2011 NBA Mock Draft: Dissecting The Kyrie Irving Predicament Facing Cleveland Cavaliers

To Irving or not Irving. That is the question on the board for the Cleveland Cavaliers when discussing their plans for the first and fourth overall selections in the upcoming NBA Draft. ESPN’s Chad Ford says that Kyrie Irving is most likely the choice at this point, but the Cavs decision one way or the other also speaks volumes about the team’s overall direction and opinion of the draft class in general.

Specifically Ford finds a Cavaliers source and discusses the reasoning why the team would pick him when they already have point guards in house in the form of Baron Davis, who is virtually untradeable unless Isaiah Thomas somehow lands a general manager post again, and Ramon Sessions.

While Cleveland has yet to commit to Irving with their No. 1 pick and will bring in a number of prospects, sources close to the Cavs say that it’s very likely they’ll select Irving. Not only are they enamored with him as a player, but they also feel he’s the type of player who Cavs fans can get behind in Cleveland. “He’s a really great kid,” one Cavs source said. “He’ll get out into the community and I think he can help us rebuild our relationship with the fans. The only way I see us not taking him is if there’s a problem with the medical.”

If Kyrie Irving is the No. 1 overall choice for the Cavs, that speaks volumes about two primary things concerning the team and the draft. First, it insinuates the team is committed to a long-term rebuild that ignores the present value they currently possess on their roster — current point guards be damned. That might not mean a fun team to watch this year, but it also means the Cavs aren’t interested in mediocrity.

Secondly, it means the Cavs agree that this draft is not an impact class by any means and that even with two of the top four overall selections, they won’t turn the corner. There’s a lot of the off-season left, so opinions might change, but by choosing Irving, the Cavs are admitting that other options like Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Jan Vesely, Derrick Williams and so on aren’t the franchise players a team can bank on. Of course, that’s only Cleveland’s perception, but it does reveal at least one view of what teams are getting at the top of this year’s draft.

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