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Here are our final rankings of 2019 NBA Draft prospects the Cavs could consider on Thursday.

Barring any trades, the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to pick at No. 5 and No. 26 in the 2019 NBA Draft after a disappointing outcome in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. The Cavs will be missing out on Zion Williamson, the one true potential franchise-changer in the draft. But they still will have a top-five pick and two shots at adding potential rotation players for their rebuild.

There’s a lot of talk about the Cavs making a trade ahead of the draft on Thursday. But especially given that the Anthony Davis domino has fallen, that is probably outlandish at this point. Potential that the Cavs could trade up to the third pick, or deal the fifth pick for a combination of the Atlanta Hawks’ three first-rounders, are probably not realistic, and will largely be contingent upon who ends up going where at the top of the draft. We’re going to mostly ignore that possibility here, although the middle of our rankings will address the best options for the Cavs should they land at 10 or 17.

A reminder of the rules we’re operating by for this big board, updated from the last time we ranked prospects:

  • The Cavs would obviously take Zion Williamson and consider Ja Morant if available. But, picking fifth, it’s incredibly unlikely they will be. They aren’t listed below, but R.J. Barrett is, in the event that the Cavs do pull some shenanigans with the New York Knicks on draft night.
  • Feel for the game and decision-making are rated more highly than raw athleticism. Size, strength and length matter to a degree, but among similar prospects, I’m taking the guy who has demonstrated the ability to execute NBA concepts. Give me Grant Williams over Rui Hachimura. Give me Matisse Thybulle over Kevin Porter Jr. Give me De’Andre Hunter over Nassir Little.
  • We’re also valuing players based on their fit with the team, not just in a vacuum. If you take nothing else from my draft philosophy, remember my favorite phrase: “The best player available in a vacuum that is certain to clash with the play style or roster of your team isn’t actually the best player available.” Remember that when you see where Darius Garland is ranked.
  • Centers are basically useless to the Cavs. They have about half their cap tied into Kevin Love, Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson. John Henson is on the roster. Ante Zizic is under contract next year. There’s no place for centers on this board unless they’re so uniquely talented that at a certain point it’s not worth passing on them. (There’s one center on this board.)
  • This class is very big on fours that have perimeter skills, a piece the Cavs absolutely could use. “Who can we get to replace David Nwaba when he gets paid” is an overarching theme for the Cavs’ second pick.
  • This list is in order of players I would value for the Cavs regardless of the pick they’d use for them. There is zero shot the Cavs will consider P.J. Washington, for example, because he’d be an insane reach at five and won’t be on the board at 26. But he’s still on here.

With that in mind, here are the top-30 prospects for the Cavs as we head into draft night.

1. Jarrett Culver, SF, Texas Tech

At worst, he’s a competent role player who raises the floor of the team. At best, he’s a Rip Hamilton or Joe Johnson type that can be a 1B or secondary option that carries the Cavs on their next playoff run. The Cavs can get him to improve their defense in the first few years of his contract and give him the time to grow as a shooter and ball-handler.

2. R.J. Barrett, SF, Duke

Barrett’s probably closer to the secondary option type that the Cavs are really longing for, but he has enough blemishes elsewhere that he still sits behind Culver on my wish list. In particular, developing his defense is going to be an incredible undertaking, and there is enough question about whether his skill set is suited to be anything but a lead ball-handler, and whether or not he’ll be good enough as a creator to warrant giving up what he’ll give up. Functionally he’s still about on the same level as Culver for me and I’d be thrilled with either, but Culver is still who I would rather bet on.

3. De’Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

The poor man’s Culver. Hunter offers floor spacing, accessory playmaking, and has a high ceiling as an on-ball defender who can switch.

4. Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

A big, sure, but Clarke offers the rare ability to be a five on offense and a four on defense, and could help maximize Kevin Love. Quietly posted one of the most productive college seasons ever this year and combines that with outstanding athleticism and shooting upside.

5. Coby White, PG, UNC

The fit with Sexton is clunky for all of the top guards, but White’s is the best because of his comfort as a table-setter who can play in an off-ball role, and he will probably be a competent to good defensive point guard. I’d rather draft him than Morant for the Cavs.

6. Cameron Reddish, SG, Duke

As long as you calibrate your expectations correctly, Reddish could be a solid rotation piece. He should be a quality defender and off-ball spacer if he’s not pushed into a scoring role he probably isn’t talented enough for.

7. Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

“What if Jae Crowder was good in Cleveland?” is probably Williams’s fit. If you liked Nwaba, Grant Williams figures to play a similar role with more offensive value and honestly, he might be a better defensive prospect too because of his strength and instincts.

