Pity the poor Cleveland Cavaliers. They win the NBA draft lottery in what is arguably one of the weakest classes in recent memory.
There isn't anything close to a sure thing. Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Ben McLemore and Otto Porter occupy the top of most experts' draft boards, but what they can bring the Cavs is debatable. They're either an injury risk (like Noel), don't fit an immediate need (McLemore and Bennett) or would be a reach as a top pick (Porter).
As a result, Cleveland might be looking to shop the first pick.
Here are the latest updates on a couple of the Cavaliers targets, along with an update on Andrea Bargnani's situation in Toronto, because the Raptors will need all the help they can get to find a new home for their unwanted forward.
Kevin Love's Off Limits to Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have a lot of flexibility with the No. 1 overall pick. They can hold on to it and draft a player like Noel or Porter. Or they could trade the pick for an established starter.
Kevin Love's name has been thrown around a bit, but it appears Cleveland will have to look elsewhere. Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico reported the Minnesota Timberwolves have no plans to part with the star big man:
Source also repeated what different source said earlier in week: Wolves going out of way to make it clear Kevin Love is not available.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 1, 2013
Although Love was hurt for most of this season, it's easy to see why Minnesota would want to hold on to him. He and Ricky Rubio give the Timberwolves one of the most exciting young teams in the league. There's no guarantee somebody like Noel would match Love's production or impact.
In 18 games this year, Love averaged 18.3 points and 14.0 rebounds. Of course it was in 2011-12 that the 24-year-old forward demonstrated what he can do, averaging 26.0 points and 13.3 points a game.
Love's contract could become a bit of an issue, but Minnesota would likely be able to hold out for much more should it put the player on the market.
Scratch DeMarcus Cousins Off the List Too
With Love not an option, the Cavaliers might try to look at trading for DeMarcus Cousins. The only issue is that the Sacramento Kings don't appear willing to trade the troubled big man. In fact, Cleveland might have a hard time finding many suitors whatsoever, according to the News-Herald's Bob Finnan:
The Cavaliers are poised to make a major deal this summer.
Unfortunately for many fans, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins might not be the object of their desire.
They have the ammunition to acquire a player like the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins. The Cavs have the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft to dangle in front of teams. However, one source said, they might be finding out there isn't as much value in that pick as they had hoped.
In most years, teams wouldn't consider trading that pick. This isn't most years. The 2013 draft has the reputation of being short on star talent.
Cousins has had plenty of well-publicized problems on and off the court. Things got so bad the Kings even took the step of suspending the 22-year-old. Of course, if Cousins weren't as talented as he is, Sacramento would have cut ties with him long ago.
The three-year pro averaged 20.1 points and 11.7 rebounds a game this season. Last year, Cousins led the league in offensive rebounds.
It's the totality of his game that makes Cousins so good. He's such a solid rebounder and scorer that you don't find players like him every year. At this point, he's also young enough that you think there's still time for him to get his career on track and follow through on his massive potential.
Andrea Bargnani's Available if You Want Him
If the Cavs are still having a hard time trading the No. 1 pick, they should talk to the Toronto Raptors. They'd be more than happy to part ways with Andrea Bargnani for almost anything at this point, according to ESPN's Mark Stein:
First order of biz for new Raps GM Masai Ujiri: Word is he'll shop Andrea Bargnani everywhere he can in hopes of moving him before July 1— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 1, 2013
Bargnani is still due roughly $22.25 million over the next two seasons. It's going to be hard for Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri to get any team to take on that kind of commitment given what little the 27-year-old big man has done this year.
Back in the 2010-11 season, Bargnani looked like he'd follow through and make the Raptors look smart for drafting him No. 1 overall in 2006. He averaged 21.4 points a game and added 5.2 rebounds. His numbers fell off slightly last year but then plummeted this season.
Bargnani averaged only 12.7 points a game on 39.9 percent shooting. The advanced numbers are even worse. He's got a PER of only 11.2 and had an offensive win shares total of -0.5. Think about that. Bargnani actually gave the other team a better chance of winning because of his poor offense.
That's not a good sign for a player who's never been known for his good defense.