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Quick random dribbles on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are preparing for Thursday’s NBA draft by taking part in lots of conversations.
1. The Cavs have talked to the Memphis Grizzlies on more than one occasion. I write that with a great deal of certainty. What we don’t know is what, exactly, those talks have been about.
2. Memphis has been shopping the No. 4 overall draft pick and forward Chandler Parsons. The reward for taking Parsons’ huge contract (more than $49 million over the next two years) is an extra lottery selection. The Cavs have some massive contracts, and the eighth overall pick. They could potentially send both to the Grizzlies in return.
3. Ideally, of course, the Cavs would keep both the fourth and eighth picks. It may be possible if they start promising future picks to the Grizzlies.
4. Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley could also be part of the talks. It’s hard to say. Conley is due a whopping $30.5 million next season, $32.5 the year after that and $34.5 in 2020-21. That’s a massive and long contract for a guy who is a nice starter, but not exactly the second coming of Oscar Robertson. Conley, 31, has also been prone to major injury. He appeared in just 12 games last season.
5. So it’s hard to envision the Cavs having any sort of interest in Conley … unless, again, the No. 4 pick is somehow involved.
6. Speaking of veteran point guards, the Cavs spoke to the Charlotte Hornets about Kemba Walker at the February trade deadline and are again expressing interest. Without a doubt, the Hornets are more than open to moving Walker.
7. As mentioned on Amico Hoops earlier this week, the Cavs have also been calling the San Antonio Spurs about Kawhi Leonard. But pulling off a trade won’t be easy. Everyone, it seems, is after Leonard. There is a possibility that the Cavs’ talks with the Grizzlies and Hornets could be for the purpose of helping to facilitate a trade for Leonard.
8. No matter, the Cavs have no idea what LeBron James will do in free agency. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and the basketball office, headed by general manager Koby Altman, have been in touch with James’ representatives since the end of the season. But those conversations have not gone into detail about James’ looming decision. The Cavs are entering the draft blindly when it comes to LeBron.
9. As I said during a radio spot with 92.3 The Fan, I suspect the Cavs will use their No. 8 selection and hold on to the player … at least until learning what James decides. That said, a lot of teams are very interested in trading up to that eighth spot. Or at least interested in trading for whoever the Cavs select.
10. Interestingly, the Brooklyn Nets are said to be the biggest suitor. Interesting because the Cavs’ eighth overall pick originally belonged to the Nets (and came to Cleveland via the Kyrie Irving trade with the Boston Celtics). The Cavs are listening to all offers for the pick and will continue to do so well after they select a player.
11. Along with that, the Cavs have had discussions on possibly adding another late first-rounder “to help open up the possibilities,” a league source said.
12. Finally, the Cavs intend to pick up Rodney Hood’s contract option of $3.4 million. That will make Hood a restricted free agent — meaning the Cavs can match an offer from another team. But I’ve been told that picking up the option does NOT mean Hood is set in the Cavs’ plans.