Grading Cleveland Cavaliers Latest mock draft from ESPN

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 24: Marvin Bagley III /

In Cleveland Cavaliers mock draft news, ESPN recently released its latest selection, with these two players set to wear Wine & Gold next season.

For the first time in a long time, a Cleveland Cavaliers mock draft is exciting.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Wine & Gold have been winning, so the lottery has become less of a focus ever since Cleveland won the No. 1 overall pick and used it to select Andrew Wiggins.

But with the Cavs’ trade of Kyrie Irving to Boston, Cleveland acquired Brooklyn’s pick, which could be a top-five pick. Granted, the lottery balls will ultimately decide how the draft order plays out, but for the sake of doing a mock draft, ESPN used team records to determine its order.

Here’s how it worked out for the Cavs.

1. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

Mohamed Bamba is certainly a top five prospect, and taking him at No. 5 just makes sense.

Cleveland lacks a true rim protector, and Bamba would come to the Cavaliers as an elite shot blocker.

But one skill set alone doesn’t make the case for a top five pick.

For Texas, he’s averaging 10.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per contest. He’s a 60 percent free-throw shooter. Bamba is a considered  to be a “freak athlete,” but his offensive game is very raw.

You’ll see him do things like this, and you’d take him right now.

Arizona center Deandre Ayton may be more preferred at this point because he’s a better offensive option right now. The freshman is averaging 19.6 points, 11.2 boards. He can also be a solid rim protector, but he’s no where near the shot blocker–statistically anyway, that Bamba is currently as Ayton is swatting 1.3 shots per game.

Alas, Ayton is around for the Cavs at No. 5. The mock drafter has his talents being selected by the Kings at No. 3.

European sensation Luka Doncic went No. 1 to the Bulls. Cavs GM Koby Altman has scouted the Real Madrid product overseas, according to ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Rizzo.

With the second pick, the Suns end up with Duke power forward Marvin Bagley while Ayrton goes third. Injured MIzzou product Michael Porter Jr. went to the Hawks at No. 4.

It’d be hard to argue against picking Bamba because of his upside, but he’s by no means a sure thing. At some point, LeBron James will not be playing for the Cavs, and the team is going to have to find some offense somewhere.

Perhaps Bamba’s game develops. Maybe it doesn’t. Christian Eyenga was a “freak athlete,” but the comparison is unfair because he was a wing. With Bamba, the Cavs would, at the very least, be getting a player with one elite skill.

Grade: B+

2. De’Anthony Melton

At No. 25, the Cavs get De’Anthony Melton. It’s hard to grade Melton because he hasn’t played this season. He’s sitting out as a result of the huge FBI investigation that rocked college basketball earlier this fall.

Looking at his stats from last year, it was nice to see him average 3.5 assists per game as a freshman. However, on the downside, he shot just 28 percent from 3-point-territory.

Your guess is as good as mine as to how depth at the point guard position will play out next season.

Isaiah Thomas hasn’t played a game and can be a free agent. If he plays well, will the Cavs resign him?

Even if IT returns, Cleveland’s going to need a backup.

Good wing players are the hardest players to come by, and perhaps the selection of a shooting guard or small forward would be wiser choice.

Next: Why LeBron leads the MVP race

Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-5 sophomore out of Syracuse, or Creighton junior Khyri thomas, who is shutting 46 percent from beyond the arc might be better looks:

Grade: C+