Bleacher Report has right idea suggesting Cavs should keep #5 pick

Auburn Tigers forward Isaac Okoro blocks a shot. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Auburn Tigers forward Isaac Okoro blocks a shot. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Bleacher Report suggested the right move for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2020 NBA Draft in the overall sense.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently slated to have the fifth overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. While it did land a top one or two pick, and it seems pretty certain that at least at that spot, the Cavs won’t be able to land gifted playmaker LaMelo Ball of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, Cleveland should be able to land a quality player.

Auburn Tigers Isaac Okoro, the Florida State Seminoles’ Devin Vassell, the USC Trojans’ Onyeka Okongwu, and I could maybe see the Iowa State Cyclones’ Tyrese Halburton there and perhaps Cleveland could target him.

Deni Avdija of the I-BSL’s Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv could be in the running for the Cavs at that #5 spot, too. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish recently had Avdija selected by Cleveland there in a mock draft posted on Friday as well, which seems reasonable.

Clearly, prioritizing the defensive end in the 2020 NBA Draft, to me, should be Cleveland’s primary focus, and the aforementioned targets fit into that approach. Nonetheless, per a report on Monday from Sports Illustrated‘s Sam Amico, one NBA executive “strongly” believes that the Cavs will end up trading their #5 pick, and will not be wanting to add another draft pick/seemingly an “unknown.”

Amico noted that “several other SI sources” also said that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants to see the Cavs well on the path to winning next season and “generating interest.”

Amico mentioned how that opposing NBA executive alluded to how the Cavs would be interested in a potential trade for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, for instance in that regard, which is understandable. But it’s not at all realistic for the Cavs to be able to do so, as Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell detailed. Plus, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (subscription required) reported how the Sixers still want to give Simmons and Joel Embiid some more time together.

Philly recently fired head coach Brett Brown and wants to give their next head coach time to work with those two young stars, per Charania. These comments from Philly general manager Elton Brand went further into that, though, they might just be GM speak, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

Anyway, it’s still such a ways away from the mid-October draft, of which could reportedly be moved back as well, and to me, given that the Cavs could benefit from adding this #5 selection and still be able to build up their young pieces, such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr. and Darius Garland, and have Kevin Love, I’d still expect them to use that pick. It’s tough to read a ton into that Amico report at this point.

Moreover, Bleacher Report had the right idea when it comes to the fifth pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In regards to the draft, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report had frankly, the right idea when it comes to Cleveland’s fifth overall selection. The Cavs could land again, a high quality defensive piece, most notably, at their pick.

Here’s what Favale said for possible routes the Wine and Gold could go at #5, and he stressed how the Cleveland Cavaliers should indeed keep their draft pick.

"“Prioritizing a 3-4 feels like the best call. Without a regular-season sample from Dylan Windler, the Cavs’ only real wing prospect is Porter, insofar as you consider him a wing. Deni Avdija seems like a no-brainer if he slides past the Chicago Bulls at No. 4.Things get interesting if he’s off the board or Cleveland wants less of a long-term project. Isaac Okoro or Devin Vassell are both nice fits yet could be available later, in which case trading down would have its merits.But the Cavs aren’t exactly set on the frontline. Kevin Love isn’t finishing his contract in Cleveland. Tristan Thompson probably leaves in free agency. Andre Drummond will pick up his player option, but his future with the team beyond next season is uncertain at best. Larry Nance Jr. cannot be your lone big-man building block.Obi Toppin and Onyeka Okongwu are the most logical investments if the Cavs wish to shore up the frontcourt long term. Both should be available at this spot, and since the same can be said for wings beyond Avdija, Cleveland doesn’t have much of an incentive to strike a trade in any direction.”"

Whether or not a trade-down deal is a possibility, I’d be perfectly fine if Cleveland just went ahead and took Okoro, who is as switchable as it gets in this draft defensively, or Vassell, who has impressive defensive feel also and is a polished pull-up shooter.

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The same would go for Okongwu, especially with the uncertainty involving the expiring Tristan Thompson, along with Andre Drummond, at least as far as beyond next season goes it would seem, as Favale pointed out.

Okongwu, who is very switchable and is a polished post-up player already, could be a very logical pick, too, and he could help in the rim protection department in coming years. He has outstanding team defensive/rotation feel, and had 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per outing in his lone collegiate at USC.

Toppin, while he should be able to score at the next level pretty well early on, has question marks defensively and is already 22, so that I’d be less on-board with, in comparison.

In any case, Favale had the right idea in the overall sense here in suggesting the Cleveland Cavaliers should keep their fifth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. That selection should help out pieces such as Collin Sexton, Cleveland’s 2019-20 leading scorer with 20.8 points per game, to go with Porter, if they went with a quality defensive piece more so.

I still believe Love will honestly play out this next season for the Cavs, too, and it’s more feasible for him to perhaps be moved before the 2021-22 campaign.

In my opinion, if they went with a wing, if Dylan Windler can be mostly healthy next season, a player such as Isaac Okoro could lead to wing being a key strength, from a collective standpoint. That’s factoring in Cedi Osman, more so from a rotational sense for the near future, for context.

Next. 3 realistic options for the Cavs at #5 in the 2020 NBA Draft. dark

Anyhow, Favale had again the right idea here for the Cavs.