Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Cavs intend to use No. 1, No. 4 picks
ESPN.com news services
Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said Wednesday his team intends to use the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in Thursday night's NBA draft.
Grant told ESPN's Jeannine Edwards that he knows whom he wants to select with the top pick but still has to discuss the selection with the rest of the staff.
Either Kyrie Irving of Duke or forward Derrick Williams of Arizona is expected to be the top overall selection.
If the Cavs do take Irving first, he will be the third point guard in four years to go No. 1, joining John Wall, who went to Washington last year, and Derrick Rose, picked by Chicago in 2008.
Of Irving, Grant said the concern was the lack of playing time in college (just 11 games for the Blue Devils because of a toe injury), but he said Irving comes across as someone who's been on the national stage and knows how to handle it. The Cavaliers heavily vetted Irving's injury and are "comfortable" with its status.
The Cavs have toyed with moving up to No. 2, so they could land both Irving and Williams -- a two-handed slam dunk in this class. But that seems unlikely unless they can strike a deal with Minnesota, which has entertained offers but seems reluctant to give up the highest pick in franchise history.
Owner Dan Gilbert's 14-year-old son, Nick, the team's good-luck charm in the draft lottery, will be calling in the team's two first-round selections.
On Monday, the team held its last round of workouts by hosting Williams, Turkish center Enes Kanter and Kentucky guard Brandon Knight at its suburban training facility.
Williams and Kanter were in for their second visits, and the pair also met with Gilbert and some of his kids, adding another layer of mystery to the team's true intentions.
Grant said it was an opportunity for Williams and Kanter to relax a little and put aside their first-visit jitters. Overall, the GM said, the Cavs have been putting more emphasis on their interviews than on their workouts.
Information from ESPN's Jeannine Edwards and The Associated Press was used in this report.