased. (Hat Tip: @MatthewDoyle0).

Updated Draft Board and 92.3 FM on Saturday morning: Assuming Davis is taken at one, my list for who I’d want the Cavaliers to select at the top of the NBA Draft currently reads Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes. In that order. I will also be on 92.3 FM The Fan in Cleveland tomorrow morning talking Cavs and the NBA Draft with Ken Silverstein around 9:30 am. When Ken called to ask me to be on, we ended up talking hoops for 40 minutes because he is a great dude to talk hoops with. Looking forward to jumping on with him for a few more minutes tomorrow, should be fun. Thanks for tuning in then if you get the chance.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. 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, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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