The Cleveland Cavaliers, the way things are shaping up, will likely have another good shot at a top five pick. At least where we stand on Wednesday as far as odds, Cleveland would be set to pick fifth in the 2021 NBA Draft, per Tankathon. But of course, there’s still uncertainty with ping pong balls.
Nonetheless, even while the Cavs could, in theory, have a shot at getting into the postseason via the play-in, that still seems unlikely.
The Cavaliers have shown promise recently, and Cleveland knows what they have in Darius Garland, who has really put it all together lately, as KJG’s Dylan Conatser highlighted. The same goes for known commodities in Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen, and looking onward, Larry Nance Jr., I would think.
And though I believe his defense, even against so many difficult matchups throughout the season, has been solid, Isaac Okoro does need a full offseason to work on his offensive game more.
He wasn’t able to have close to that with this past offseason’s layout, and with rookies having the quickest draft-to-season turnaround in NBA history, given the COVID-19 impact with the schedule. Okoro has again hung in there, but he’s had only 7.8 in 32.0 minutes per outing, and hit only 28.3 percent of his three-point attempts.
He’s shown signs as a driver, has been an instinctive cutter, and if he can develop a pull-up game, could be much better off in the near future, though.
From there, in regards to Kevin Love, he has barely played with Cleveland this season due to a calf strain/complications with that, but perhaps he can get back in game action fairly soon. We’ll have to see, albeit with him, it’s unclear what the near future-outlook will be.
Maybe he’ll be a factor again sooner rather than later, and/or be more involved next season, but long-term, we could eventually see him traded, given the constant rumors. We’ll table that for now, though, and Love last season when he was mostly healthy did have 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per outing, and hit a career-best 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts.
In any case, for the Wine and Gold, it’s evident to me that with their next draft selection, which is reportedly set to be on July 29, a key scoring and/or third playmaking presence, with some regularity with the latter, must be a priority.
Clearly, at least for now, a handful of prospects that jump out in that realm are the likes of Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes.
More so at this point via potential trade-down scenario could involve the likes of Moses Moody, Franz Wagner, Jaden Springer and/or perhaps James Bouknight with Cleveland’s first pick in that scenario, but here, we’ll focus on the second prospect mentioned. That being Green.
Green’s all-around scoring tool box should make the Cavs strongly consider drafting him if he’s available for them.
To me, from I’d say #2 on, as Cunningham I’d take first, if the Cavs were at that #2 slot/below it, if he’s there for them, Green could be tough to pass up because of his scoring polish.