The biggest trade chip the Cavaliers received from the Celtics in exchange from Kyrie Irving was the Nets’ unprotected 2018 first round pick. Because Brooklyn likely will be one of the league’s worst teams, that pick could fall near the top, or at the top, of the 2018 draft.
With the Cavs trying to win next year, there’s speculation that Cleveland could deal the pick in a win-now, and for LeBron James, move. And according to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the Cavs have already received “numerous” calls about the pick.
So far, it doesn’t seem as if the Cavs are inclined to deal the pick. With the team trying to set up a safety net in case LeBron leaves next summer, this was the asset they valued over everything else. Unless LeBron gives them assurances that he’s staying — which seems highly unlikely — it seems unlikely they’ll deal the pick.
And what kind of player would the Cavs deal that pick for? In all likelihood, only a younger, star level player whose under team control for the foreseeable future. Maybe that changes if LeBron says he’ll stay before the trade deadline. But if not, it seems more likely that the Cavs will hold onto the pick and take someone next June.