8. Bol Bol, C, Oregon

If the Cavs are going to swing for a home run, this is who to do it on. If healthy and placed into an optimized role for his skill set (playing as a mutant wing on offense and as a drop coverage big on defense), Bol could end up available at No. 26, and if so he would absolutely be worth a gamble.

9. Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

Pretty much every projected skill for Langford in the NBA is underdeveloped and based heavily on high school performance. There’s potential for him to hit, especially if his shooting rebounds once he’s fully recovered from his thumb injury. He firmly should be considered a development project though.

10. Sekou Doumbouya, PF, Limoges

If Doumbouya’s improvement post-injury is real, he may actually be in play for the Cavs. Yet another athletic four that can play some three and fill defensive holes.

11. Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

A 6’2” guard with okay-to-good playmaking instincts, a thin, small frame, and minimal experience channeling his scoring talent into productive team offense. We already have one of those, and while David Zavac was more non-committal, I see no good outcome coming from pitting Sexton and Garland against each other in the rotation.

12. P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky

Definitely underrated among the forward crop. Washington should be able to play the three a fair amount thanks to his shooting and passing, and he could be a really nice bench wing/small-ball four.

13. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

The best realistic scenario for the No. 26 pick. NAW is a solid, unspectacular combo guard who feels destined to be a productive seventh man on a playoff team.

14. Cameron Johnson, SF, UNC

Tall guys who can shoot off movement don’t grow on trees, nor do they exist outside of Johnson in this class. I’m skeptical he can be a functional NBA defender but still he fits a valuable player type.

15. Matisse Thybulle, SG, Washington

Few better compliments for Sexton exist than installing 2-3 Zone Skynet as their primary point of attack defender and hoping their staff can get his jumper in a better place. He’ll probably be gone by No. 26, but he’d be a phenomenal fit at the two.

16. Chuma Okeke, SF, Auburn

If you can commit to the rehab, Okeke is probably one of the best defensive wings the Cavs can realistically draft at 26. The rim-protection and switchability he can offer makes him a solid fit next to Kevin Love at the 3 or 4.

17. Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State

A mostly theoretical player, THT has immense defensive potential and enough playmaking ability to be enticing to lottery teams. The Cavs would definitely have time to develop his scoring and defense. He’ll probably be gone before 26.

18. Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

Pros: Good step-back jumper, athleticism, and a high ceiling if his ball-handling improves. Cons: He’s probably just a more athletic Jordan Crawford without the insane confidence.

19. Terence Davis, SG, Ole Miss

A realistic option at No. 26, Davis mostly tore apart the scouting circuit because of his playmaking/athleticism/competitive fire combination wrapped up in one of the draft’s Thickest, Jackedest Frames. A senior with a pretty high ceiling as a complimentary piece.

20. Nassir Little, F, UNC

A bad decision-maker on defense and limited offensive player, Little has a ton of talent and no real functional outlets for it. He’d be a worthy pick at No. 26 but it’s going to be a long time before he’s a functional player, if ever.

21. Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia

He’s basically the exact foil of Jordan Clarkson, which probably means he won’t be particularly good, but the Cavs might be one of the best draft fits for him.

22. Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova

A thick-bodied four who makes good decisions and is one of the draft’s most established shooters from NBA range. He’s probably not quick enough to play much three but his fit at the four could be useful for the Cavs offense.

23. Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky

A complete ball of clay that isn’t particularly good at anything but looks the part. I’m not convinced he’s not just James Young, but I also was not convinced James Young was entirely bad at Kentucky.

24. Josh Reaves, SG, Penn State

Thybulle without the laser defense system. He’s massively underrated for his point of attack defense, meaning the Cavs can probably get him on an undrafted basis.

25. Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

A tall elite shooter, but you can probably do better at 26.

26. Yovel Zoosman, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Draft-and-stash in the first round isn’t entirely palatable, but Zoosman reminds of Cedi Osman in frame and defensive play, so he’s enticing just because of that.

27. Jaylen Nowell, SG, Washington

A secondary handler with some shooting upside, Nowell might be a good long-term upside play, but like Reaves is likely to be available after the draft.

28. Ignas Brazdeikis, SF, Michigan

Probably just a complimentary bench scorer, but he knows John Beilein’s system and Beilein already maximized his limited frame and athleticism in college.

29. Deividas Sirvydis, SG, Lietuvos Rytas

More than likely a draft-and-stash prospect as well, but Sirvydis probably has more questions keeping him from the NBA than Zoosman.

30. Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue

One of the best shooting gravity options in the draft as a secondary ball-handler, but it’s hard to see him doing much else to let him succeed with a smaller usage at the NBA level.

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Gottlieb is the first women’s collegiate head coach to be hired to an NBA coaching staff.

It’s been three years since the Cleveland Cavaliers made NBA history in June, but the team has once again made history with the hiring of Lindsay Gottlieb as assistant coach.

Gottlieb coached the California-Berkley women’s team to two Final Four appearances as well as seven NCAA Tournament appearances. She will reportedly sign a four-year deal with the Cavs and play a prominent role on the staff. The hiring is the first time a women’s collegiate head coach has been hired by an NBA team.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

In a landmark appointment for the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring University of California-Berkeley women’s head coach Lindsay Gottlieb to be an assistant coach on John Beilein’s staff, league sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019

This is obviously a big step forward for the NBA in being more inclusive and adding the perspectives of people that traditionally haven’t been hired as coaches.

Per Woj. Gottlieb took the Cavs’ job last night. Cavs GM Koby Altman, per Woj, was the person in the front office interested in pursuing a female assistant coach and brought to the idea to new coach John Beilein. From there, Beilein became determined to recruit Gottlieb to the Cavs.

It will be interesting to see what Beilein, Gottlieb, and J.B. Bickerstaff will be able to bring to this young Cavs roster. As the summer progresses we will likely learn more about how the coaching responsibilities will be delegated and what philosophies each will bring to the table.

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Sexton showed promise without guaranteeing long term success. Where does that leave Cleveland?

Collin Sexton’s rookie season was a lot of things, and it was different things at different times. Early on, it was a disaster. Later on, something quite promising. People like myself probably got a little too hung up on the bad times, and our lack of excitement about the pick from the moment it happened likely impacted our inability to be patient. If you’re visiting this website, you probably have a pretty good idea of where he’s at.

A lot of his on/off numbers are atrocious. His normal shooting line, 43/40/84, is pretty darn good for someone in their age 20 season. That shooting line came on mostly terrible shot selection until, almost inexplicably, it became pretty darn good shot selection for the final third of the regular season.

He needs to get stronger, he lacks a pure point guard’s passing vision, and some of his teammates complained about his play during the season. He also has a frame to put on weight, works his ass off, shot better than anyone had a right to expect and looked pretty good as a secondary ball handler. Brandon Knight’s arrival led to better results, as did Kevin Love being healthy and on the court near the end of the season.

He’s interesting. I feel like I’m more optimistic about him than I was 10 months ago, and certainly more optimistic about him than I was five months ago, but I still don’t know exactly where that leaves us. Is he your starting point guard of the future? Do you need to find one, still? Assists are not a great stat, but it’d have been nice if he had more of them. The numbers say he was a good shooter from distance, but is that something the Cavs can bank on? Anywhere you think he’s going requires projection. The Cavs can’t necessarily take his status as a future starter that impacts the game in a positive way for granted, but they also can’t really draft someone that would take his role just a year in.

Or maybe they can. Darius Garland has a similar build to Sexton, and has an offensive game that scouts seem to think profiles better for the league. He looks like he’ll be a good shooter, off the bounce or otherwise. His playmaking is limited in a way similar to Sexton’s, and playing them together would likely mean substandard defense. He’s not someone I’d look at closely if I truly believed in Sexton. But if you really love what Garland can do, how do you pass it up?

Jarrett Culver and DeAndre Hunter, on the other hand, are both guys who carry bigger frames, and do different things than Sexton. They both project as plus defenders at some point, perhaps sooner than later. What if the Cavs like Garland’s upside over these guys? If they ended up drafting Garland or Coby White — who in fairness does have a bit more height and length than Garland — it’s likely that the Cavs would say all the right things about them being able to play with Sexton, and how they’re building blocks on a team trying to develop young talent.

Whether or not they would mean it would be up for interpretation, and it’s also fair to wonder if it’d be fair to either Garland, White or Sexton himself. These are guys that are clawing to assert themselves in the NBA. Every game is a challenge, they’re learning a whole new system and lifestyle and trying to prove they belong. Adding to the degree of difficulty doesn’t make a ton of sense. We’ve been through this before with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, though both of those guys have strong and somewhat difficult personalities.

What does it mean? I don’t know. Koby Altman’s job is difficult. Finding a secondary playmaker with some size on the wing that can help Sexton with creation makes the most sense to me. Maybe that’s trading up for R.J. Barrett. Maybe it’s Culver. I think I’d probably like it to be Culver. But the Cavs have a lot to weigh, and Sexton doesn’t make things any easier. He’s a variable they have to take seriously.

