Cavs questions, answered.
Your reaction to the Cavs getting the third overall pick was….
Imari McPherson (@Imari_M17): Slight relief. I think everybody would’ve liked to have the top pick, but finally picking earlier than fifth is an improvement. I like the projected top-3 prospects that might be chosen, so I’m good with whomever the Cavs pick…unless Koby has something up his sleeve.
Leah Nemeth (@leah_nemeth): : Once the Cavs made it past the first commercial break, we ‘won’ the night in my mind. There’s no wrong pick at magic No. 3 — in other words, the Cavs simply can’t screw this up on July 29.
Patrick Andres (@pandres2001): This whole lottery deal is pretty easy, all things considered (this will be the 20th draft held in my lifetime, and barring a trade the Cavs will have picked in the top five in eight of them). Then again, the whole “being bad” deal probably helps. I wonder if other fanbases, writers and pundits are annoyed by our success yet…
Jackson Flickinger (@Akron_Jackson): Elated! This is the first time during this rebuild the Cavs have a chance to add a franchise cornerstone. They couldn’t have picked a better draft to have this happen in as well.
Corey Walsh (@Common_Cor): Pure relief. I went in thinking we would have a pick 5-7. It sounds spoiled when you realize how lucky we have been in the draft since 2011 but, when you look at our odds in past years and what picks they translated to it has been more on the unlucky side of the coin. At the end of the day though Kevin Love for all the shade thrown his way by Cavs’ fans this season, delivered us this golden goose by giving us good karma vibes for that absolute offensive barrage he delivered onto Boston.
Who is your first choice with the No. 3 overall pick?
IM: My first choice with the number three pick would be Jalen Green. While I don’t think you can go wrong with Jalen Suggs or Cade Cunningham, we have to see who’s left after the first two picks. Green looked to have a level of comfort playing in the G-League and I think his talent is pretty evident. Plus, having that experience of playing against tougher opponents than he would have in college couldn’t hurt either, all while averaging almost 18 PPG. That’s the guy I want.
LN: The Cavs will likely have a shot at six-foot-six G League scoring machine, Jalen Green. Scoring in basketball appears to be a good thing and the Cavs just happen to be really bad at it. From what I’ve gathered, Green can put up points in a variety of ways. He averaged nearly 18 PPG on 46% shooting last season. I’ve seen comps to both Ray Allen and Zach LaVine (fierceness of Kobe!). What’s more, I like the allure of drafting a G-Leaguer, who competed against better players than his college-drafted counterparts.
PA: Treating Detroit taking Cade Cunningham as a certainty, Evan Mobley should be the Cavaliers’ top target at No. 3. He’s a long, athletic two-way big man who would immediately raise this team’s defensive profile — Cleveland finished with the sixth-worst defensive rating in the NBA, and Mobley’s 2.6 defensive win shares were second only to Utah State’s Neemias Queta in Division I. Jalen Green, despite being a guard and the Cavs having many guards, would be a great choice here, too — such is the luxury of life with the No. 3 pick.
JF: Give me Green. I love what he’s shown in the G-league during the bubble. He has the skills to be the focal point of a potent offensive attack. Green’s skillset, athleticism, and work ethic should pair well with Garland who has seemed hesitant so far in being the primary scorer. Guys with Green’s offensive skillset and size don’t come around very often. I think he’s the hands down favorite if he’s on the board.
CW: It is 100% Jalen Green. I said it on the post-draft green room but when I look at this team with the lineup possibilities of Garland, Sexton, and Green I get flashbacks of the Suns’ team in the 2015-2016 season. Does anyone else remember how fun it was to watch them balance the skill sets and minutes of Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, and Isaiah Thomas? No? Just Me? Anyways, what Green provides is a level of freak athleticism and height at the guard position that I don’t think we will see from either Garland or Sexton barring they hit a late 2-3 inch growth spurt. Green is also a very crafty and efficient finisher on the glass. I would be lying to you all if I said I haven’t spent the better half of Wednesday watching full Ignite G-League games...no, I don’t have a problem.
What option scares you the most?
