NBA Draft: Cavs should try and trade up to #1 for Cade Cunningham – King James Gospel - Techy Hunters

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

NBA Draft: Cavs should try and trade up to #1 for Cade Cunningham – King James Gospel

Cade Cunningham, Cleveland Cavaliers

Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham shoots the ball. (Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the #3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft scheduled for July 29. The Cavs will certainly get a very talented young player. By most projections around the globe, USC’s 7-footer Evan Mobley or Jalen Green of the G League Ingite will be available.

Both would be fine additions for the Wine and Gold. But I have a hope, a dream that the Cavs will try and move up in a trade to that #1 spot and take Cade Cunningham, the 6-foot-8, “all can do” point-forward and presumptive #1 NBA draft pick out of Oklahoma State.

In a town where LeBron James was King for over a decade and helped propel the Cleveland Cavaliers to their only NBA title in 2016, it’s certainly a tall task for a franchise, such as the Cavs to climb back into the race to another title. After three years removed, a second time after James left the team that originally drafted him in 2003, the reality of the situation has hit most of us Cavaliers fans straight between the eyes.

The Cavs have begun that trek back to competitiveness, by drafting young, talented players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro the last three years. But still the Cavaliers are far away from another championship. Adding a player like Mobley or Green at #3 would certainly be a step in the right direction as I wrote about a week ago. 

However, moving up to that #1 slot, of which the Detroit Pistons currently have, would take this franchise to a whole new level. I believe Cunningham is that good. Reminiscent of a young King James.

At Oklahoma State, in his only season there, he averaged just over 20 points a game, over 6 rebounds a game and 3.5 assists a contest. And yet it’s not those impressive stats that have me drooling at the prospect of Cunningham becoming a Cavalier.

It’s the simple eye test and gut feeling you get when you watch Cunningham play basketball. He can control the game on both ends of the floor, with his offensive abilities, his ability to pass the ball to get his teammates open and his tenacious defensive skills.

The Cavs should do whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes for the Cavs to go up to #1 and get Cunningham should be priority to the franchise. If that means giving the Pistons currently a player like Isaac Okoro, this year’s #3 pick and the Cavs’ next two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 I’d consider it; we’d have to see as far as protections there.

And for what it’s worth, Cleveland is reportedly one of four teams in the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, too, that have explored the possibility of potentially trading up to #1, or seeking what it might take. That’s per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (subscription required).

Plus, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com stated in a report that Cleveland, even while near the draft you have to factor in smokescreens, is “definitely” looking into doing so. That’s even while a source told him that it could very well take seemingly the #3 pick, an unprotected future first and “maybe” one of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton or Okoro. Perhaps that could get Detroit to strongly consider a deal though?

Either way, the Cavs would be wise to consider seeking that out. The reward to this Cavs team in making Cunningham the new face of the franchise is far more powerful than future draft picks at this point in their franchise history.

Plus, I saw recently that Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com tried to compare the Cleveland Browns players to our current Cavalier lineup and how possibly the Cavs are building to where the Browns are currently with recent success in the NFL.

I thought the concept of comparing football players to basketball players was really a weak story idea. I still do, but I do believe bringing in a kid like Cunningham, who would be as big as Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has meant to his team. A talent like Cunningham only comes around “once in a blue moon.”

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