The Cavs reportedly talked to Portland (No. 13) about moving up to get Kansas swingman Brandon Rush (6-6, 210). But a source said teams are asking for a first-round pick and maybe an established player to move up that far in the first round.
The Cavs have also reportedly talked to Charlotte about many of its players. The Bobcats, who traded a future first-rounder for Denver’s No. 20 selection, have been shopping forward Adam Morrison, forward/center Sean May and possibly guard Raymond Felton.
What kind of deal? In the days and weeks leading up to the draft, the rumor mill is on overdrive. The names of Michael Redd, Jermaine O’Neal and Al Harrington are among those tied to possible trades with Cleveland. An ESPN report on Wednesday had O’Neal coming to Cleveland for the No. 19 pick, Wally Szczerbiak and Anderson Varejao — way too much for a player who appeared in just 42 games last season after knee surgery. Redd may not be the Michael Redd of years past, but he’s closer than Jermaine O’Neal is to being Jermaine O’Neal, or Wally Szczerbiak was to being Wally Szczerbiak, for that matter.
As it turned out, the Pacers reportedly settled on dealing O’Neal to Toronto instead, for guard T.J. Ford, center Rasho Nesterovic and the 17th pick in the draft. The deal won’t become official until July 1, when Ford’s base-year compensation tag comes off the books.
Varejao figures in most of the rumors — no surprise given his appeal, not to mention his holdout last season, when the Cavs matched the offer sheet Varejao signed with Charlotte. He is valuable because he’s the only player in their regular rotation of bigs under 30 years old.
If the Cavaliers stand pat and hold onto their first-round pick, they are likely to select a big man in a draft Ferry believes is deep in quality centers and power forwards. Among the players who could be available when the Cavs are on the clock: Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert, Ohio State’s Kosta Koufos, Stanford’s Robin Lopez and Rider’s Jason Thompson.
As always, trade rumors are rampant in the hours leading into the draft. The biggest one surrounding the Cavs involves Milwaukee Bucks shooting star Michael Redd, a player whom the Cavaliers pursued but couldn’t sign as a free agent a few seasons back.
Redd, who this week was named to the U.S. Olympic team along with Cavs All-Star LeBron James, could be had for the right price. He has three years and $51 million left on his contract, and Ferry would need to give up some key parts — perhaps Daniel Gibson and Anderson Varejao — along with some top picks to bring Redd to the Cavs.
And some mock drafts…
SI’s Ian Thomsen has the Cavs taking J.J. Hickson at 19 (he also has the Bobcats drafting D.J. Augstin at #9, in case anyone wants to start dreaming of Raymon Felton):
A hungry inside player who could provide the Cavs with rebounding and toughness for the long term.
ESPN’s Chad Ford has the Cavaliers taking Robin Lopez… fucking kill me now, I’d rather have Hibbert:
The Cavs need help inside and are hoping that Koufos falls to them. If he doesn’t, they’ll still go big. Lopez is kind of a clone of Anderson Varejao. But no one believes Varejao will be in Cleveland much longer.
Arthur is yet another upside pick who may slip due to teams’ trepidation about player readiness. Arthur is a thin big forward with excellent length and a promising offensive touch. Cleveland might not have time to wait for him, but he would offer an athletic building block for the team’s frontcourt.
Previous mock draft selection: Kosta Koufos
Randolph will need time to develop, but this could end up being a steal if he drops this far.
and on NBA.com, Josh Coehn chose Ryan Anderson (um, who????):
The Cavaliers were basically a 3-point make away from upsetting the eventual NBA champion Celtics in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Although Daniel Gibson, Cleveland’s most proficient 3-point threat, didn’t play in that game due to an ankle injury, it was apparent that the Cavs need another consistent 3-point option.
The player to draft is Ryan Anderson, a 6-foot-10 forward who can hit long-range shots and utilize his length to outwork his opponents. Anderson led the Pac-10 in scoring this past season and became the first Cal player to compile at least 600 points and 300 rebounds in one season. I expect him to flourish alongside LeBron James and capitalize off of Cleveland’s outstanding ability to grab offensive rebounds for second-chance opportunities.
So there you have it, there is absolutely no consensus on who the Cavs will draft. None of the major mock drafts have them picking the same person.
They could move up! They could stand pat! They could make a crazy trade! They could pick someone like Roy Hibbert! Or someone even worse like Robin Lopez!
The one bet I’m willing to make, Cavs fans will end the night pissed at Danny Ferry for not turning Varejao, the 19th pick and expiring contracts into O.J. Mayo, Michael Redd and Elton Brand…