As a Cleveland sports fan, it seems like my life cycle is measured by drafts.
Every April I age a year after having endured months of Cleveland Browns draft analysis. When the NFL Draft finally happens my annual recap is more about just being relieved that it's over than it ever is about the players that the Browns picked.
There isn't much time between the NFL Draft and the moment that NBA Draft Lottery talk hits full stride. Cleveland Cavaliers fans were spoiled for a few seasons while LeBron James was in town plotting the best way to ruin his reputation, but since The Decision every May has turned Cleveland into NBA Draft central.
It doesn't get any better for Cleveland once the lottery is over, either. Now that basketball-heads know the Cavaliers will have the fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 28th, my Twitter timeline and Facebook feed are in for a month of speculation and trade rumors.
I can handle all of those mock drafts and player rankings concerning the Cavaliers draft for the same reason that I could handle them for the Browns draft: there is more than one player or scenario that can really help the team.
The Cavaliers are picking behind the New Orleans Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats, and Washington Wizards. Standout Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis will almost certainly go number one overall to the Hornets, and while Davis is obviously at the top of the Cavaliers' draft board, there are four top picks after he's gone that can still help the Cavaliers build a contending core of players.
Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Florida's Bradley Beal, Kansas' Thomas Robinson, and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes can all step onto this Cleveland team and immediately make an impact on the roster.
Kidd-Gilchrist would be my ideal draft pick, but it's unlikely that he'll slip past both the Hornets and the Wizards regardless of their combined history of destroying rosters. Once Kidd-Gilchrist is off of the board, the Cavaliers are guaranteed either a playmaking wing player - either Barnes or Beal - to pair with 2011-12 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, or a super athletic forward court player - Robinson - to add ridiculous depth to a front court that's already headlined by Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson.
The common negative refrain that the Cavaliers have the fourth pick in a three player draft is off base. None of the four players after Davis are perfect, but really, neither is Davis himself. Thirty NBA benches, and the NBDL, are littered with the bodies of sure things. Just like there are 30 starting lineups that boast stars made from mid-to-late first round picks.
There is optimism to be had for Cleveland Cavaliers fans about this draft. There is optimism because of the players available, and more importantly, there is optimism because whoever dons the Wine and Gold next season will be learning from and alongside Kyrie Irving.
Josh Flagner was born barely a par 4 away from Downtown Cleveland and has been in a Browns, Indians, or Cavaliers hoodie ever since. Josh's sports obsession has led to him be a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and a Co-Founder of More Than a Fan.