The Boston Celtics reportedly made an offer for the Cleveland Cavaliers to move up in the upcoming draft.
There will be plenty of rumors to come, and trade speculation involving Wednesday’s draft and more to come following that, one would assume. In regards to the 2020 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers could very well be in that speculation to come, too.
It appears they already have been, anyhow.
The Boston Celtics, who have the #14, #26 and #30 overall picks in the upcoming draft, have seemingly expressed interest in moving up.
That’s according to a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who noted the C’s “have offered up their three first-round picks (nos. 14, 26 and 30) in trades to try and move into the lottery, but multiple leagues sources say they intend to reroute that pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Jrue Holiday.”
O’Connor did then state how Boston would still need to make the salary-matching work from there.
Granted, in also in a recent report/mock, while he did seemingly touch on how Boston could look to go a number of ways, Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney stated how the Celtics “have been enamored with Auburn wing Isaac Okoro all year and would target him if they move up and he is on the board.”
Deveney then expressed how the Minnesota Timberwolves (#1), Golden State Warriors (#2), Chicago Bulls (#4), Cavs (#5), Atlanta Hawks (#6), Detroit Pistons (#7) and New York Knicks (#) have all been shopping their picks to move back. Albeit Deveney then emphasized how there’s not been much interest in squads “looking to move up, though, according to sources.”
But in any case, swinging back to the Cavs and Boston here, it seems as though the Cavaliers are a squad the C’s may have reached out to for a potential deal.
That was per a report from Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer. Here was more on that from Pluto’s recent piece when asked about a potential rumor involving the Cavs.
“A: I heard Boston offered the Cavs their No. 14 pick and another first-round pick to move up to No. 5. The Celtics also have picks No. 26 and 30 in this draft – a total of three first-rounders.”
For piece of mind, though, it’s good to know that according to reporter Sam Amico of Amicohoopsnews.com and Sports Illustrated, he doubts Cavs general manager Koby Altman/the team would accept that Celtics proposed deal for #14 and say, #26.
The Cavs would be in the right to decline that potential C’s offer.
For Cleveland, they’d be in the right to decline that Celtics offer, as I’d much rather the Cavs just stand pat at #5. Moving back that far for their first selection wouldn’t seem wise; the lower first I could understand them being on-board with more, but the Cavaliers, as Amico hit on, have their share of youngsters already.
While I’d not be a huge fan of him, given major defensive concerns, Cleveland would be better off, if he’s on the board, going with Obi Toppin, whose a polished scorer, at #5.
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While again I’d much rather the Cavs go with Deni Avdija if he’s there, whose reportedly a prospect that’s seemingly in the same boat as Toppin for the Cavs’ preferred selections there, per The Athletic‘s Jason Lloyd (subscription required), Lloyd did note that Altman is really high on Toppin.
Factoring in that and a plethora of recent mocks having the Cavs go with Toppin, he seems increasingly likely to be Cleveland’s pick there.
I’d be much more on-board with Isaac Okoro, arguably the best defensive prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft at #5 as well if he’s there, along with Onyeka Okongwu, for instance, over Toppin, who might not be there, though. But Toppin to Cleveland again, would seem to be the highest likelihood for now.
Given that while we’ll eventually have to see what shakes out, Pluto hit on how he thinks it’s unlikely the unrestricted Tristan Thompson will be back, and also how Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell reported that Andre Drummond will likely be traded at some point, seemingly more so near the deadline, the Toppin pick appears all the more likely.
He was more from Dammarell on that, though, to clarify, who stated Drummond should be likely to opt into his $28.7 million player option for next season by Thursday, but probably won’t be signing an extension, so at some point, he should be dealt.
Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor recently stated in a mail bag set of responses that if the Cavs were to trade Drummond, that he believes their “best chance” would be near the 2021 deadline, for further context here.
So at any rate, though, for the Wine and Gold, who have their share of young pieces, such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler, and with this draft not being the strongest, they’d be in the right to decline Boston’s potential offer.
All things considered, I’d expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to hold true at #5. And though Cleveland was last in the NBA in defensive rating the past two seasons, and there’s major defensive question marks about Toppin, I guess I’d understand it for a quick offensive impact player in his minutes-share.
Toppin had 20.0 points per game on 63.3 percent shooting in 2019-20 at Dayton, which included him hitting 39.0 percent of his three-point attempts. He’s reportedly been viewed by some within the Cavs as being a potential Kevin Love replacement for if Love were to be moved down the road, but we’ll see.
Moreover, the Cavaliers, if they were offered by Boston that above proposal from Boston, would be in the right to decline it. I like prospects such as Aaron Nesmith maybe, and potentially a reserve point guard such as Nico Mannion, but them as impact players early on and consistent rotation players would seem to be a question mark given Cleveland’s roster construction.