Cleveland Sports Minute

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01/11 Second Minute: More On Shannon Brown

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Just a heads up as this one may take more than a minute to digest.

As I mentioned below, the Cavaliers’ Shannon Brown being sent to the Developmental League will likely be overlooked by many.  To a lot of the casual fans, he is just some guy who looks a bit like Ira Newble, but he can finish on offense.  To others, he is just that – offense. 

Many of times, Brown looks for the highlight dunk instead of the smart basketball play.  But you’ll have this with a player who has failed to crack the 17 minutes per game mark in this, his second season with the team.  You are looking at a kid who just turned 22 years of age that was once thought to have the upside of Gilbert Arenas.

Obviously, this will never be the case as Arenas has produced more thus far in his career than any pundit – aside from Gilbert, himself – had ever expected.  But what he is is a very athletic swingman with good speed and a physical presence on defense.  But what he also is is a guy that plays the same position as Larry Hughes, a guy who makes considerably more money, but also a guy that was added to the team a year earlier. 

Which poses the question: Why was he drafted?  Just add it to the list called “Danny Ferry’s First Rounders.”

In 2003, Cleveland won the draft lottery and landed one of the current Mount Rushmore-esque faces of the NBA in LeBron James.  While this was great and all, it gets ugly from here.  Real ugly.

In 2004, the Cavaliers used the 10th overall selection on Luke Jackson, a shooting guard out of Oregon.  They needed an outside presence, so this makes sense.  The fact that Jackson has since been a part of the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat since then, however, does not. 

In 2005, Cleveland did not have a draft pick.  We would have been able to protect it if it had fallen within a certain range, but after trading for Jiri Welch, the Cavs were forced to remove the restrictions.  The selection wound up being 13th overall.  This could arguably be considered one of the biggest botches in recent history considering some of the names taken after the 13th slot: Rashad McCants (14), Danny Granger (17), Hakim Warrick (19), Nate Robinson (21), Jarrett Jack (22), Francisco Garcia (23), Luther Head (24), Jason Maxiell (26), David Lee (30), Monta Ellis (40), Louis Williams (45) and Andray Blatche (49). 

In 2006, Cleveland desperately needed to pick up a player that could run the point.  Damon Jones had been recently added, but he was not going to be the ball-handler of the future.  Thus, the Cavaliers used their 25th overall selection on the topic of conversation: Shannon Brown.  Three point guards were taken soonthereafter with Jordan Farmar going to the Lakers at 26, Sergio Rodriguez to Portland at 27 and Mardy Collins to New Yorkat 29.  Couple this with Craig Smith at 36th overall and it gets a bit worse. 

Moving the most recent first round selection in the Sasha Pavlovic trade, only to have Pavlovic himself hold out for some of the season as he wanted more money adds insult to injury.  Needless to say, Brown moving to the D-League this week is icing on the cake for Danny Ferry’s drafting abilities.  Taking LeBron James first overall in 2003 is the equivalent of the guy in your fantasy football league saying that he drafted a good team this past year because he “landed” LaDainian Tomlinson.  Has there been a bigger no-brainer in recent drafting history?

This Brown to the D-League can go one of two ways. 

Brown will join Rio Grande Valley and likely get a ton of minutes.  His option was not picked up during this past off-season, so he will undoubtedly test the free agent market.  He will showcase his offensive abilities while attempting to prove that he can do it on the defensive end as well.  He’ll get picked up by a running team, and he’ll flourish as a slasher-type, similar to what Hughes did in Washington.

Or, he’ll head to the NBDL, never to be heard from again.  He may toss in 12 per game, but that will not get you signed by another squad.  If this is the route we see, it is simply another draft failure for the Cavaliers and the Ferry regime.  While hindsight is 50/50 on the past few season’s, it’s easy to say what we could have had.  But it’s also tough to say that we would have been able to use that 2005 pick to our advantage if it would have likely been tossed towards someone more Julius Hodge rather than one of the abovementioned. 

If one thing is clear, it is that “Ferry” and “First Round” definitely do not mix.

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  1. […] to hold up his end of the bargain and bring in some help for this Cavalier team.  Its obvious that his drafting ability will not get the job done, so with the trade deadline rapidly approaching, it could be make or […]


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