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NBA DRAFT

Cavaliers strike it rich twice in lottery

Cleveland draws the first and fourth picks and could use the top spot to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.

May 17, 2011|By Mark Heisler
  • David Kahn, left, general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin O'Connor, center, general manager of the Utah Jazz, and Nick Gilbert, 14, right, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, stand on the stage representing the final three teams during the 2011 NBA basketball draft lottery.
David Kahn, left, general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin… (Julio Cortez / AP Photo )

In what may go down as the most famous draw since the New York Knicks got Patrick Ewing in the first NBA lottery in 1984, which gave birth to the Frozen Envelope conspiracy theory …

Here's Nick's Pick!

Nick Gilbert, the 14-year-old son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, stole the show Tuesday at the lottery in Secaucus, N.J., then hit the jackpot, drawing the No. 1 pick.

Born with a nerve disorder that caused tumors to grow throughout his body, Nick lost vision in one eye and underwent three rounds of chemotherapy.

Asked how it felt to be there, he broke up the room, noting, "What's not to like?"

So was born the Cavaliers' new slogan.

They then drew the No. 1 pick with the selection projected for No. 8 they got from the Clippers in the Baron Davis deal.

This is how it could go, conceivably:

1. Cleveland: Kyrie Irving, 6-2, 180, Fr., Duke. Nick's pick is the latest in the line of great point guard prospects, ideal to build around.

2. Minnesota: Enes Kanter, 6-10, 250, Fr., Kentucky. With Kevin Love, General Manager David Kahn can't take another power forward like Derrick Williams ... can he?

Of course, that's what they said before he took point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn at Nos. 5-6 in 2009.

With wide interest in Williams, Kahn could trade down ... or deal the pick for a real center if Kanter measures out more like 6-8½.

3. Utah: Derrick Williams, 6-8, 235, So., Arizona. As it is, this rising star falls to the Jazz ... which could also decide to move him, or Al Jefferson.

4. Cleveland: Kawhi Leonard, 6-7, 225, So., San Diego State. People loved him before he started showing he can shoot in workouts.

Longshot: Bismack Biyombo (see below), moving up fast.

5. Toronto: Brandon Knight, 6-3, 170, Fr., Kentucky. High for him but they like point guards who can shoot.

6. Washington: Jan Vesely, 6-11, 230, Serbia and Montenegro. Athletic "Andrei Kirilenko-type" to move out Knuckleheads Inc. Chief Executive Andray Blatche.

7. Sacramento: Bismack Biyombo, 6-9, 240, Congo. Serge Ibaka ... but smaller. Unknown uber-athlete who blocked 10 shots in April Hoop Summit.

8. Detroit: Kemba Walker, 6-0, 180, Jr. Connecticut. Pistons have OK players, more or less at every position, except center, and there are no NBA-ready centers in draft.

9. Charlotte: Alec Burks, 6-6, 200, So., Colorado. It falls off sharply after this but he's legit.

10. Milwaukee: Jordan Hamilton, 6-7, 210, So., Texas. With Michael Redd leaving, they can use a shooter.

11. Golden State: Chris Singleton, 6-8, 210, Jr., Florida State. Owner/Celtics fan Joe Lacob wants team in their image, takes a tough defender with no Larry Birds here.

12. Utah: Reggie Jackson, 6-3, 208, Jr., Boston College. Big point guard, wasn't projected this high but after Deron Williams, Devin Harris was a big comedown. Fans dying for Jimmer Fredette but even if Jazz wants a point, it wants an NBA type rather than a chunky shooter.

13. Phoenix: Klay Thompson, 6-6, 187, Jr., Washington State. High for him but Little League dad Mychal keeps asking why I never mention Klay, now legitimately on first round.

14. Houston: Jonas Valanciunas, 6-11, 240, Lithuania. "Pau Gasol-type," projected in top five, now seen as project who has to get stronger.

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