Decisions, Decisions: Who Should Cleveland Draft with the First Pick?
By Josh Roth
(Photo via bleacherreport.com)
Cleveland has got one tough decision to make with the first overall pick in the draft, do they draft Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams. Now many believe that Kyrie Irving is the obvious pick. He has very good play making abilities, can shoot, distribute well and has been compared to Chris Paul. It seems like the obvious choice right?
Well not so fast, Derrick Williams is probably the most athletic and explosive player in this draft. Yes, I know that doesn’t necessarily make him the best player, but with the lack of post players in this draft he would be a very good pick at number one. Derrick Williams is a matchup problem as he can also spread the floor with his shooting ability. If he can develop his post-game and work on decision making abilities, but the sky is the limit for this Derrick Williams.
Another point to make is what we have seen. We have not seen Kyrie Irving play all that much as he did get injured in the middle of the season last year. So there will likely be a lot of question marks about health down the line and with a small sample size it is hard to tell just how good he really is or can be. While Derrick Williams has shown signs of improvement and has a lot more games to prove his worth.
I can’t help but be reminded of the debate not too long ago during the 2008 NBA Draft between Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley. It is obvious now who the pick should have been, but the decision at the time was not entirely easy. Michael Beasley had a phenomenal year that year and was highly sought after. He, like Derrick Williams, was a tweener, and had many of the same qualities and attributes that we see in Derrick Williams today. And Irving, where he is nowhere near as explosive, draws comparisons to some of the elite point guards in the league.
However, the one luxury Cleveland has is having the fourth pick as well and the worst case scenario if they draft Derrick Williams is Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight, depending on how you view these players. Kemba Walker led his team to a national championship this year and at times put the team on his back. He would also be able to put more fans in the seats and be the face of an organization, even if he isn’t the best player on his team. Or you get Brandon Knight, which I believe is just as talented as Kyrie Irving, but far less polished and a bit more raw.
If you draft Kyrie Irving you are stuck with going after Enes Kanter or one of the international players, which some may not be able to play right away, or trade the pick. Where Enes Kanter is a good player, he is not anywhere near as talented as Derrick Williams, whereas the other point guards mentioned above aren’t too far off of Kyrie Irving.
So, with all that being said I personally would take my chances with Derrick Williams and go with Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight rather than Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter/other. It is a tough call and really is 50/50. Ideally they would be able to trade up to get both players and I am sure they will do all they can to accomplish this. One thing is for sure it should be a very interesting draft night this Thursday.