CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers are slated to make three selections on Thursday night in the 2022 NBA Draft. The first pick is set for the No. 14 overall selection, and the two others are at No. 39 and No. 58 in the second round.
The team may not end up making all three selections as there certainly figure to be a bevy of trades on Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t goals the Cavs should have in mind as they enter the draft.
Here are three things the Cavs should attempt to accomplish on Thursday night:
Trade for a proven player
If the Cavaliers are searching for a piece to help immediately, the team likely won’t find it in the draft. It’s a very rare thing for a rookie to immediately contribute to a winning basketball team in a significant role, much less one that is picked at the back end of the lottery.
There are a couple of teams that could be interested in trading up into the 14th overall pick, and the Cavs could benefit by taking on a proven veteran that fits one of their needs for the trouble. This isn’t going to be a scenario where the Cavs are adding an All-Star to the roster, but rather a role player that can help the team next season.
Add a wing piece
The biggest need going into this offseason for the Cavs is very clearly on the wing.
Yes, the Cavs likely won’t draft a guy on Thursday that’s a major contributor to a playoff team, but drafting a wing is still a good idea. Cleveland should be gearing their future with Evan Mobley’s prime in mind, and drafting a strong role player on the wing to develop alongside of Mobley -- and Darius Garland, for that matter -- would be a wise decision for the Cavs.
Maybe this doesn’t come in the draft, maybe the Cavaliers are able to accomplish this via trade or in free agency when that rolls around at the start of next month, but it is something that should be very high on the priority list for the Cavs.
See what’s available in trading back
There are very few players that could be on the board when the Cavaliers are selecting at No. 14 that the Cavs can’t pass on. If a guy like Ousmane Dieng or AJ Griffin falls to 14, then the Cavs should certainly hang on to the pick. Otherwise, the team may be best served collecting an additional asset and having two chances to draft a role player as opposed to one.
There are a few teams that the Cavs could look to make deals with, as Memphis, Houston, Denver, and San Antonio all have multiple first-round picks after the Cavs select 14th. Maybe the 14th pick can turn into picks 22 and 29 from Memphis or 17 and 26 from Houston. There’s quite a bit of luck and variance in the NBA Draft outside of the top 10, and the Cavs may actually have a better chance of hitting on a player in the first round if they draft twice later on rather than at 14th.