#5 pick should be slated to make their own Cleveland Cavaliers history

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

There is very, very little history when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the fifth overall pick in the draft.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently set to have the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as KJG’s own Grant Puskar hit on regarding that news from Thursday. No, as of now, the Cavaliers will not likely be able to have the ability to get a playmaker such as LaMelo Ball of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks.

The Cavs could potentially look to make a trade with the Golden State Warriors with Ball on their minds, though, as the Dubs have the second pick. Plus, with them realistically being contenders next season, assuming Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will be ready to roll, they might be interested in trading back with the Cavs, for instance, while adding a depth piece such as perhaps Dante Exum and Cleveland’s fifth pick.

In any case, even at number five, the Cavaliers should be in a good spot if they do stay put, as Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell detailed. Cleveland could land a high quality defensive prospect, such as Auburn wing Isaac Okoro, who could be a versatile defender even 1-4 (in plenty of matchups).

Florida State’s Devin Vassell (at wing) or Patrick Williams, in the hybrid 3/4 sense, could be really solid contributors in the near future and could very well be available for the Cavs, too. As could USC big Onyeka Okongwu, who had 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per outing in his lone collegiate season.

Perhaps the Cavs could look to draft Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton, who could mesh especially well with Collin Sexton, and realistically take over the starting 1 reigns over Darius Garland, as KJG’s own Amadou Sow illustrated.

Haliburton had 6.5 assists per game and at 6-foot-5, could be a better long term fit than Garland, though his shooting mechanics are definitely wonky and Garland at least has considerably higher pull-up potential, so we’ll see and if Cleveland can add better defensive pieces around him.

So in any case, what is evident, if the Cavs do end up picking at #5, is that the Wine and Gold have very, very little history with the fifth pick in the draft.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have only had one fifth overall selection in their history.

The Cavs have drafted some outstanding players at #1 of course, such as Brad Daugherty there in 1986, the squad’s GOAT player in LeBron James in 2003, their original big-time scorer in Austin Carr in 1971 and Kyrie Irving in 2011. Tristan Thompson at #4 in 2011 paired with Irving has carved out a rock solid career with the Cavs, too, and at #7 overall in 1970, Cleveland’s first pick in their franchise history, John Johnson, was a highly productive player, too.

There are of obviously other examples that jump out as well, such as Zydrunas Ilgauskas at #20 in 1996, and Terrell Brandon in 1991 at #11, among others.

Granted, the Cavs have had their share of flops, such as realistically Dion Waiters at #4 in 2012, Anthony Bennett at #1 in 2013, and others. The draft is hardly an exact science, as us Cavaliers fans definitely know.

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Anyway, what is pretty interesting, though, is that the Cavs have had such little history when it comes to the fifth overall pick. The aforementioned Garland, who again had his struggles last season and in the scoring sense, was underwhelming and only shot 40.1 percent but had encouraging playmaking feel, is it.

There have been no other instances when the Cavs have picked #5 outside, so that pick will be able to make their own Cavs history, if the Wine and Gold remain there.

With the Cavs’ approach in coming years, I’d imagine that pick could definitely be a key contributor, and if that’s Okoro, Vassell, Okongwu or maybe Deni Avdija of the I-BSL’s Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, in particular.

Avdija, along with those first two mentioned, would project to have much higher potential than Cleveland’s current starting 3 Cedi Osman; Avdija was mocked to the Cavs recently by CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish, too, for context.

So again, with the Cavaliers having very, very little history when it comes to picking fifth overall, and that only being Garland, they could make their own history in the near future for the Wine and Gold. That’s opposed to some other picks that have more history or players that have had a considerable impact for Cleveland, for instance, such as the aforementioned Ilgauskas, Price or Thompson.

We’ll see what plays out in regards to that, and for a quick update, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported how the NBA’s Board of Governors and NBA commissioner Adam Silver had a recent conference call and discussed possibly moving back the 2020 NBA Draft from mid-October. They did the same in relation to the upcoming free agency period as well, which is slated for following the draft, as is status quo.

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It will be really intriguing to see what happens with that #5 pick for the Cavs, and if they remain there. I have a strong feeling that pick will make a significant impact for the Wine and Gold, too.