FRANCHISE SAVIOR OR BUST? THIS IS THE NBA DRAFT

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With the 2014 NBA Draft soon approaching one thing is absolutely clear: Very rarely is any pick a sure thing. Every half decade or so, a Tim Duncan will appear. A Shaquille O’Neal will dominate the NCAA.  A Lebron James will be crowned King, even before stepping foot onto a NBA basketball court. These players are basically touted as cant miss prospects. Unfortunately, not every year is guaranteed to have phenomenal talent at the top of the draft. NBA General Managers with their respective teams must sift through NBA hopefuls, hoping to come away with the next greatest thing no matter where the ping pong balls may have landed, for that respective franchise.

Today I will take a look into the Cleveland Cavaliers past drafts. The Cavs currently hold the overall top pick in this year’s 2014 NBA Draft. Let’s examine this franchises top five greatest draft picks, and yes of course their top five worst draft picks.

STUD Draft Picks:

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1. Lebron James Round 1 Pick 1 2003 Akron SVSM: An obvious no brainer here. King James took the Cavaliers to their only NBA Finals appearance ever. He electrified the city of Cleveland with his charisma, national attention, and dominant play. Never again will the NBA see another player as hyped as LBJ actually live up to every sometimes even unfair expectation that were thrown onto him as a teenager.

2. Brad Daugherty Round 1 Pick 1 1986 North Carolina: A rim protector. A solid scorer. A need. A perfect fit. An all around good guy. Back troubles cut the All Star Centers career short, but he was an anchor on some great late 80s and early 90s Cavaliers squads. The Mark Price/Brad Daugherty combination will never be forgotten in Cleveland.

3. Kyrie Irving Round 1 Pick 1 2011 Duke: First I thought maybe adding Kyrie to this list is a tad premature. Then I realized it’s not. Kyrie may not have even reached his fill potential yet but coming into a franchise so desperate for even a glimmer of hope, no one can argue he did not provide that. He is young, talented, exciting, and marketable. Kyrie Irving deserves this spot.

4. Zydrunas Illgauskas Round 1 Pick 20 1996 Lithuania: An all time fan favorite, the 1996 Rookie Game MVP was just an absolute perfect fit in Cleveland. From venturing out into the local night scene to overcoming devastating foot injuries to play at an All-Star level, Illgauskas signifies the blue collar attitude Clevelanders love.

5. Andre Miller Round 1 Pick 8 1999 Utah: Miller exemplifies what it is to work hard and succeed in the NBA. Not blessed with the athletic ability of his peers, Miller has carved a solid NBA career out of hard work, tough defense, and the ability to distribute the ball. A true floor general.

DUD Draft Picks:

1. Luke Jackson Round 1 Pick 10 2004 Oregon: Without a shadow of a doubt the all time worst pick the Cavaliers have ever made. On talent alone sure they have made worse, but the importance of following up the Lebron James draft with a desperately needed home run was whiffed on by the Cavaliers brass. Luke Jackson never amounted to anything in the NBA and this was the beginning of the national circus against Lebron staying which eventually held true: The Cleveland Cavaliers do not know how to put talent around Lebron James.

2. DeSagana Diop Round 1 Pick 8 2001 Oak Hill Academy: Diop played soccer and can do cartwheels and back flips. I suppose that meant he was agile. What he ended up being was a terrible basketball player. I suppose the silver lining to this pick was the beginning of the demise that led to Lebron James. Thanks DeSagana for being “terrible.”

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3. Chris Mihm Round 1 Pick 7 2000 Texas: Ok so we did not really draft Mihm. We drafted Jamal Crawford who has gone on to become one of the best 6th men the game has ever seen. The Cavaliers executed a draft day trade to bring in the Texas Center. He played. Then he retired. Want a comparison? Google Michael Doleac.

4. Trajan Langdon Round 1 Pick 11 1999 Duke: Unfortunately with the Cavaliers second pick of the 1999 draft they could not duplicate the success they had with the initial pick of Andre Miller just three picks before this selection. Langdon was a sharp shooter out of Duke. He was touted as a 3 point specialist. Scouting reports all stated he was nonathletic and did not do anything especially well, except shoot the ball. Well, as time would soon tell they were right. Except he couldn’t shoot either.

5. Dajuan Wagner Round 1 Pick 6 2002 Memphis: The son of NBA Great Milt Wagner, Dajuan was dubbed the next Allen Iverson. To no fault of his own Wagner, the one year college wonder and high school legend who once scored 100 points in a single name never really had a chance to materialize into a NBA player. Showing flashes of brilliance early in his career, this was something that could not be sustained due to a series of health issues that prematurely ended Wagner’s NBA dreams.

-Cory Jarrous

@cst_coryj

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