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What will the Cleveland Cavaliers do with the No. 8 overall draft pick?
It’s hard to tell.
As has been the case so often in recent Cavs history, so much of what happens this summer depends on LeBron James. And no one knows what James will do in July, when he is expected to enter free agency.
“Cleveland is hoping to use this pick in June to partner with LeBron,” NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN. “But they don’t know if they can do that. He hasn’t given them any indication of what he’s doing. They’re flying blind.”
The Cavs received the pick from the Brooklyn Nets via the Boston Celtics, as part of the Kyrie Irving trade last August. It finished eighth, as the odds suggsted it
Keep in mind, the Cavs cannot trade the pick — but they can draft a player, then immediately deal him on the night of the draft. Or at least agree to a deal on the night of the draft. It just cannot be official until 30 days after the pick is made (think Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love in 2014).
As for this year, the possibilities will certainly be endless — as Cavs general manager Koby Altman told Amico Hoops prior to the season. All lottery picks are major assets, especially for younger, rebuilding teams.
Teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks (who finished with the first, second and third pick, respectively) would love to add an extra lottery pick. But do they have anyone the Cavs would want?
Or what about teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, who seem to be at odds with star forward Kawhi Leonard? Could the Cavs land Leonard as part of a package involving whoever they draft at No. 8?
There has also been some chatter that the Portland Trail Blazers may break up the backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Would trading for a star point guard such as Lillard entice James to stay with the Cavs?
Right now, it’s too early to say.
Just know that when it comes to their shiny new lottery pick, all Altman and the Cavs know is that all options are open.