Third Guesses, Anyone?

By Michael Reghi

Immediate approval? The Cavaliers had to realize that wouldn’t be part of the equation with their fan base upon the selection of defensively tough, rebounding strong, Texas Big 12 freshman of the year Tristan Thompson with their second selection, fourth overall, in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Young fella is nowhere near a finished product, nor offensively gifted at this stage of his development. Yet, I felt confident enough that this very well could be their guy, that I brought it up to you on ‘R and R’ Tuesday and Wednesday, and solidified it with my blog here early yesterday morning. Simply put, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert spent extensive time with him this week, and became very enamored with the kid. Both what he can deliver on the court and off going forward. Very, very important to the culture they look to present in tandem with top choice Kyrie Irving. Please be aware in the past week, that Thompson had become a top ten consensus on the board in everyone’s eyes, shooting up considerably after meeting with teams, and workouts. So, the Cavaliers weren’t the only organizations with a gleam in their eyes over Tristan Thompson.

Let it be known that Enes Kanter, the powerful, ready to contribute, 6-11 center from Turkey, by way of Kentucky, was the organization’s consensus choice at 4. They wanted to team him up with Irving right out of the gate, to reprise a Mark Price-Brad Daugherty tandem that was so successful on the offensive end of the floor 25 years ago. They attempted to make something work to flop picks with Utah when it became clear to them the Jazz were going with Kanter. Couldn’t make it work. You still have to have a dance partner. That’s when they swung Thompson into motion, over the contractually restrictive, and not ready to play now in the league, Jonas Valenciunas, the European big. I applaud the Cavaliers for realizing a young big, who you won’t have with you to develop for a year, and maybe two, was not the way to proceed.

Now the caveat to all this. And man, was there a ‘buzz’ about this as we held our ESPN Cleveland draft show last night at Around the Corner in Lakewood. And yes, a ‘Third Guess’ here… would the Cavaliers in this scenario, been better served by selecting Derek Williams with the top overall choice, and coming back with Kentucky’s pro game ready combo guard Brandon Knight at 4? Intriguing food for thought, and fun to mull over! Two offensive players, who are explosive, attacking talents, both with some flair and spice to their games. The majority of those asked last night said yes…better suited for what the Cavaliers desperately need. As you know from listening to ‘R and R’, this is the way I wanted the Cavaliers to proceed early in the process, after securing the 1 and 4 choices. I did switch over to Kyrie Irving as the Cavaliers choice a few weeks back. I certainly know this, you, as Cavaliers fans, will closely monitor the games, development, and careers of Williams and Knight, in relation to Irving and Thompson.

Bottom line. I do feel strongly the Cavaliers will be fine, and then some, with Irving and Thompson. Irving, not afraid of embracing the role as the linchpin, the face of this franchise, and making those better around him with his play and leadership, and Thompson, already rebounding proficient at both ends of the floor, tough on the defensive end, and willing to work diligently to improve offensively. He’ll be a solid starter in the NBA at worst. However, they MUST find offensive players at the ‘2’ and ‘3’ slots…and soon! Critical to them being relevant again in the league. They don’t have it. Must, Must get it. That was a disappointment on draft night. Were they completely stonewalled in every attempt they made to get a third first round choice? If so, that tells how the rest of the league views their assets, doesn’t it?

Irving and Thompson. Will it ever have the Price-Daugherty impact from the draft of 25 years ago? Let’s watch the development with anticipation, and the hopes the duo gets somewhere in the ‘same neighborhood’ as the pair of Cavaliers legends.




  1. this team really reminds me a lot of the early 2000s New Jersey Nets Scott was a coach of….

  2. I love the analysis, Reghi! Very similar to my own thoughts at

    • no one wants to read your dumbass blog LOSER

  3. So what we couldn’t move back into 0the first round. The one strengh of this draft was that their wasn’t a talent drop off between say, 20 to 40 and we had pick #32. So why waste it? There were 2’s and 3’s that could have helped this team. Honeycut, Lee, Leslie, Parsons, etc… Just dont understand how a team so lacking in talent wouldn’t even attempt to upgrade with those picks. I call this draft a fail!

  4. I loved the Irving pick and thought that Thompson could have been had much later in the first round. After all, he wasn’t even Texas’s best player. Didn’t think the cavs were could enough yet to draft for a role player instead of taking the best impact player out there. Then I have no idea what they were doing w the next 2 picks. Third pick they traded w the hopes that 2012 will be a deeper year and will be more value in round 2 and then to pick the Serbian w their 4th pick, whom may never even visit the US let alone play for the Cavs. There were sevaral talented players sitting there (Moore from Iowa and Leighty OSU). At least you know what you are getting w those 2 guys and would definatlely have improved the team. My point isthe Cavs aren’t good enough not to draft te best player available at the time. MY grade “C” and thats just because they took Irving!

  5. good insight Reg. but i really wanted to see the Cavs go for a homerun with a rookie GM and a hungry fan base

  6. Reghi, I give the Cavs an A++ because they got the best player in the draft. Hopefully, the basketball gods will give them Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, or Jared Sullinger next year. Go Cavs!

  7. I think they wanted to avoid the Valenciunis delay. More moves to come but wasting an essentially low # 1 to Orlando blew my mind on this roster. Harper was the best shooting “big” on the board. Now we have 5 bangers, 2 of which may be eventually gone. Grab the heart pills when Thompson goes to the line late in the game !!

  8. Daugherty and Thompson’s games are far different . Hinson maybe ?

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