Year in and year out trade rumors are prominent leading up to the NBA Draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been extremely active on the trade front this offseason. Cleveland has been rumored in several different trades that involve picks in this year’s draft. With the 2021 NBA Draft taking place Thursday evening, will the Cavaliers move in the draft?
Collin Sexton Rumors
Initially, most of the Cavs trade rumors involved Collin Sexton as a centerpiece. First reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the New York Knicks were attempting to acquire Sexton from Cleveland. The Knicks have both the 19th and 21st picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. Most of the rumored Knicks and Cavs trades involved at least one of New York’s picks. This could no longer happen since no new significant report has emerged about this trade.
In addition, the Golden State Warriors were reportedly ‘intrigued’ by Sexton. The Warriors have both the seventh and 14th picks in the draft. Of course any trade involving Sexton would likely include one of these picks. Golden State’s seventh pick was rumored to be off the table. Just the 14th pick and some role players is not enough for Sexton. This trade now seems unlikely as well.
Several weeks ago, the Cavs were also engaging Detroit’s interest in giving up the number one pick. To pull off this massive trade, a lot of pieces would have been involved. The third pick would go to Detroit and Sexton could be included as well. This never seemed very likely, rather it was Cleveland simply checking in on the Pistons.
All Sexton rumors have calmed down somewhat. Cleveland seems to be taking a more patient approach in regard to Sexton’s future. When it’s all said and done, Sexton could end up staying in Cleveland after all. More than likely, Cleveland will not gain new 2021 draft picks from trading Sexton.
Acquiring Another Top Ten Pick
As soon as the Sexton trade front slowed down, another Cavaliers trade rumor began. According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Cavs have been one of the most ‘active’ teams in the ‘trade-talk front’.
The Cavs are one of the most active teams in the league on the trade-talk front, rumored to be making overtures to acquire a second pick in the top 10 while pondering the viability of offering a rich contract extension for leading scorer Collin Sexton. It appears unlikely they’ll be moving out of the No. 3 slot, with Mobley looking like the overwhelming favorite to be picked, provided Sexton isn’t moved.
Clearly, there is a lot to breakdown here. First off, Cleveland is probably staying at three with Evan Mobley being a near lock. The eye-catcher is the fact the Cavaliers are looking to grab another pick in the top ten alongside their third pick. At the time, the Pelicans, Magic and Warriors seemed to be the only possible trade options inside the top ten. The Pelicans had the 10th pick, the Magic have the fifth and eighth picks and the Warriors have the seventh pick. Since then, New Orleans and Memphis completed a trade package.
BREAKING: Memphis is finalizing a trade to send Jonas Valanciunas and 2021 Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2021 picks Nos. 10 and 40 and a protected 2022 first-round pick via the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2021
This 10th spot is of course no longer available for the Cavaliers. The Magic are unlikely to take Sexton as they are rebuilding. As mentioned, the Warriors are not offering their seventh pick in a trade involving Sexton. Similar to the Sexton rumors, the idea of Cleveland acquiring another top 10 pick seems unlikely.
Over the last couple of days, more rumors have emerged. None of these particularly involve Cleveland, but they are options if the Cavs want another first-rounder. First, the Sacramento Kings are shopping their ninth pick.
The Sacramento Kings are being extremely aggressive in trade talks and there is a good chance they won't be making their pick at no. 9, per Givony.
— Evan d’Amarell (@AmNotEvan) July 25, 2021
Cleveland would be thrilled to snag the ninth pick, but what would the trade involve? Why would the Kings take Sexton when they have guards like De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Also, Sacramento is probably looking to move up in the draft and the Cavs will not offer that option. This is another unlikely scenario.
The other rumor involves the Utah Jazz. The Jazz could be looking to make room to resign Mike Conley. To pull this off, Utah could trade Joe Ingles or Bojan Bogdanovic due to their hefty contracts. Furthermore, the Jazz are reportedly open to moving their 30th pick. Could there be a scenario were Cleveland sends some second rounders and players for Utah’s 30th pick with Ingles or Bogdanovic? The Cavs have cap space to make this happen. This is one rumor to keep an eye on with Cleveland looking to gain another first-rounder.
Even after moving their tenth pick, New Orleans is still looking to make trades. The Pelicans are trying to trade their newly acquired 17th pick.
According to sources, the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to move off of the no. 17 pick they recently acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in the Eric Bledsoe trade.
— Evan d’Amarell (@AmNotEvan) July 27, 2021
Now whether this means moving up in the draft or gaining assets is unknown. For Cleveland, this is yet another option to gain another first-rounder.
What Will Happen?
Overall, most trade rumors with Cleveland gaining more 2021 draft picks seem unlikely. The most likely scenario is the Cavs simply select Mobley at three and that is it. However, with late first-rounders becoming available the Cavaliers could pull off a last minute trade.
With so many trade rumors right now, this could be a wild draft. When considering Cleveland is the most active team in trade talks, this is definitely worth watching. Adding another two-way player with the ability to shoot would be a great option for the Cavs. Cleveland is starting to become aggressive in gaining their last key pieces for their rebuild. At the very least, the Cavaliers are going to remain active in trade talks. Adding one more first round talent with someone like Mobley could be just what Cleveland needs to make a jump in the 2021-22 season.