The 2019 NBA Draft is finally here. It is the first big event of the NBA offseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers currently have two picks in the draft with both coming in the first round, No. 5 and No. 26. The Cavs are in a rebuild position with a lot of interesting assets to maneuver with during the draft. It makes their draft a big wildcard because the team can go in many directions throughout the two-round draft.
So, what will happen Thursday night for the Cavs? Well, there are several avenues they may go. I will go after that question in two ways. The first way is by examining how I would run the draft if I were in charge of the Cavs. The second approach is by putting on my best prognostication hat and predicting what I see the Cavs ultimately doing on draft night. Let’s take a look.
5. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
I think Culver may be the best combination of talent and fit for the Cavs. He is a high upside given his combination of size, playmaking ability, and versatility on both sides of the court. Cleveland needs more playmakers and ball handlers for their offense and so Culver fits this need. I really believe he could turn out to be one of the best players in the class in a couple of years because of his skill set and size.
12. Bol Bol, Oregon
I think the Cavs should trade their No. 26 pick and J.R. Smith to move up into the lottery to Charlotte’s pick. The Hornets need cap relief as they try to re-sign Kemba Walker this offseason. With this pick, I think the Cavs should target the player with the most upside in the entire draft, Bol Bol. Cleveland needs to take chances in their rebuild and Bol is a guy who would be a great gamble. He has the most unique skill set I have seen in a player. At 7-foot-3, he has good shooting ability, solid ball-handling, and shot-blocking talent. You just can’t find that in one prospect. Bol would be a great gamble for the Cavs with their second pick in the first round.
8. Cam Reddish, Duke
I believe the Cavs will look at their roster and see that they are in need of numerous pieces, so they will decide to trade back with Atlanta for No. 8 and No. 10. The Hawks are rumored to be trying to move up. With the eighth pick, the Cavs decide to go with a player who had all the preseason accolades in being a top-five pick. Reddish, though, struggled in his freshman season at Duke. The Cavs would be selecting Reddish banking on his combination of size, athleticism, shooting, and defensive versatility potential. If he reaches his ceiling, he could be one of the better players in this draft.
10. Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
The Cavs continue to upgrade their frontcourt with the addition of Clarke. He was highly productive in college, but he also gives the Cavs upside due to his athleticism. He could be an immediate contributor because of his ability to score in the paint and defensive versatility. The Cavs need versatile players in their frontcourt and Clarke would fit this need. He comes with a winning background, which is another addition to help change the losing culture of last season’s Cavs team.
26. Ty Jerome, Virginia
The Cavs need defensive backcourt help and Jerome is a player who can help in this area. He is not a physically gifted player, but he has been a productive college player on both sides of the ball. His shooting ability and passing will be a nice complement to Collin Sexton in the Cavs backcourt. With this late of a pick, the Cavs grabbing a player who can immediately contribute on the floor will be very enticing for the rebuilding franchise.
I think J.R. Smith will get traded, but I think the Cavs will target and get future draft picks instead of getting the fourth pick in this draft.