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Should The Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Away The No. 1 Pick In The 2013 NBA Draft?

Submitted by on May 23, 2013 – 10:10 amOne Comment
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The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night and will have the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft next month again. That’s right. For the third time in the last 10 years, the Cavs will be on the clock first when the NBA Draft begins on Thursday, June 27. Or will they?

According to reports coming out of Cleveland, the Cavs may be interested in trading away the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for a slew of other draft picks. And why are they interested in doing this? Well, because there’s some debate as to who is worthy to be a No. 1 pick this year. From Nerlens Noel—who is still nursing a torn ACL back to health—to Ben McLemore—who is seen as a long-term project and not a quick fix for a struggling franchise—each and every NBA Draft prospect this year has at least one fatal flaw. There is no one like LeBron James or Kyrie Irving (the last two No. 1 draft picks made by the Cavaliers) in this particular class. So should the Cavs trade away the pick then?

In short, no. While I would agree that there’s no clear-cut favorite to select No. 1 overall, there are several different ways for the Cavs to go here. And all of them are better options than trading down in the draft. for instance, Noel would miss the first half of the 2013-14 NBA season, but he’s got all the tools to be a great NBA power forward/center for the rest of his career. Likewise, Ben McLemore is a project that the Cavs can afford to take a risk on. They have a pretty decent core group of players already and, barring any injuries, they should be decent next season even if McLemore doesn’t contribute much. So if they work him out and he appears to be all that he’s cracked up to be, then he’s definitely worth the risk at No. 1. And if they don’t like one of those two choices, then they can take a closer look at some other players like Otto Porter and Trey Burke. But regardless of which way they go, anything is better than trading down in a weak draft.

If the Cavs do trade their pick, I’m afraid that they’ll move so far back in the draft that they’ll have to get lucky in order to make the right selection. The talent pool is so all over the place that even dropping back just three or four slots turns the draft into a crapshoot for them. So with that in mind, they should keep the No. 1 overall pick, decide which player they like the best, and take him. Unlike past years, no one will fault them for selecting the wrong guy. But they will fault them if they pass up on the opportunity to take a guy like Noel or McLemore and ultimately miss out on the chance to add a key piece to their roster.

So, Cavs, who are you taking? You’re officially on the clock.

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