And hey, given where things stood in January, that feels like a win.

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The Cavs met with Culver for a workout and dinner on Monday.

The 2019 NBA Draft is approaching quickly and the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing some very important decisions on how to approach this draft. While the Cavs typically play their draft process close to the vest, on Tuesday we got the rare confirmation of a workout.

According to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, the Cavs worked out Texas A&M guard/forward Jarrett Culver, as well as took him out for dinner afterwards:

The Cleveland Cavaliers conducted a private workout with Jarrett Culver on Monday, league sources told cleveland.com.

Culver, one of a few players in the mix for the Cavaliers’ No. 5 pick, also had dinner with key members of the organization -- general manager Koby Altman, assistant GM Mike Gansey, head coach John Beilein and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff. When given enough time, the Cavs consider the dinners and sit-downs a valuable opportunity for the braintrust to get know the prospect as a person and gauge how he would fit into the culture they are trying to instill.

Should the Cavs stay put at five, it’s hard to imagine a better fit for the team than Culver. A compelling case could be made for other options at five, but Culver’s ability to pair strong perimeter defense with play-making addresses two glaring team needs the best out of the players projected to be available.

Culver’s ability to create for others would make him a great fit on the perimeter alongside Collin Sexton. Unless Sexton makes a dramatic leap as a play-maker, having the rest of the lineup contribute in that area will be important as the team tries to develop a reliable offense.

Adding play-making without the awkwardness of drafting another guard would be a win-win for the Cavs. Culver’s attitude and work ethic also seem to line up with the values the Cavs have prioritized in their efforts to craft an identity that doesn’t revolve around LeBron James.

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The Cavaliers need to add playmakers, so here are some options they could take with their second first-round pick to address the issue.

Much of the focus for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ draft needs focuses on the fifth overall pick. That’s the Cavs’ best chance to add talent, especially in a weak draft. But they also have the No. 26 overall pick, and the Cavs could stumble into a decent rotation player if things break correctly. The team probably isn’t going to add star talent this year, but they also are missing a lot of basic pieces that go into creating a winning roster. And while the class isn’t deep with NBA-ready rotation players, there are players who could be improvements over the current roster situation.

We’ve already addressed two big Cavs needs, shooting and defense, but an underrated need is to add playmaking wings. The Cavs have three point guards who are all different scoring archetypes, with Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Knight all providing on-ball scoring power. But the team is going to need help moving the ball towards or off of these three, and adding a wing who can dribble and move the ball well in the half-court would be a nice addition as well. It would make the lives of the Cavs’ off—ball scorers easier, and getting a passing compliment for Sexton is very important in the long term.

There are a few good options for the Cavs to pick from in terms of secondary ball-handlers. Most of the dribbling wings are rather raw, but there are players in the Cavs’ range who could handle some on-ball responsibility. Let’s look at a few of these options, including a couple of reach options who could actually be justifiable for the team.

Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State

Horton-Tucker has significant concerns as a shooter and in terms of team defense, but his raw ball-handling ability, combined with his finishing, gives him a very high ceiling as a secondary creator. He has a good amount of shake and advanced moves in his arsenal, and he uses his immense strength and 7’1” wingspan to create swaths of space in the paint to create good shots. He also has good court vision, and his ability to drive and kick could make him into a quality secondary scoring option if his shooting develops.

Horton-Tucker might not fall to the Cavs, but he’s a good long-term bet for the team if he falls to No. 26. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft class, and already shows a level of advanced play that seems projectible that he could grow into. He projects as exactly the type of secondary playmaker the Cavs need, and if he does learn to shoot from the midrange, he has a shot to become something much more.

Terence Davis, SG, Ole Miss

Davis isn’t elite at any of the the three needs he could fill for the Cavs, but he looks pretty good at all of them. Davis progressed to being a 37.1% shooter on 175 attempts last year, and he’s a great team defense prospect that may be able to switch across multiple backcourt positions. In terms of playmaking, Davis is a strong transition weapon, with good technique and vision as a transition passer.

Davis, like Horton-Tucker, uses his strength well to leverage his way to the rim on drives, although he’s not a natural finisher like THT. But he makes up for that with better diversity of dribble moves, and more confidence attacking the rim. He’s also more likely to have value this coming year in the NBA thanks to his better defensive technique and energy. Davis is one of my favorite fits for the Cavaliers at pick No. 26.

