When I watched the NBA Draft Lottery earlier this month, I kind of laughed when I saw the Cavaliers contingent go nuts celebrating when they won win the No. 1 pick in this summer’s draft. I mean, I get why they were fired up – having the No. 1 overall pick is a wonderful tool to fire up your fan base, sell tickets and merch, generate buzz around your team, etc. And having the top pick is better than a terrible pick or no pick at all, right?
But in this draft, with (in my opinion) no clear No. 1 player and no surefire game-changers in the entire first round, you could do just as well for yourself with the 5th pick, the 8th pick, the 11th pick, or beyond. My immediate thought for the Cavs – a team with multiple needs – was that they should trade down for more picks and assets to improve themselves overall instead of taking a flyer on on one guy who might never pan out. So it’s no surprise that the Cavs are rumored to be floating that No. 1 pick to see what they can get in return.
From ESPN’s Chad Ford today:
Sources say the Cavs have already begun to explore what they can get with the No. 1 pick. If they can get a young big or small forward in return, Gilbert will be pushing for them to trade the pick. Who can they get? The pickings will be slim. Teams aren’t dying to get the No. 1 pick. But one name that you shouldn’t totally rule out is the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins.
The Cavs won’t be the only team calling the Kings once they get a new GM in place. Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats and Dallas Mavericks will also have interest in Cousins if Sacramento’s new management decides to cut ties with Cousins.
While the Cavs and Kings are both in (re)building mode, Cleveland is further ahead in the process. A Kyrie Irving/Cousins foundation, in theory, could be spectacular. Will the Kings be down to deal DeMarcus in favor of starting from scratch again with a young player without Cousins’ personality “quirks”?
The Mavs scenario is interesting as well. If they don’t think they can get Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, acquiring Cousins would give them a formidable inside presence to team with Dirk Nowitzki. Ideally, Dirk’s presence would keep DeMarcus in check while also serving to extend Nowitzki’s career. Then when Dirk retires, a mature Cousins would become “the guy.”
Do you think the the Cavs will trade the No. 1 pick?
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