NBA Draft 2021 Rumors: Cavs’ No. 3 Pick Drawing Interest from ‘Plenty of’ Suitors

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AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have “plenty of interested suitors” if they’re willing to trade the
No. 3 overall pick in July 29’s 2021 NBA draft.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported
Friday there’s been some “cursory conversations” between the Cavs
and those teams, but so far there isn’t “anything of substance.”

The Cavaliers were expected to go
through a rebuilding phase after LeBron James departed in 2018 to
join the Los Angeles Lakers following four straight NBA Finals
appearances. The lack of progress in climbing back up
the Eastern Conference standings is starting to become a concern,
though.

After posting records of 19-63 and
19-46 over the previous two years, Cleveland only showed modest
improvement with a 22-50 record during the 2020-21 season, missing
the play-in tournament by 11 games.

Cavs general manager Koby Altman
expressed confidence about the team’s plan in late May:

“There is a lot of optimism about
where we are as a franchise. We tasked ourself with building this
thing through the draft and creating a young core of talented
players. While this year was a lot about development, it was a lot
about evaluation too. I think a lot of questions were answered for us
in terms of the excitement level of that young core. The future is
really, really bright. The next step is we have to supplement that
talent.”

The 2021 draft class is loaded with
talent, so there’s an argument for trading down to acquire
additional assets, but there’s still risk associated with passing up
one of the top three prospects—Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley and
Jalen Green.

Mobley wouldn’t be a perfect fit since
the Cavaliers already feature Jarrett Allen at center, but either
Cunningham or Green could provide a much-needed boost on the wing.

In turn, Fedor noted Cleveland would be
seeking a “massive offer” to consider moving the No. 3 selection.

The Cavs do have some building blocks
in place with Allen, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro,
so there’s a path toward the rebuild finally turning the corner with
a strong offseason.

Altman and Co. must decide whether a
high-end prospect like Green moves them closer to that goal than what
they could receive in a trade for the third pick.

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