Mock Draft: Kyrie Irving, No. 1
There’s a new king of Cleveland.
The annual SLAMonline Mock Draft begins today with no surprises—Duke freshman PG Kyrie Irving goes to Cleveland as savior-by-default. Check back early tomorrow to see who the Minnesota TWolves select.—Ed.
July 8, 2010. For many, that is just another day gone by in their lifetimes. For Clevelanders, that was D-Day.
That of course was the date of the baffled marketing project known as “The Decision“, which was of course when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach. Expected to be a downright crippling move for the Cavaliers’ organization, a little bit of luck and a great trade by GM Chris Grant landed us in a position to be drafting first and fourth in the 2011 Draft.
While we would have been sitting a little prettier had guys like Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, and Harrison Barnes opted to jump to the League as opposed to going the safe route and avoiding the lockout, we can’t complain. There are proven college stars such as Derrick Williams, International enigmas such as Jonas Valanciunas and Jan Vesely, and college freshman who both missed a large portion (if not all) of their debut campaigns in Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter.
Even though we had the second worst record in the League and the unforgivable 26 game losing streak, there were a few bright spots. We gave Playoff teams New York and Philly fits and even got to stick it to Bron once, so that should count for something, right? As far as our roster is concerned, we’ve got a former NBA All-Star who plays every other game (Baron Davis) and another guy who puts up solid numbers on awful teams (Ramon Sessions). Our wings are so depleted that I don’t even want to talk about them, especially since there isn’t a swingman worth consideration at the top spot. With our only true center on the team being Turkish pearl Semih Erden, we have to rotate J.J. Hickson, Antawn Jamison, and Anderson Varejao for our frontline. With some cap flexibility and no star on the team, I guess we have to go with the best player available. That said…
With the first pick in the 2011 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select…
Kyrie Irving from Duke University.
Having firmly been on our radar since his tears of tearing up defenses at St. Pat’s in Jersey, we’ve got a good feel on what this kid can become. Even though he only played 11 games this past season for Duke, they looked simply unbeatable when he was on the floor and healthy. Ask NCAA runner-up Butler, recipients of an early thumping with a healthy Kyrie.
Sure, the numbers weren’t great. Kyrie averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game in 27.5 minutes. He also shot 53 percent from the field, 46 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent from the line while almost posting a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. He can already run the pick and roll with the best of them, making him ready to come in and help a team out from day one. Sure he’s no John Wall or Derrick Rose athletically, but he has the basketball of both of them combined coming into the League.
Even though we just drafted this guy with our top pick, we’ll keep it 100 and will admit that it may take a few years before these Chris Paul comparisons begin to have any validity. There are a ton of similarities though and he’s just 19, so let’s just hope that we can get some pieces around him so he can have the opportunity to post those CP3 assist numbers. If Kyrie pulls a Drake and steps up sooner than later, you might catch our owner with a few jabs via Twitter @kingjames or another emotional email to staff.
Anyhow, back on the grind since we’re back on the board at 4 and have to find some help for the new king of Cleveland!