Convention says the Cleveland Cavaliers should take point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Irving’s the safe pick, the “smart” choice, the guy who won’t send Cavs fans into the depths of agony again with a Decision-like defection. He’s the rebound girl.
He may not be “the one,” but at least he won’t break your heart.
The scouting report on Duke’s finest ranges from “above average NBA point guard” to “a one-car garage version of Chris Paul.” He’s the anti-LeBron James, a humble “sir” mumbler from a structured background and a pedigree school. He can run an offense and shoot the ball, but he won’t blow you away with his physical tools or his athleticism.
Having just had a long-term relationship go horribly wrong, a LeBron-type is exactly the type Cleveland is trying to avoid. They’re shell shocked. When LBJ took his talents to South Beach, it scarred them. Now they’d rather go with a “sure thing” than be challenged.
They don’t want to get hurt again.
Unfortunately, this is a mindset that’s leading them away from Derrick Williams, the most talented player in the draft and arguably its only true impact player. And that’s bad news because playing it safe never got anybody anywhere in the NBA. Just look at how the 2006 draft worked out for Toronto. Andrea Bargnani’s a good player, but he’s never going to lead the Raptors anywhere significant.