The Cleveland Cavaliers could be the center of the NBA Off-Season with their cap space, trade assets and the #1 overall pick. With the draft just 9 days away Chad Ford took another swing at his NBA Mock Draft (insider, costs $), this time version 8.0. He has an interesting amount of information on the Cleveland Cavaliers selection and notes about other options:
1 Joel Embiid Cleveland Cavaliers (33 – 49) COLLEGE: Kansas HT: 7-0 WT: 250 POS: CEmbiid’s workout and interview in Cleveland last week were major successes, according to sources close to the Cavs. Embiid did a full workout there in front of the Cavs’ front office and owner Dan Gilbert. Multiple sources said that the team was blown away with the workout. Embiid even ended one session by launching and nailing a series of 3s. Directly after the workout, two different sources told me that Embiid was the strong favorite to be drafted by the Cavs. Even Gilbert was on board.
However, there have been conflicting reports coming out of Cleveland about Embiid’s physical, with one report stating the Cavs found multiple red flags. That’s been strongly disputed by the sources I have, but getting accurate information this time of year is especially challenging. I don’t see the incentive for the Cavs to leak that the physical was bad. It lessens the value of the No. 1 pick, especially considering that they are still looking at multiple trade options. The only way leaking it makes much sense is if they are thinking of swapping picks with the Sixers and want Embiid to fall to them there.
Regardless, the team also gets Andrew Wiggins (on Wednesday) and Jabari Parker (on Friday) in this week. Right now, I continue to believe Embiid is moving closer and closer to being the No. 1 pick, but if the physical was bad, a great trade offer comes in or if Wiggins or Parker blow the Cavs away in workouts, things could obviously change.
As has been reported Embiid’s workout went well and the Cavs are narrowing in on him. One interesting and great note is the series of 3s that he shot. David Griffin wants someone with range and hitting NBA 3 pointers is the definition of range. The Cavs won’t want him shooting those regularly but his ability to stretch the floor will allow Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and others to still drive the lane. Embiid could be the total package with a back to the back game, with fluid post moves, and the ability to both pick and roll and pick and pop. A more athletic, dominate version of Big Z would be an amazing get for the Cavs.
On defense the expectation is that Embiid will quickly become a force, though struggle with foul trouble. The Cavs may keep Anderson Varejao and Tyler Zeller around which could ease the problem is Embiid gets into foul trouble. Having him in the paint to block and contest shots would minimize the issues Irving has covering faster point guards. While Wiggins and Parker are still options it seems like Embiid is on his way to Cleveland. The possible smokescreen effort to get Embiid to fall to #3 is laughable but if they can pull off getting #10 and still get the guy they want it would be amazing. Young isn’t the type of asset you take a big gamble to acquire. Nerlens Noel or #10 in this draft might be.
It seems the only way the Cavs would move #1, besides for #2 or 3, is for a veteran player that they believe would help them get LeBron James back. Highly unlikely scenario but a scenario none the less.
Who do you hope for? How does Ford’s notes impact your thoughts on Embiid?