As such, Cleveland has been the subject of countless rumors in recent weeks involving potential draft picks and possible trade partners. Will the Cavs keep the pick? If so, who will they select?
It’s all very much up in the air. We may not know for sure until Cleveland is on the clock.
But the situation is worth exploring. As is often the case, what happens at the top of the draft will have a major impact on what happens throughout the first round.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest rumors involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and break down the most likely scenarios for their first pick on June 27.
No Small (Forward) Matter?
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Cavaliers have been actively searching for a veteran small forward:
Multiple league executives have told FOX Sports Ohio that the Cavs’ recent attempts to trade for a veteran small forward point to general manager Chris Grant settling on a big man with that first pick.
As Amico also noted, if Grant can’t find a suitable small forward on the trade market, a big man like Alex Len or Nerlens Noel is the most likely scenario with the first overall pick.
But if Cleveland is able to hang onto the first pick and still get that forward, who will they choose at No. 1?
Report: the Cavs are interested in acquiring Paul Pierce from Boston. Would likely offer multiple second round picks.— Brett Poirier NBA (@BrettNBA) June 24, 2013
Amico supports that report with this snippet of interesting information:
In a thin draft class, it isn’t particularly surprising the Cavs could be willing to surrender their second-round picks for proven talent. They aren’t likely to find a starting-caliber player at that point in the draft, and Gilbert and Grant need to focus on putting quality pieces around Kyrie Irving.
Good News or Old News?
As Amico also noted, the Cleveland Cavaliers were at one point in discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers in an attempt to acquire power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Per Amico, "A recent report said the Cavs offered picks Nos. 1 and 19 to the Portland Trail Blazers for power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, but a source referred to those talks as 'old news.'"
Whether that rumor is “old news” or not, it proves the Cavaliers certainly aren’t shy about dealing their first-round selections for proven talent. Aldrige is a tremendous big man who would immediately solidify a frontcourt that has failed to stay healthy in recent years and boasts far too much young, unfinished talent.
Bruce Hooley of ESPN850 mirrored that sentiment with this tweet:
Would you be disappointed if the #Cavs trade the No. 1 pick. I think I would be, unless it's for Aldridge or a proven pick-and-roll scorer— Bruce Hooley (@BHOOLZ) June 25, 2013
As enticing a scenario as that would be, it doesn’t seem there’s much to it. Portland shouldn’t be in any hurry to move Aldridge, and until reports say otherwise, this one isn’t likely to happen before the draft.
Can’t Catch a Break
Despite being drafted No. 5 overall by the Sacramento Kings last year, power forward Thomas Robinson has already been traded. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, he may be on the move again.
The Rockets are in advanced talks on a cap-clearing trade of forward Thomas Robinson, with a deal potentially “imminent,” a person with knowledge of their plans said on Tuesday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls have shown interest in Robinson, according to another individual with knowledge of the Rockets efforts to move Robinson’s $3.5 million salary next season. The Bulls may be interested in Robinson as part of a larger deal, the individual said.
Darren Wolfson corroborated that information with this tweet:
Asked an #NBA executive for some names hot-and-heavy in trade talks. Said: Granger, M. Ellis (sign-&-trade), Thomas Robinson, and Vesely.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) June 25, 2013
If the Cavs were really interested in Aldridge, it would make sense that there is something to this rumor. Cleveland seems focused on fixing its frontcourt issues this offseason, and Robinson—though entirely untested through one full NBA season—certainly offers the potential to do just that.
The biggest question is what the Cavaliers would be willing to give up. Given Robinson’s lack of playing time and production in 2012-13, it would be a shock for the asking price to be anywhere close to the first overall pick.