Jordan Poole, PG, Michigan

Three Michigan players are candidates to join John Beilein and add potential solutions to the Cavs’ biggest needs. Poole is probably less of a seamless fit as Ignas Brazdeikis would be as a shooter and Charles Matthews would be as a defender, but he is a combo guard who could add some interesting shot creation off the bench for Cleveland. He’s somewhat erratic as a playmaker, but his highs are pretty high.

Poole has good touch on lobs towards the rim, and if he can get downhill off the type of secondary pick-and-roll shown above. He’ll need to cut down on turnovers and improve his shot selection, but Poole could be a useful two-way combo guard next to Collin Sexton, building off of Sexton’s primary actions to set the table for the rest of the offense. His size creates the opportunity that he can play the two, and his passing ability out of the pick-and-roll makes him an interesting potential compliment.

Jaylen Nowell, SG, Washington

Nowell doesn’t have a lot of first round buzz, but he’s probably just as good as many of the options being presented around the Cavs’ pick range. The PAC-12 player of the year was somewhat miscast as a primary ball-handler for Washington, but he has some impressive handling ability, able to hit some interesting moves to create space and get to the rim as a secondary handler. You don’t want him being your primary ball-handler, as he doesn’t have the shiftiness or pull-up shooting threat to do so, but get him in secondary situations where he can leverage his handle better against a scrambling defense, and he becomes a lot more effective.

Nowell is also the best off-ball shooter of this group, and that should make him a decent fit for what the Cavs need. He shot 44% from three, and while he’s not super athletic, he should be able to leverage his handling and shooting into being an effective spot-up weapon for Cleveland.

Jalen Lecque, SG, Brewster Academy

If the Cavs really want to play the slow game and bet on upside, Lecque, an NC State commit who spent this season in prep school, could be an interesting option. An incredible athlete with good finishing touch as well, he has the raw talent to be a nice secondary scoring option for the Cavs. Lecque is mostly a transition weapon at this point, but he has enough raw talent as a ball-handler to potentially break through at the next level, especially if his court vision and timing improves.

The issue plaguing Lecque is his shooting. Lecque shot 11.5% from three in AAU last season, and while AAU numbers are dreadfully unpredictable in terms of projecting even college shooting numbers, he’s never really shown any potential to shoot a high percentage even in a short stretch. That’s going to have to change on the wing in the NBA, so that will be a major development point. But still, Lecque has decent vision and understands angles and spacing well for a player at his level, so there may be something there. If the Cavs are interested in pursuing a long-term development project (And they worked out Anfernee Simons last year, so maybe they are!), Lecque might be an option for them that would at least be pretty interesting.

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The Cavs have to start over from the bottom and could draw inspiration from the Toronto Raptors.

This year’s iteration of the NBA Finals has been nothing short of a delight for any basketball fan. For the first time in a while, the Golden State Warriors feel vulnerable with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson sidelined with injuries and a mediocre supporting cast. It’s the first time in a while that the Cleveland Cavaliers are not the team that has Golden State on the ropes.

That honor goes to Cleveland’s Eastern Conference little brother - the Toronto Raptors. Well, the Raptors were the Cavs’ little brother and punching bag when LeBron James was still in town. Soon after James announced that he was joining the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, the Raptors seized the opportunity by sending DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. It was both a power move and a gamble made by the Raptors. Toronto got a top-five player in Leonard, but also gained the fear that they could easily lose him in free agency this summer.

But for now, the trade has paid off in spades as Leonard has single-handedly carried Toronto to their first NBA Finals. Without Leonard, the Raptors likely would not stand a chance against the Warriors and now they have a legitimate chance of winning a championship. But, a lot of credit should also go to the Raptors organization as well as they made a lot of intelligent personnel decisions leading up to the Leonard trade to make their situation a reality.

Ever since Chris Bosh left Toronto to join the Miami Heat, the Raptors have been slowly building. In the first season after Bosh, DeRozan, the key piece in the Leonard deal, was the only noteworthy player on the roster and Toronto finished 22-60. That following offseason, they drafted Jonas Valanciunas fifth overall. He was solid for years and became part of their Marc Gasol trade this past season. The summer after drafting Valanciunas, Toronto traded for Kyle Lowry — arguably one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference and another difference maker in the Finals. Even after Toronto started winning again they were still able to find talent with late draft picks or undrafted players like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakim. Both are vital to Toronto’s success..

Trading for Leonard was the final piece to the puzzle for the Raptors, but they had to build up to it.. Granted, that consistency did not win them a championship - he Cavs prevented that from happening -- but Toronto’s approach to slowly rebuilding is something that Cleveland should take a look at.

