The Lottery has been set, and we have a feel for what guys the Cavaliers have a shot at selecting. This is the second attempt to make a Big Board focused on what the Cavaliers need and where I think they should have players ranked. You can look at my first Big Board here to see who the risers have been. Once again, this isn't a Big Board based only on who I think will be the best player in the NBA, but also who would be the best and most useful player on the Cleveland Cavaliers. This means that while Damien Lillard may end up being one of the top 10 players in the draft, the Wine and Gold are set at the point guard position, and therefore have little reason to take him over a lot of players who could help at literally any other spot on the floor.
My opinions are based on watching a decent amount of college basketball, reading just about everyone who covers the draft and prospects, and informed commenters on FTS. You should all feel free to tell me where I am crazy or just flat out wrong. I hope to do one more between the combine and draft day. One more note: if you find yourself getting down on a prospect like Barnes, or Drummond, or Lamb, just picture them playing with Kyrie Irving; it does wonders.
1. Anthony Davis, University of Kentucky - Congratulations, New Orleans.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, University of Kentucky - Kyrie Irving's "little brother". Incredibly athletic, is working out for the draft in Cleveland, Ohio. With Kyrie and MKG, the Cavaliers would have two young players who care only about winning. MKG is ready from day one to be a dominant wing defender, and from what I have read about his workouts, his jump shot is coming along nicely. I am confident that a team anchored by Kyrie, Tristan Thompson, and MKG would be contending for championships in three years.
3. Brad Beal, University of Florida - Excellent shooter with range, can get to the basket. Cavaliers fan. Would give the Cavs a stable backcourt for a long, long time.
4. Jeremy Lamb, University of Connecticut - This will put me in the minority, I think, but I believe Lamb would be a fine selection at 4. It is easy to forget how good Richard Hamilton was, but Lamb really has his potential, with the frame to support more muscle than Rip ever did. He shoots midrange lights out, is a fine long distance shooter, can create a bit of his own offense but uses off-ball screens better than most his age. Without Lamb, there is absolutely no way UCONN would have won a national championship in 2011. He was able to feed off a shoot first point guard and get his own opportunities and make the most of them. I believe with Kyrie Irving, its a perfect fit.
5. Harrison Barnes, University of North Carolina - Good shooter, should be a good defender, refined offensive game. Was the number one recruit out of high school two years ago. Kyrie Irving's "big brother". I keep hearing him get compared to Marvin Williams, and I think in some respects that's not fair. Harrison has a bit more athleticism, and has size more natural to the small forward position. Barnes is also a better scorer in college than WIlliams ever was.
6. Andre Drummond, University of Connecticut - For Andre Drummond soul-searching, you can read this. Honestly, after writing 1500 words on this man, I feel like I know less about him.
7. Thomas Robinson, Kansas University - It would be pretty surprising if the Cavaliers made this pick. I do hear a lot of conflicting reports on him though. Is he Carl Landry? Is he athletic enough? Will he be able to guard NBA Power Forwards? I have heard unequivocal yes's, but a fair share of concerns, too.
8. Terrence Ross, University of Washington - Great size, and does just about everything you would want a 2-guard to do. The esteemed Patrick Elder is a fan.
9. Dion Waiters, Syracuse University - If you are looking for a Manu Ginobili or James Harden type player, this is your guy. Gets to the basket, decent defender (though he played in a zone in college, which makes it hard to tell). Is a combo guard and needs the ball in his hands. Needs to get better shooting. Didn't always get along with Boeheim at Syracuse. Chad Ford quoted one GM as saying after Anthony Davis, Waiters has the best chance to be an NBA superstar. We will see.
10. Perry Jones, Baylor University - Does he have a position? Poor man's Kevin Durant? I don't know if I even like that comparison. For example, I consider Austin Rivers a homeless man's dry erase board Kobe Bryant. They play the game the same way, but Kobe is just a lot better. Perry Jones plays the game nothing like Durant, they just have similar builds. If Jones decides he wants to defend, could he be like Tayshaun Prince? With Jones, there are a lot more questions than answers.
11. Terrence Jones, University of Kentucky - Is he a 3 or a 4? Can he shoot it well enough? Can he guard 4's? Jones is this year's Derrick Williams, with a few questions about his motor mixed in.
12. Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State University -All over draft boards. Some have him in the top 8, some in the 20's. I would be shocked if he fell lower than 12. Moultrie has the NBA body to really be effective.
13. Tyler Zeller, University of North Carolina - Boring but efficient, rebounds, runs the floor well. A bigger Nick Collison?
14. John Henson, University of North Carolina -Athletic, defends, guards several positions, limited offensive skill set, good motor, really skinny.
15. Moe Harkless, St. John's University - Flying up draft boards. When I originally wrote about him back in March or so, he was a late first round guy. Now people are saying he could go as high as 8 to Toronto. My dream of him falling to the Cavs at 24 is in serious jeopardy.
16. Quincy Miller, Baylor University - The fluctuations in the ranking of Miller exceed even that of Moultrie. Some mock drafts don't even have him going in the first round, others as high as 12 or 13. He has lottery talent, is coming off a torn ACL, and played for a team that had a lot of dysfunction/hasn't been able to develop the great athletes it recruits. Once unthinkable, he may fall to Cleveland at 24.
17. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State University - I don't really think too much more needs to be said about Jared Sullinger. He could be a better version of Glen Davis.
18. Austin Rivers, Duke University - Ball dominant, not incredibly efficient, undersized for a 2-guard. No thanks.
19. Meyers Leonard, University of Illinois - Got beat up in a workout by Tyler Zeller recently. Athletic, further along offensively than you would think, and very young. Probably won't be around at 24, but if he was, you would think the Cavaliers would be thrilled to get him.
20. Royce White, Iowa State University - Serious anxiety issues, monster NCAA tournament, less than efficient for a lot of the season. Great NBA body, and the reports are that being taken in the lottery isn't out of the question for him. I don't know why but he reminds me of Antoine Walker.
21. Jeff Taylor, Vanderbilt University - Improved every year at Vandy, plays great defense, is mature, has very good athleticism, would be an instant help and probable upgrade over Alonzo Gee for the Cavaliers. Solid pick at 24, and it looks like he should still be there.
22. Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure - Celtics are reportedly interested. Another guy who improved over time at St. Bonaventure. DBrimstone was ahead of the curve on Nicholson, who is rising up boards.
23. Fab Melo, Syracuse University - Raw, good defense, raw, questionable motor, raw, pretty athletic. Will take time to develop, if you are into that sort of thing.
24. Evan Fournier, France - If no trade is worked out for the 33rd and 34th picks, Fournier could be a good option that the Cavs could keep in France for a year. I like his game, but he isn't there yet as a shooter.
25. Will Barton, Memphis - Not really sure why Barton isn't seen as a better NBA prospect. Almost everyone lists him as a second rounder who could make a first round impact, but not many have him actually going in the first round. Efficient scorer last year at Memphis, is a bit thin but has good size. Would be thrilled with him at 33, wouldn't mind him at 24.
26. Doron Lamb, University of Kentucky - Was the best scorer for Kentucky for a good chunk of the season, including the Final Four. Good shooter, not the ideal size or athleticism.
27. Kendall Marshall, University of North Carolina - Plays the same position as Kyrie Irving. Higher than Lillard because IF the Cavaliers wanted to add a point guard to play alongside Kyrie, I wouldn't want it to be a scoring guard.
28. Damian Lillard, Weber State - Plays the same position as Kyrie Irving.
29. Tony Mitchell, University of Alabama - I actually love this guy. Same school as Alonzo Gee, and very similar games. Crazy athletic, could be a great defender, wonderful size. Won some games early in the year for Alabama before things fell apart a bit. With the right team, I think Mitchell could be the steal of the second round.
30. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt University - A lot of commenters seem high on Jenkins. I am not. He shoots, and that is about it. You could take William Buford and get a a lot of the same things, just more athleticism and better size. Note: Buford grew up about 4 minutes from my house and I am really biased about him. You have no idea how much it kills me to not have him in my top 30.
Bonus 31. Darius Miller, Univesity of Kentucky - Quietly productive for one of the best college basketball teams of all time. Defends, good NBA body, shoots pretty well. Not a high ceiling, but could help a team.
Others: William Buford, Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli, Jared Cunningham, Tony Wroten