With the extreme good fortune of a lottery victory, the Cavaliers find themselves in a luxurious position. The League’s youngest All-Star, another #1 pick, two other recent top-fives, cap space, the league’s most draft picks over the ne...
With the extreme good fortune of a lottery victory, the Cavaliers find themselves in a luxurious position. The League’s youngest All-Star, another #1 pick, two other recent top-fives, cap space, the league’s most draft picks over the next five years.
There are interesting factors at play regarding the Nerlens Noel winning-ticket though. First, the entirety of Cavalier-dom – management, coaches, players, writing hacks, avid blog readers, and casual fans – all expect a step forward next year. Brian Windhorst reports that the Cavs are more than open to shopping the pick, and Nick Gilbert is adamant that he doesn’t want to be back on a podium in 2014. And who is the man for helping in that task? A nineteen year old that will miss the first two months of the season — unless the Cavs decide to throw everyone a curveball and draft Otto Porter #1. We’ll pretend that possibility doesn’t exist for now.
Trending in the opposite direction, rebuilding teams that are not ready for a playoff push next year, and aging teams looking to rebuild, could see drafting Noel as a perfect opportunity. Get an uber-athletic seven-foot tall player that won’t help much next year? Position themselves for the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes of 2014? For a handful of teams, tankapalooza 2014 could be every bit as pitiful as the woeful displays of 2012. And trading for Noel would be a perfect place to start.
Obviously with an asset as coveted as the draft’s first pick, fans can dare to dream big. What fantastical ideas are the C:tB writers thinking about?
Kevin: The easy targets to think about are Al Horford and Kevin Love. The Hawks seem at a complete turning point where a quick infusion of Nerlens Noel followed by all-out suckitude in pursuit of Wiggins may appear to be a great plan. Horford has ten more good years in him, averaged 15, 10 and 3 over the last four years, plays solid defense, and presents a great fit next to Tristan in the frontcourt. The Wolves may consider trading Love considering he has an opt-out after next year and only played in two-third of their games over the last four years. Would their new management consider starting fresh with a Rubio, Pekovic, Noel, 25% chance of Wiggins, foundation? On the upside, obviously Love is a 24 year old with All-NBA second team on his resume. For Horford, offer the pick straight up. For Love, throw in a top-ten protected 2014 first rounder. If those offers are light, I’m not ready to turn the team upside anyways. Also, I am unsure what other team offers a better package for Horford than the #1 pick.
Next, I’ll go truly wild. How about:
Cavs get: Ryan Anderson, Meyers Leonard, 10th pick
Pelicans get: 3rd pick (Porter), Wizards 2014 1st rounder (lightly protected), Trevor Booker
Wizards get: 1st pick (Noel)
Trail Blazers get: 6th pick (Bennett), Tyler Zeller
I’m not sure what I accomplished here, but it was fun. The Cavs add a big, young body and a veteran, marksman stretch four. With the tenth pick, the Cavs pick…Cody Zeller? Then Sergey Karasev at 19…and sign Ellington, a veteran small forward, and a back-up point guard in free agency. I promise I have not been drinking.
Or what about, first pick for Pau Gasol plus the rights to switch first round picks with the Lakers every year from 2018 through 2050? That’s against the rules?
Nate: Noel will miss two months of the season? You’re assuming everything goes perfectly. I’m betting he won’t be back till mid february at the very earliest. Noel is the perfect player for a team looking to tank: he won’t help you next year. As for your trade, I don’t think the Blazers trade Meyers Leonard, and I think the Pelicans keep Anderson who’s the perfect forward to play with Anthony Davis. Are you sure you haven’t been drinking? The real problem though is you’re targeting teams stuck in the middle, not teams that are trending down hard. I’m talking teams that need to blow it up like Bruc