In the first season after James’ second exodus, the Cavs were in a similar situation to Toronto’s, but with Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman as the two noteworthy youngsters on Cleveland’s roster. The Cavs finished this year 19-63 and ended up with the fifth pick in the draft and the No. 26 pick via the Houston Rockets. Cleveland ultimately might not end up picking at those spots, as they can either trade with the New York Knicks for the third pick or trade back with the Atlanta Hawks and acquire any of the three first-rounders they possess.

The Cavs are a team that is starving for talent and should do whatever it takes to accumulate it over the next few seasons. This rebuild will likely be a slow burn for Cleveland, much like Toronto’s was and that’s totally fine! As beautiful of a city as it is, Cleveland will never be a premier free agent destination, much like Toronto. Rebuilding won’t be finished in one summer. So the Cavs will have to rely on the draft and the trade market to rebuild, hopefully making it back to the playoffs within the next few seasons.

After that Cleveland can still continue to grow and also bide their time, waiting out the duration of teams like Toronto, the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers. Through rebuilding, the Cavs will acquire a boatload of assets and if a shift in power were to happen, like James leaving to join the Lakers, Cleveland can cross the Rubicon and make a move to become a title threat again. It all takes time, though, and thanks to the Raptors looking like a serious title threat it feels like it can happen for the Cavaliers again.

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A deal between the two seems seems to make a lot of sense.

The trade market is heating up as the NBA Draft draws closer and closer. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been mentioned as a candidate to move up down and all around in this draft, and now it appears as though a trade down candidate has emerged.

The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a trade on Thursday afternoon that resulted in the Hawks acquiring the 17th pick in the draft along with Allen Crabbe.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks are interested in potentially moving up in the 2019 NBA Draft. He also mentioned that they now have the assets to move up to the Cavs current pick at five.

Atlanta had been motivated to keep No. 8 and use 10 to trade back for a future asset, league sources tell ESPN. Now, Nos. 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44 give the Hawks the flexibility to move up -- perhaps as high as Cleveland's pick at No. 5. Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has options. https://t.co/RqjV5uxkNG

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019

It was recently reported that the Cavs have had interest in Cam Reddish, a player that likely would be a reach at fifth overall. If they were able to acquire the eighth and tenth picks, for example, that could allow them to take Reddish along with another high floor player like Brandon Clarke.

It’s unclear whether or not a trade back will ever materialize, or if the Hawks really want to pay that sort of premium to move up to No. 5. However it’s clear that the Cavs are going to be involved in a lot of trade conversations before free agency due to their need to restock the cupboard and their collection of expiring and non-guaranteed deals.

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Here are some needs the Cavs should consider picking players to fill.

The Cavs were bad last season — there’s no way around it. As such, they have needs. A lot of needs, in fact, and there’s probably not a skill set or position group they should rule out drafting.

Still, some should take preference over others. Here are three skills the Cavs should prioritize in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Perimeter defense

By any metric, the Cavaliers were a disaster on defense in 2018-19. They had the worst overall defensive rating, the worst half court defense and gave up the second-worst overall three-point percentage. And when you look at the Cavs roster, you have to squint to find good defenders. Tristan Thompson is when he’s healthy. Larry Nance Jr. is, if a bit foul prone. David Nwaba is and, assuming he’s back next year, is easily the Cavs’ best option on the wing. Cedi Osman might be, although the numbers indicate he was one of the worst defensive small forwards in the league last years. Matthew Dellavedova was, but injuries from the past few season might limit him at this point in his career.

The Cavs should probably prioritize drafting players who can defend with both of their picks (and any they might acquire) in this year’s draft above all else. But perimeter defense, in particular, will matter. Nwaba a) might not be back, as he’s a restricted free agent and b) might not be in the team’s five-year plan. As the team builds, this team needs a stopper and needs guys who have some idea of how to defend other wings. Ideally, that player can defend threes and fours to keep Osman from having to defend the likes of Lauri Markkanen and others bigger, stronger four when he should be defending wings. If that player can shoot — something Nwaba doesn’t do well— that would be a nice bonus.

It would be nice, too, if the Cavs can get a defender that can defend point guards and allow them to hide Collin Sexton from time-to-time. Sexton’s biggest weakness as a defender right now is defending pick-and-rolls, but that can be mitigated if he’s moved off ball more to defend shooters and jump passing lanes.

Players to fill this need, according to Trevor Magnotti:

No. 5 pick: Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech

No. 26 pick: Chuma Okeke Auburn

Shooting

Percentage wise, the Cavs finished in the upper-half of the league in overall three-point shooting and corner three-point shooting, per Cleaning The Glass. That in itself is good. What’s not good: the Cavs were in the bottom third in the league in three-point frequency and took the third-most mid-range shots in the league despite not shooting them all that well (39%, 17th in the league). To play a more modern game, Cleveland needs more shooting. A healthy Kevin Love will help, but it can’t solve the franchise’s shooting woes en masse. Mid-range shots can be a part of a successful formula — Sexton has an interesting pull-up game, for one — but it can’t be everything.

