March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal (23) shoots the ball against Louisville Cardinals guard Chris Smith (5) during the second half in the finals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at US Airways Center. The Cardinals defeated the Gators 72-68. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewickel-US PRESSWIRE
Although the lottery didn't go exactly as we had hoped, at least the Cavaliers now know where they will be drafting on June 28th. The Cavaliers fell to the 4th pick in the draft, but as I have been saying for a while now, there are at least 6 players that are likely to have very good NBA careers. I will do my own run at an early mock draft soon, but for now, let's see who various websites and experts have the Cavaliers taking with their pick at number four overall.
Chad Ford from ESPN.com somehow had his mock draft up like 10 minutes after the lottery was decided. The man is a machine. With the fourth pick, Ford has the Cavaliers taking Harrison Barnes from UNC. Here's what Ford wrote:
Analysis: Thomas Robinson may be the best player left on the board, but he's not a great fit with Tristan Thompson. If both MKG and Beal are off the board, the choice will be between Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond. Both fit needs and Drummond has crazy upside, but the Cavs loved Barnes at the No. 4 pick last year before he decided to go back to school. I think they'll roll the dice on him again this year
This scenario is with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal both being selected before the Cavaliers' pick. That means Cleveland would have the choice of Andre Drummond, Thomas Robinson, or Harrison Barnes. Ford thinks the Cavs would grab Barnes in that scenario.
SBNation's own, Tom Ziller, ran a mock draft this morning. He had the Bobcats taking MKG and the Wizards taking Robinson at #3. That leaves Bradley Beal for the Cavaliers to snatch up. Here's what he wrote:
4. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: BRADLEY BEAL
The Cavs' own pick landed at No. 4 for the second straight season; it looks like the team may have made a mistake in 2011 by taking Tristan Thompson (rawer than sushi) over Jonas Valanciunas. But Thompson is nonetheless in place, as is Kyrie Irving, which means it makes most sense (absent the smart strategy of taking the best player available regardless of position) to take a two-guard or wing. In this mock, that means Bradley Beal or Harrison Barnes. I think Barnes' hype will bounce back strong after the combine, but Beal is seen by many (and perhaps the Cavs) as the better prospect right now.
For some reason, he still felt the need to throw in the Thompson-Jonas comparison, but we'll let it slide. I assume most Cavs fans will be thrilled if we can get Beal with the fourth pick.
NBADraft.net gave the Cavaliers yet another option. In their mock draft, they have the Bobcats going with the hometown kid and taking Harrison Barnes at #2 overall. Honestly, it makes some sense. Kidd-Gilchrist is probably the better prospect, but in a team so devoid of talent, it makes some sense to take the player who's game stands on it's own a little bit better. Barnes is a pure scorer and light it up for Charlotte, even if he does so with limited efficiency at first. MKG could struggle in his first year if they are asking him to shoulder a huge offensive load. With the Bobcats taking Barnes, the Wizards then select Andre Drummond in their draft. This is possible because Drummond is 6-foot-11-inches tall. He's huge. If they fall in love with Drummond, there's a definite possibility that he gets drafted there.
In this scenario, the Cavaliers now have their choice of MKG and Beal. NBADraft.net has the Cavs taking MKG with the #4 overall pick. I heartily approve of this scenario.
Finally, DraftExpress.com (one of my preferred resources) put up a mock draft that had yet another combination for the top four picks. They also went with the idea that Charlotte may pass on MKG for another prospect, this time in Thomas Robinson. The Wizards would then take MKG and that would leave Bradley Beal for the Cavaliers.
Obviously, all of these are mostly speculation at this point, but it gives you a good idea of what Cleveland has to work with. None of the four sites I looked at had the same order for the top four picks, so there's a lot of variability. Even though the Cavaliers missed out on a top-3 spot, they still seem to have a really good chance of getting Beal or MKG. I'm sure there's a ton more mock drafts out there, so if you see them, link to them. I'd be interested to see what other experts/writers think will happen. Regardless, it's going to be a very interesting month leading up to the draft and an incredibly exciting draft night. And we haven't even started talking about Cleveland's three other picks in this draft class.
Feel free to email me at ConradFTS@Gmail.com if you have questions, comments, or just want to talk about the Cavs or the NBA Draft.