As we have covered the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season hopes are coming to a close. A win by Atlanta or a Cavaliers loss and the post-season dreams are done. Which puts Cavs’ fans back in a familiar position: Thinking about the NBA Draft. Dan Gilbert and the rest of the Cavaliers clearly marked last year’s lottery win as the last time they wanted to return to said lottery. The team still has the possible miracle of Nick Gilbert again so anything could happen.
Chad Ford has been tracking some of the teams at the low end of the standings all year for his Tank Rank article (Insider, $) on ESPN. The Cavaliers have been all over those rankings this year but have regularly been noted as “Trying” as opposed to “Tanking.” In this week’s article Ford also lists the Top 3 prospects that each team would have interest in. For the Cavaliers there is little surprise:
Given concerns about losing Luol Deng this summer, Parker comes in at No. 1 for the Cavs, followed by Embiid and Wiggins.
Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins fill the whole that would be left by Luol Deng while Joel Embiid would give the Cavs an interior defensive presence, that could develop a solid back to the basket game. Any of the 3 players would add significantly to the Cavs current roster, but all 3 should be gone by the time the Cavaliers pick, currently slated between the 9th and 11th pick. The Cavs would have to win the lottery, come on Nick 1 more time, or trade something of value to move up.
Could any of the Cavs current players make it worth some team to move down a few spots? Could a veteran like Anderson Varejao, or his partially guaranteed contract, a future 1st and the Cavs pick be enough? Would the Cavs, and other teams, be scared off by Embiid’s back injury?
The draft could have some interesting depth but for the Cavs the focus will be at the small forward spot and center position above everything else. Shooting, athleticism and defense should be sought after as much as possible.
Who are your Top 3? Who could be available a little later where the Cavs will pick that you would love?