Cleveland (WOIO) - It says a lot about the perception of this year's draft class that the Cavaliers are willing to part with not one, but both of their first-round picks. According to multiple ESPN reports, Chris Grant offered the top pick and the 19th overall pick to Portland for power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The reports claim Grant also was willing to send Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson to Portland instead, to get the deal done.
You can't blame Grant for trying. As I've written in previous blogs, the NBA is all about star power. Established, strong veterans, guys who routinely go for 20 and 10 a night, which is exactly what the Blazers get out of Aldridge. Landing a player like that would help the Cavs take a giant step forward, not the continued baby steps they're getting by building through the draft.
But it also says something about this year's draft class...that the injuries to Nerlens Noel and Alex Len may be scaring the Cavs off a bit. And that the other top prospects, including Ben McLemore and Otto Porter, while strong, just aren't knocking Grant over.
Of course, people forget that just two years ago, when the Cavs were in this same situation, Kyrie Irving wasn't a sure thing. He'd played only 11 games at Duke, and many lobbied for the Cavs to draft Derrick Williams, the forward out of Arizona, instead.
Two years later, Williams hasn't exactly lit it up for the T-Wolves, while Kyrie has turned out to be the real deal. But it's easy to see that now. Two years ago, opinions were split.
The fact is, if the Cavs get it right, as they did with Irving, we won't be sorry they missed out on Aldridge. It will just take a little longer, and if there's one thing we've learned to master here in Cleveland, it's patience.
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