Nov 30, 2013; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) and center Joel Embiid (21) react after a score during the game against the UTEP Miners at the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Early Dual ESPN 2014 NBA Mock Drafts

While this is traditionally NFL Mock Draft season, with the NBA swinging into New Orleans for the All Star break ESPN has posted 2 2014 NBA Mock Drafts (Insider, $). With the Cleveland Cavaliers on a 4 game win streak the team, and the fans, hope that their draft selection is much lower then currently slated, in these drafts 6th and 7th. Lets take a look at their picks, its odd to only have 1 first rounder for the Cavs after 3 years of having 2.

Jeff Goodman

7. Aaron Gordon | PF | Cleveland Cavaliers

College: Arizona | Age: 18 | 6-8 1/2, 210

The Cavs fired GM Chris Grant last week and it’ll be interesting to see if acting GM David Griffin will be in power to make the call once the season ends. Cleveland needs to prioritize character here, and Gordon gives them a hard-playing forward who will continue to improve his weakness — shooting the ball.

A non-shooting power forward doesn’t address the needs of the Cavaliers, even if they are drafting this high. This pick is another reason that shooting for the playoffs is a better idea then trying to tank at this point. If Gordon is the best they can do by tanking, the team is not bound to improve. Gordon does have excellent athleticism and touch. A rim protector or a knock down shooter, especially if he is a small forward, would fit better. In Goodman’s draft that means either Willie Cauley-Stein, James Young and Rodney Hood

Chad Ford

Marcus Smart 

Cleveland Cavaliers

COLLEGE: Oklahoma St. AGE: 19 HT: 6-4 WT: 225 POS: PG

Cleveland Cavaliers | 5.4 percent to win lottery

Analysis: Owner Dan Gilbert made a trade a few weeks ago for Luol Deng, hoping that by the end of the season the Cavs are in the playoffs, not in the lottery. The odds are pretty heavily stacked against them. The more likely outcome is the Cavs fall just far enough down in the draft to essentially kill their chances of landing a top pick. However, if the Cavs are in the Nos. 6 to 10 range, there’s still plenty to be happy about. Take Smart. The Cavs have several offensive-minded players on a team that’s coached by a guy who craves defense. Smart is an absolute terror on the defensive end and would be a lethal companion in the backcourt with Kyrie Irving. You can play two point guards when one of them, Smart, is built like a tank. Plus, he brings all the leadership qualities to the table that the Cavs desperately want and need. In short, after pulling his hair out with the likes of Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett, Mike Brown should establish at least a semblance of the defensive identity he craves with Smart’s help.

Smart would be an interesting pick to fit with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters on the team. Smart is strong “tank” like player but with Jarrett Jack still on the team adding a 4th undersized guard may not make a lot of sense either. If Waiters or Jack get moved Smart may be a better use of resources. Smart’s maturity issues could be problematic for a Cavs team that hasn’t overcome theirs yet. Cauley-Stein, Hood, and Doug McDermott are available in this draft as well. Smart would be very controversial.

As the Cavs start to make a push towards the playoffs are you watching the college game as well thinking of the Cavs next year? Who jumps out at you when you look at their drafts, especially in the middle of the round, that you think could benefit the core of this team? Or do you not care as we are looking at it way to early?

Tags: 2014 NBA Mock Draft Cleveland Cavaliers

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