Trading back may be tempting for the Cleveland Cavaliers but they should resist it during the 2018 NBA Draft.
How the Cleveland Cavaliers determine the pros/cons of their handling of the eighth pick during the 2018 NBA Draft deserves more attention from a national level. They could go down so many routes that it is hard to actually pinpoint which way they are leaning right now.
Focusing on the possiblity of trading the pick, Cleveland does not benefit from trading back. They should not even consider it. The 2018 draft is filled with plenty of depth but is limited from an expectation standpoint of likely stars.
Regardless if LeBron James returns or not, Cleveland must hit on their draft pick and with just six to eight players having a higher ceiling than the rest, they have their work cut out for themselves. At eight, Cleveland at worst gets the last member of that group of players.
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If James returns, then great, the Cavaliers get someone to help compete against the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. If he does not, the eighth pick will be a focal point for the future. While a trade could benefit Cleveland, it likely won’t be a grade A transaction given the salary cap situation the organization finds itself in.
Besides, the player Cleveland prefers above everyone else may end up in NEO regardless of how he is viewed across the country. There is no consensus for the majority of the order ahead of them despite how close it is to the beginning of the draft.
Some teams may prefer to draft a point guard and then sign a center in free agency. The opposite scenario and many more could also be played out Thursday night. Cleveland meanwhile is the lone team that is not in a forced rebuild. Their options and situation is not like that of the Memphis Grizzlies or Sacramento Kings.
Cleveland could still take a top talent at eight while also trading away salary, which means they win twice. One way to do exactly that is by giving up Cedi Osman with a less than ideal contract for a rotational piece.
Unless Cleveland wants to save on the eighth pick’s salary, trading down is pointless. They will be in a position to possibly achieve what they hope for at eight or higher if need be.