- Brian Windhorst, ESPN.com
- 0 Shares
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who scored the top pick at Tuesday night's draft lottery, will be willing to listen to trade offers for it.
"You want to look at all your options and make the best decision for your team," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said. "This is a valuable asset that we can add to the group, whether it's in trade or keep it and add a player."
The Cavs are in a favorable position to make a deal. The team has more than $20 million in salary cap space, the No. 1 pick plus the No. 19, No. 31 and No. 33 picks, and a roster with young prospects that could be used in a deal.
Because of a more penal luxury tax that will be in place next season, having cap space to absorb contracts could be especially valuable. The Cavs also own three future first-round picks plus their own selections.
League executives generally view this as a weak draft without any players who appear to be sure-fire stars. Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, currently rehabbing from a knee injury that will cause him to miss the start of the season, is projected by many as the potential top choice. But Grant said his team has not set its draft board if it keeps the pick.
"For us, it's wide open," Grant said. "A number of these guys are injured, so there's still an enormous amount of due diligence that's got to be done."
After missing the playoffs for three consecutive years and with a roster full of young players from recent drafts, the Cavs are focused on making the playoffs next season. That could lead them to attempt to move the top pick in a package for a proven veteran player or players.
"It's important for us to win and move forward and grow collectively as a group," Grant said. "We feel that pressure."
4hEthan Sherwood Strauss
2hArash Markazi and Ben Alamar
1dAlok Pattani, ESPN Stats & Information
1dDan Le Batard