I have been getting lots of e-mail asking me how the Cavs can get into the lottery, or at least the first round, of this week's draft. Here's what I can tell you. First, they're not getting in the lottery so cease with the Mike Conley Jr. e-mails. Second, the Cavs feel like their first-round pick this year is Shannon Brown. As I've written here before, Shannon worked just as hard at his game as Daniel Gibson this season and I expect him to get a chance to play next season. I look forward to watching him at summer league in Las Vegas in a few weeks and you can bet that I will be giving you a full report about it. Remember, as high as Danny Ferry was on Gibson, they still took a risk of losing Gibson to get his hands on Brown first. Sure they'd love to have a pick in this draft but even at No. 24, where they would've picked had the Jiri Welsch trade never happened, we're talking about a prospect pick and not an impact pick in all likelihood.
As for buying a pick, I am sure the Cavs will have the green light to try from Dan Gilbert. I think the two targets in the first round will be the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, both of whom have multiple picks. But if that happens, don't expect it until the last minute on draft night. Both will want to hold onto it for as long as possible to keep options open. And remember, the Cavs will only look to make a move if there is a guy they like up there. They won't just have a pick to have a pick at this point. Most of the players they've been bringing in for workouts in Cleveland -- the latest guy I've heard is Dustin Salisbery from Temple, who was in yesterday -- are mostly fringe guys. Why would potential first rounders waste their time coming to Cleveland, anyway?
As for the second round, the Portland Trail Blazers have four picks and a bevy of young talent already. Perhaps the Cavs could offer a future second rounder and/or cash for one of them. But, again, only if it is for a guy they really like and think can make the roster. Last year the Cavs used a second-round pick on Ejike Ugboaja, who probably won't play for the team next season, either.
I have not put a whole lot of research time into this year's draft, although I've seen a lot of the players. Last year in Japan I told some blog readers about Yi and other prospects including Marco Belinelli. In my personal opinion, Greg Oden is a no-brainer at No. 1 and my reason is Shaq and Tim Duncan have eight of the last nine trophies. But the guy I would really want as a GM is Florida's Corey Brewer. I know his size is an issue because he's 6-foot-8 and only 180 pounds, but I love that guy. He makes big shots and big plays and he is a good defender. That's a guy I'd want if I need a complementary piece for my team.
The New York Daily News reported today that the Toronto Raptors may want to trade point guard Jose Calderon. I know for a fact the Cavs like him a lot. I also think the Raptors like Sasha Pavlovic -- they want to collect versatile international players who can shoot and Sasha fits the bill -- although, I'll bet Luke Jackson wouldn't be thrilled with that. But it's all rumors, I'm just commenting on them, I have no sources saying the same thing.
Finally, today is a big day. It is the annual time when News-Herald beat writer Bob Finnan posts his famous year end series of behind-the-scenes stories on the Cavs beat. It is long, here's Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. All year, when something crazy happens we think Bob will include, we refer to it as a "Finnaner Moment." Well, I can tell you Bob doesn't always include everything. Last year he left off the story in Miami when he stopped watching the season premiere of The Sopranos because he saw a woman skinny-dipping in the roof-top pool of the hotel next door. This year, the story of the two foreign journalists who ordered and ate nachos with an obscene amount of chili, sour cream and salsa in the row in front of us in the first half didn't make it in. In the fourth quarter, Bob leaned over to me and said: "These two guys are farting like hell and I know why."
It has gotten to the point where Bob forbids me to write certain things in my blog. Moments after this photo below was taken in San Antonio at a Mexican joint during the Finals, for example, he looked at me and said: "No blogs." Well, tough big guy, tough!
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