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If the NBA Draft were held today, and everything held true to form, the Cleveland Cavaliers would select with the No. 8 overall pick, courtesy of the Boston Celtics via the Brooklyn Nets.
The Cavs have another first-rounder (their own), likely to fall somewhere in the mid- to late-20s. (Though with the way they’re playing lately, it’s hard to tell.)
But when it comes to the Cavs and the draft, everyone is focused on that Brooklyn pick. There has been talk they could trade it. There has been talk they could keep it. And the Nets’ season and the lottery could certainly still play a huge role in where that pick may fall.
Still, for the sake of this post, let’s say it stays right where it is today — at No. 8 overall.
What type of player might the Cavs be getting? That’s hard to say. Anymore, even the first overall pick is a bit of crapshoot. Eighth overall? Even more so.
Look no further than the previous 10 eighth overall picks for proof. Here they are:
2017 — Frank Ntilikina, PG, New York Knicks
Ntilikina is still incredibly young and showing it. His minutes and performance have been wildly inconsistent on a team fighting for the playoffs. He’s a rookie, so he deserves considerably more time, but there’s no evidence yet Ntikilina will be a major difference-maker. That said, at the very worst, he should be a solid backup point guard for years to come.
2016 — Marquese Chriss, PF, Phoenix Suns
Chriss was actually drafted by the Sacramento Kings and quickly shipped to the Suns. He played in all 82 games as a rookie, averaging a very solid 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds. This year, however, has been much the same, with Chriss playing 42 games and compiling averages of 7.2 points and 5.0 boards. But on a winning team, odds are he wouldn’t be getting the 21 minutes a night he is currently receiving with the wayward Suns.
2015 — Stanley Johnson, SF, Detroit Pistons
While nothing special offensively, Johnson has emerged as a solid-to-strong wing defender. He is currently said to be available in trade talks. The Pistons like him, but would prefer an upgrade. Johnson is not bad, but nothing more than a role player at this point.
2014 — Nik Stauskas, SG, Brooklyn Nets
After a decent start with a horrible Philadelphia 76ers team, Stauskas was shipped to Brooklyn (with Jahlil Okafor) in early December. He has become a little-used shooter in reserve, often buried behind former Cavs guard Joe Harris, a second-round pick.
2013 — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers
KCP, as he is known among all the cool kids, was basically released by the Detroit Pistons after a few decent seasons. He signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in the summer, and again, is a solid starter on a non-playoff team. Still, he does not appear to be a part of the Lakers’ long-term plans. Nice player, but again, probably not a starter on a winning team.
2012 — Terrence Ross, G/F, Orlando Magic
Nice guy who can soar through the air with the greatest of ease. Solid wing player at both ends. Will help teams, but is certainly not a franchise-changer. Career averages of 9.0 points and 2.6 rebounds not likely to improve. Noted Pearl Jam fan.
2011 — Brandon Knight, PG, Phoenix Suns
Once made it his mission to prove the Cleveland Cavaliers made a mistake by selecting Kyrie Irving (and not him) first overall. Never came close. Still, Knight is a nice point guard who, at worst, is a very good backup. Actually, that’s probably PRECISELY what he is. Out for the year following knee surgery in August.
2010 — Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Portland Trail Blazers
It took him a little bit after his rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers, but has emerged as a solid workman-like defender and rebounder. Far from terrible offensively, but if Aminu is the guy doing the scoring, opponents of the Blazers can live with it. Translation: A starter and nice player, but a player who doesn’t exactly strike fear in anyone.
2009 — Jordan Hill, F/C, free agent
Spent the early parts of his career as an energy player with the Houston Rockets, Lakers and Indiana Pacers. Currently looking for job at 30-years old.
2008 — Joe Alexander, F, free agent
Drafted three spots behind Kevin Love, 14 ahead of Courtney Lee and 18 ahead of George Hill. Love of course plays for the Cavs and Lee and Hill are supposedly drawing their attention as the trade deadline nears. As for Alexander, drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, forget it. He played 67 games over two NBA seasons and compiled averages of 4.2 points and 1.8 rebounds. But hey, he’s made a killing overseas.
2007 — Brandan Wright, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
As solid as frontcourt role players come, but that’s it. Wright was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors and can occasionally come off the bench to alter a shot or follow-up a miss for a bucket — and that’s basically been his entire stay in the NBA. Has compiled career averages of 7.0 points and 3.7 rebounds.