Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft Situation: Must Land A Young Star

Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft Situation: Must Land A Young Star

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
3 min read

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

“If the lottery works out well, the Cavs could have the number one pick in the NBA Draft!” 

Cleveland has a tie for the fourth-highest odds at acquiring the first pick but they could also fall all the way down to the ninth pick in the draft. Oddly enough, with having the fifth-worst record in the NBA, the Cavs only have a two percent chance of falling in the five-hole and their highest odds have them landing all the way down at seventh. If Cleveland finds a way to fall outside the top five, their odds of selecting a franchise-changing player plummets significantly.

The Importance of the NBA Lottery

Players selected inside the top five have an average win share total of 57.38 over the course of their careers, while players selected between six through nine only average a win share of 35.68. While this difference of 21.7 win shares might not seem like much, it is slightly higher than Luka Doncic’s 21.4 win shares created over the course of his budding three-year career.

With that being said, stats alone don’t show how vital a top-five pick would be for this young Cavaliers roster. I believe there are four superstar players in this upcoming draft, and a fifth with the potential to reach All-Star status. Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs are bonafide dudes. While Jonathan Kuminga has star potential in his own right, I believe he is a step down from those four.

The easiest pick in this draft is Cade Cunningham. 

The only way Cleveland is getting Cunningham is if they land the first pick. Cunningham is a 6-foot-8 combo guard, who can also defend almost every position on the court. If Koby Altman selects Cunningham, he could finally field a roster with some potential to play some real defense. This selection would also fit nicely with Garland and Sexton as they would have another wing who could help take some scoring and play-making pressure off of their shoulders.

What if the Cavs Don't Get The No. 1 Pick?

While Jalen Green might not be as great as Cunningham, he has all the tools to make an immediate impact in Cleveland. Green is a much less versatile defender, but he is a pure scorer, who already proved he can shoot an NBA range three, knocking down nearly 37 percent of his attempts in the G-League last season. Green might find himself taken with the second pick in this upcoming draft, but some mocks have him falling all the way down to the fifth pick. 

Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs are both phenomenal players, but they don’t have much of a fit in Cleveland. The Cavs don’t need a rim protector unless they do not believe they can re-sign Jarrett Allen in his looming free agency. And if the Cavs draft another point guard, fans might commit a mutiny against this ownership. Although I think Suggs will become a much better player than Garland or Sexton, you’re stuck with the hand you’re dealt, and you have to at least try and make it work with the SexLand pairing. 

Trade Back?

If the Cavs can’t get any of these four players, I wouldn’t hate to see them trade back and pick up a Corey Kispert, Ziaire Williams or Johnny Juzang with a mid to late first-round pick. I’d also like the Cavs to acquire some second-round draft capital, and at least take a flyer on a player with a lot of potential like Brandon Boston or Joel Ayayi. 

I don’t have a lot of faith in this current front office to turn this Cavs team around, but if they can continue to show some signs of improvement, we might be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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