Its an age old question for fans when it comes to the draft. Do we take the most talented guy out there or would we get more value taking a player that will slot right into our program? Through participating in these arguments I have come up with my answer. Bacon says:
Its a badly framed question. BPA vs Need is the wrong way to put it, the question is what needs do we fill. How is that different, and does that make any sense at all?
Terrible teams need one thing- talent. Two seasons ago the Cavs had almost no young talent on their roster and almost no old talent either. It didn't matter that they had two PGs on their roster that could play in the NBA, neither of them were stars and neither had much potential to become stars either. Any talented player would be an upgrade and brighten their future so going for the most talented makes sense.
On the other hand one can imagine a scenario where a team could have high quality players at every position and adding a specific skill set could be more of a benefit than adding a player that was otherwise more talented.
Additionally we need at least an exclusionary definition of talent to move forward. Potential isn't talent. Potential is yet to be realized and doesn't win you basketball games. Until it is realized potential is anyone's guess as to ceiling, floor and the likelihood of outcomes in between. Examples abound of "nba ready, can't miss" prospects ***cough Darko cough***Talent that is not on the floor isn't talent. 98% of Greg Oden's body is a phenomenal basketball player but 2% of his body is keeping him from stepping foot on the court.
To answer the real question of what kind of talent do the Cavs need- a broad "most talented" player or a narrower "fits specific needs" type of player we need to define how much talent we have on our roster.
I think the answer to that is closer to none than to lots. Breaking it down.
Kyrie- damn fine on offense and clearly the most talent they have as he was a deserved all-star, additionally he has plenty of potential to get better- especially on D.
Dion- not much talent, plenty of potential. His rookie season was see-saw and there were times where you could understand why he was drafted so high. Ultimately though his play last season was a long way away from an all-star player and development is no given in the NBA. Rookies between 6' and 6'5 that scored between 13 and 18 ppg is a mixed bag of future HOFers (Ray Allen, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade) good players who might justify an all star team or two (Nick Van Excel, Mike Bibby) and some flat out terrible careers (Jonny Flynn, Dajaun Wagner) .
SG- nothing there right now.
TT- Similar to Dion though ore current production thanks to his D, but lower top end potential.
Andy- Has played at an all star level for short spurts, has played well for long spurts and has not played at all for long spurts.
Other active players- little in the way of high end potential or production. Ellington, Livingston and Zeller could be a nice bench but I doubt any are all-stars or even above average starters.
Some ball park estimates for the next 4 seasons.
Kyrie- 95% chance of repeating as an all-star in the near future. That other 5%? Mostly injury risk (shudder)
Dion- 35% chance of a deserving all-star selection, 75% chance of an above average starter.
TT- 20% chance all-star, 85% chance above average starter.
Andy- 25% chance all-star, 65% chance above average starter (more injury risk).
Doing some quick math based on these estimates we have before selecting the #1 pick-
A well rounded team- 1.6% chance of 4 different players who have played at an all-star level over the next few years- meaning we aren't looking like the most recent championship Pistons team.
The Big Three ~15% chance of exactly three all-star players. In the vein of the Celtics that seems like a decent shot, but Boston had two other quality starters and a good bench as well that season. This easily drops the current roster down to less than a 10% chance.
Lebron and the Lebronettes- A simple All-star isn't good enough, you need an elite player + 1.5 all stars + role players. Maybe a 20% chance Kyrie becomes good enough (say Chris Paul good) to be the top banana on a top banana team. Not much chance for one of the other guys to get that good. I'll say a 10% chance of the team overall being good enough if Kyrie hits this level.
In some ways this is encouraging- you could make the case that the Cavs have ~20% chance at being a real contender in the next four years with minimal upgrades to their roster, on the other hand this ignores the fact that Andy is entering his 30s and could be not close to an all-star or not on this team by the time Dion and TT hit their strides (I could also be overestimating the likelihood of Dion being an all-star).
Adding it all up I see the Cavs having a huge talent hole at any number of positions in the next few seasons that is holding them back from competing for a title. Any of Dion, TT or Andy could be relegated to a quality bench player by the #1 selection or by simply not hitting their ceiling. I am not on board with taking a lesser talent that fits a need (Porter) because the entire tree of possibilities still has many branches where we have holes at other positions and they are not balanced out by having a good, but not great, player at SF. the overall view is that the Cavs still lack the talent they need to have a good shot at being a title team.
Cliff Notes: Give me Noel or give me de.... Oladipo.