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What future draft picks do the Cavaliers have?

With the first wave of free agency finished, the Cavs have given away some of the picks gained through Chris Grant's pick hording. With a potential Kevin Love trade looming, an inventory of the Cavs' future draft picks is warranted.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been very active in this free agency period, through a trade, and signing that LeBron James guy. The roster hasn't experienced a ton of turnover, but simply by adding LeBron, Andrew Wiggins, and Mike Miller, and by  trading Jarrett Jack, the Cavs have taken several steps forward. As the initial shockwaves of free agency die down, the Cavaliers could still be looking to make moves. The Cavs have continue to be linked to Ray Allen, and are reportedly a destination that Kevin Love would consider re-signing with if traded.

If the Cavaliers are looking to pull off a Kevin Love trade, or to otherwise be active in the trade market, they'll likely need to part with multiple draft picks. The Cavs had an impressive stockpile of future picks when David Griffin took over, but that has since dwindled considerably.

The Cavs have shipped away several draft picks since the 2013-2014 season began. What was once a formidable stockpile looks fairly modest now in comparison, and sadly a lot of the picks the Cavs have traded were used to undo the fantastic summer of 2013 free agent signings that Chris Grant made.

First, the Cavs dealt three picks to Chicago in the Andrew Bynum/Luol Deng trade: the heavily protected Sacramento pick from the J.J. Hickson trade, the lottery-protected right to swap 2015 1st-rounders, and a 2016 2nd-round pick from Portland gained in a 2013 draft-night trade.

Then, in the Spencer Hawes deal, the Cavs dealt two of their 2014 second-rounders, which ended up being picks no. 39 and 52, to the Philadelphia 76ers. This was a part of Philly's Cheap Laborpalooza 2014, and left the Cavs with only the 33rd pick (They acquired Dwight Powell, the 45th pick, later via trade).

Finally, the Cavs dealt away yet another 1st rounder in the Jarrett Jack deal. Their 2016 1st rounder, which is top-10 protected, went to the Celtics.

That's six draft picks in all going out in the past year, with only two (Powell and a 2015 2nd-rounder from Boston) coming back. The Cavs will still have a few picks available in the coming seasons, but the pick horde is not as strong as it once was. Here is the current list of draft picks the Cavaliers will have (or not have), through 2017:

The less-favorable of Cleveland and Chicago's 2015 1st round picks

Here's how the first-round pick swap with the Bulls will work. If the Bulls have a lower-slotted 1st-round pick than the Cavaliers in the 2015 Draft, the Cavaliers and Bulls will swap picks. If the Cavs have a lottery pick, however, no swap can occur. If the Bulls have a higher-slotted pick than the Cavs, no swap occurs. Confused? Here are three hypothetical scenarios:

Scenario 1: Bulls pick 24th, Cavs pick 19th


Scenario 2: Bulls pick 22nd, Cavs pick 30th


Scenario 3: Bulls pick 25th, Cavs pick 13th


In all likelihood, that third scenario doesn't happen, as it implies a LeBron-led team missing the playoffs. It's probably a toss-up whether the swap happens if both are playoff teams, and a lot of that will likely depend on the health of Derrick Rose.

This pick will also be subject to this rule regardless of if the Cavs trade it. Similar to the Atlanta/Boston/Brooklyn three-way decision tree with the Nets' pick in the 2014 draft, the receiving team would just fill in for Cleveland in each scenario. Therefore, if, say, the Timberwolves got the pick in a Love trade, THEY would get the less favorable of Cleveland and Chicago's picks, and Chicago would get the other.

Miami's 2015 1st rounder

The Cavaliers will likely cash in this pick in 2015, as it's top-10 protected, and with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade back, the Heat are a likely playoff team. Where it falls is anyone's guess at this point because the East is wide open, but odds are it will land somewhere from pick 20 on, so while it's an added first and likely to be available in 2015, it's still unlikely this will end up being a very attractive pick in trade talks.

2015 2nd round picks

The Cavaliers have their own 2nd rounder and a 2nd from Boston........that's protected for picks 31-55. They aren't seeing that one, so that's basically pointless.

2016 Cleveland 1st round pick to Boston

Boston has the Cavs' 2016 1st rounder, which is top-10 protected through 2018 and unprotected in 2019. Again, this is likely going to Boston in 2016, because I don't foresee the Cavs in the lottery again any time soon.

Memphis's 2015 1st rounder

I'm putting this here because the protections on the Memphis pick are weird. The pick is protected for picks 1-5 and 15-30 in 2015 and 2016, and for picks 1-5 in 2017 and 2018, with it becoming unprotected in 2019. Memphis is likely in playoff contention this coming season, as they have basically the same team coming back and won't be crippled by playing Tayshaun Prince absurd minutes. However, 2016 might be a different story, as Marc Gasol will become a free agent in the 2015 summer, and without him Memphis could be a lot worse. So, it's likely 2016 or 2017, when the non-lottery protections come off, that the Cavs get this pick.

However, this pick is perhaps the most attractive asset the Cavaliers have in terms of draft picks. Because it is guaranteed to be a lottery pick if conveyed in 2015 or 2016. It's a quality asset, especially if Zach Randolph experiences rapid decline or Marc Gasol leaves in 2015.

2016 2nd round picks

The Cavs will have the same situation in 2016 as 2015: Their own pick plus a 31-55-protected 2nd. The difference is that this one is from the Clippers, and is actually likely to be conveyed. It would require the Clippers to have a top-5 record in 2016; with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin around, the likelihood of that happening is infinitely higher than the Celtics doing the same next year. So, two picks in 2016's first and second rounds mean that the Cavs could be active in sending out picks for 2016.

Cleveland's 2017 1st rounder

The Cavs have this pick, and there's an important point that goes with it: It's not tradable. Due to the Stepien Rule, teams can't trade 1st-rounders in consecutive drafts, and since Boston has Cleveland's 2016 1st, they have to keep their 2017 1st. The Cavs can set up a pick-swap rule, which Brooklyn has done with several of their picks, but that likely isn't appealing given LeBron/Kyrie/Wiggins being fully unleashed in 2017.

Cleveland's 2017 2nd round pick

Yup, got this one too.


So, as it stands, the Cavs have two extra first rounders, and two extra second-rounders that are unlikely to be conveyed. They also have all three of their second rounders, which is nice, but the issue is that only one of their own first rounders can be made available in the next three drafts, and even then, that first could end up being at the tail-end of the draft depending on Cleveland and Chicago's successes in '14-'15. The Cavs still have some draft picks to work with in a potential trade for a star, but they really don't have the wealth of assets they did one year ago.