The Cleveland Cavaliers have been awarded their second number one pick in three consecutive years, thanks to Nick Gilbert. In 2011, they selected the rising star Kyrie Irving. At some point, the Cavs front office has to look at adding proven NBA players if they want to legitimately contend for a championship. Is this the time to use their #1 pick to do so?
Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel is the unanimous first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but has we all know is still recovering from a torn ACL. The Cavs have done well using the picks acquired after the sign-and-trade of hometown hero LeBron James, otherwise known as the King’s Exodus. Should the team now take a huge chance on Noel’s knees when they have 7-foot rookie Tyler Zeller and 9-year veteran holdover Anderson Varejao? Varejao commands the team highest salary for next year at $9 million. Zeller averaged 7.9 points per game in his rookie season with 5.7 boards.
Varejao lead the league in rebounding, 14.4 per game, before ending his season due to developing blood clot in January Based on a Cleveland.com report, he has been taken off of blood thinners and has been working out expecting to return by the start of training camp in 2013. With the hiring of his former coach, Mike Brown, the team expects him to play and are anticipating watching him play with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waters for an entire season. Noel doesn’t seem like an easy fit to the existing roster.
No team can stay young forever. After the breakout season Irving has had, their are veterans that would be willing to play with him in Cleveland. When you add in a veteran coach like Mike Brown, now is the time for the Cavs to make their attempt at some of the leagues top talent, starting with on of Brown’s former players.
If you really want a dominate center, why not package the number one pick with Varejao for Dwight Howard in a sign-and-trade? The Lakers need to get younger and the Cavaliers need to get older.
The Cavs could use a running power forward like Josh Smith. The Atlanta Hawks have denied all other trades for Josh this season that involved veteran players. A promising number one pick, along with Varejao or a combination of players if another team gets involved, would get the attention of the Hawks.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert promised after winning the draft lottery that the team will be competitive for year’s to come. They now have the chance to be competitive next season.
Follow Rodney Fisher on twitter @RodneyRFisher
Tags: 2013 NBA Draft Anderson Varejao Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert Dwight Howard Josh Smith Kyrie Irving Los Angeles Lakers Mike Brown NBA Draft NBA Playoffs Nerlens Noel Nick Gilbert Tyler Zeller