2021 NBA Draft Rumors: Cavaliers 'Definitely Looking into' Trade for No. 1 Pick

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 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 are reportedly "definitely looking into" a trade with the Detroit Pistons to acquire the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported Thursday the Cavs would select Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham if they do pull off a blockbuster deal with Detroit.

Cleveland owns the No. 3 pick in the draft, which is scheduled for July 29, and that would almost certainly be the basis for any trade. The Cavaliers would also likely have to include a future first-round pick and another draft asset or player, per Fedor.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday the Cavs are one of four teams, along with the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder, who've been “making overtures” to Detroit about the cost of moving up to No. 1.

The asking price could rise if all four teams remain involved to create a bidding war for the top spot.

Cunningham would be a perfect fit on the wing in Cleveland. He'd slide in alongside Isaac Okoro, with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in the backcourt and Jarrett Allen at center. Allen would be the oldest player in that lineup at 23.

The presumptive No. 1 pick averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 threes and 1.6 steals while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc in 27 games for Oklahoma State during his only college season.

Moving up to grab Cunningham would be a bold move by Cavs general manager Koby Altman, who's starting to come under fire for the franchise's sluggish rebuild.

"I think it really positions us well," Altman told reporters after landing third in the draft lottery. "When we started this a few years back, we talked about building through the draft and creating sustainable success. There's some real game-changers at the top of this draft, but [it] also puts us in position to really capitalize on opportunities throughout the landscape of the NBA."

If Cleveland ultimately stands pat, it should still get an instant-impact prospect in Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs or G League guard Jalen Green. USC center Evan Mobley rounds out the likely top-four selections, but he isn't an ideal fit given the structure of the team's roster.

The key question for the Cavs' front office will be whether the difference between Cunningham and either Suggs or Green is enough to warrant giving up multiple high-end assets to trade up.