After three years of purgatory following LeBron James‘ second departure, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally have something legitimate to build on for the immediate future.
However, there is still lots of work to do, as they missed out on capturing the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
By virtue of missing the postseason, the Cavs will have a lottery pick in next month’s National Basketball Association draft, and unless they get extremely lucky, the pick will fall somewhere in the middle of the first round.
Should Cleveland select the best player available, or should it pick someone based on roster needs?
This Draft Class Isn’t One Of The Best
The 2022 NBA draft class may have some good prospects who will get selected within the first few picks, but it is not regarded as one with lots of depth beyond that.
Since James took his talents to Southern California, the Cavs have done very well with their drafting, whether it has been low or high picks.
Dylan Windler’s performance last night was highly encouraging, if he could develop into the sharpshooting Wing the Cavs desperately need, it would make the team’s inability to acquire one this past off-season null. Has the talent, just has to stay healthy. #LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/AEuhdAjhvd
— Mack Perry (@DevaronPerry) November 4, 2021
The Cavs got Isaac Okoro with the fifth pick in the 2020 draft, and he showed some improvement offensively this season.
Of course, Evan Mobley, who could evolve into a superstar in the coming years, was made the third pick in last summer’s draft.
Evan Mobley blocking people but it gets increasingly disrespectful pic.twitter.com/PbVmRMrdph
— Tony Pesta (@Tony_Pesta) April 19, 2022
Now, the Cavs will likely have to do a different kind of scouting, as they will most likely have to make do with the players who will remain after Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey and Jabari Smith Jr. are off the board.
The wise choice for the team seems to be to draft a player whose strengths are its weaknesses.
The Cavs’ Roster Needs
Cleveland is set at point guard and in the frontcourt, but it has a clear lack of wing players who can defend, hit 3-pointers and make plays in transition with their energy and athleticism.
Windler, Okoro and Cedi Osman have failed to develop into reliable 3-point shooters so far, and the Cavs only had three rotation players who made more than 36 percent of their treys this season.
As a team, they ranked 15th in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage in 2022, and overall they were just 20th in offensive efficiency.
Another option for the Cavs is to trade the pick in order to get a proven player either at the wing position or at backup point guard, a spot where they could use a dependable veteran at.