Currently, the Cleveland Cavaliers are slated to pick #3 in the 2021 NBA Draft, set to commence soon here on July 29. We’re less than a week away from the next draft.
With that selection, with it appearing that Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green could likely go 1-2 to the Detroit Pistons and then Houston Rockets, it seems that Cleveland could very well end up going with Evan Mobley at #3, per reports/rumors. You can view more on that here, via KJG’s Justin Brownlow.
The Cavaliers could possibly end up going with Jalen Suggs, or while I wouldn’t anticipate it, the maybe the likes of Jonathan Kuminga or Scottie Barnes could be in the cards. I wouldn’t expect that, though.
That said, regarding their pick, per a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, perhaps the Cavs could entertain a trade-down. Per O’Connor, the Cavs have received “significant interest” for this pick, and the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic, the next two teams set to pick following them, have “made offers to move up.”
With that in mind, should Cleveland consider those?
I’d much rather the Cavs veer away from moving their pick, and just hold true at #3.
With Toronto, perhaps Cleveland could acquire a future protected first-round pick in exchange for #3, or maybe they’d potentially offer their #4 pick to go with Malachi Flynn, who showed plenty of promise last season, in the case that they’d be targeting Jalen Suggs?
Per O’Connor though, Scottie Barnes is warranting consideration from Toronto with their pick, so it’s uncertain if Flynn could be a part of a potential offer.
Albeit from there, it’s tough to foresee a realistic framework for a trade with the Raptors that the Cavs would potentially consider, and again, while Toronto could possibly have offered a future protected first, I can’t at all say that with any certainty.
And additionally, with how the Raps needing more of a long term answer at 5 too, even with Kyle Lowry seemingly very well out the door, I’d much rather Cleveland not move back via swap with them, in the case that Mobley is still there. That’s even with the Barnes-Toronto rumors.
Moving along, while I could theoretically foresee the Cavs and general manager Koby Altman consider a trade with the Orlando Magic with them including the #5 and #8 picks for #3, and perhaps involving a swap of Taurean Prince (who is expiring) for Terrence Ross (two years left), I’d pass there.
I’d be a fan of Ross and his shot creation abilities, but that’s not enough of a sweetener to move back and seemingly lose out on Mobley, who I believe could fit long term with Jarrett Allen, Dean Wade and/or potentially others. That’s with him being able to play the 4 and 5 in coming years; albeit he does need to fill out at only 210 pounds, admittedly.
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So, point being, though I could understand if Altman considered a rumored trade framework involving sending Collin Sexton to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for their #14 pick and perhaps Jordan Poole, a trade-down, either with Toronto or Orlando from #3, I wouldn’t consider.
And for the record, even with me personally favoring just keeping Collin Sexton instead of dealing him, especially not in a potential trade with the New York Knicks, I could maybe get Cleveland’s reasoning in regards to Golden State.
Or, while I wouldn’t at all expect it to play out, if Sexton were included in a package, with Kevin Love and the #3 pick, albeit ideally a future protected first, for Brandon Ingram, who has popped up in trade rumors lately, that perhaps Cleveland would entertain.
I’m not sure if that’d be on the table from the New Orleans Pelicans, however.
Regardless, I’d rather Cleveland not trade their best scorer that just put up 24.3 points per outing last season in a potential deal involving Golden State, if that #14 pick is the key part of a return, and not even say, their #7 pick via the Minnesota Timberwolves. And that’s not reportedly on the table for Sexton.
In any case, circling back to the Toronto and Orlando rumored trade element, I don’t believe Cleveland should seriously consider making deals with them, with the Cavs seemingly having a chance at losing out on Mobley, in particular.
The 20-year-old USC product, though he needs to get stronger, is a very switchable big against perimeter players when needed, even at 7-foot, and is a terrific rim protector that had 2.9 blocks per outing as a Trojan in 2020-21.
His offensive skill set, of which will end up including stretch qualities I believe, is so multi-faceted, too, and his guard-like handle, touch and passing vision make it seem as if he has potential superstar written all over him.
Moreover, in relation to possible Toronto and Orlando trades in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Cavs should pass, and I believe they will/feasibly have.