The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dilemma

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In two weeks, the Cleveland Cavaliers will enter the 2014 NBA draft with the first overall pick for the third time in four seasons.

Last season the Cavaliers felt their days of drafting in the lottery were behind them. When they went out and added Andrew Bynum to the core of Irving, Thompson, Waiters, and Varejao, many felt Cleveland would be back in the playoffs for the first time since “the decision”.

Unfortunately for Dan Gilbert and Co., the Cavaliers season nose-dived and consisted of the following highlights:

• Andrew Bynum was a malcontent and was eventually traded for 2014 free agent Luol Deng
• There was a reported beef between Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving during the season
• Number one overall pick, Anthony Bennett, looked lost and was a non-factor
• Head Coach Mike Brown was fired one year into a five year deal
• Key free agent signing, Jarrett Jack, was a bust after inking 4 year, $25 million deal
• The team finished 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 33-49 record

As bad a season as it was, there once again is now a light at the end of the tunnel for Cleveland. The basketball gods have decided to give the Cavaliers another chance at redemption, as they will now have their choice of Embiid, Wiggins or Parker on draft night.

Based on Chris Mannix’s latest mock draft, it appears the Cavaliers are down to either Embiid or Wiggins with the first pick and according to Chris Sheridan, Cleveland would even consider dealing the first overall pick for Kevin Love if they could.

But who should the Cavaliers draft? Or would they really consider trading the first overall pick?

Drafting Joel Embiid

When you look at the front line for the Cavaliers, you can make a strong case that Embiid is the right pick. Anderson Varejao will be 32-years-old next season, and has only played in 44% of games since 2010.

Recent draft picks, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson are solid forwards, but don’t appear to move the needle, and their trade deadline acquisition, Spencer Hawes, is an unrestricted free agent.

Although Embiid has only played serious basketball since he was 16, he would step in right away and be an upgrade to the Cavaliers front court. According to NBA.com, the Cavaliers finished 17th in defensive rating this past season. The addition of Embiid would most certainly improve this ranking, and if Varejao can stay healthy to pair with Embiid, the Cavaliers would have a nice duo on the defensive end.

However, out of Embiid, Wiggins and Parker; Embiid is the riskiest pick. If the Cavaliers do draft Embiid, they will need to be certain that he has a clean bill of health. After the Bennett pick last year, the Cavaliers can’t afford to draft “Greg Oden”, instead of “Kevin Durant”.

Drafting Andrew Wiggins

Making the case for drafting Andrew Wiggins is very similar to that of Embiid. When you look at the Cavaliers wing players, an upgrade is needed. Luol Deng is a good bet to leave via free agency, Dion Waiters seems to have worn out his welcome, and the reserves consist of Alonzo Gee, C.J Miles and Anthony Bennett – not guys who put fear in opposing teams.

Like Embiid, there would be a learning curve for Wiggins, but with his speed and athleticism, he automatically upgrades the Cavaliers perimeter defense and will now make opposing guards work at both ends of the floor.

With a Wiggins and Irving backcourt, the Cavaliers would be set and can look to add pieces up front this offseason. According to BasketballInsiders.com, the Cavaliers could have up to 23.4 million dollars in cap space this offseason, and could also use Waiters, Thompson and Zeller as trade pieces to land a free agent.

Landing a Pau Gasol or Marcin Gortat in free agency would be an upgrade on the front line, and they could also possibly sign and trade Deng to bring in another starter like Chandler Parsons from Houston.

A starting line-up of Irving, Wiggins, Gasol/Gortat, Thompson and Parsons would get the Cavaliers back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Trade the Pick

One of the gutsiest moves the Cavaliers could pull off is trading the pick. If I’m David Griffin, the only chance I trade this pick is if I am blown away with an offer that would put my team into the Eastern Conference elite for not only next season, but for years to come.

The Kevin Love rumours are circulating, but there is zero chance he signs on with the Cavaliers after this season. So unless I get a guarantee from Love, I’m not even thinking of doing a deal with Minnesota.

Cleveland is not a prime destination for players, so the only chance they trade the pick is if they are able to acquire a superstar, with time left on his deal. Right now, when you circulate the market, there really is no big name superstar that is available, and worth the risk of trading the first overall pick. Of course there is LeBron and Durant, but we both know they are not being traded to Cleveland.

The only real name right now is Kevin Love, and with his sights set on LA in 2015, I think it’s a safe bet for Cleveland to stand pat.

