The Cleveland Cavaliers are the lottery caboose for Thursday’s 2022 NBA Draft, picking 14th after finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference and missing the playoffs in the Play-In Tournament. As with every team, the most likely outcome for draft night is that they stay put and make the pick.
If they do, there are plenty of options available to them. Players mocked to them at 14 include Malaki Branham, Johnny Davis, Ousmane Dieng or Ochai Agbaji. Other than not picking a center, the Cavs seem open to the available options and will have plenty of players to choose from if they stay put.
The Cavs could turn their draft into a slam dunk by manipulating the draft board to their advantage. What three moves could they make to excel?
What if they don’t stay put? In that scenario, they could certainly trade out of the draft entirely, picking up a veteran player to help them win now. They could also push things back, trading down or out and adding future draft capital to add talent when their salary sheet will be even more onerous.
Let’s just focus on this year’s draft. If the Cavs trade around the draft board on Thursday night, what could those deals look like? Let’s outline three such scenarios, and in each case include the players the Cavs would then take wherever they land.