With the NBA Lottery now completed, every Cavs fan is focused on that first pick and Kyrie Irving. And not without reason, the kid is a stud. But what the Cavs do later in the draft may be just as important.
I’m not even talking about their other lottery pick, which stands at fourth overall. For me, this is all about the 2nd round. While overlooked by most, the 2nd round is where you find the guys that every team needs. The defensive stopper. The 3 pt specialist. The offensive sparkplug. Sure, you might get lucky and draft the next Manu or Monte Ellis, but what is much more likely and realistic for the Cavs is to find young role players to plug up the holes on the bench.
It is well established that the Cavs have major needs on the wing. Anthony Parker, a free agent, will likely not return, and the combination of Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga, and Alonzo Gee needs a serious upgrade. The frontcourt needs some help as well – Anderson Varejao will be back and better than ever but Antawn Jamison has a questionable future with the team, and Ryan Hollins didn’t show much last season. The Cavs probably won’t find permanent replacements for these players in the 2nd round, but its all about finding guys who can fit a role that you give them. Nobody even thought Landry Fields was going to be drafted, but he made the 1st team All-Rookie team because he fit exactly what the Knicks needed from a role player. Still, it doesn’t hurt to buy extra 2nd round picks to take those shots in the dark.
With that said, lets look at some guys who may have their flaws but would make solid 2nd round picks for the Cavs.
Josh Selby, G, Kansas – Last years #1 overall recruit on Rivals.com, Selby was bothered by injuries and a lack of a solidified role with the Jayhawks. His numbers did not come close to matching up with the expectations, and many were surprised that he declared for the draft since he is seen as far from a 1st round lock. But if you look at the record of #1 overall recruits from Rivals (excluding BJ Mullins), you have to think that there is more to Selby than what we’ve seen. Chad Ford has been raving about Selby’s explosiveness during workouts in Vegas, so its possible that Selby shoots up draft boards and is drafted in the middle of the 1st round. But if he makes it to the 2nd round, he has great potential. If he never lives up to that potential, he should still have a place in the league as an offensive spark plug off the bench because of his quickness.
Iman Shumpert, G, Georgia Tech – A lot of people focus on the things Shumpert can’t do. He isn’t a true PG, he turns the ball over too much, and he doesn’t shoot well from deep. But what Shumpert does do is lock people down on defense. In the NCAA tournament a year ago Shumpert shut down future 1st round pick James Anderson and in the 2nd round gave Evan Turner all he could handle. Shumpert probably has too many holes in his game to turn into a starting PG, but in a system like the Cavs that often implements two PGs, Shumpert wouldn’t have to worry about handling the ball and instead would just focus on defense. In a conference with elite PGs like Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, and Deron Williams, having a guy who can check them is very valuable.
Jordan Williams, C, Maryland – He lacks the physical gifts of Ryan Hollins, but Williams is a significantly better rebounder and could come in right away and help in that regard. He is limited offensively but improved from his freshman season and should continue to improve. Williams mostly works in the paint, but he has worked on his midrange game. He is a big body that would be a load down low offensively and defensively, although he will struggle in pick and roll defense until he gets quicker. But if the Cavs want someone with size and can hit the glass with consistency, Williams is someone to look at.
Jeremy Tyler, PF/C, Tokyo Apache – Tyler would be the ultimate shot in the dark. A former highly ranked high school recruit who left high school early to go play in Israel, Tyler has been plagued by his immaturity and seemingly inability to consistently make good decisions on and off the basketball court. After being run out of town in Israel, he was signed in Japan of all places and played there last season to little or no media attention. Towards the end of their most recent season, however, he was drawing more positive reports and may be turning his life around. In terms of potential, he is 6’10 and can jump out of the gym. Putting all of those physical gifts together would be a challenge but the potential for a home run pick in the 2nd round is there.
Jimmy Butler, SF, Marquette – You probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but Marquette has put out a good amount of NBA talent over the years and I’m not just talking about Dwayne Wade. Butler could be next in line. He had an extremely productive senior season and was the best player at this years Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. He is a bit of a tweener between SF and PF, but coming off the bench he is polished enough offensively to score points efficiently and the Cavs could use him in certain matchups to get the most out of him defensively. He lacks explosive athleticism which hurts his upside, but he is improving his game away from the basket and definitely has playoff rotation ability.
I would predict that the Cavs will end up with more than just one 2nd round pick, and drafting an international player to stash overseas for a few years is probably something that will happen. But the Cavs aren’t going to plan on using free agency as much to fill holes on this team, but will use this draft. The bench needs a serious punch in the arm, and hopefully this draft does just that.
This article originally appeared on LandLoyalty.com