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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Cavs win top pick, should go big

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, winners of the 2013 NBA draft lottery.

Nick Gilbert, son of owner Dan Gilbert, was so lucky as Cleveland earned the top slot for the second time in three years.

Now the big question is will they go for Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky with the top pick? He is a shot-blocker deluxe who needs to work on his offensive skills. Coming off a knee injury, he will not be ready for the start of the season, so choosing him would mean they would be drafting for potential.

The draft has not had many instant impact stars, real difference makers, walking into the pros in recent years. I feel that this year there are talented players like Noel, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and a host of others. I am just not sold that they will put up big numbers over an 82-game schedule.

If Cleveland took Noel, it would give them a frontcourt with Noel and Tristan Thompson, which is not a dynamic offensive duo. Remember, they have super-talented Kyrie Irving, plus they took Dion Waiters out of Syracuse early in the first round last year.

That said, I would expect them to go big with the top choice.

Or there is another option. Evaluate what you could get if you dealt that pick away for a couple of veterans and maybe a lower draft selection.

New coach Mike Brown, GM Chris Grant and owner Gilbert have to be thrilled to be making that decision.

Let the discussion over number one begin.