The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t need too much right now based on their recent roster revamp but a Sports Illustrated report suggests that one prospect could help them in the future. It’s no secret that the main objective for the team at the moment is to continue improving their play in order to contend for another NBA Championship. After that, the future is what the team will need to focus on, with LeBron James’ free agency situation, and the NBA Draft approaching. Here’s the latest on which player the Cavaliers may need to draft at their spot in the selection order.
In the latest NBA mock draft from Sports Illustrated‘s Jeremy Woo, the Cleveland Cavs will have the No. 7 first round pick that they acquired in a deal with Brooklyn. Woo contends that the Cavaliers would be best served if they drafted center Jaren Jackson from Michigan State. The freshman is a 6-foot-11 18-year-old that Woo describes as having a “skill set that fits in safely on most teams.” For the current season Jackson is averaging 11.6 points along with 6.1 rebounds. However, his interior defense has been impressive as he’s swatting away 3.4 shots per game on average. Many NBA teams could use that sort of skill inside.
The most important point made is that Jackson is a great pick for the Cleveland Cavs even if LeBron James opts to leave as a free agent. That’s always a consideration, and the team will likely start to rebuild their roster for the future around the younger players they’ve picked up such as Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., formerly of the Lakers. Jackson would be another one of those younger players, although depending on the situation, the Cavs may want to try to get a higher prospect with more future value. That’s if LeBron is packing his bags for a new city.
As Woo also mentions, fans shouldn’t expect Jaren Jackson to make an immediate impact in the league if the Cavaliers draft him. After all, he’s just 18-years-old and would be part of a roster that could be still led by the likes of big men Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and more recent starter, Cedi Osman. Still, should LeBron leave and the Cavs decide to move some of those veterans including Love and Thompson, it gives more reason to bring in someone who could be a future star in the paint like Jackson.