NBA Draft 2021 Rumors: Cavs' No. 3 Pick Drawing Interest from 'Plenty of' Suitors

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 3, 2021

FILE - In this April 12, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman speaks to the media at the NBA basketball team's training facility in Independence, Ohio. Altman has signed a multi-year contract extension with the club. Details of the deal were not immediately available Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have "plenty of interested suitors" if they're willing to trade the No. 3 overall pick in July 29's 2021 NBA draft.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported Friday there's been some "cursory conversations" between the Cavs and those teams, but so far there isn't "anything of substance."

The Cavaliers were expected to go through a rebuilding phase after LeBron James departed in 2018 to join the Los Angeles Lakers following four straight NBA Finals appearances. The lack of progress in climbing back up the Eastern Conference standings is starting to become a concern, though.

After posting records of 19-63 and 19-46 over the previous two years, Cleveland only showed modest improvement with a 22-50 record during the 2020-21 season, missing the play-in tournament by 11 games.

Cavs general manager Koby Altman expressed confidence about the team's plan in late May:

"There is a lot of optimism about where we are as a franchise. We tasked ourself with building this thing through the draft and creating a young core of talented players. While this year was a lot about development, it was a lot about evaluation too. I think a lot of questions were answered for us in terms of the excitement level of that young core. The future is really, really bright. The next step is we have to supplement that talent."

The 2021 draft class is loaded with talent, so there's an argument for trading down to acquire additional assets, but there's still risk associated with passing up one of the top three prospects—Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and Jalen Green.

Mobley wouldn't be a perfect fit since the Cavaliers already feature Jarrett Allen at center, but either Cunningham or Green could provide a much-needed boost on the wing.

In turn, Fedor noted Cleveland would be seeking a "massive offer" to consider moving the No. 3 selection.

The Cavs do have some building blocks in place with Allen, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro, so there's a path toward the rebuild finally turning the corner with a strong offseason.

Altman and Co. must decide whether a high-end prospect like Green moves them closer to that goal than what they could receive in a trade for the third pick.