July 11, 2013
Cavs shock fans with NBA Draft pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers surprised some people in the 2013 NBA draft with their No. 1 overall pick. The Cavs drafted Anthony Bennett, 20, a 6’7”, 239 lb. forward from UNLV with the pick. According to Draftexpress.com, Bennett was projected to be the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft but the Cavs changed that by picking him seven spots before the projected spot.
The Cavs also selected 6'7”, 197 lb. young Russian star Sergey Karasev with the No. 1rding to ESPN, Karasev, 19, is arguably the best shooter in the draft.
The Cavs passed on Otto Porter Jr. from Georgetown University, Ben McLemore from Kansas University, Alex Len from Maryland University and Cody Zeller from Indiana University and younger brother of Cavs center Tyler Zeller.
Bennett brings more youth to an already young Cavs squad, ranked third amongst the NBA’s youngest teams, with an average age of 24.5. Without much college basketball experience, Bennett's young springs may help bounce the Cavs into the playoffs this coming season.
In the last year’s NBA draft the Cavs picked Dion Waiters, a guard from Syracuse University, with the No. 4 overall pick. Some people may not have understood the pick because Waiters wasn't a starter for the Orangemen, so Waiters felt that he needed to show why the Cavs didn't waste their fourth overall pick on him.
This year Bennett may be in the same boat. He played one season as a freshman with the Running Rebels and has drawn some comparisons to former Running Rebel and NBA star Larry Johnson.
There was a lot of speculation on what the Cavs would do with their No. 1 overall pick this year. This was their third first overall pick in the past ten years and the second since you-know-who decided to take his talents to South Beach.
Some speculation included the Cavs picking Nerlens Noel, a forward/center from The University of Kentucky. As the NBA commissioner approached the podium to announce the first pick of the 2013 NBA draft and the Cavs’ first pick, some may have been anticipating hearing Noel’s name called.
"I thought everything was in the air, so I wasn't thinking I was the No. 1 pick," Noel said, according to ESPN.
Bill Simmons, an ESPN analyst, shouted out "Whoa!" on the broadcast of the NBA draft, seen on ESPN. This was confirmation that someone was shocked at the Cavs’ pick, because according to sources, Bennett was supposed to go eighth overall.
"I'm just as surprised as everybody else," Bennett tweeted after the selection.
Draftexpress.com said Bennett’s draft stock went into a tailspin because of teams worrying about his asthma and conditioning.
As a freshman, Bennett averaged 15.7 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. With Bennett's physical style of play, Cavs could use some numbers like that from the rookie.
Karasev is a “tweener” physically, according to SBNation.com. He doesn't have the foot speed to be a shooting guard and he needs to put on some weight to be a starting small forward in the NBA. He is young so he will have time early on in his career to put on some weight.
Karasev has drawn comparisons to internation players such as Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic.
“Kerasev reminds you of a smaller Tony Kukoc, lefty slight build, smooth with ball," Flip Saunders. general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, said in a tweet.
In 11 Eurocup games this season Karasev averaged 16.1 points per game and shot 49 percent from behind the arc. According to bleacherreport.com, Karasev may not win a starting spot in training camp but he may be in the starting line up by the end of the season.
The Cavs’ recent acquisitions of forward Earl Clark and guard Jarrett Jack will also look to help improve the Cavs’ record this year. In addition to these signings, the Cavs are trying to sign center Andrew Bynum. The Cavs reportedly offered Andrew Bynum a two-year contract worth $24 million with a team option on the second year, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Bynum was a member the Philedelphia 76ers last season. He failed to play in any games because of knee injuries. Bynum has shown that, when healthy, he is one of the best big men in the game.
With their newly signed players, the Cavs may make some noise in the Eastern Conference this season. With developing young talent like Bennett and Karasev, the Cavs can be a force in the NBA.