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NBA Draft – Cleveland Needs to be #1

Anthony DiMoro

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Many forecast Kyrie Irving going #1 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers

This Thursday marks the annual NBA Draft. Not as exciting as the NFL Draft but certainly more noticeable than the MLB or NHL Draft, this class of prospects leaves little to be desired.

Although the first round will no doubt be flooded with familiar names, international stars and proven collegiate prospects, many can argue it lacks any true “substance”.

But regardless of how deep this class truly is or which players are selected in each spot, the Draft is far more important to one team more than any other. The Cleveland Cavaliers.

Luck would fall upon the Cavs once again by landing the #1 overall pick in this years draft. They also hold another lottery pick (The 4th pick overall) to use in rebuilding a dismal team that was left in shambles when Lebron James departed.

While many experts and pundits believe the Cavaliers will be attempting to package their 4th overall pick in some kind of trade to land the #2 pick as well, the emphasis for this organization is getting the 1st Pick right.

Back in 2003 when Cleveland last had the first overall pick they made the easy choice and selected high school phenom Lebron James. But that pick required no thought process. Everyone knew whomever had the #1 pick was going to land James. Not much analysis was required.

Derrick Williams may turn out to be the Elite player in the 2011 NBA Draft

But fast forward to 2011 and it’s not as easy this time around. Cleveland has a tired, frustrated and heartbroken fan base that really needs to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Their team is utterly unimpressive and produced an embarrassing 19-63 record. It’s only a matter of time before the Cavs fall into the same abyss of desperation that teams such as the TimberwolvesRaptors, Wizards and Kings have been for years (none longer than Sacramento).

But while the #1 pick projection seems to be Duke’s Kyrie Irving I am one of the few that believes that selecting Irving won’t propel your organization. Let’s face it, Irving’s resume only includes 11 collegiate games. That’s right 11. So as a rebuilding franchise in need of stability and promise you are going to put those expectations in someone who only has 11 games under his belt?

While it certainly can be argued that Irving is a terrific talent who may very well be an All-Star point guard and many can agree that the NBA is a Point Guard powered league we need to keep in mind that Cleveland has to make the right selection.

Dominant Big Men have become a rareity in the NBA which has forced many teams to look overseas for frontcourt talent

While it may be true that the hardest position to get right in the league is the Point Guard position one can argue the most important position in the NBA is a Big Man position (Power Forward/Center)

Take a look at the Top 15 scoring leaders last season:

1 17 42.5 28.6
2 21 39.3 27.7
3 16 40.6 27.1
4 6 42.9 27.0
5 4 38.9 26.0
6 21 39.4 24.5
7 17 37.5 23.8
8 21 43.9 23.7
9 10 35.4 22.8
10 13 39.6 22.2
11 6 41.7 22.0
12 5 36.7 21.6
13 6 43.0 20.8
14 9 38.2 20.8
15 5 34.9 20.6

Only 3 of the Top 15 were true Point Guards (Westbrook, Paul and Rose) while 4 were either Power Forwards or Centers (Including NBA Champion Dirk Nowitzki)

Having a truly Elite Big Man puts you ahead of the pack in the NBA. If you think about the big men in the League the list is short.

This is where Cleveland can make an impact. In a guard/small forward rich NBA having a big man creates matchup problems and a true edge.

The Cavaliers should be able to address their Point Guard needs with the #4 pick. Both Walker and Knight should still be available

Look at how Blake Griffin has performed thus far. Many can agree he will be one of the Best in the NBA in a matter of time. Tim Duncan has led the Spurs to multiple Championships. The Lakers only won when they solidified their front court with Gasol.

The correct pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers is Derrick Williams.

Although trading for the #2 pick with Minnesota is a definitive possibility and certainly worth exploring, you should be able to land Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker at #4 without having to trade anything. That gives you a point guard that can score and has a proven track record of experience.

Truth will be told this Thursday

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. Anthony DiMoro is a Contributor for 'Forbes' where he talks Sports, SEO, Social Media and Internet Marketing. Anthony also hosts the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast' and is a Contributor to the Huffington Post where he covers sports

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League

Anthony DiMoro

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.

Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:

“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”

While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.

“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”

While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.

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NBA

Knicks’ Owner James Dolan Bans Heckling Fan

Anthony DiMoro

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New York Knicks owner James Dolan apparently has some thin skin when it comes to heckling over his horrendous run at the top of the Knicks empire.

According to TMZ, Dolan was heckled by a fan during the closing minutes of Saturday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings in which the fan told a departing Dolan to “sell the team.”

That didn’t sit well with Dolan, who called the mad rude and abruptly banned him from attending anymore Knicks games and followed it up by having the man escorted out of the building by security.

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NBA

NBA Announces Partnership with Puma

Anthony DiMoro

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The National Basketball Association has officially announced that they have agreed to a multiyear partnership with Puma, who will now be recognized as an official marketing partner of the NBA, according to an official league statement.

“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to bring PUMA to the next level in our reentry to the basketball market,” Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at PUMA, said in a statement. “This partnership is a testament to the continued resurgence of PUMA within the basketball industry.”

Per the new agreement, Puma will not be allowed to feature athletes in their respective NBA uniforms and team logos has the brand looks to regain it’s once prominent presence in the NBA.

“PUMA played an important part in the early footwear culture of the NBA,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Media and Business Development, stated.

“As PUMA expands its presence in the basketball market with new player relationships and a new line of basketball sneakers, becoming an official footwear partner of the league was a natural next step to help amplify the brand’s return to the category.”

The NBA has been busy with partnerships as of late. Just last week we reported on their new deal for the NBA G League and Twitch, where Twitch streams will now broadcast NBA G League gameplay, and Twitch streamers will be allowed to participate, via a unique partnership with them.

 

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