Sometimes it's the day before and others know for weeks, but the top selection in the draft of any sport generally knows ahead time whether or not they are the choice. The same story is unfolding in the 2011 NBA Draft coming up in late June as the Cleveland Cavaliers, holders of the No. 1 overall selection, seem focused on Duke point guard Kyrie Irving as their primary choice.
While no official announcement has been made (nor is there any urgency for it), Irving has publicly stated at the NBA Combine that he will not work for any team other than the Cavaliers. Such deals are typically made under the table with an NBA team telling a particular player if they plan on selecting him. It's the same theory behind why Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson has been completely missing-in-action while his peers are running themselves ragged through a myriad of workouts and interviews.
The selection of Irving is not questionable on paper, since most draft experts agree that Irving is the surest bet in the draft. While others might enjoy the upside of the several international big men or the possibilities offered by Enes Kanter in the middle, Irving has a complete game at a key position where most teams have a weakness. And that's where the selection becomes a bit muddy. For it's at the point where the Cavs are the most settled.
Of course, the players manning the point position for the Cavs are hardly franchise players, so the fact that Irving is their likely choice shows that they're going all the way to the bottom to rebuild. Ramon Sessions and Baron Davis did a decent enough job for a team that needs a serious post presence and scoring along the baseline, but neither one will take the team to the next level either. As it was, they were simply the only position that was not embarassing this last season. That's apparently not enough for the Cavs.
This does, however, give Cleveland a trade chip in Sessions, since there's no way they'll be able to trade Davis' contract without taking on another albatross in return. If Cleveland is wiping the slate, expect them to trade Sessions, perhaps on draft day, and go with a point tandem of Baron Davis and Kyrie Irving to go along with whoever they choose at No. 4 overall.