Another couple of weeks have gone by – sorry for the lack of spin last week, the NFL Draft and my day job got in the way – and the Cavaliers continue to battle with a handful of other teams for lottery supremacy. Previously, we had said that it was tough to envision the Cavaliers climbing much further up the lottery standings from sixth-place, but, oh man, did we underestimate how dark things could get surrounding this team.
As things stand now, the Cavs are sitting in a tie for fourth-best odds with the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves. So, yeah, things have been that bad. It’s difficult to see the Cavs winning again this season, and truthfully, that might be the best thing for them.
Editor’s Note No. 2: We did this spin immediately after the loss on May 5 to Portland.
Mike Anguilano: Jalen Green. The Cavs need a scoring threat with some size and ability to self-create, and Jalen Green fits that and then some. He’s a bouncy 6’6” wing who can score at all three levels, in transition, and shows good awareness in cutting to the basket. His ability to generate shots off the bounce and finish through contact brings a threat that the Cavaliers do not have right now. Learning to be a willing and able passer would do wonders, too, as his playmaking was not big strength in the G League. Bulking up a little will help a lot, too, as his wiry frame will hurt him defensively and in absorbing the frequent contact he will face in going to the rim. The guard/wing room would be interesting with Sexton, Garland, and Okoro, but that should not impede the Cavs from taking Green. The scoring intangibles are there and elite at 19-years-old. That would be enough for the Cavaliers to pull the trigger.
Chris Manning: At No. 4 in this scenario, the Cavs go with Jalen Green from G League Ignite. As we’ve outlined before in these exercises, he profiles a needed scoring and creation punch that the team needs could use alongside the players it currently has and is building with. You can definitely make arguments for other players, but I think he’s just the obvious pick here. Cleveland also feels like a good landing spot for him, as he won’t be asked to create the entire offense on his own from day one and Isaac Okoro can play with him and take on the harder defensive assignments.
Danny Cunningham: The Cavs are in a really good spot here. This is a draft that’s pretty widely considered to be five players deep as far as franchise-changing guys go, and moving up to fourth is a huge win. The two guys left on the board in consideration are Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga, both of whom played for the G League Ignite last season, instead of taking the traditional college route. I’ll echo what Mike and Chris did here and select Green, although I suspect that it’s a tougher choice for me than it was them. I’m pretty high on Kuminga as well, but he’s a bit more of a project. Green is a silky-smooth uber-athlete that’s going to step on the floor and be the most athletic guy 90% of the time. While his basketball acumen still needs fine tuning, he projects to be an All-Star level player that plays above the rim and actively makes his teammates better.