It’s nearing time for the NBA draft and Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman is doing everything he can to shake, rattle and potentially roll the roster.
More specifically, Altman is looking for a couple of nice young pieces to add to the likes of power forward Kevin Love and Collin Sexton, expected to be next season’s two main returnees.
As you likely know, the Cavs own the No. 5 overall pick. Right now, it appears they will stay right where they are and select a player.
As you may not know, they are considering Texas Tech shooting guard Jarrett Culver and Virginia small forward De’Andre Hunter, as well as several others, at that spot. They already brought Culver to Cleveland and seemingly intend to do the same with Hunter.
But who is available at No. 5 today may look a lot different on draft night. Word is, the Los Angeles Lakers intend to shake up the draft by trading their fourth overall pick. Whoever gets that pick may want Culver or Hunter or whoever else the Cavs have in mind.
Altman and the Cavs are also figuring out how to move the contract of J.R. Smith and what to do with the 26th overall selection.
One opposing general manager told Amico Hoops in April his team could have an interest in Smith’s contract, though the GM had yet to speak to Altman about a deal.
“We will wait a little closer to the draft to call,” the GM said. “We need to see how a few things shake out from our end first. I don’t want to say much more than that. … I’m sure other teams could have a use for that contract as well.”
Also, multiple sources have told Amico Hoops the Cavs are exploring trading the 26th pick for a younger veteran. So far, they do not have a dance partner, but that could change on the days leading up to next Thursday’s draft.
Nor are the Cavs opposed to keeping their second first-rounder. But any first-rounder means a guaranteed contract, and if you think drafting in the top five is a crapshoot … well, the later you draft, the murkier it becomes. It would only make sense to try to land someone who you already know can be a rotation player.
Along with all that, Altman and his team have explored potential Smith deals. They’ll take your bad contract, provided you attach a draft pick, future or otherwise.
In other words, the Cavs could end up with just one first-rounder this summer, but don’t discount the possibility of three. This is just the way it goes for a rebuilding team that’s looking to reshuffle the roster.
Basically, the only certainty is uncertainty, and the fact the Cavs are certainly trying to add some help and reasons to feel excited about the future.