Cavs Approaching No. 14 Pick With An Open Mind

It’s no big deal that the Cavaliers that they didn’t move up in the NBA Draft lottery. At least, it’s not to the Cavs, who will be selecting No. 14 overall.Koby Altman

That is right where the Cavs expected to land. While they did everything short of raising their arms to the heavens and lighting holy candles, they knew the odds were against moving up to one of the top three picks.

So, No. 14 it is. And that’s not so bad. You can find a player to help build on a special season — sans all the injuries — just about anywhere. This draft is no different.

“I like the draft. I really do. I’m not just saying that,” president of basketball operations Koby Altman said immediately after the season. “There’s nothing wrong with having another young player that you can develop.”

And hey, who knows? Maybe you can land a potential star.

After all, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the No. 15 overall pick (2013). So was Kawhi Leonard before him (2011). Those are two of the greatest forwards in NBA history.

While a super-duper star would be nice, the Cavs would settle for someone who fits well alongside their young core of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Isaac Okoro.

They will take any position, though it appears perimeter shooting is an offseason priority. So is depth in the frontcourt. And they will likely need another point guard or combo guard in reserve.

Some of those needs can be met via veterans in free agency. But others can be young hopefuls acquired in (you guessed it) the draft.

Prospects expected to fall in the range of No. 14 include small forward AJ Griffin and center Mark Williams, both of Duke, small forward Malaki Branham of Ohio State, small forward Ousmane Dieng of France and power forward Tari Eason of LSU.

Altman will explore all options, and that includes making the pick and trading it. Or yes, making the pick and keeping it.

“A lot of them I’ve seen as well that we’re going be right in the mix for, so I don’t want to say let’s trade (the pick) and get somebody else,” Altman said. “I think there’s a nice niche here for a young prospect to really grow without a ton of expectation and grow into potentially a rotational player who can help down the road. I like this draft a lot.”

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