Despite a 14 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 40.2 percent chance at landing a top-three selection, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped to fifth when Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery slots were unveiled. While that’s a disappointing outcome for a team looking to continue its rebuild in the wake of LeBron James’ second departure, especially after the coveted Brooklyn Nets pick they received for Kyrie Irving landed at No. 8 last year, the Cavs still have a chance to snag a pretty talented player.
Depending on how the draft falls, Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Duke’s Cam Reddish (who is reportedly meeting with the Cavs on Friday) and even Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland all could be in play at five. This hasn’t stopped general manager Koby Altman and the rest of the Cavs front office brass from considering all options on the table.
The Cavs are reportedly considering both USC’s Kevin Porter Jr., who they met with in Chicago on Wednesday night, per Cleveland.com, and Oregon’s Bol Bol in the lottery. Porter, a top rated freshman, had a disappointing season at USC, missing seven games with a nagging thigh injury, then getting suspended by the team for “personal conduct issues” in January. Porter posted impressive numbers at the NBA Combine this week, coming in third amongst shooting guards in max vertical leap and first in the shuttle run. Porter averaged just 9.5 points and four rebounds per game for the Trojans.
The 7’2 Bol Bol was averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from deep for the Ducks before being lost for the season with a broken foot in December. He’s a physical specimen, but his slim frame and injury woes are cause for concern.
It would be a bit of a shock if the Cavs were to take either player at five, especially because Cleveland picks at No. 26 and it’s possible at least one of these players are still there at that juncture. Besides, the Cavs are doing their due diligence here, and if the opportunity presents itself to potentially move up and/or snag either player with that second first rounder, getting to know both guys makes sense.