2011 NBA Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers

Seven years of building around its franchise player all went to waste July 8, 2010.

Failing to lead Cleveland to lead to a title, LeBron James bolted for Miami and left the Cavaliers in shambles.

Without a superstar on the roster or even young talent to build its team around, Cleveland went from 61 victories to 19 in one season.

Still drawing 20,112 fans a night to the Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers sold out 97% of its seats even as the team failed to reach the post season for the first time in five seasons.

Baron Davis averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 assists since being dealt to Cleveland.

What kept the team together was the hiring of coach Byron Scott.

As a last ditch effort to keep James in Cleveland, the Cavaliers brought in the former Nets and Hornets coach to appease its superstar.

Left with a roster built to conform to the strengths of its superstar, Cleveland would have to find a way to replace the best overall player int he league without adding any free agents or a lottery draft pick.

Scott was able to mold what was left into a decent team.

Winning its season opener against Boston, just one day after the Celtics defeated Miami in the first game of the year, Cleveland had six players score in double figures.

Opening the year with a 5-5 record, Cleveland was determined to prove it could win without its star.

Dropping 26 consecutive games, Scott didn’t allow any excuses for the horrible stretch.

Given an opportunity to quickly rebuild its team, in the image of their coach, the Cavaliers can reshape its roster with the first and fourth overall pick in 2011.

Record: 19-63 Fifth in the Central Division

Draft Selection: 4th

What Went Wrong: Point differential.

Outscored an average of nine points a game, the Cavaliers lost 38 games by 10 or more points last season. Losing every game from Dec. 20 to Feb. 11, a span of 26 games, the Cavaliers finally came out victorious by knocking off the Clippers at home in overtime. If not for an overtime win over New York, Cleveland would have lost 36 consecutive games, nearly half of the season.

What Went Right: Mid-season trade.

Dealing point guard Mo Williams and Jamario Moon to the Los Angeles Clippers for Davis and a future first round pick, the Cavaliers started the rebuilding process a lot quicker than anticipated. The pick turned out to become the top overall selection overcoming 19.9% change of winning. Combined with the fourth overall selection the Cavaliers league-worst record earned them, the recovery following the departure from James can come swiftly.

Team Need: Health.

Losing Anderson Varejao after just 31 games, the Cavaliers were forced to suit up 19 different players as no player started more than 66 games last season. Trotting out 24 different starting lineups, Cleveland never had the same five begin a game fore than 10 times last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers Select: Enes Kanter– Kentucky

The top post presence in the 2011 NBA Draft class, Kanter has the skill set to become the top overall pick. Standing 6-foot-11, his tremendous rebounding skill and ability to knockdown mid-range shots makes him by far the to center prospect in the draft.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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