IM: Trading the pick scares me the most. 100%. I alluded to it during the first question. We can only speculate what any front office might do, and hindsight is 20-20, so while I certainly wouldn’t want to trade that top-3 pick, it COULD help bring in an established player that would help Cleveland win more. As long as it isn’t Ben Simmons.
LN: Trading the pick. Just don’t, Cavs. Dont. (Also Houston taking Green at No. 2, but the Cavs can’t lose with this draft class at No. 3).
PA: Throwing this pick, the highest the Cavs have had in seven years, at a hypothetical Ben Simmons reclamation project seems unwise, in my opinion!
JF: Jalen Suggs. I don’t think he fits alongside either Garland or Sexton as easily as Green or Mobley do. I also don’t think he has the offensive upside either. While Suggs will be a very good NBA player, the path to being a franchise altering talent isn’t as clear with who the Cavs already have on the roster.
CW: The option of the Cavs’ brass looking at the three pick and thinking that either of the guards (Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs) doesn’t fill a need of the “core four” and trading down for picks or players. I understand that we are always open to collecting more assets but I don’t think the Cavs would be a better team by passing on Green and instead of taking a combination of whoever is available with picks from the Thunder, Magic, or whichever team wants to trade up.
Would you consider any trade involving the No. 3 overall pick?
IM: Again, unless that pick is going to bring in somebody relatively established that will help this team win more than 20 games next season, I don’t think there is a trade I’d consider. Any trade would be pretty tough without moving Kevin Love’s large contract anyway. So keep Love (for now), keep the pick and draft the right guy to help the Cavs win.
LN: I mean, noooooo. Absolutely no.
PA: It’d have to meet a pretty narrow set of criteria — maybe Oklahoma City badly wants to move up for some reason and opens its war chest in order to do so? Without a Godfather offer, I’m standing pat if I’m Koby Altman and Co.
JF: I would. There are multiple scenarios where I could see a team like Toronto, Oklahoma City, or Orlando wanting to trade up if their guy is still available at 3. If the Cavs fall in love with someone like Jonathan Kuminga, I think it would be wise to try and trade down to a spot where you know Kuminga will still be on the board while picking up a couple assets in the process. Conversely, if Detroit isn’t as in love with Cunningham as we think they are, the Cavs are in a position to possibly trade up for him. The third pick offers a lot of flexibility for moving up or back. Trading out of the draft is something I wouldn’t consider unless you’re offered an All-NBA talent which I can’t envision happening.
CW: When rebuilding you should never close your mind to what could be out there. Honestly, though, I do not see myself wanting a combination of what the Thunder or Magic has to offer. This is a very top-heavy draft in terms of bonafide stars and I want the cream of the crop. Even though Scottie Barnes should be available at six...
On a scale of 1-10, how big of a win was jumping up to No. 3?
IM: I’ll give it an 8. Considering our highest chances were picking 8th or 9th, picking at 3 is a nice jump. What prevents this from being a 10, is that you can pretty much find talent anywhere in the draft these days, it just depends on how that player turns out. Picking 10th wouldn’t have been the end of the world.
LN: I give it a 9 — once we knew we were top-three, I saw stars and wanted #1. Otherwise it’s a 10.
PA: 8, and only the uncertainty that comes with the team’s desire (per Woj) to “accelerate their rebuild” prevents it from being a 9. This was a huge, needed win for this franchise after a weird, up-and-mostly-down season.
JF: 10. With this draft and the Cavs current state of the rebuild, they needed to move into the top three. The Cavs have many good pieces, but don’t currently have the guy. The Cavs now have a chance to get the guy while having supporting pieces already in place for whoever they draft to grow alongside. This isn’t a position the Cavs have been in with any of their previous rebuilds.
CW: 10. The Cavs’ have a team full of young players who I would give A-’s and B+’s. That was through our developmental process not because of who they were when we picked them. Each of them had struggled in their rookie year only to grow through the rookie year and especially in their sophomore year. If we get either Green or Mobley then we have a player with the highest ceiling we have had to work with off the bat. To say I am ecstatic is truly an understatement.