Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant had to be relieved by Wednesday's announcement that Duke point guard Kyrie Irving intends to hire an agent and enter this year's NBA draft. But the underclassmen-going-pro news isn't as good on some other fronts.
North Carolina's duo of sophomore forward John Henson and junior center Tyler Zeller are returning to school. Ohio State freshman center Jared Sullinger is risking a top five selection in 2011 by returning for another year in Columbus. Some who have declared are not hiring agents to preserve their eligibility.
A looming NBA lockout could have a major impact on this year's draft class. Some players may not want to risk sitting out part of their rookie seasons. And it couldn't come at a worse time for the Cavs, who have their own first-rounder and another first-rounder from the Los Angeles Clippers. This was already considered a weak draft and it could be getting worse by the day.
Underclassmen have until 11:59 p.m. on April 24 to declare. If they don't hire an agent, they have until May 8 to withdraw and return to college.
There had been speculation that the Cavs would try to acquire another first-rounder to accelerate the franchise's return to relevance. The chances of that might be slipping away as well.