NBA Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Trading No. 5 Pick, According To League Exec

The Cleveland Cavaliers have earned some benefits from failing to contend for the championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. After finishing as one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers got the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which they could use to add another young and promising player to their roster. The upcoming draft may not be as good as the previous year, but there are still plenty of interesting prospects Cleveland could choose from, including Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Killian Hayes.

However, as of now, the Cavaliers don’t seem to have any plan for who they will select using their No. 5 pick. According to an anonymous league executive who spoke to Sam Amico of Sports Illustrated, Cleveland doesn’t have an interest in picking another young player and is highly expected to use the lottery pick as a trade asset to land an established veteran in the 2020 offseason.

“They don’t want that (No.5 overall) draft pick,” the league executive said. “I don’t know that for certainty — but I’ve spoken to enough people over there that I know they don’t really want to bring in another young unknown. I strongly believe they will end up trading it.”

Trading their pick for an established veteran would actually make a lot of sense for the Cavaliers. When LeBron James left for the second time in the summer of 2018, most people expected the Cavaliers to undergo a full-scale rebuild. However, the Cavaliers chose to keep some of their veterans and try to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.

With their decision to trade for Andre Drummond last February, it’s crystal clear what path the Cavaliers are planning to take in the 2020-21 NBA season. Despite suffering huge disappointment in the past two years, Cleveland’s owner, Dan Gilbert, is reportedly hoping to see some major improvements.

“From my understanding, Mr. Gilbert is starting to put the pressure on (Cavs GM) Koby Altman and the front office,” the league executive said. “There’s no ultimatum or deadline, as far as I know. But I think there’s a sense that it’s time to start making the playoffs and showing signs of progress.”

Though the season isn’t yet over, the Cavaliers have already been linked to several players who are expected to be available on the market this summer, including Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. If the Sixers decide to part ways with Simmons and build around Joel Embiid this fall, the league executive believes Cleveland will express a strong interest in acquiring him and could make an offer that is as good as other potential suitors.

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