INDEPENDENCE â€” Donâ€™t expect the Cavaliers to do anything drastic Thursday night in the NBA Draft.
When the dust settles â€” if it blows at all â€” Cleveland will likely pick at its current spot, No. 19 overall.
â€œI believe in continuity,â€ general manager Danny Ferry said. â€œKeeping a group together is usually the right thing. â€¦ Iâ€™m not aggressively out there trying to do anything.â€
Ferry will listen to any and all offers, of course, but donâ€™t expect anything on draft night that remotely resembles the blockbuster deal the Cavaliers made at the trade deadline last season to acquire Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Joe Smith.
â€œI like the culture of this group of guys,â€ Ferry said. â€œThat really matters. In hard times, thatâ€™s important.â€
While the Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals in 2007 with Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden in the starting lineup and lost in seven games in the second round to eventual league champion Boston without them in 2008, Ferry would make the deal all over again.
â€œWe donâ€™t fit together perfectly,â€ he said of his current players, â€œbut that doesnâ€™t mean it canâ€™t work.â€
If the Cavaliers do something major â€” there have been reports the team has an interest in proven veterans like Michael Redd, Jermaine Oâ€™Neal and Elton Brand â€” it will most likely come when the free-agent signing period begins next month.
Still, donâ€™t expect the Cavaliers to be able to acquire two All-Stars, like Boston GM Danny Ainge did last offseason by adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
â€œIt was a perfect storm for Danny,â€ Ferry said. â€œThey were able to make two pretty special things happen. Iâ€™m not sure it can be duplicated.â€
Ferry said the organization â€œwill explore getting another pickâ€ in this yearâ€™s draft, but that would probably entail trading one of its two second-round choices in 2009 to acquire a choice in that round in 2008.
In the first round of what is widely regarded as a deep draft, the Cavaliers will likely remain at No. 19. That should give them an opportunity to choose from several big men who might take some time to develop â€” Ohio Stateâ€™s Kosta Koufos, Georgetownâ€™s Roy Hibbert, Stanfordâ€™s Robin Lopez â€” or a wing player like Memphisâ€™ Chris Douglas-Roberts or Western Kentuckyâ€™s Courtney Lee.
Finding a top-notch point guard is highly unlikely â€” the talent drops off quickly after possible No. 1 pick Derrick Rose of Memphis, Arizonaâ€™s Jerryd Bayless, UCLAâ€™s Russell Westbrook and Texasâ€™ D.J. Augustin â€” but there will be some intriguing players left at that position if the Cavaliers move into the second round.
Regardless of who starts at point guard next season â€” West and Daniel â€œBoobieâ€ Gibson are both restricted free agents the team would like to keep â€” donâ€™t expect a major overhaul of the Cavaliersâ€™ oft-criticized offense.
Thereâ€™s a possibility assistant coach Hank Egan might retire after suffering a heart attack during the 2007-08 season, but Ferry, while still evaluating the teamâ€™s staff, doesnâ€™t think itâ€™s essential that head coach Mike Brown add an offensive-minded assistant.
â€œWe need to get better offensively,â€ the GM said. â€œI think that can happen whether we change the staff or not. No one from the outside is going to come in and save us.
â€œI donâ€™t know that what weâ€™re doing is completely flawed,â€ he added, â€œbut it has to get better.â€
Noland may be reached at email@example.com or 330-721-4061.
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