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Cleveland Pursues The Zen Master

Phil Jackson is said to be ready to get back into the game, and apparently, Cleveland is after him.

It seems like an unlikely pairing, as Matt Moore of points out, but having the chance to coach Kyrie Irving is bound to be tempting.

Still, as Moore goes on to point out, you need more than that to run the Triangle Offense and Jackson wants to be in the front office as well.

Cleveland is young and bad, but they have some good pieces to build around: Irving obviously, but also Dion Waiters. Tristan Thompson is still a very young player with a lot of potential. We could see Tyler Zeller becoming a really useful power forward, particularly in a running offense, if Cleveland can swing a competent center somehow.

As we are constantly reminded, this is not a great draft, but Cleveland should be picking fairly high. Charlotte has a 19.9% chance of finishing first while Cleveland is second at 15.6%.

If they finish in the Top Six, they'll likely wind up with either Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett, Trey Burke or Alex Len.

Burke may be redundant on this team, but either Noel or Porter would be a great addition and the others wouldn't be bad.

When they take their next pick at #17, they may find that either Giannis Adetokoubo or Rudy Gobert is still on the board, and either one would be an intriguing pick.

Danny Ainge saw Adetokoubo and said that the 6-10 point guard (wow!) reminded him of a young Scottie Pippen, while Gobert is seen as a young and thin big man with immense athleticism and potential.

But here's the thing: if you put out the Cavs with Irving, Waiters, Zeller, and (take your pick), Noel, Porter, McLemore or Len, then toss in either Adetokoubo or Gobert, you have a team that's suddenly imposing.

And while we realize that among these potential Cavs, that certainly Noel, Len, Adetokoubo and Gobert have a lot of work to do, here's the hidden part of that: Irving can make any of them far more effective than they are.

Call it the Kyrie effect. We saw it at Duke briefly, where he made Miles Plumlee look superb. After Irving's injury, Plumlee was not nearly as effective. Irving has the ability to get people the ball not just where they can use it and know what to do with it, but also where they're undefended.

By the way, we saw a photo of Adetokoubo's hand the other day. It might just be that he is very lanky and his hands are also long, but we were stunned at the size.  We've never seen any bigger than Elton Brand's, but Adetokoubo's may be longer still.

It's fun too to think of Noel and Irving on the same team, too: the fast break cold be devastating.