Out of every team in the NBA, nobody has more at stake this offseason than the Cleveland Cavaliers who can go from perennial title contenders to Eastern Conference bottomfeeders.
The looming free agency of LeBron James leaves a feeling of angst over the city of Cleveland, making this summer franchise-defining. One of their biggest goals is nailing the 2018 NBA Draft, as they secured a top-ten pick courtesy of the Brooklyn Nets. With the eighth pick in their possession, Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon reports that they will likely select Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. if he remains on the draft board by then.
If Michael Porter Jr. is still on the board when the Cavaliers draft eighth Thursday and they haven’t agreed to trade the pick, they will likely select him.
Several sources, ranging from NBA executive to agents to scouts, told cleveland.com that the Cavs would most likely draft Porter if they could. The team, naturally, will not comment on its draft strategy.
Whether or not LeBron James is on the roster next season, drafting a talent with as high a ceiling as Michael Porter Jr. could pay dividends for the Cavs. Though the worries about his injury history are abundant, Porter Jr. could develop into an upper echelon scorer if he’s able to stay on the court.
Though many may think he’s arguably the most talented player in this draft, including himself, there’s certainly a chance he falls into the Cavs’ lap with the eighth pick. When healthy, his lanky 6-foot-10 frame paired with his natural scoring ability and smooth shooting stroke make him one of the most intriguing options in this year’s draft.