Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
- Dribbles: LeBron, Cavs snag a win, steal momentum - April 23, 2018
- Dribbles: Another plunge puts Cavs season in jeopardy - April 21, 2018
- Amico: Lue, Cavs too easy for Pacers to figure out - April 20, 2018
When LeBron James is on your team, there’s really no reason to worry about the NBA Draft.
And if you’re the Cavaliers, that’s a good thing — because for the second straight year, they have no picks.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean general manager David Griffin and his team will just sit around and watch The Walking Dead reruns on draft night (June 22). But the odds are against them finding anyone much better than a second-round zombie.
So the Cavs may avoid getting involved altogether.
Now, they do want to get younger, especially when it comes to the bench. Cavs reserves Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, James Jones, Kyle Korver and Deron Williams haven’t necessarily reached the rocking-chair-and-warm-blanket stage, but they’re getting there. At least, they are in basketball years.
Some of them are no longer under contract; some of them won’t be back.
What does any of this have to do with the draft?
Well, one way to replace a bunch of graybeards is by getting someone straight out of college (or overseas). In fact, barring a miraculous trade, it’s the best way to get young talent.
And yes, a trade would indeed be miraculous, because teams that have young talent cling to it like a brick of gold.
But again, the Cavs have no picks.
But again, they had none last year, either — and still walked away with a draft selection.
The name: Kay Felder. His late-season role: Chatting it up with security guards stationed near the end of the bench.
Actually, the Cavs liked what they saw from Felder during the few moments he got to play. He’s a 5-foot-9 point guard and did his best work in the D-League. But there were times when he showed flashes with the Cavs. So even now, there is hope.
Anyway, yes, the Cavs can land a pick — provided they’re willing to pay someone. Paying someone is how they got the selection used to take Felder (No. 54 from the Atlanta Hawks) last year.
This year, though, the Cavs won’t likely want a project. James will be a free agent at the end of next season, and the Cavs are in win-big-now mode.
So they will certainly look for the rare rookie who can contribute mightily to a championship contender right away.
Again, it’s unlikely. But anyone who knows Griffin, knows he may at least try. And it sounds as if there could be some decent options.
The Detroit Pistons are said to be desperately shopping their No. 12 overall pick. Also, the Portland Trail Blazers own three first-rounders — Nos. 15, 20 and 26. Word is, they would like to move at least one, maybe two.
What could the Cavs give up in return? Probably not much. And what type of player do you get with the twelfth pick?
A big mystery, that’s what.
OK, so what about Nos. 15 or 20 or 26? You guessed it — you get an even bigger mystery. As for the second round, well, let’s not even bother mentioning it.
All of this makes it seem like the Cavs will indeed throw out some feelers leading up to the draft, and likely on draft night, too. But the odds are against them getting overly excited, even if they do land a prospect/project.
That’s OK, though. They still have James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and realistic dreams of a return to the Finals.
And hey, most anybody would take those things over a silly old draft pick.