With the NBA’s return plan having just been approved, we are now finding out that eight teams have already played their last games. The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of those teams. But does this benefit the franchise?
The Cavaliers finished their shortened season with the record of 19-46. This being last in the Eastern Conference, and second the last in the NBA. Being one of the bottom three teams in the league, the Cavs will be tied for the best odds for the number one pick in the upcoming draft. Obviously this opens up some good options. The lottery will likely be different this year, but the bottom standings of the league are locked up and this guarantees the Cavs higher odds for the top pick.
Should Cleveland Trade the Top Pick?
The Cavs are going to have likely a top five pick; why trade it? The top pick has tremendous value and can be paired with Kevin Love and his absurd contract. The only way this pick gets traded, though, is if Koby Altman is desperate to get rid of Love. If the Cavs are in a position to win next year, Love likely won’t be a starter if he is still a part of the team. He’s never been a great fit in Cleveland. It may be time to move on if this is an option. Packaging the top pick is likely the only way another team will bring in his contract. The Cavaliers have to get the most bang for their buck with the return in the trade.
Another thing to think about is Andre Drummond. His player option for next year is worth $28.75 million. Although he’s a top center, he probably won’t be offered nearly as much in free agency. Depending on how he feels about the situation in Cleveland, he’s likely going to accept this. That means more money on the books for the Cavaliers this upcoming season. All the more reason to trade Kevin Love. But, this free agency class isn’t particularly the strongest, so they could look to clear the books more towards the next season to bring in more high tier players. Cleveland will be looking to build around Drummond, likely, being their best player. He’s a dominant rebounder who could thrive with the right players around him: shooters and playmakers. The Cavs are loading up on those players year after year.
This year’s draft is very guard heavy, and the Cavs will likely move away from tradition and select a forward or a big with their top pick. But, are any of those players worth selecting in (possibly) the top three? If there is nobody desirable there, they could be looking to trade down into the lower lottery and maybe add a solid rotational player as well. Unless they believe a guard like LaMelo Ball or Cole Anthony is too good to pass up where they are selecting.
Scouting is a huge priority for Cleveland because this offseason is going to determine the long term future of the team. It’s going to impact the players that are rostered and potential free agents in the future. It will be essential for them to take things one step at a time and this starts with the draft. The lottery will be on August 25th and the draft on October 15th.
I think although we won’t be able to watch the Cavs again this season, it will be beneficial for the franchise’s future. Let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @TShelt23. Check out our forums and basketball section as well.