Another reason why shooting matters: It will unlock the best version of John Beilein’s offense. In a scheme that is expected to rely on ball movement and perimeter passing, guys who can knockdown shots are going to be key. If the offense works and creates the types of looks it’s supposed to, it could mean the Cavs can actually make opposing defenses rotate and make the offense better. If that happens, the Cavs’ woeful offense should get better. Without shooters, it might not work as well as Cleveland hopes.

Players to fill this need, according to Trevor Magnotti:

No. 5: De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

No. 26: Cam Johnson, North Carolina

Secondary playmaking

There are two big knocks on Collin Sexton coming out of his rookie year. The first is his defense, where Sexton was one of the worst defenders in the entire league last year. The other is that he doesn’t have the vision to pass open teammates. Right now, he projects as more of a scoring guard rather than as a distributor.

Beilein’s offense should help, as it’s about creating easier looks so players don’t have to do everything themselves. Sexton also wasn’t playing in a system or with teammates that made life any easier for him last season.

But Sexton looks like someone who can be the one taking advantage of a badly rotating defense or fire up open three-pointers when a window opens up in Beilein’s system. If that ends up being true, it would help to have someone to pair with Sexton who can handle setting up the offense at least some of the time, or at least keep it flowing. If Osman’s playmaking ends up improving in year three, that would help too.

The Cavs could also go two ways there. On one end, they could go for a Coby White-type and bet on their own version of the Damian Lillard-C.J. McCollum partnership. The other option is to take a Ty Jerome type who can create, but also work off-ball well and is more of a natural wing instead of another guard who needs the ball in their hands to be effective.

A guy that could combine both skills, and might be available at No. 5, is Jarrett Culver.

Players to fill this need, according to Trevor Magnotti:

No. 5: Coby White, North Carolina

No. 26: Ty Jerome, Virginia

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The Cavaliers need defensive improvement badly, so here are some options they could take with their second first-round pick to address the issue.

Much of the focus for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ draft needs focuses on the fifth overall pick. That’s the Cavs’ best chance to add talent, especially in a weak draft. But they also have the No. 26 overall pick, and the Cavs could stumble into a decent rotation player if things break correctly. The team probably isn’t going to add star talent this year, but they also are missing a lot of basic pieces that go into creating a winning roster. And while the class isn’t deep with NBA-ready rotation players, there are players who could be improvements over the current roster situation.

The Cavs were one of the worst defensive teams ever last season, in part because of the lack of a coherent strategy, and partially because the roster was extremely limited. There were bright spots, particularly Larry Nance Jr., David Nwaba and Jaron Blossomgame. But the Cavs overall were a complete sieve on defense, especially when Tristan Thompson was out with injury. In particular, the Cavs need perimeter defensive help, and could really use a player that can switch in the backcourt, saving Collin Sexton, or take over minutes at the four defensively, keeping Cedi Osman from having to absorb that responsibility.

The Cavs will have options to fill that role with the pick they acquired from the Rockets. The 2019 NBA Draft class actually has a decent stockpile of potential defenders later in the draft, and the Cavs should have good options to acquire a competent defensive wing with the Rockets pick. Here are five such options that the Cavs could consider, should they focus on this need at that spot.

Matisse Thybulle, SG, Washington

Steal and block rates have been shown to be inclusive stats for projecting NBA defense. Not all high steal and block rate players make it as defenders in the league, but all good NBA defenders for the most part excelled at forcing blocked shots or steals at the college level. Therefore, it seems relevant that Thybulle broke the steal and block rate metrics last year, combining a 6.7 steal rate with an 8.4 block rate. The highest steal rate for a player with a block rate as high as Thybulle’s ever is 4.9; the highest block rate ever for a player with a steal rate as high as Thybulle’s is 2.4. Thybulle played in a zone, which may have been a perfect use of his skill set. But that definitely doesn’t explain all of Thybulle’s production.

Thybulle’s value as a team defender is really high, as he’s a player who can help communicate actions and anticipate and disrupt from the weak side. He is one of the best players we’ve seen at leaping out and picking off passes, and he is a pretty good transition weapon too, which brings his turnover production ever more valuable.

Thybulle might not be available for the Cavs, but he’s one of the best defensive prospects in the draft. And if he’s available, the Cavs would do a disservice not taking him to help clean up messes on defense.

Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn

Okeke tore his ACL in the Elite Eight, but he brings a lot of defensive value at the three and four spots. A 6’8” wing with good length and powerful upper body, Okeke also brought a good havoc rate at the college level, posting a 3.7 steal rate and a 5.5 block rate. He’s particularly adept as a weakside shot blocker, and even big guys like Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield had a very difficult time dislodging him and beating him to get to the rim:

Okeke’s premier value is defensive versatility, as he’ll be able to switch onto fours and even some NBA fives, and does a good job of staying disciplined defending the pick and roll. He will need time to get healthy, but Okeke could plug a lot of holes in the frontcourt of the Cavs’ defense.

Mfiondu Kabengele, PF, Florida State

Kabengele has been a riser in recent weeks thanks to his athleticism, and he’s the premier energy guy in this draft class. Kabengele is a berserker on defense — he’s not always in the right spot, but he’s going to constantly be doing things, and doing them very hard:

Kabengele isn’t a high ceiling player, mostly because he’s a black hole on offense that’s also a non shooter. But he’s a very aggressive, talented defensive player. He is a very good defensive rebounder as well, using his instincts and strength to clear space and fight for boards. He has a future as a very talented backup for someone.

Yovel Zoosman, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Zoosman is considered a draft-and-stash prospect, but he’s ready to come over now, based on his defensive ability he showed in Euroleague this year. A good-sized wing with good agility, Zoosman shows advanced technique containing opponents on drives, and appears to have the makings of being a good team defender, as well. In particular, his ability to stick with high level Euroleague wings bodes well for his ability to switch onto twos and threes.

What an impressive block by Yovel Zoosman. Cory Higgins blew by him earlier in the game but Zoosman is able to stay with Higgins here on the drive & blocks the shot w/ his left hand

Besides getting blown by earlier in the game, Zoosman's defense was really impressive in this one pic.twitter.com/OOBKLjFiGl

— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) June 3, 2019

Zoosman’s not the same type of dynamic defender that the three players above are, but he’s solid and dependable, and should be able to be the same at the NBA level. Throw in that aesthetically he plays very similarly to Cedi Osman, and that’s a bonus for him ending up on the Cavaliers as well.

Charles Matthews, SG, Michigan

Matthews is probably the most limited offensive player on this list, even more so than Kabengele. He doesn’t have consistency with his jumper, and he lacks the court vision to be a good passer or the size to be a consistent finisher. He’ll likely go somewhere in the second round because of that. But his perimeter defense is among the best in the class, and there’s a possibility that this could keep him in the league while he attempts to develop his offensive game.

Matthews is an incredibly attentive team defender, and always sits in the right spot off ball:

Charles Matthews Steal and Slam vs. CMU - YouTube

Taking Matthews might be a reach, but they could definitely use him to defend the point of attack and take pressure off Collin Sexton. Perhaps if the Cavs end with a second round pick via a trade or a purchase, he’ll could be an option then.

There’s also the familiarity aspect, as he knows what John Beilein’s tendencies are and would help keep the perimeter defense humming with good communication. He’s probably a last resort option (he might be available in the undrafted market after all) but there’s probably more upside to the Cavs picking Matthews than most teams.

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The Cavs forward will have a shot at playing in the 2019 World Cup.

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love might be representing Team USA this summer.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Love is part of a group that will make up the training camp roster for the 2019 World Cup. Training camp takes place Aug. 5-8 in Las Vegas ahead of the tournament, which takes place from Aug. 21-Sept. 15 in China.

Coached by Gregg Popovich, Love will be one of 18 players competing for a spot on a 12-man roster. Per Wojnarowski, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Houston’s James Harden and Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are also attending the camp in hopes of making the roster. The full list also includes Washington’s Bradley Beal, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. Los Angeles’ Kyle Kuzma, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, Houston’s Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker. Denver’s Paul Millsap also may attend.

Based on this roster list, Love would seem to have a good shot of representing Team USA. There aren’t a ton of big men there and it’s easy to envision him starting next to Anthony Davis in the frontcourt. For the Cavs, one would wonder if they want him to play in the World Cup considering the possibility he gets injured and misses a huge chunk of the season like he did last year. That being said, the World Cup will run until training camp is close to starting and maybe it will help Loveto play for Team USA as a warm-up for the 2019-20 season.

The last time Love played for Team USA was at the 2012 Olympics, where the Americans won gold. Love sat out the 2014 World Cup due to trade talks. Love was also on the gold medal-winning 2010 World Cup championship team.

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