The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery, their third in four years and the class is regarded as one of the best in years. But Cavs general manager David Griffin says that while there is great depth, he doesn’t see a clear-cut top pick.
“This is a deeper draft at the top than the last few, but it’s also not the year where you go ‘Oh, Tim Duncan’s in the draft I’ll take him,’” Griffin told The Jim Rome Show. “Everybody has made a lot of hype about this draft as though you can’t possibly fail and there are still question marks on all of these guys.”
The Cavaliers didn’t get great production out of last year’s number one overall pick, Anthony Bennett, who battled injuries and averaged 4.2 points and 3 rebounds. Griffin expected a better season from Bennett, but he still believes the rookie’s future is bright.
“We’re really optimistic that Anthony is going to be a key contributor for us,” said Griffin. “While we are disappointed in the year that he had, I want him to remember it. I want it to burn in him and I want it to drive him to be better than he ever thought he was going to be before.”
In addition to choosing a draft pick, the Cavaliers are also selecting a head coach and while the process is in its “infancy,” Griffin would like to have someone in place before the draft and he’s willing to explore the college ranks if need be.
“If that person is in college right now, we’re open-minded to that,” said Griffin. “I think way too much is made of their ability to make the jump to coaching in the league. As the league has gotten younger, if you can reach young players in college, you can probably reach our kids as well, if you’ve had a level of success.”
Whoever takes over as head coach will be Kyrie Irving’s third head coach in four seasons, a fact that’s not lost on Griffin.
“I think what’s happened here has been unfair to him to a huge degree,” said Griffin. “It’s been something that I think has been hard for him. It’s been unfair for the kid. He’s taken a lot of shots he didn’t deserve.”