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Cavs Cavs Archive Cavs Land Shannon Brown
Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky
Well, the Cavs got the guy I wanted, landing Michigan State guard Shannon Brown with the 25th overall selection. In this immediate reaction piece, I give my thoughts on Shannon and break down his game for curious Cavs fans. I love what Shannon brings to the table, and feel he has the opportunity to make an immediate impact with our beloved Cavaliers. In this reaction piece, I applaud the Cavaliers for the selection and break down Brown's game for curious Cavs fans who may not have had the opportunity to see him play in college.  With the 25th overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Cavaliers were able to land Shannon Brown, the talented guard from Michigan State, and also the guy I successfully predicted the team would land in my mock draft earlier in the week.

Not only is this the guy I wanted, but I feel he will be a perfect fit for the team and log significant minutes as a rookie replacing Flip Murray, who is an unrestricted free agent and will not be brought back.

Shannon Brown is a kid I got a chance to see play on several occasions in college playing for one of my favorite coaches in Tom Izzo at Michigan State. He can knock down the long range jumper. He is adept at putting the ball on the floor and getting to the hole. And he’s an amazing athlete who is excellent in transition, which is the most overlooked need for this Cavalier team in my mind. Brown is a highlight film waiting to happen, and took second place to our very own LeBron James in the high school slam dunk contest in 2003. The thought of LeBron, Larry Hughes, and Shannon running the fast break as a trio is enough to make this Cavs fans mouth water.

Brown also defends incredibly well. The Cavs desperately needed a guy that can defend the top of the key, and were shredded by the leagues top point guards on a regular basis last season. From what I saw, Shannon always got the Spartans toughest match-up defensively, irregardless of whether or not it was a waterbug like Dee Brown, a shooter like the Buckeyes Je’Kel Foster, or a 6’6 swingman like Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker.

He had a huge year for Michigan State last season, and steadily improved durin each of his three years in East Lansing before entering the draft after his Junior year.  Brown averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a year ago for Izzo .. shooting 47% from the floor, 83% from the line, and just under 40% from three point range.

Not many of the pundits figured Brown would still be around when the Cavs selected. Rumored to go somewhere between 11 and 20, and widely regarded as the best overall athlete in the draft, Shannon slipped as several teams selecting before the Cavaliers took guys off the board that were being projected to go much later. At #18, the Wizards took the Ukranian Oleksiy Pecherov. Sacramento followed with Rutgers gunner Quincy Douby, then the Knicks inexplicably selected South Carolina swingman Renaldo Blackmon, who was thought of as a mid second round pick. Boston, New Jersey, and Memphis all took guards off the board … but selected Rajon Rondo, Marcus Williams, and Kyle Lowry respectively. Which left Brown available for the Cavaliers at #25.

The knock on Brown, and the reason he was still available at our pick, is that he is slightly undersized as a NBA shooting guard, and doesn’t have true point guard skills. That said, he’s not a poor ball handler, and ran the offense pretty frequently for Michigan State. And with the Cavs having guys like LeBron and Larry (who are great distributors) on the floor so often, this team can definitely get away without having a “true” point guard on the floor at all times. If Brown was 6’5 or 6’6 … he’s a no-brainer top eight pick.

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