In the 2005-2006 season, the Seattle Supersonics were only 35-47, but that year had only the 25th pick in the first round. Not exactly quality building block material. That year they won the 10th pick. They selected Mouhamed Sene. Yeah, I've never heard of him either. In 2006-2007 they were even worse at 31-51. But that 31-51 was a blessing. In the 2007 draft, they got the 2nd overall pick. The first pick was Greg Oden. Good thing for them that the Blazers made the wrong choice. With the second pick they selected Kevin Durant. Building block one in place. They went 20-62 in Durants rookie season, in 2007-2008.
Of all of the opinions in the NBA, one is generally the same across the board. That is that of the OKC Thunder having built a team the correct way. Through the draft first getting a foundation in place, and then adding the very few missing pieces in through free agency. I will show you the way that OKC (Seattle at first) did this. Then I'll describe how the Cavs have done that so far, and can continue to do so.
That year in the draft, their 20-62 record netted them the 4th pick and they also owned the 24th pick. This is their second building year. The Cavs are in their second building year with the 4th and 24th overall picks. Looks eerily similar, right? With the 4th pick, Seattle (to play in OKC that year) selected Russell Westbrook and with the 24th pick they selected Serge Ibaka. They also added Thabo Sefolosha in free agency. Building block two and three in place. Even with three blocks in place, they finished 23-59. I attribute this to the move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, as well as Westbrook learning to play PG in the NBA. This got them the 3rd pick.
With that 3rd pick, they selected James "The Beard" Harden, the NBA sixth man. This year, the 2009-2010 season, is where they put it all together. They were 50-32. In 2010-2011 they traded for Kendrick Perkins to finish their team. This year they are in the NBA Finals with one of, if not THE, youngest team ever. Durant and Westbrook are 23, Harden and Ibaka are 22, Sefolosha is 28, and Perkins is 27. They have Nick Collison, who they drafted before they even started to rebuild, plus, earlier this year they picked up Derek Fisher, who is by far the oldest player on the team. There are a few other players, but they aren't important to my point.
Up to here, this seems like a very nice history lesson, but this is very similar to the Cavs. Last year we were dealing with losing the best player in the NBA, with no real draft to help fix the team. But that got is Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. I realize that Tigger is not necessarily a building block yet, but in all fairness he played the end of the year at center, where he was usually vastly undersized, and he still played better than he should have. And make no mistake about it, Kyrie has Superstar potential and ability.
This draft, the Cavs have the 4th and 24th pick. There's small talk about trading and such, but I don't think we need to trade anything. I think the Cavs go for Beal at 4, if not then Barnes. 24 depends on 4. If they get Beal, I'd like the Cavs to take Jeff Taylor, if they take Barnes, I'd like the Cavs to take Doron Lamb or Evan Fournier. The second round picks should be big men and maybe a project. I think Gee, Jamison and maybe Gibson are gone next year. This give us a good young core to work with in Kyrie, Beal, Taylor, and Tigger. That last piece being a center, which is almost the exact model that OKC/Seattle followed since 2007.
The main difference I see, is that Kyrie will be better than Westbrook when it comes to playing as a true point guard, which is what would make OKC truly unstoppable.The key for the Thunder was getting Westbrook to perform up to the standard they wanted. This is what makes the Cavs superior to the Thunder. We took the most important piece first. The point guard. Kyrie already has that first year of development that the Thunder did not have in their first rebuild year.
So while the Thunder took three drafts to get their team in place, we can take only two. This does require perfect drafting this year, and Tigger growing fairly quickly. And just as a side note, including Jamison, the Cavs have only four players born before 1986. They are Jamison, Andy, Walton and Parker. That's young. Here's to the rebuilding and many future seasons of prosperity.
Note: I never mentioned MKG and T-Rob, because I think they will both be drafted within the 2nd and 3rd picks.