The Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans did not have many reasons to enjoy the 2018-19 NBA season. LeBron James left to join the Los Angeles Lakers, championship-winning coach Ty Lue was fired just six games into the season, and they had the league’s worst defense en route to a 19-63 finish.
There was hope for a better future, however, and that hope rested on the 2019 NBA Draft. The Cavaliers would come out of the draft with three first-round picks, including the No. 5 overall pick, Darius Garland. If the Cavs were going to turn things around, it seemed likely that the 2019 draft would play a pivotal role.
Was the 2019 Draft the reason the Cavs made it back to the playoffs?
That was…partially the case. Darius Garland was a starter on the Cavaliers’ first playoff team in five seasons, while Dylan Windler (26th pick) is still on the roster and Kevin Porter Jr. (30th) is on the Houston Rockets. It goes without saying that the drafting of Garland was a major moment in this group’s revival of the team.
How did the Cavs do with their three draft picks? Did they take advantage of the prospects on the board to draft the best player available? Well, not so much. Let’s walk through each of the three picks and grade the Cavaliers’ draft picks four years later. How did they do?