The Cavaliers at a Crossroads: Part Two

In my last post, I analyzed the possible free agency routes that the Cavaliers could take this summer. The one of the other avenues for improvement over the summer is the NBA draft where the Cavaliers currently are slated to have the 9th selection. Now I know it’s early and everyone would much rather focus on a playoff run but in the meantime, I wanted to bring up some of our draft options this summer regarding trade up scenarios.

Currently, the draft standings are:

1) Milwaukee Bucks

2) Philadelphia 76ers

3) Orlando Magic

4) Boston Celtics

5) Denver Nuggets (via NY Knicks)

6) Los Angeles Lakers

7) Utah Jazz

8) Sacramento Kings

9) Cleveland Cavaliers

10) Philadelphia 76ers (via NO Pelicans)

11) Charlotte Bobcats (via Detroit Pistons)

12) Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets)

13) Minnesota Timberwolves

14) Memphis Grizzlies

If the Cavs are currently picking 9th, what possible trade up scenarios are there? Well first off, what are the Cavaliers’ trade assets? I am not going to include Kyrie Irving in this section because he is not going to be traded. I am going to rank everything else as tiers due to the fact that each team will value players differently based on their needs.

Tier 1: Dion Waiters; Tristan Thompson; Anthony Bennett; 2014 Cavaliers first round pick

Tier 2: 2015 Memphis first round pick; 2015 Cavaliers first round pick

Tier 3: Anderson Varejao; Tyler Zeller; Sergey Karasev (Tier 3B)

Tier 4: A lot of second round picks

So, what possible trade could be made to raise the Cavaliers in the draft standings? Well, let’s look at the possible teams first:

8) Sacramento: Could a trade be made? Definitely. Sacramento is looking to win-now and could be tempted by a trade up involving Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller, and multiple first round picks. But why would the Cavaliers want to move up one selection? They probably wouldn’t. Let’s rule out Sacramento unless their position changes soon.

7) Utah Jazz: Could a trade be made? Possibly. Utah could use future assets but still too close of a selection to be worth the trade up.

6) Los Angeles: Could a trade be made? Possibly. I could see a trade be made with the Lakers because they need young, cost efficient talent. Would a trade involving the 9th pick, the 2015 Memphis selection and Tyler Zeller tempt the Lakers to move back a few slots? I could see it. Also, the 9th pick makes less money than the 6th pick.

5) Denver: Could a trade be made? Very Possibly. I think Denver is a team that is a likely trade up option in the draft due to their unique position in the top 5 due to a trade with the Knicks. I think that Denver could be tempted by a trade involving the 9th pick and one of our tier one young players. This is probably what it would take to move up to the 5th spot (though I don’t know that I would be willing to trade Dion Waiters or Tristan Thompson to move up four selections).

4) Boston Celtics: Could a trade work? I think so. Boston might be willing to move from the 4th pick back to the 9th pick if the Cavaliers offered the 9th pick, Dion Waiters, and were willing to take back the bloated contract of Gerald Wallace. I don’t think I could stomach the Cavaliers making this move though as it would tie up our cap space and also would not guarantee one of the top three players in the draft: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embid.

3) Orlando Magic: Could a trade work? Doubtful but maybe. The Magic are sitting in a position where they are guaranteed a player thought to be a potential superstar. Would they move back from the 3rd pick to the 9th pick if the deal included the 2015 Memphis pick, Dion Waiters and Sergey Karasev? I don’t know. It would be a tough pill to swallow. But a backcourt of Waiters and Oladipo with a collection of other young assets could be a tempting offer.

2) Philadelphia 76ers: Could a trade work? Sincerely Doubt it. The 76ers have been selling their fanbase on the promise of the future. Would they be willing to give up their superstar pick? The package would have to be substantial. Possibly a deal including the 9th pick, the Memphis first rounder, the Cavaliers top 5 protected 2016 selection, and a Tier 1 and Tier 3 player. That would be a tough pill to swallow for both parties though. The deal might even require two Tier 1 players.

1) Milwaukee Bucks: Could a trade work? No. Maybe the answer isn’t so blunt. I suppose there is a chance of anything. The Bucks owner wants to win. It has been well documented and his moves over the summer showed that. If the Cavaliers took back OJ Mayo and Zaza Pachulia and sent out Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao, the 9th pick, and the 2015 Memphis pick, I think that the Bucks would be highly tempted. A lineup involving Brandon Knight, Dion Waiters, #9 pick, Larry Sanders, Anderson Varejao, and Tyler Zeller as well as more help in the future on the way would have to be at least slightly tempting. Likely? No. Tempting? Maybe.

Are the Cavaliers going to be able to move up in the 2014 NBA draft? Probably not. But could they? Yes they could if they were willing to part with a lot of quality assets. I didn’t want to overvalue the Cavaliers due to hometown bias so I tried to make it realistic. Sometimes an offer has to be made that cannot be refused to get what is wanted. This was part two of my Cavaliers at a Crossroads series. I plan to have another column eventually regarding trade scenarios for the summer for special talents. Hope you enjoyed.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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