Kyle Anderson’s Media Scrum After His Pre-Draft Workout With Toronto Raptors

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Kyle Anderson talked about playing for a Hall of Fame coach in Bob Hurley, how he improved his three-point shooting last season, teams doubting his ability to play point guard in the NBA, how he will improve his lateral quickness this summer and what feedback Dwane Casey gave him this morning after his workout.

NBA Finals Preview For SiriusXM

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I was able to join Norm at Night on SiriusXM to preview the NBA Finals. We talked about why San Antonio would dethrone the current champs, Donald Sterling selling the Los Angeles Clippers and we talked about what the Toronto Raptors might do this summer.

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DeAndre Daniels’ Media Scrum After His Pre-Draft Workout For Toronto Raptors

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DeAndre Daniels talked with the media about winning a National Championship this past season, taking a selfie with Barack Obama when he visits the White House next week, the pre-draft workout process, and talking with Shabazz Napier during the pre-draft process.

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DeAndre Kane’s Media Scrum After Workout With Toronto Raptors

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DeAndre Kane talked with me about how much fun the pre-draft workout process is, what he’s learning from NBA coaches, and he explained why he’s enjoying the opportunity to compete against other talented players in these workouts.

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2014 NBA Finals Preview On “The Home Stretch”

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I joined Justin Hull on “The Home Stretch” to preview the 2014 NBA Finals. I explained why Miami had gotten old, the importance of Tony Parker’s ankle, I explained why Tim Duncan is the best player since Michael Jordan and we made a friendly bet involving some of Wisconsin and Ontario’s finest beers.

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Catching Up With CJ Fair

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CJ Fair talked with me about his pre-draft workouts, getting the chance to learn from a lot of different NBA coaches, if he’s feeling any pressure leading up to the NBA Draft and he shared what it’s like to chase his dream of playing in the NBA.

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Nick Johnson’s Media Scrum After His Pre-Draft Workout In Toronto

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Nick Johnson joked about having a busy pre-draft workout schedule, how these workouts have helped him grow as a player, knowing a lot about Toronto due to former teammates, sharing an agent with DeMar DeRozan, he raved about the fans in Toronto during the playoffs and working on his point guard and shooting guard skills this summer.

Conference Finals Chat On “The Home Stretch”

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I joined Justin Hull on “The Home Stretch” to chat about the Conference Finals. I proclaimed the Indiana Pacers season over, advised Lance Stephenson to stop yapping so much, and praised Scott Brooks for tweaking his starting five in Game 3.

As an added bonus, we talked about the 2014 NBA Draft and I explained why I would stay away from Joel Embiid if I were an NBA general manager.

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Conference Finals Preview On “The Home Stretch”

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I joined Justin Hull on “The Home Stretch” to talk about the Conference Finals starting this weekend. We talked about Paul George’s struggles off the court impacting him on the court, how Serge Ibaka’s injury will hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder and there were some Mike Tyson and Billy Madison sound bites to make you laugh.

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Adam Silver Auctions Lunch at NBA HQ for a Good Cause

After four short months after being appointed NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver has already made a name for himself. His uncompromising approach to the Donald Sterling controversy has earned him praise and respect among many, promising an interesting tenure to follow.

Now, Silver is offering up the chance for two fans to ask him their burning questions about the debacle through an online auction at global charity auction site Charitybuzz – and the price is getting steep. Fourteen people have already placed a bid on the chance to break bread with the Commissioner and other senior executives at the NBA offices in New York City, raising the price of this power lunch to $12,500 in just six days. With over two weeks to go, that number certainly won’t stick for long.

Fans can get in on the action at Charity Buzz through May 22. The auction is part of an effort to raise funds for the Advertising Council, a nonprofit organization that works on public service campaigns for nonprofits and government agencies.

Charitybuzz raises funds for nonprofits by auctioning thousands of incredible experiences spanning the best of sports, celebrity and pop culture. Since launching, the company has raised over $100 million for charity by giving bidders the chance to live their dreams and make a difference.

NBA Playoffs Chat On “The Home Stretch”

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I chatted with Justin Hull on “The Home Stretch” about the first round of the NBA Playoffs. We debated if this was the best first round of the NBA Playoffs we’ve ever seen, I lamented about Toronto’s tough loss in Game 7 and he forced me to pick the one must-watch series in the second round.

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Raptors Podcast: Raptors Come Up Just Short In Game 7

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Jason Kidd, Dwane Casey, Joe Johnson and Kyle Lowry chatted with the media after Brooklyn’s heartbreaking Game 7 win.

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