Draft day trades give Cavaliers a shot at signing top free agent targets

Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images
Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers were quiet on draft day. They didn’t make any trades, they didn’t acquire any extra draft picks, and they simply drafted Emoni Bates with pick No. 49 and went on with their business.

They were a rare place of calm in the midst of a chaotic day. Just after midnight ET the details of a three-team blockbuster trickled in, with Kristaps Porzingis heading to the Boston Celtics and Marcus Smart joining the Memphis Grizzlies. The Washington Wizards weren’t done, either, sending Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors for Jordan Poole that afternoon.

Draft night wasn’t jam-packed with trades, but there were some significant ones. The Dallas Mavericks pulled off two, trading back from 10 to 12 to offload the salary of Davis Bertans, then using that space to add the 24th pick when the Sacramento Kings wanted to offload salary of their own.

What do these trades mean for the Cavaliers?

Sometimes a trade occurs that has little effect on the Cavs; that’s likely the case with the Chris Paul – Jordan Poole swap. Yet for two of the other trades that occurred, there are significant shockwaves that could lead to a free agency coup for the Cavaliers. Both the Kristaps Porzingis trade and the Kings offloading salary could lead directly to Cleveland signing a starting forward in free agency.

Let’s take a closer look.