Report: Cleveland Cavaliers predicted to be active in Draft night trades

The first splash of the offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers may be in the middle of the 2024 NBA Draft.
2019 NBA Draft
2019 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Rumors are nothing more than words until verified sources are involved, and predictions surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers' intentions on draft night are just predictions.

However, Cleveland's unique position straddling contention while maintaining an exciting young core could sway them into making moves during either night of the draft. With their coaching search underway, the Cavaliers are poised for major shifts this summer, despite what the front office said during their end-of-season press conference. Donovan Mitchell's decision on a contract extension after the NBA Finals sets the stage for the rest of what Cleveland will do ahead of next season. If he stays, the Cavaliers must dive fully into becoming a buyer on the market, parting ways with beloved talents to upgrade and chase the Finals.

With pick 20 in the draft, the Cavaliers have a plethora of young talent who look NBA-ready from day one to choose from. Since this is their final team-controlled first rounder for the decade, Cleveland may plan to keep it and use it rather than dealing the pick in a trade. Instead, a new report by Bleacher Report predicts the Cavs could shift their roster in favor of adding another high-end pick from this pool.

"There's enough upside in this class that an early pick—probably paired with additional assets—should be able to deliver one of the stars being most talked about."

Zach Buckley

Three Cavaliers were named among the potential stars on the move from across the league. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen were all named. With endless rumors surrounding the future of Cleveland's core players, a mid-draft trade is far from impossible. Teams will have interest in making headlines, opting to part with a draft pick to get a guaranteed contributor. The San Antonio Spurs, who have two lottery picks this year, have been linked to Darius Garland since the news of his potential trade request first published.

Should the Cavaliers target draft picks in trades this summer?

Typically, teams entering a rebuild target draft picks in trades; however, teams in a transitional phase may prioritize draft compensation to include in a later deal if the right star or player is not offered initially. Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers accepted multiple picks as the core of a James Harden trade to the Los Angeles Clippers instead of playing hard ball for another star. Those picks, while not likely useful for the Sixers, would be a massive draw to any team ready to spur a rebuild.

If the Cavaliers can attain multiple first-round picks for the future in a deal this draft, they may bite the bullet and take the chance, especially if it opens up cap space flexibility sometime soon. While this draft is not expected to produce All-NBA players instantly, the possibility for the Cavaliers to add a ready-now contributor on a cheap contract might be enough to make the move.

More than draft picks, though, the Cavs should prioritize proven talent that complements both Mitchell and Mobley. While Mitchell's extension future is still in limbo, they will likely have an answer by the draft. If Mitchell is staying, Cleveland begins searching for the perfect final piece for the trio. Instead of taking draft compensation themselves, the Cavs can reroute it to another team in a three-team deal or in a second simultaneous transaction.

In the case that Mitchell signs and Darius Garland is available in trade, Cleveland can surely get a haul in return for the All-Star guard as B/R points out. A maestro point guard is valued wildly across the NBA, and the young Garland is no exception. Despite some playoff failures and a down season, franchises with a mismanaged offense would be overjoyed with Garland - and likely willing to pay a hefty fee to get him.

Again, every prediction is just one writer's thoughts until something happens. The Cavaliers will reportedly explore the trade market far more extensively than last summer, but the draft might not be the nights to do it. Cleveland basketball will be an exciting, nail-biting, drama-filled excursion no matter what happens or when it does.

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