As Cavaliers fans anxiously await May 30 to figure out just where the team will be slotted in the 2012 draft lottery, there are already rumblings about different teams' plans for improving. After the jump, see what people are talking about.
1. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, It sounds as if the Oklahoma City Thunder, and perhaps the Boston Celtics, are interested in the Power Forward from St. Bonaventure, Andrew Nicholson. From Wojnarowski's Twitter account:
St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson works out for Boston and OKC this week. OKC's long been on him but C's looking hard with 21st-22nd picks.
If the Celtics took Nicholson before the Cavs' 24th pick, it could be seen in two ways: either as a good thing because we didn't want him and it leaves someone else that we did want on the board, or as a bad thing because he is someone we were looking at taking ourselves. Here is what DBrimstone wrote about Nicholson in a fanpost, ultimately comparing him to a Carl Landry type player:
In his 4 year college career his basketball IQ has improved tremendously as have his post moves. He started off only being able to dunk and now he's got what draftexpress.com calls a "very refined post game." He's even added a perimeter game too. He didn't shoot a 3 his first 2 years, then he shot 26% as a junior, and then 43% as a senior. His offense will be his biggest draw as he's very proficient on that end of the floor.
2. And while we are on the subject of Nicholson, ESPN's draft insider Chad Ford recently wrote about players who could see their stock rise as the result of workouts for teams. If you have insider, you can read it here. Without delving into the analysis, he has SG Terrence Ross of Washington, SF/PF Perry Jones III of Baylor, PF Terrence Jones of Kentucky, and SF Quincy Miller of Baylor alongside Nicholson as being guys who can really impress GM's and scouts in the next month or so.
Of course, you would love to be able to predict a player's future success based on the tape of actual games. Unfortunately, the NBA and college games aren't perfectly congruent, and different skill sets are rewarded. While it is important not to get too hyped on guys following strong workouts (Yi Jianlian, Darko Milicic), you cannot deny the effect they have on where and whether guys get drafted. Tristan Thompson, for example, benefited last year from solid workouts.
3. For awhile now, the consensus has been that this is a deep NBA draft. Much of this is due to the fact that players like Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones III, and Terrence Jones all came back to school last year instead of coming out after up and down freshman seasons. New Orleans Head Coach Monty Williams is having none of that. The Hornets have the 4th and 10th best chances of winning the lottery next week, and he doesn't seem all that enthused. From the Times-Picayune,
"I don’t see this deep draft everybody is talking about,’’ Williams said. "I think there are a few players at the top that are really good that can be good players. But I don’t see any Carmelos or LeBrons.’’ . . . "The last few weeks I’ve had a chance to look at all these young guys on tape and I’m not jaded by the hoopla as everybody else is. I think there are good players, but I don’t see this deep draft.’’
The nice thing about the article is that it mentions that there are 6 high-quality players in the draft: Davis, Drummond, Barnes, Beal, Robinson and MKG. The Cavaliers, of course, are guaranteed to have a top 6 pick. What's not to like?
4. Finally, the Cleveland Post-Dispatch has a poll of who the Cavaliers should select with the 3rd pick, should they stay where currently slotted. The interesting thing to me is the options they have listed. One of them, quite simply, does not belong. Take a look here.