The Cavaliers reportedly tried to trade up for the first overall pick in the upcoming draft (Thursday, June 28th). They offered every pick they have this year for it.
Mike Ditka tried that one time. While running the Saints, Ditka traded all of his 1999 draft picks, and a couple more the following year, to Washington in order to get Ricky Williams. It didn’t work out so well for the Saints. The funny thing, is it didn’t really make the Redskins a powerhouse either. That’s football though. A couple extra picks don’t equate to instant success.
The NBA is a different animal.
Chris Grant was applauded in Cleveland (and rightly so) for being aggressive and going after the player that they believe will be a star. That’s where we are at in the NBA these days. You either have three or four star players, or you watch the Finals from home.
Is it possible that the Cavaliers could end up with the best player in the draft picking at four? Sure. It’s possible that in a few years Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal or even Harrison Barnes could be the star of the class over Anthony Davis. But Davis is the player the Cavaliers identified as the most like a sure thing. So they went after him. You can’t blame them.
Watching the Finals a bit last night, it was once again glaringly obvious that the Cavaliers need not just a really good player out of this draft, but a star if they are to begin climbing towards an NBA title. Last year they found a star in Kyrie Irving. I think we are all on the same page with Tristan Thompson. He may end up a good player, but probably not star potential. They need to repeat that formula this year. They need a second star to go along with Irving, and another player with potential to be above average.
It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
That won’t be all though. The Cavaliers will eventually have to add a third all-star type of player, and that will likely need to be a free agent or young player brought in a trade. We know they aren’t afraid to pull the trigger on a trade. But in order to get something valuable, nine times out of ten you have to give up something valuable. Other than cap space, the Cavaliers don’t have a ton of valuable commodities.
They do have Andy Varejao.
It seems every draft and start of the season we have the same discussion about Varejao. Are we willing to trade him? Last year the answer in the off-season was ‘probably’, but as the season got underway, the answer became no. Then he was hurt. Again. So here we sit. Are we willing to trade Varejao? I think the answer the should be yes. What you would get for him is a bit of a mystery though.
Perhaps the Cavs could move Varejao and the 24th pick for a pick just outside the top 10? Phoenix has the 13th pick. Portland has the 11th, and would already have selected someone at six. Could they be trade partners for Varejao? Philadelphia owns the 15th pick. We know the Bobcats have been looking at Andy for some time. Could Andy be part of a package deal to move up from four to two?
I’m not one to insist I know which players the team should draft or even target in trade talks. Chris Grant certainly knows more about these guys than I do. I just hope for the Cavaliers’ sake that maybe some of the luck that we missed out on at the draft lottery will be shining on us when the actual draft takes place.