After scanning the Internet over the past few days I have been amazed that the vast majority of mock drafts including one from an old friend Bob Finan from the “News-Herald” whose NBA knowledge I truly respect have the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas with the number four pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Thursday afternoon “ESPN.com” reported that according to their sources that the Cavaliers will indeed select the 19-year-old seven-foot center even if Enes Kanter is still available. Valanciunas, although very unpolished is looked at by many NBA observers as the center with the highest upside in this year’s Draft. The only deterrent to selecting him is he will be playing for his current team Lietuvos Rytas at least until next January.
The big man has an incredibly huge wingspan of 7’4″ and is said to have a 9’3″ reach which is pretty amazing. He is a true inside presence who has good hands and a soft touch with the rock. He also excels on the pick and roll which could make him and Kyrie Irving a deadly pair on the court for Cleveland.
The question now becomes how will fans from Northeast Ohio handle the news that they may not see any production from the fourth pick on the court for at least the next few months and possibly quite longer. It took the Minnesota Timberwolves two years before they finally signed Ricky Rubio who last week announced he was finally leaving FC Barcelona. Cavaliers Team Owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager Chris Grant may find themselves having to do a great sales job to Cleveland fans if the reports come to fruition.