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Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly exploring trading for a pick in the 20s or 30s

Could Koby Altman get the Cavs involved in next week’s draft?

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers only have one pick in next week’s draft, with what would have been their first round pick (No. 26 overall) going to the Indiana Pacers in the Caris LeVert trade. And the pick they currently own (No. 49 overall) isn’t even their own, as it comes via the Indiana Pacers.

However, the Cavs could look to move up and, per The Athletic’s Sam Veceine, the Cavs are looking at moving into the late 20s or 30s. From Vecenie’s write-up:

Sources across the league have said Milwaukee, Phoenix and Cleveland have explored potential opportunities to move up into the late 20s and 30s due to the depth of prospects on the wing and potential NBA-ready, older rotation players. Everyone explores deals this time of year, and you could probably write this sentence about any team. But those three do seem to be teams to watch.

Two phrases stick out there. The first is “wing”, which is Cleveland’s biggest roster need by far. The second is “NBA-ready, older rotation players” because the Cavs could use players who can contribute right now. Some names in that range to consider: Belmont wing Ben Sheppard; Xavier product Colby Jones; Connecticut product Andre Jackson; and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson.

Specific names for the Cavs are hard to peg, as they are one of the team’s that decline to release information about pre-draft workouts. So, for now, look at wing and older players (and by old, that means in the 20 to 23 range, which is only old by NBA Draft standards.)

The other question is how this could get done. The most obvious way for Cleveland to trade up would be to combine the 49th overall pick and/or a future pick and money to move up in the draft. Cleveland has done this before too — that’s how they got the pick that became Kevin Porter Jr. in 2019.