Whom should Cavs pick at No. 1?
Breaking down Cleveland's roster, draft profile and potential picks this year
NBA Insiders Amin Elhassan and Bradford Doolittle break down the draft profile, needs and potential picks of the 14 teams eligible for the NBA draft lottery this year. With some help from Chad Ford's Big Board of top 30 prospects, we take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Personnel needs: Perimeter defense, shooting, shot-blocking
Major need: This is getting silly. For the third time in four years, the Cavaliers will pick first, an unprecedented run in NBA history. Suddenly, the onus falls on new general manager David Griffin to select the franchise running mate for Kyrie Irving from one of four or five possible future All-Stars. When Cleveland landed the top pick last year, it was for a draft that might not have included any franchise players. It was a bad year to have good luck. This year makes up for that and then some. The Cavaliers need a coach, first of all, and George Karl is still out there. (Just sayin'.) On the roster, recent lottery picks Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett all remain on their rookie contracts. The primary veterans on the roster -- Luol Deng, Spencer Hawes and Anderson Varejao -- are all free agents or, in Varejao's case, on a partially guaranteed deal. It's unclear who will be back to support the young foundation built by former GM Chris Grant.
Griffin, will be calling the shots on draft night for the first time after nearly two decades working NBA front offices. Cleveland has the top pick plus an early second-rounder, so the young talent pool will grow deeper. At No. 1, Cleveland has to take the top player on the board, thought it'd be great if that guy was a long wing.
Cleveland also needs deep shooters. While the Cavs have an exceptional rebounding roster, and had the sixth-highest minutes-weighted average team height a season ago, the Cavs ranked just 29th in shot-block percentage. In general, Cleveland needs to up the ante in terms of athleticism. Holding the top pick this June will certainly help in that regard.
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