Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange reacts after a play against the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City.
Photographer: (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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CLEVELAND - Cleveland Cavaliers general manger Chris Grant picked the guy he wanted with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft. Folks around here were already gearing up to sport Harrison Barnes jerseys when they watched Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Florida’s Bradley Beal get picked in the number two and three slots.
Most of northeast Ohio was shocked when the Cavs took Syracuse sixth man Dion Waiters with the pick.
The shock came from what most people thought might have been a planned smoke screen after reading Yahoo! Sports and Plain Dealer stories who both said before the draft he was the Cavs man.
The disappointment may come from the fact he was the sixth man for Syracuse. Perhaps, you think they made a mistake by not working him out or interviewing him before the draft. He didn't do that for any NBA teams. Maybe you think that he was a stretch for the number four pick. This, despite the fact most mock drafts didn’t have him staying in the draft past Golden State at number seven.
No matter what you think, the ball is in Grant’s court. If he is wrong, it will be hard to rebound from missing out on the selection. This is a franchise that needs to prove to the fans that have experienced one of the worst seasons in NBA history, and one season that could have been more eventful if the injury bug did not hit.
You know what you have with Grant’s picks. Last year, you met an outstanding playmaker in Kyrie Irving. You have a forward in Tristan Thompson that the fan base is still wondering what kind of player he will become. Now, you have an aggressive shooting guard in Dion Waters and a 7-footer who can move in center Tyler Zeller. You could have three more first round picks next year.
If you are a fan of the Oklahoma City three-year plan of the slow road through the draft. This is a dream.
Many national experts are saying this Cavs draft was an “A”. Chad Ford from ESPN says "A-", so does CBSsports.com. I’m not sure northeast Ohio believes it. You might lean towards USA Today's "D+", or Yahoo! Sports "C." Time will tell.
If you ask me, I like Grant’s attitude on this draft. No guts, no glory. Or maybe all guts, all unemployment line.
Something tells me Cavs owner Dan Gilbert likes it this way. The payoff could be huge for our newest casino owner.
For the fans, Harrison Barnes was two face cards, when the dealer was showing 16. It would have been easy to stand pat and bet that dealer was going to bust.
This feels like a Grant double-down with a 10, and the dealer also has a face card. I hope he doesn’t fall short of 20.
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Will Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and this June’s number one and 19th picks take the team to places that LeBron James used to?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on top of the NBA draft yet again, only this time there is no LeBron James waiting to save them. There may not even be a Kyrie Irving.