INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – After the Cleveland Cavaliers held their press conference to introduce draft picks Darius Garland and Dylan Windler, I set out to find Koby Altman.
Altman is the general manager of the Cavaliers, the man who bore his name choosing the selection of Garland with the No. 5 in the draft. He knows that some Cavs fans have their doubts about the Vanderbilt 6-foot-3 guard. He played just 129 minutes at school before suffering a knee injury at the end of the season.
In addition, the Cavs drafted a 6-foot-2-Collin Sexton a year ago, and he's the same guard as Garland.
Lots There have been comparisons with Portland, where the blazers have won many games with two guards in the 6-foot-2 area: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. 1
Garland must be a very special player. That's why the Cavs committed him.
"We believe that he is one of the few players in this design who has the chance to become an All-Star," said Altman. He does not mean that 19-year-old Garland will be a star newcomer. He also does not predict that Garland will someday be an All-Star.
But Garland's sensational exposure to outdoor scenes is intoxicating for the Cavs, who are followers of the 3-point Gospel that governs most NBA franchises. Garland scored 11 out of 23 out of 3-point reach in college, many out of 25-foot range.
During his private training for the Cavs, Garland put on a shooting show.
"When we saw him work I went out and saw him taking 30 foot soles and flipping through them as if it was nothing," Altman said "Okay, how can that work?" , "
This is especially true because Beilein was so excited about this new approach to the back room, and it suited what he did at college with guards of similar size in Michigan.
SETTING THE DEBATE
On the day of the draft, Altman watched as Atlanta trading with New Orleans for the # 4 operation, and that took away a chance to grab De'Andre Hunter.The Cavs were mesmerized by Hunter, the 6-foot -7 striker who led Virginia to the national title.
There was a big debate in the organization about what would be the best move for the franchise: Hunter or Garland, I have no idea what to do with both names the board at No. 5.
"But when Atlanta closed the deal (up to # 4), we knew we were taking Darius," he told Altman. "That just made it good to give up. "
Altma n ranked the Cavs "Best Available Player" in the second year of rebuilding. If there are two smaller guards in two consecutive seasons, so be it.
A little story: In 1986, the Cavs decided in the second round for Mark Price. The next year, Kevin Johnson chose the first round. Both point guards. Johnson was traded to Phoenix in the midst of his freshman year as part of a deal that brought all-star striker Larry Nance to Cleveland.
In the meantime, Price and Johnson became All-Stars with their respective teams.
Not to mention, the Cavs are about both guards. It's meant to show that good players always have value – either for their own teams or for someone else.