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Gettin' Wiggy With It (The Cavs Go Blatt)

With the 1st overall pick in the 2014 draft the Cavs selected Andrew Wiggins from the University of Kansas University.
Chad W. Lutz
NBA off seasons are generally full of surprises. Few would probably dispute that. Between blockbuster trades, draft day, free agency, hirings, firings, logo and team name changes the Association sometimes looks more like a circus. And it isn't just basketball that looks this way, but that's for another article. We're talking hoops here, and hoops only. Everything I just mentioned is part of the "real season" of the game. The regular season and playoffs are were the weak are eliminated and the champions are crowned, but both get their footing behind the starting blocks between June and October.

The Cleveland Cavaliers unearthed an absolute nugget of luck on the night of May 20 when they won the 1st overall pick in the draft with only a 1.7% chance, having won the 1st overall pick last year and in the 2011 draft, as well. The last time a team chose 1st overall in consecutive years included the 1992 drafting of Shaquille O'Neal and the 1993 drafting of Chris Webber by Orlando. The only other time that has happened in the history of the NBA Lottery was in 1983 and 1984 when Houston was awarded consecutive top prospect picks and took Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon, respectively.

Well, that pissed a lot of people off. And why not? It was the Cavs third 1st overall pick in four years and fifth in the top five in as many. The Wine and Gold now lay claim to an entire starting lineup of players under the age of 23. All of them athletic, all of them still years from their primes. And with the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Cleveland Cavaliers selected F Andrew Wiggins from Kansas, widely hailed as one of the most athletic draft picks in years, and effectively capped an already zany and mad-hatter offseason that hasn't even hit the fireworks finale just yet. Free agency opens July, and with the likes of Kevin Love, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony on the market, honestly, who the fuck knows what will take place over the next two months.
The Cavaliers new head coach, David Blatt, is expected to help pull the roster together this upcoming season and mold the young core of the franchise into contenders. (
But that's not all that's been crazy, zany, wacko, yacko in Tree City. Up until June 19, literally one week from the draft, the Cavaliers were without a head coach. The experiment with Mike Brown was obviously a lost cause in the eyes of the front office. Despite building upon Byron Scott's abysmal three-year tenure and coaching the team to within a few games of a playoff berth, which would have been its first since 2010, Gilbert and Co. outright released (fired) Brown one month after the final regular season game. Mike Brown still holds the franchise record for wins as a head coach. Apparently that didn't matter, and neither did the overall improvement in tenacity, defense, and offensive consistency as a squad. Brown's gone. That's that. See you in a few years once you oust Scott Brooks and coach the Oklahoma City Thunder to an NBA championship (Re: Lenny Wilkens and his eventual title with the Seattle Supersonics despite multiple dominant, winning seasons as the Cavs Head Thought Person).

Enter: David Blatt. (Excuse me…Who in the fuck?) Of course! David Blatt. That guy. Yeah know; from the thing with the stuff and the people. Yeah, him. David Blatt. Let's see, who else did we interview? Mark Price: check. Vinny Del Negro: Check. Alvin Gentry: check. David Blatt: Double-check. In fact, and better yet, you're hired. Great. No NBA experience? Alright. He is a Euroleague battletested champion, though, and reports surrounding his abilities as a coach have him posited as a whiz when it comes to getting players to play and play well for him. In the last few years since Lebron departed, we've had anything but dedication showing up on the hardwoods.

Lack of experience aside that may have been why Gilbert and Griffin brought Blatt onboard. As far as I, and probably many others, are concerned, the talent is already there. Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Jarret Jack, Spencer (potentially) Hawes, Alonzo Gee, and Anderson Varejao all can play with the best in the league when they want to. The unfortunate reality of the situation with this group is that, at times, it honestly looks like they'd rather be playing Operation than basketball, and even more unfortunate are the obvious ego clashes we saw spill out into the public eye last season. If the front office thinks David Blatt is the answer to those problems and can keep the Cavaliers focused during the upcoming season, well, I have nothing to say other than welcome the most scrutinized job other than Indians closer in all of Cleveland, Ohio, sir. May the odds be ever in your favor.