Buying or Selling Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors Ahead of the NBA Draft
While the NBA Finals are still underway, plenty of buzz is being generated for teams out of the postseason as well.
With the 2013 NBA draft and free agency just weeks away, rumors are flying about which players will end up where.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the majority of the hype surrounding the team is focused on the draft, where they own the first overall pick. Who Cleveland will take is anyone's guess at this point, with several players making cases to go number one.
Which rumors surrounding the Cavaliers heading into the draft are pure fiction, and which are actually worth listening to?
Cavs Could Take Victor Oladipo No. 1 Overall
Oladipo is a great athlete and solid overall player who's been rising up draft boards ever since the first one was assembled.
Already 21 years old and coming off his junior season at Indiana, Oladipo doesn't possess the upside that other players in this class do, even if he may be the most NBA-ready.
Could he rise all the way to No. 1 overall? Chad Ford at ESPN.com says yes, according to his latest mock draft:
Sources say that Oladipo has moved into the Cavs' conversation for the No. 1 pick and also is under heavy consideration from the Magic at No. 2.
While Ford believes Oladipo could be in the conversation, I think that conversation would be a very brief one.
Oladipo is a great player, but he doesn't represent a position of need as a shooting guard, and doesn't feature the upside the Cavs look for to build their franchise around.
The Cavaliers have no doubt done their homework on Oladipo, but will not be calling his name on June 27th.
The Cavs Will Make a Play for Mavericks' 13th Overall Pick
The Dallas Mavericks are gearing up for a free-agent haul this offseason, and are rapidly looking to clear cap space to do so.
Owners of the 13th overall pick, the Mavericks may want to trade out of the spot in hopes of clearing even more cap space.
In a draft such as this, the 13th pick could represent a very strong talent. What this draft lacks in star power, it makes up for in depth.
Could the Cavs, who struck a draft-day deal with the Mavericks last summer, be pursuing Dallas' pick this year as well?
Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com says the Cavs have already inquired about the pick, but backed off after hearing Dallas' asking price.
The proposed deal of the Mavs' 13th overall pick and Shawn Marion for the Cavs' two second-round picks fell apart when Dallas asked for a 2014 pick from Cleveland.
Amico said that talks could be revisited, however, as the Mavs may lower their asking price as draft day draws nearer.
Cavs Won't Draft Ben McLemore Since They Already Have Dion Waiters
Last year the Cavaliers drafted Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters fourth overall.
While Waiters never started a game in college, he was used almost exclusively as a starter during his rookie season in Cleveland.
It's been the Cavs' plan to use Waiters as a starter, so drafting a fellow shooting guard like McLemore is out of the question, right?
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, Cleveland could very well take McLemore first overall.
This would likely mean a move to the bench for Waiters, one that Lloyd believes could actually be beneficial for the Cavs, stating:
Waiters as a reserve would also address the Cavs’ need for a backup point guard, and it provides insurance in case the oft-injured Irving suffers another one. The Cavs could find ways to play all three together at times, as the Golden State Warriors did this year with Jarrett Jack, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
McLemore is possibly the most talented player in the draft, and taking him to create a three-guard rotation or moving Waiters to the bench is very possible.
Cleveland Will Trade Back in the Draft
There has been talk all along that the Cavaliers, in a superstar-empty draft, will attempt to trade back from the first overall spot.
It's entirely possible a player that could go No. 1 could also go No. 5, or possibly later.
It could be beneficial for the Cavs to want to trade back, thus likely gaining additional assets while still selecting high in the draft.
Cleveland could very well want to trade back, but may not find many suitors.
According to Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com:
I don't think the Cavs will be able to trade down. They might try, but it's very difficult to do. Sources within the organization say that possibility "looks improbable."
For this to happen, a team would have to fall in love with a player like Nerlens Noel or Ben McLemore, whom they believe won't be around by the time they make their selection.
Trading back would be a wise move if the Cavs can gain an established NBA player or future draft pick, although we've yet to see another team with serious interest in moving up.
Alex Len Will Go First Overall to the Cavaliers
Len is the next name to be rumored to go first overall to the Cavaliers, following (at times) Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Victor Oladipo.
Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweeted the following today:
Len is widely regarded as a top-10 pick in this year's draft. The 7'1" center just turned 20 years old and was already one of the best players in the ACC. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in just 26.4 minutes per game.
These numbers are good, but are they worthy of the first overall pick? Probably not, but Chris Grant seems to draft on potential and not college production.
Last year's first round pick, Dion Waiters, averaged just 12.6 points and 2.5 assists per game his sophomore season before being drafted by the Cavs.
At this point, it's tough to buy or sell the Cavs drafting Len first overall. Grant has been known to "reach" on players he really likes, a strategy that's paid off well so far with the drafting of Waiters and Tristan Thompson.
If Len does indeed go first overall, Cavs fans shouldn't be surprised.