The top 5 of the 2011 draft, which has already seen Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones drop out of it, seems to have had yet another shakeup. Per ESPN.com’s Chad Ford:
Valanciunas update: Sources say buyout agreement close, however, buyout won’t allow Valanciunas to play in NBA next season.
If Valanciunas can’t play in NBA next year, he’ll drop. Cavs won’t take him at 4. Still I doubt he slips past the Rockets at 14.
This is huge news. Valanciunas seemed like a natural fit for the Cavs with the #4 pick, but now everything has changed. If the Cavs take Irving with the #1 pick and the Jazz take Enes Kanter with the #3 pick, the best non-point guard prospects on the board are Jan Vesely, Bismack Biyombo, and Kawhi Leonard, and none of them have Valanciunas’ combination of size, efficiency, and upside.
The Cavs could change their plans up and take Derrick Williams with the #1 and a point guard like Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker with the #4 pick, but neither Williams, Walker, or Knight are anywhere near as safe of a pick as Irving is. It’s been a rough year for the Cavaliers all the way around, and things just got a little bit tougher for them.