OK, enough with the jokes. We've heard them all, and nobody is in the dark about this being one of the worst NBA Draft's in the history of the league.
Now, more than ever, it is awful to be bad. A pending lockout coupled with no likely superstars means that in the eyes of fans in Minnesota, Toronto and Detroit, the future is pretty dim.
But it shouldn't in, dare I say, Cleveland. With the #1 and #4 picks in next month's draft, the Cavaliers are currently the only lottery team with a real opportunity to get better quick and build around their selection(s). This, of course, is contingent on who they select, and who is taken at picks #2 and #3.
Sure the best player in this draft is either Duke's Kyrie Irving or Arizona's Derrick Williams, and the second best player in this year's draft is either Duke's Kyrie Irving or Arizona's Derrick Williams, but that doesn't mean they can't both be donning Cavs jerseys next fall.
How? Well, Dan Gilbert's two picks sandwich the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz. It would be hard for either of these teams not to select Williams if he's available, but the Jazz have money and time invested in guys like Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors. The Timberwolves are building around Kevin Love and Michael Beasley, and owe Darko Milicic roughly $16.5 million through 2014.
They also have David Kahhhhhnnnnnn! And he's a trip.
With the future of Ricky Rubio - both as an NBA player and interest in even coming state-side - still up in the air, the Wolves have yet to address their point guard situation, despite drafting about 17 of them in the past three seasons. The steady and heady play of Kentucky's Brandon Knight may grow on management as a real need-filler that can represent the franchise for the next decade. For Utah, they're quite selective when filling out their roster. Not only do players have to fit the system, they also have to accept the culture and way of life in Salt Lake City. Not suggesting Williams can't assimilate, but he's also no Jimmer Fredette.
This scenario isn't etch-it-in-stone plausible. Assuming Irving were to go first, anyone else would likely love to make room for an explosive Blake Griffin-prototype that can make their team better and increase merchandise revenue. Williams could also be the #1 pick, and the Cavs could turn to the aforementioned Knight or even UConn's Kemba Walker to captain their offense in a few seasons.
If Williams isn't available at #4, Cleveland should entertain Enes Kanter's skill set, which would up both a big and a guard that can step in and contribute immediately.
Regardless, the Cavaliers have a major opportunity to create a nucleus they can build around for future drafts - something the rest of the league can't get excited about.