The NBA Draft is right around the corner and the rumor mill is out in full swing. Reports come out about what a team’s interest are–some reliable, some are just made up. Below are some of the latest rumors surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rumors are broken down for you to decide what is fact and what is fiction.
Fact: The Cavs are exploring trade possibilities for the No.1 pick – Trading the No.1 overall pick doesn’t happen often, but when the top of this year’s draft board isn’t as strong as it normally is, the Cavs will try and get as much value for that top pick as they can. Andy Katz reports that the Cavs are fielding many calls from unidentified teams. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love seem to be untouchable, but there are still talented players teams are willing to deal. A team I will be looking out for is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last year they dealt the Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden, and received a lot of young assets in return, including Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and Toronto’s No. 12 pick, which they received through Houston. The deal didn’t work out as well as they planned and Lamb sat the bench most of the year, while Martin tried to fill Harden’s shoes. With Martin a free agent now, OKC will have to make a decision if they want to dish out the cash to resign him or not. Last year OKC was interested in moving up in the draft to take Bradley Beal, but the Wizards were reluctant to deal. The Thunder may want to move up in the draft to help rebuild their bench; Nerlens Noel to replace Kendrick Perkins or Ben McLemore to provide scoring at the shooting guard position may interest the team. OKC has Lamb, Perry Jones and other draft picks to deal.
Fiction: Cavs are interested in dealing picks for DeMarcus Cousins – Chris Grant may have contacted Sacramento in pursuit of Cousins, but talks ended quickly after Brian Malone came to town, which isnt the worst thing for the Cavs. Cousins is an enormous talent but is a moral killer in the locker room. The only way the Cavs would be able to bring him in is if they had an established veteran with leadership. He still has two years remaining on his contract, so the Cavs would look to extend his contract — if all character issues are straightened out. Mike Brown was known for having great team chemistry when he was previously head coach for the Cavs. Having a player with an attitude problem could be dangerous and spread throughout the young, inexperienced locker room.
Fact: The Cavs are looking to acquire Danny Granger from the Pacers– The Cavs do have interest in Danny Granger, but like Cousins, not for the No. 1 pick. Granger missed all of the 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL. The Cavs are hesitant to make a deal, but so are the Pacers. Indiana is definitely looking to dump Granger — especially after the emergence of Paul George. But they would prefer to deal him out of the Central Division, so they won’t have to play against him four times a year and possibly in the playoffs. It’s a fact the Cavs are pursuing Granger, but I don’t see Indiana trading him within the division unless they are really looking to save money. Granger is due $14 million and his contract expires next year.
Fiction: Cleveland and Orlando switch picks, and Cavs receive Moe Harkless – The latest rumor comes from Bill Simmons where he predicts the Cavs swap picks with the Orlando Magic and the Cavs recieve Harkless in return. Simmons is a very well respected sportswriter, one of the best there is, but this is what he THINKS should happen. This is not an actual report coming from a close source to either of the franchises. I like the idea – and if it happened for the Cavs it would be great – but I don’t think the Magic would be willing to part way with Harkless so soon. However, they do have Tobias Harris, who really flourished after he was traded by Milwaukee.
Fact: Cavs are considering taking Victor Oladipo first overall – During my internship at ESPN Cleveland this summer, I learned from The Really Big Show’s Tony Rizzo that Dan Gilbert is fascinated with the Indiana guard. He loves his motor, defensive ability and improved shooting. Oladipo plays as hard as any player on the court and makes his opponent earn every point. He would fit in perfectly in Mike Brown’s system. But then again, there’s that Dion Waiters fella. Could these two guys play on the court at the same time with Kyrie Irving? A good coach will always find a way to get his best players on the court when it matters.
Fiction: The Cavs are considering drafting Ben McLemore with their top pick – This is a rumor to get other teams frantic and nervous that the best shooter in the draft – who draws comparisons to Ray Allen – will be off the board when their team is on the clock. The Cavs have gained the reputation of being unpredictable in the draft, and with them holding the top pick, they have leverage over teams. Any draft rumors that come out now to draft day will only help the Cavs.