Cavs Cleveland lost their first round pick to Milwaukee in the Vin Baker -Shawn Kemp-Brandon trade.  The Cav's GM is: Joe Ptak.  In the real draft, the Cavs will pick #48.

With the 34th pick, Mike selects:

Jelani McCoy, C, 6-10, UCLA

I: Overview

By all accounts, the Cavs had a fantastic season in 97-98. They successfully replaced the dead-weight of years past (Phills, Mills, etc) with a young, energetic group of players this town hasn't seen since Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper, and Mark Price landed in Richfield in 1986. The acquisition of Shawn Kemp brought much needed "superstardom" to the franchise and provided a legitimate building block for the future. The "first round" rookies, Big Z, Brevin Knight, and Derek Anderson played better than anyone could have hoped to expect and the emergence of Cedric Henderson made this quite possibly the best rookie class in NBA History. Like any young team, the Cavs endured their ups and downs throughout the season, but put together a strong stretch run and held their own against the Pacers in the playoffs.

II. Draft History

Wayne Embry and company have done exceptionally well in the draft in recent years, making everyone forget the Johnnie Morton debacles of the late 80s and early 90s. Recent picks include Bobby Sura (17th), Vitaly (12th), Big Z (20th), D.A. (13th) and Brevin Knight (16th), not to mention Cedric Henderson 45th in the 2nd round last season. Z and DA have flashed all-star potential and Brevin is one of the top pure point guards in the league. Sura and Potapenko are solid NBA players and Cedric Henderson is an exciting talent. Wayne has shown you don't always have to have a lottery pick to land some major talent in the draft.

III. Team Needs

What the Cavs need most is time. Time to let the kids grow and mature as a unit and gain playoff experience. Their biggest on the court need is a scorer, whether it be at the 2 or 3. D.A. is claiming he wants to be the man but that remains to be seen for next season. A scorer, with some long-range skills, at the 3 spot would help to open up the middle for Z and Rainman. Other on-the-court needs include veteran size in the frontcourt to support Big Z and the Rainman, a defensive intimidator (oh, for the days of Hot Rod and Nance swatting balls around the Coliseum), and a backup veteran pointman with some size to give Brevin a break, someone he can learn from, and allow for better matchups in crunchtime.

IV: Selection

With the USENET pick, the Cavs will select: Jelani McCoy, F/C, UCLA. McCoy is an athletic bigman with a huge upside who can provide backup minutes for Kemp and/or Z. Although he has had off-the-court problems, the Cavs nucleus is solid, young, and should be a good influence on Jelani. The Cavs will also be adding some veteran leadership upfront which should also help Jelani adjust and become the player and person the Cavs look for. The upside that he brings to the table is worth the gamble at this point in the draft, given the teams glaring needs in the frontcourt (size and athleticism).

V: Other Players considered

VI: Cavs Selection

The Cavs have the #48 pick in the NBA draft. They will not take a Jelani McCoy type player because that is not the kind of person Wayne Embry looks for. Although they will have the "best player available" attitude (like last season with Cedric Henderson), they will probably end up going for size. Possible picks include:

The Cavs will also consider Europeans or other foreign players at this pick.

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner

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