With the 2018 NBA Draft finally here, we don’t have a firm understanding of who the Cleveland Cavaliers should take with the eighth pick tonight. A lot of what they will do likely depends on what other teams do, starting at the second pick with the Sacramento Kings. Where the Kings go with the pick could end up setting off a cascade of events that either ends with the Cavs gaining another All-Star level player through trade, or end in them being stuck with less than desirable options. This is about to be a wild ride, and the Cavs will be stuck in the middle of it, with perhaps the highest stakes of anyone.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to synthesize the things that we’ve learned from the scouting reports we’ve released over the past few weeks. Much like the big board we put out after the draft lottery, We’ll go through pretty much all of the realistic options, which appears to exclude DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, and Jaren Jackson Jr. Pretty much everyone else should be up for grabs. Here are who I see as the best options for Cleveland as we head into draft night.
1A. Trade the pick
We know, we know. If you want a realistic expectation of what the Cavs’ options are, listen to Chris Manning on Locked on Cavs. The likelihood the Cavs actually make and keep this pick is probably slim, but just humor me in this exercise
1B. Trae Young
2. Wendell Carter
Not the sexy pick, but a versatile five that could really provide benefit for the Cavs’ offense with or without LeBron James. Click here for our full scouting report.
3. Michael Porter Jr
He might be damaged goods because of his back, but he’s about as good of a secondary scorer next to LeBron as you could ask for. Click here for our full scouting report.
4. Miles Bridges
A versatile 3-4 combo that fits well next to LeBron and has a small sliver of primary scorer upside. Click here for our full scouting report.
5. Mikal Bridges
Mikal could bring immediate 3&D impact, but he’s not at the same level of most of the players ahead of him. Click here for our full scouting report.
6. Mohamed Bamba
Bamba sounds like a good idea as a rim protector, but it’s unlikely he reaches his full ceiling in Cleveland. Click here for our full scouting report.
7. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Gilgeous-Alexander has plenty of question marks, but he seems like a strong lock to at least be an NBA role player. Click here for our full scouting report.
8. Collin Sexton
Sexton’s confident, he needs major development and he’s potentially another streaky shooting creator. Click here for our full scouting report.