Cavaliers 2023 offseason primer: The Draft
At first blush, the 2023 NBA Draft may not seem very consequential for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They head into the draft with just the No. 49 pick, with the Indiana Pacers owning Cleveland’s first-round pick from the Caris LeVert trade. Yet that doesn’t mean the Cavs have to do any less work than other teams.
For starters, the Cavs only have a single pick, one shot to add a low-cost player to develop. They need to nail that pick, and any of a number of options might be available to them. Smart money is on the Cavs drafting a wing or forward, but in a draft where there appear to be huge differences of opinion, dozens of players could go before the Cavs pick or fall to them at 49.
Some options for the Cavaliers to draft at 49 that we have looked at here on the website:
- Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State
- Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara
- Jordan Walsh, Arkansas
- Julian Strawther, Gonzaga
- Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan
- Kobe Brown, Missouri
The other thing to keep in mind is that the Cavaliers are preparing a full, in-depth draft board that starts with the No. 1 pick. They can’t afford to be unprepared if the situation changes on them. What if the Dallas Mavericks call and offer the No. 10 pick in a package for Jarrett Allen? Cleveland has to be ready. What if Portland calls and offers pick No. 23 for Isaac Okoro. Can the Cavs afford to be ignorant of the players on the board? No; they need to be prepared for anything.
Whether it’s free agency, the trade market or the draft, the Cavaliers will try to build a better team this offseason. Will they be successful? That’s a question a lot of people would like to know the answer to.