A bit of good fortune was dropped onto the lap of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. As has been the case in past lottery drawings, the Cavaliers were able to leapfrog ahead of the projected odds and land the No. 3 pick this time around for the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Cavaliers are coming off another deflating season. There are some nice young pieces in place, and now Cleveland needs to go out and strike gold early in this draft.
It’s a class littered with super high potential for the top tier prospects. This draft class appears to have a clear-cut four prospect top tier with everything else falling into line after that. Here are the three best options for the Cavaliers at No. 3 in the 2021 NBA Draft, ranked.
3.) Jalen Suggs – Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs was sensational in his one-and-done year with Gonzaga. The Minnesota native was the floor general for Mark Few and the Bulldogs and helped carry them to a national championship appearance.
Suggs needs to get better shooting the three but he is a dynamic playmaker who always makes the right decision on the floor. He could step in and be the starting point guard form day one for many of the teams drafting in the lottery.
He ranks at three on this list for the Cavaliers for one big reason: Cleveland has two ball dominant guards on the roster.
Collin Sexton took another step forward this past year for the Cavaliers but it didn’t come without some speculating whether his future will be in Cleveland.
If the Cavaliers view Suggs as someone they can’t pass up, it’s very likely that one of Sexton or Garland would be moved in a trade. And maybe that is what ends up being best for Cleveland as they navigate through this process.
Regardless, Suggs figures to be an all-star caliber player in the league and might be too good for the Cavaliers to balk on.
2.) Trade the pick
Ah, yes. The trade back! Or perhaps, the trade for a star player?
All of it could be on the table for the Cavaliers at No. 3. If Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley go back-to-back at No. 1 and No. 2 as many suspect, Cleveland could be left in a pickle.
They could opt for Suggs or Jalen Green but again, that would require a likely shuffling around of the roster, something the Cavaliers may be hesitant on doing.
As a result, trading away the pick could be in play.
Cleveland could think real big, and package the pick and more to Philadelphia to try and acquire Ben Simmons if he becomes available and if the Cavaliers believe in him going forward. Or, they could simply slide back in the lottery by trading back with a team who has multiple picks like the Magic who possess picks No. 5 and No. 8, or the Warriors who have No. 7 and No. 14.
It might not be what Cavaliers fans want but think of this as a spot of luxury for Cleveland as they will have plenty of options to sort through.
1.) Evan Mobley – USC
The Cavaliers have Jarrett Allen in place and believe in him as the future center of the franchise. But if Evan Mobley falls into your lap at No. 3, it’d be hard to justify not selecting him.
Mobley is already excellent defensively and is a great rim protector. On top of that, he has a 7-foot-4 wingspan and can guard the pick-and-roll, a staple in today’s NBA.
It’s possible the top two picks are Cunningham and Suggs and if so, it would open up a door of opportunity for the Cavaliers to take Mobley and add him to a young roster that includes Sexton, Garland, Allen and Isaac Okoro.
This is the best case scenario for the Cavaliers. They hang onto the pick in this scenario, don’t have to take a guard and figure out what to do with Sexton and/or Garland, and they get the best big in the entire draft.
Mobley can be a day one starter for whoever gets him and while he doesn’t have a knockdown jumper, the mechanics are in place for him to continue to work and develop a reliable shot at the next level.
The Cavaliers will have a lot to go over from now on until the NBA Draft on July 29. They stumbled upon some ping pong ball luck, landing the No. 3 pick in the draft. Now, they need to see what plays out in front of them as they work on their own blueprint for the selection.