Is eight enough? A look at Cavs’ potential lottery pick

Frank Ntikilina was selected by the New York Knicks with the No. 8 overall draft pick last summer.

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.

6 Comments on "Is eight enough? A look at Cavs’ potential lottery pick"

  1. Martin Reese | January 22, 2018 at 11:07 am |

    Don’t know. This draft is supposed to be really deep in talent and the players picked are a product of the teams who selected them. Be interesting to see who got picked after them and how they did. Maybe teams missed on them. Remember when Karl Malone went 13th? Heck Paul Pierce went No. 10.

    • You’re right about that Martin – there were indeed some very good players taken after that No. 8 spot. I remember thinking Pierce dropped way too low, and that Malone would be an average pro. Lol. Shows what I know. Hope all is well with you and as always, thanks for reading! – Sam

  2. So sending #8 for Kemba and Dwight is a no brainer, right? (with filler, of course, TT, JR, Cedi, etc)

  3. The fact that the NBA system is a lottery makes it worth more though. In 2008 the Bulls had the 9th best record and won the lottery and picked Derrick Rose. In 2011 the Clippers had the 8th best record and won the lottery. That pick was conveyed to Cavs and they picked some dude named Kyrie Irving. In 2014 the Cavs had the 9th worst record and won the lottery and chose Wiggins. So out of the 10 years listed here, the 8th of 9th team won the lottery 3 times and twice it was the Cavs. So I feel we are right where we want to be:)

  4. The clippers finished 8th worst with 32 wins and got the #1 pick (IRVING) The Cavs finished 2nd worst and got the #4 pick (Thompson). Then again is not really the player but the team and coach that makes the difference. A 20th pick with Pop, Brad, or Kerr may end u being better than a #4 pick with the Cavs. Draymond 35th, Curry 7th, Klay 11th, Kawhi 10th.

  5. Don’t know about the number 8 pick …. But the later pick should be used to get Diop from Ohio St [ Who is currently listed at # 48 ] ….. Currently live in Ky. and watch Ky a lot … I’d take Diop over any of their can’t miss NBA players …. Diallo is the player from Ky who has the tools to be a breakout player in the NBA too ….. Trouble with one and done a lot of players playing not to get hurt ……..

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