New Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, on May 21, said that he has received numerous calls from other teams wanting to know the availability of the Cavs No. 1 pick. Griffin said that he will have to think long and hard about trading the pick.
"I actually got calls right afterward, while I was standing there doing media," Griffin said Wednesday during an interview on ESPN Cleveland's "The Really Big Show." "Teams were already reaching out and texting, so I think it will be an active period of time."
Cleveland, which also won the draft lottery in 2013-14, only had 1.7 percent chance of obtaining the top pick this year. The Cavs, 33-49, had the ninth worst record in the league and were among the youngest in the league – eight players under-25 years old at the conclusion of the season.
So should the Cavaliers keep the pick or trade for a veteran, as the team expects to make the playoffs next season?
Before deciding, here are some particulars about the team.
Cleveland recently hired David Griffin as general manager and still needs to find a coach after firing Mike Brown just season in his second stint with the team. The team has reportedly contacted Florida head coach Billy Donovan to gauge his interest though he claims he is happy in Gainesville.
The Cavaliers ranked 22nd in the league in scoring (98.2) and 16th in defense (101.5).
Cleveland has already $32.8 million guaranteed in salaries with leaving them approximately $25 to 33 million under the cap for the 2014-15 season. Luol Deng, Spencer Hawes and C.J. Miles are unrestricted free agents.
The Cavs also have the expiring contracts of Anderson Varajao ($9.7 million team optiom) and Alonzo Gee ($3.2million team option) that they can include in deals. Matt Dellavedova ($816,842) salary and Scotty Hopson ($2.4 million) salary is not guaranteed.
Varajao is one of the Cavs most valuable assets. He led the Cavs in rebounds (9.7 pg) and is a terrific ow post defender. Vajarao is not much of an offensive threat and get most of his points around though he did produce 16 double-doubles last year.
While Varajao is productive, he is 31-years old and prone to injuries – Varajao has not played a full season since 2008-09. Plus Cleveland has a bunch of young power forwards – Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller.
The core does have a nice talented core that will need to continue to grow like Kyrie Irving, Thompson, Dion Waiters and Bennett, who needs to show significant improvement. Jarrett Jack, and Varajao are solid veteran role players.
Irving earned his first All-Star appearance last year. He led the Cavs with 20.6 points and 6.1 assists. Irving cut his turnovers down from 3.2 a game in 2012-13 to 2.7 a game last year.
Thompson, 23, is a very good rebounder though he still isn’t a huge factor on the offensive end. The power-forward will be a restricted free agent after next seasons and there are rumors the Cavs may looking to unload him.
Waiters, the No. 4 pick in 2012, improved but not as much as the Cavs had hoped. He increased his scoring (15.9 from 14.7 ppg) and shooting percentage (43.3 up from 41.1) while most of his other number were pretty much the same as his rookie year except 3pt percentage and free throw percentage. Waiters hit 29 more triples than his freshman season but his free throw percentage plummeted from 74.6 percent to 68.5 percent.
Bennett, the No. 1 overall selection last year, was a major disappointment. He averaged just 4.2 points, while shooting 35.6 percent from the floor, and 3.0 rebounds a game. Bennett was out of shape early and shot a paltry 35.6 percent from the field.
This upcoming season will be key for Zeller and Carrick Felix.
Cleveland has two draft picks in 2014 – the No. 1 and No. 33 overall selections.
The Cavs biggest need is center and small forward. They could also use help at the two-guard position.
The rest of the article will look at the projected top-three picks of the 2014 draft.
1. Joel Embiid
Embiid is very similar to Nerlens Noel, who was projected to be the first pick last year’s draft – Noel was selected by New Orleans with the sixth selection overall -- , in multiple ways. The 20-year old is projected to be a defensive force immediately, is limited offensively and has a history of injury.
Still, the Cavs have the 7-foot center out of Kansas at the top of their wish list according to sources.
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game this past season as a freshman. He missed both the Big 12 and NCAA tournament because of what Kansas deemed a stress fracture in his lower back.
He did not attend last week's NBA combine in Chicago, fueling further speculation regarding his health status. However, Chad Ford of ESPN said that Embiid has added 15 pounds of muscle and still moves well. Ford also said his jumper looks beautiful.
Luol Deng is expected to be a hot commodity in free agency and sign elsewhere, so that would leave a gaping hole at small forward.
Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Kansas, is thought to have the best long-term potential and could jump into the starting lineup immediately if he is selected by the Cavs. If selected by Cleveland , the 19-year old would be the second consecutive Canadian taken with the top overall pick – Cleveland selected Anthony Bennett with the top pick last year.
Wiggins possess electrifying athleticism and is expected to be a force on the defensive end immediately. He has great lateral quickness and is very long -6-foo-11 wingspan.
Offensively, he is expected to develop into an elite scorer thought that may take time. Wiggins has a quick first step and gets to the line a lot.
Wiggins averaged 17.1 points per game (ppg), 5.9 rebounds per game (rpg), and made 34.1% of his three-pointers in his freshman year.
Parker is a long shot to be selected No. 1 by the Cavs. As stated above the Cavs are loaded at the power forward position which the 19-year old plays. Parker is considered the most NBA-ready of the three though.
Parker is a solid low post scorer but is not the defender Wiggins and Embiid are.
The 6-foot-8 forward has a 7-foot wingspan and possess the ball-handling skills of a guard. and bully thinner forwards on the block.
Parker can drive with his left or right hand and finish through traffic with either. He also has deep range, shooting 36 percent from behind the arc in his freshman season.
Parker possesses good athleticism and is terrific in transition.
However, he has a habit of taking bad shots.
Parker’s main issues on defense is that he hunches, thus allowing players on the perimeter to drive past him, rather than sitting down in a defensive stance.
Parker averaged averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists a game last season at Duke.