The Cavs will have the 24th pick tonight, and there are a ton of variables that will dictate what they do. David Zavac laid out the options here, and it really depends on what's available. If they can find a trade, then great. If not, there are plenty of options available to fill depth at backup point guard, on the wing or up front. But which options are best for the Cavs? It's time to put it all together and take a stab at assembling a big board for tonight's options, if the Cavs keep the pick.
Tier 1: Best Case Scenarios
I've been back and forth between these two for a month as the best prospect for the Cavs to realistically end up with, and I'm settling on Hunter over Hollis-Jefferson. Both guys would be excellent backups on the wing, and bring different skill sets that would be useful; Hunter projects as a solid spot-up shooter who can handle the ball a bit, while RHJ projects as a highlight reel in transition and solid perimeter defender. What seals Hunter for me is that I think he'll be the more well-rounded player in the NBA, meaning that I trust Hunter to become at least acceptable defensively more than I trust Hollis-Jefferson to build shooting range beyond 10 feet from the hoop. Spacing is going to continue to be really important for the Cavs' offense moving forward, and I think for the benefits RHJ brings on the other side of the ball, surrounding LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love with spot-up shooters is key. I also think that Iman Shumpert is much more likely to be back next year than J.R. Smith, and as we saw in the last two rounds of the playoffs, a guy off the bench who can handle the rock and shoot is imperative to diversify the offense. I'd be happy with either, but I think Hunter fits better.
Tier 2: Run to the Podium if They're Available (They Won't Be)
Two great backup point guard prospects for the Cavs. Jones and Grant can both score and distribute from the point, and would make for great offensive foils to use in combination with Matthew Dellavedova to give the Cavs options behind Kyrie. I have Jones ranked higher because he's a better shooter and has more upside, but Grant probably would be more able to contribute right away. Unfortunately though, both guys project to go in the 16-20th pick range, where the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, and Dallas Mavericks could all use point guards. I'd be shocked if either was there.*
*-I didn't profile either of these guys, but I'd also slot Sam Dekker and Kevon Looney in this group.
Tier 3: Great Fits for the Situation
I'm irrationally high on Milutinov, but he fits really nicely as a potential Timofey Mozgov replacement in 2016 and will still be in Serbia next year so he won't be on the upcoming nightmare cap sheet. Plus he's supposedly making a late push for the first round, so it's in play. Wright, while not the same level of prospect as Jones or Grant, would fill in as a backup point guard who can finish inside and is the best defensive prospect of the three. Holmes could fill a Shane Battier-like role as a guy who can spot up offensively and defend power forwards next to LeBron in small-ball lineups. None of these three guys is exactly a sexy pick, but Cleveland is a great situation for all of these guys, in my opinion, and they could get use out of all of them.
Tier 4: Projects
Vaughn could be a fantastic future sixth man. Anderson could be a really nice 3-and-D prospect. Wood could potentially be a rim protector with a decent offensive game. Martin is a powerful combo forward who can pass.
But all four of these guys are probably going to require significant development time to be able to make an impact in the NBA, and have significant drawbacks that go with picking them. If any of these guys is the pick, it's not the worst thing, but there are definitely better options available.
Tier 5: Other Stash Options
12. Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain
13. Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania
Different skill sets, buyouts, and drawbacks, but the principle is the same with Milutinov with these guys. I just think Milutinov will fit what the Cavs want to do a lot better.
Tier 6: Nope
Brown just might not be an NBA-caliber player outside of his shooting, Harrell's an undersized power forward who can't shoot and struggles on the defensive glass - word to Chris Grant - and Alexander fell like a brick after I wrote about him and might not go before pick 40. I'm not a huge fan of anyone else, including Terry Rozier, Chris McCullough, and Jordan Mickey. I'd consider anything else very, very strange.
Let us know in the comments how your big board stacks up with ours! And Happy Draft Day!