Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/28/13
Youre starting an NBA franchise from scratch and you own the third pick. Who do you take? Heat start LeBron James has been chosen No. 1. That makes sense. Hes a three-time league MVP and the games best player. Thunder forward Kevin Durant goes second. Hes the second-best player, a scoring machine and still only 24 years old. So, who do you take? Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, perhaps? Its something to think about. Irving is 6-foot-3 and a point guard who can score. Hes the reigning Rookie of the Year, current Eastern Conference player of the week and an All-Star reserve. Last week, he became just the fifth player in league history to score at least 30 points in three consecutive games before his 21st birthday -- joining James, Durant, Bernard King and John Drew. Thats some pretty good company right there, kids. Irving is dynamic all the way around. Itd be difficult to find a better ballhandler. He can get to the basket whenever he darn well pleases. Hes lethal from the perimeter, as evidenced by his 61-percentg shooting in the previous three games. Oh, and hees extremely clutch. FOX Sports Ohio play-by-play man Fred McLeod has dubbed Irving, Mr. Fourth Quarter, and he really is. Now that we know about Irving, lets take a look at some others youd have to consider (in random order): DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings: Unbelievable talent and throwback on-the-blocks guy who can really pass. But about those knucklehead issues Kevin Love, PF, Timberwolves: Modern-day Moses Malone who scores, rebounds and possesses range extending beyond the three-point line. But about those non-committal issues Tony Parker, PG, Spurs: Four-time champion, reigning Western Conference Player of the Week and a point guard in the truest sense. But former Cavs GM Wayne Embry always said small guards lose their legs on the other side of 30. Parker turns 31 in May. Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls: Former MVP has to be strongly considered. When he was healthy, he was the leagues fastest player with the ball. On the downside, hes coming off a major knee injury and has missed the season. No telling what hell be when he returns. Carmelo Anthony, F, Knicks: Putting together his best season yet and a relentless scorer who can stick it in your face from anywhere. But is he a good enough team player? Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers: An absolute specimen and physical freak who soars through the air like a superhero. Compared to other superstars, however, hes somewhat limited in the halfcourt. Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics: Another guy whos definitely in the conversation. Assist machine, outstanding defender and can score despite his lack of an outside touch (although thats improving). But like Rose, Rondo has a major knee injury. That makes him a bit of a question mark. Josh Smith, PF, Hawks: Nice player. Not the third best in the league. Maybe not even in the top 10. Kinda gets on management's nerves, too. No thanks. Jrue Holiday, PG, Sixers: All-Star reserve who doesnt get nearly enough credit. Also still young, as hell forever hold the distinction of being the first person born in the 1990s to play in the NBA. But we probably wont know if hes better than Irving for five or six years. Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers: Hes played half a season. He deserves serious consideration. Similar in many ways to Kyrie, but without the yo-yo-like handle. But any time a guy is frontrunner for Rookie of Year in a strong draft class, as Lillard is, you gotta take him seriously. James Harden, SG, Rockets: Flat-out deadly in the open floor, ably driving to the basket and finishing or drawing fouls. A good teammate, strong ballhandler and proficient perimeter shooter. Still, continues to seem like more of a No. 2 guy or if No. 1, someone who needs a strong 1A. Anthony Davis, PF, HornetsPelicans: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft clearly has NBA ability, and the looks of a potential star. But Davis cant seem to stay healthy so far. And there you have it: The potential franchise guys. Most warrant thinking long and hard. Many have yet to reach their peak -- which is the idea behind finding a guy around whom to build a team. So, who do you take with the No. 3 pick in the franchise draft? At the very least, Kyrie Irving has your mind spinning. Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: Joey Bosa, Chargers close to a resolution

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

Report: Tony Romo could be placed on short-term IR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker