Cleveland Cavaliers Draft Report

Breaking down the Cavaliers draft picks and roster outlook heading into the NBA draft

2017-18 W/L: 50-32 2018-19 W/L: 19-63

Finished 14th in eastern conference (Missed Playoffs)

Team Needs: SG, SF, PF, C

Free Agents: Marquese Chriss, Channing Fyre, David Nwaba, Nik Stauskas

Under Contract: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Brandon Knight, Jordan Clarkson, John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Larry Nance Jr., Ante Zizic

Pick 1: 1st Round-5th Overall

Players who could be available and would fit with this pick:

SG: Jarrett Culver

SF: Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter

Pick 2: 1st Round-26th Overall

Players who could be available and would fit with this pick:

SG: Cameron Johnson, KZ Okpala, Matisse Thybulle

SF: Louis King, Kris Wilkes

PF: Jalen Mcdaniels, Nicolas Claxton

C: Mfiondu Kabengele, Daniel Gafford, Naz Reid, Goga Bitadze, Bruno Fernando

The Cavaliers are still waiting for multiple bad contracts to run their course, and they will be looking to unload some of that financial weight during the summer. After winning 50 games the previous season they fell to 19 wins in 2018-2019 once Lebron James headed to Los Angeles to join the Lakers. Due to the team being built with the intention of surrounding James with the right pieces, without him on the roster it was basically a band of bad contracts and misfits to a degree as Kevin Love only played 22 games for the season. Collin Sexton showed promise in his rookie season that he has the potential to become a top tier point guard in the league, and Jordan Clarkson put up solid numbers coming off of the bench. Assuming that Love is at full health next year the team should be better, but by and large until they shed the contracts of guys like JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and others, the franchise will be caught in between rebuilding and their contending past. Once they are able to get rid of those contracts or they run their course, they will be in a position to build around Sexton and hope that he along with other draft picks can lead the team to a strong future. Their first round pick will most likely come down to a decision between multiple wings such as De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Jarrett Culver. Any of these three players would fit with the style of play that Sexton brings to the table from the point guard position, and it will mainly be a question of which player the franchise views as the best of the group. There is a possibility they shock fans and reach for a big man like Jaxson Hayes or Bol Bol but that would not seem like a likely scenario at this point. 

The 26th overall pick also belongs to Cleveland and it will give them another opportunity to give Sexton another first round talent to distribute the ball to. How they decide to go with their first pick will play a large role in what selection they will make with the 26th pick, however they could still take two players who primarily play the same position with the plan to put them on the floor together. KZ Okpala, Cameron Johnson, and Kris Wilkes all would make sense here with their ability to play at either the shooting guard or the small forward position. Louis King could also theoretically play either wing position but he is more primarily a small forward, although he would fit well next to Jarrett Culver if they were to select the sophomore with their first pick. There is a possibility that they could take a big man with this pick and there will be plenty of options available, being dependent on what type of big they want to have on the roster going forward. Mfioundu Kabengele can shoot the ball from deep well, and players like Daniel Gafford or Bruno Fernando bring athleticism and interior shot blocking abilities. With another year of Tristan Thompson’s contract on the books, it would seem more likely that the team will wait to draft a big man once they do not have multiple players on the roster capable of playing the position. If we were picking for the Cavaliers, we would take Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter with the 5th overall selection depending on which player was available followed up by choosing another complimentary wing with the 26th overall. This would allow them to pair Sexton with two young and athletic wings who could all learn from a veteran like Kevin Love. However they elect to go with their picks, they have a chance to select two players who can help lead them into the future and for the franchises sake, more wins in life after Lebron. 




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