Coming into Thursday night’s NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t own a single selection. Due to different trades that the wine and gold have conducted over the last three years, the draft cupboard was bare. Although things may have been different Thursday night if David Griffin was still the general manager, the acting general manager tried his best to get in the draft but came up short. According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, Cleveland tried getting the 34th pick in order to select California’s Ivan Rabb, but the deal fell through. Rabb was picked by the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 35.
Cavaliers tried to land pick to get Cal forward Ivan Rabb, but deal fell through and he lands with Memphis with 35th pick, source said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 23, 2017
Although it was in the second round, Rabb would have brought some more depth at forward. In his two years at Cal, the 6-foot-11 forward averaged 13.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 30.6 minutes per game (65 games), including averaging a double-double (14 points, 10.5 rebounds) during his sophomore season.
After Jimmy Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the beginning of the draft, talk began circulating that Dwyane Wade, who just accepted his $23.8 million player option to remain in Chicago this season, could be bought out at some point this year, which could lead to him joining the Cavs. Don’t get your hopes up just yet, but it’s an intriguing possibility.
Following the quiet night on the Cavs’ front, assistant general manager (and currently acting general manager) Koby Altman released a statement:
“We came into Thursday’s NBA Draft with an opportunistic mindset should a situation develop for us to acquire any pick we felt would help improve our roster. While we had discussions specifically focused on acquiring picks tonight, we did not feel any of the draft-related options available to us created an opportunity to improve our team or tie into larger deals at this point. As we do year-round, our group will continue to creatively and aggressively evaluate and consider potential trades and free agent signings that would help us reach our singular goal of winning another NBA championship.”
The Golden State Warriors also didn’t own a pick coming into the night, but were able to buy the Bulls’ 38th-overall pick for $3.5 million and select Oregon big man Jordan Bell, who averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 boards and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting a career-high 63.6 percent from the field. He was one of just 22 players in the country to average at least 10 points and two blocks this past season. During the NCAA Tournament, he made a name for himself by the incredible shots that fell in.
The Cavs might not have fallen further behind the Warriors on Thursday night, but they also didn’t do anything to catch up to them either.