November 22, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
49°F
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Exciting? No, but Cavs take correct route

Looks like the Cavaliers will have to survive without Rodney Stuckey, Nick Young, Sean Williams, Jared Dudley or Morris Almond.
This is not a bad thing, folks.
Unless we’re talking about someone like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon or, maybe, Greg Oden, the NBA Draft is usually much ado about nothing.
That’s why Cavaliers fans should not be upset at all that general manager Danny Ferry failed in his quest to acquire a pick in Thursday night’s proceedings.
See, unless you pick at the top of the draft, which the Cavaliers won’t do for a long time, or get real lucky later on, the best way to win an NBA championship is with proven players.
Sure, Daniel Gibson, taken with the 42nd pick in 2006, is going to play a bigger role for the Cavaliers in his second NBA season.
Sure, Shannon Brown still might turn out to be a decent NBA player. (We emphasize “might.”)
Sure, a Kevin Durant or a Mike Conley Jr. would look real good in a wine and gold uniform.
But other than a select few, the kids — and that’s what they are, kids — taken in the 2007 draft will not contribute even as much as aging veterans like Eric Snow and Donyell Marshall will next season.
For whatever reason, however, there is this overriding belief among most sports fans and media members that new is better than old, that potential is better than proven talent.
That’s why fans in Seattle got excited Thursday night when the SuperSonics traded Ray Allen for a bunch of players who aren’t nearly as good as him.
That’s why Boston’s Danny Ainge — how does this man keep his job? — keeps making trades and the Celtics keep taking part in the lottery.
And, as the best example of all, that’s how Isiah Thomas keeps fans and no-nothing media blowhards off his back in New York.
By acquiring big-name players like Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis and Jalen Rose, to name just a few, Thomas makes headlines and gives sports talk show hosts something to yak about.
He did it again Thursday when he acquired Zach Randolph from Portland. Never mind that Randolph is a selfish, me-first player who doesn’t really care about winning. Never mind that the Knicks already have a ton of selfish, me-first players who don’t care about winning.
Randolph’s got monster stats and he’ll be the new guy in town, so he’ll get a lot of headlines in the tabloids because he’s the latest savior of the Knicks.
When New York goes 35-47 or so and misses the playoffs again next season — or when it sneaks in as the No. 8 seed and is quickly eliminated — all those tabloids will be ripping not only Randolph, but Thomas once again.
We all know what will happen then. Thomas will make another trade to throw the media hounds off his scent, and Spike Lee will once again lead the hailing of that player’s arrival in The Big Apple.
Meanwhile, franchises like San Antonio, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix and, yes, Cleveland will quietly do some minor tinkering and tweaking.
It’s not the most glamorous way to go about things, but it is the right way.
So get used to it.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rickn@ohio.net.