Magic, Raptors Vying For Cavaliers' Third Pick

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Evan Mobley
MARCH 30: Evan Mobley #4 of the USC Trojans dribbles against Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first half in the Elite Eight round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 30, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Everyone loves the NBA offseason as a single move could potentially change the landscape of the league, similar to how LeBron James’ 2010 move to the Miami Heat encouraged players to create their dream team-ups with teams that had the cap space.

Building a team from scratch can be taxing, especially for superstars, which is why some think of fast-tracking their development into becoming playoff teams.

With the NBA 2021 draft set to happen on July 29, teams are already planning on how to build their roster.

One of those teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After winning their first NBA title in 2016, the Cavs have since seen the departure of their best players, but they have also built a promising team that features draft picks Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.

Sexton and Garland have been a big reason as to why so many fans are high on the Cavs’ potential, then they went and added Jarrett Allen via a four-team trade that saw James Harden join the Brooklyn Nets.

Holding the third pick puts the Cavs in prime position to select a franchise-changing player to the team.

However, most draft big boards have Cade Cunningham being drafted first and Jalen Green second, leaving the Cavs with Evan Mobley, who is best suited to playing the power forward position.

 

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that both the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors are interested to trade up to the third spot.

The Magic hold both the fifth and eight picks while the Raptors are slated to pick at the fourth spot.

Conventional thinking dictates that the Raptors have the worst shot at trading up as the trade will end up looking more of a pick swap between the third and fourth picks plus their second-rounder and a protected first-round pick in the future.

While there are no confirmed reports yet of a trade materializing soon, it could happen on draft night as all teams involved could be moving under a sense of urgency rather than speculation.

The Cavs put themselves in a hole earlier after reports came out that they were planning to trade Sexton because signing Allen would also take a lot out of their cap space.

Holding the third pick now could see the Cavaliers back out from that idea since they have a clear shot at drafting USC’s Evan Mobley and then their future could suddenly look brighter than ever.

There’s still that albatross of a contract that Kevin Love has, but it’s expected that a buyout could happen and the Golden State Warriors will look to sign him as soon as he hits the market.

Cavs general manager Koby Altman has to make the right decisions going into the draft if he wants the franchise to find success in the post-James era, and it could all start with what he does with the third pick.

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