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The NBA season is over now with the Dallas Mavericks knocking off the Miami Heat for their first ever championship in team history. Now, the NBA can focus on the NBA Draft that will take place June 23. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first pick, and the Irving Minnesota Timberwolves have the second pick.
It all comes down to two players in the top selections. Kyrie, PG, Duke, and Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona. Let’s take a look at who should go first overall in the draft?
First, if were going off team need, the Cleveland Cavaliers should take Irving, as a Baron Davis is an aging point guard. Irving only played in 11 games last year, as he battled a toe injury that kept him out for the majority of the season. Irving is shorter (he’s 6’3″), than recent point guards taken number one in the draft (Rose, John Wall), and is built more similar to Deron Williams and Chris Paul.
Many saw his potential over those games and immediately put him to the top of the 2011 draft class. Irving averaged 17.5 points per game, 4.3 assists, and 3.4 rebounds. He shot 46% from three point range, and 53% from the field. Also, he had a 1.75 assist to turnover ratio. Early in the season, he looked like meshed well with Duke’s players and was ready to help lead them to a title, but in the NCAA tournament, he looked like tore the team’s chemistry apart a little, especially against Arizona, where he scored 28 points.
I have no doubt Irving is a playmaker. He can make people miss with his crossover, his quickness and agility, and his ability to get to the basket. Not only that he can knock down the three, and get to the free throw line with his aggressiveness in the lane. Irving also makes players better all around him as seen in the first 8 games with Duke. He made Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler bigger weapons, and made the Plumlees’ better in the post, which was not the case during the season when the Plumlees’ were weak in the post, and most of pressure was on Singler and Smith.
Not to mention, a team with a good point guard is key in the NBA today. Just look at Derrick Rose and the impact he has had on the Bulls. A similar debate was in 2008, when the Bulls had to choose between Rose and Michael Beasley. Rose is the superstar now, who was MVP this year, and Beasley has bounced around from the Heat to the Timberwolves now.
The only questions that face Irving is he big enough to be a star in the league, and injury concerns with his toe. Irving also checked in with ten percent body fat, and many had questions, is he fit to play?
Now on to Derrick Williams case for being the number one pick that the Cavaliers should pick? Williams is 6’8″, has more experience (he’s a sophomore), he played in every game this past season and showed explosive athletic ability. Williams averaged 19.5 points per game, and 8.3 rebounds per game. Williams shot 57% from three point range, and 60% from the field. Williams shot 74% from the free throw line.
Williams exploded during the NCAA tournament, and almost lifting the Wildcats to the Final Four. Williams biggest game against Irving and Duke, he had 32 monstrous points and 13 rebounds. Williams kept throwing down unbelievable dunks, kind of like Blake Griffin. Williams also showed his versatility. Williams knocked down several threes, got in the lane and blocked shots, threw down alley oops, and had several offensive rebounds that he just threw down. Williams can get to the free throw line too, as he averaged about eight free throws a game.
Williams shows great size and strength for a power forward. Williams is 6’8″ with a 7′ 1″ wingspan, and 9 foot standing reach. Imagine a dunk contest with him and Griffin? Something I did not realize was Williams played for two months with a broken finger on his shooting hand and still shot 59.5% from field, 56.8% from long range, and and 74% from the charity stripe. That’s tremendous and is what scouts look for. This shows that Williams is durable and can play through pain and will give his best night in and night out for whoever drafts him.
If you were the Cavaliers, who would you take, Irving or Williams?