If the Cavs aren't drafting one of the three previously featured players, they won't be picking at No. 1.
Though Dante Exum might squeeze into that truly elite group of prospects, he doesn't fit a need for a team that already boasts the services of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova. Cleveland isn't a strong enough squad to build upon strengths at the expense of addressing weaknesses.
Essentially, the options are twofold: draft one of the elite three or trade the pick. And now we're moving into the latter option.
As Mary Schmitt Boyer reports for The Plain Dealer, Griffin has already revealed that he's open to trading the pick. Who better to swing a deal for than the top player on the market?
And Boyer has more:
After winning the lottery a year ago, the Cavs offered the No. 1 pick, plus Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an effort to get All-Star forward Kevin Love. The Wolves declined, but the Cavs remain as interested as ever, especially with Monday's news that Love reportedly has informed the Wolves he's not interested in signing an extension.
This is the exact same package, but there's one big difference.
While the 2013 draft class was historically weak, the 2014 class falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. That top pick holds so much more appeal because there are three prospects who seem almost guaranteed to change the fortunes of a franchise, as opposed to the perceived zero last year.
Kevin Love is the type of superstar that the Cavs would be hoping a No. 1 pick could develop into. But he comes with a guarantee, as opposed to the young guns who might not ever fully realize their potential.
And even though Love has never made the playoffs, it's hard to hold that against him.
After all—and this is an argument I've used many times—what power forward could replace Love and get Minnesota into the postseason, given the inherent flaws and weaknesses of that roster? LaMarcus Aldridge couldn't. Blake Griffin couldn't. Dirk Nowitzki couldn't.
Love on the Cavaliers would be terrifying, though.
Sure, the defense would struggle, especially without any sort of rim protection. But the combination of Kyrie Irving and Love would make for both an unstoppable offense and an attractive free-agency destination for many premier wing players.
The only hesitation here (from either side, really) would be Cleveland worrying that Love might opt out of his contract and leave after spending only one season with the Cavs. It's a legitimate concern, one that can't be put aside completely.
But if Griffin is confident in his team-building skills, he'll be able to put together a playoff-caliber roster and hope that one taste of success is enough to leave Love wanting plenty more.
A similar option here is trading Thompson and the No. 1 pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Paul Millsap, the No. 15 selection and a future first-rounder, though that's obviously not quite as appealing.