When the Cavaliers acquired Antawn Jamison this past February, they traded away Zydrunas Ilgauskas and their first-round selection for the upcoming NBA Draft. And now with the future of the team in limbo, the team appears ready to purchase a first-round pick with their available cash with hopes of adding potential impact players for the present as well as the future.
The Cavaliers currently have nary a draft selection this offseason, but still sent representatives to Chicago for the NBA’s version of the pre-draft combine. With teams looking to save money by not guaranteeing the contracts of first-round picks and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert not being shy with his wallet, the pieces are in place to make a transaction of this type more than possible. It is estimated that the draft selection (if of the first-round variety) could cost upwards of $3 million.
The issue at hand will then be where do the Cavs target in terms of entering into the draft. Their list of needs is a lot longer than most 60-win teams would have, especially given the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James. With Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shaquille O’Neal having their contracts expire, the Cavaliers frontcourt consists of Anderson Varejao, JJ Hickson, Antawn Jamison and Leon Powe. Both Varejao and Hickson could conceivably play center in a quicker-paced offense, but the Cavs severely lack size in the event that they fail to add a true center.
With the trade of Delonte West’s non-guaranteed contract possible, the backcourt would be comprised of Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson, Sebastian Telfair, Anthony Parker and possibly Danny Green. Parker’s contract expires following the 2010-11s season.
A team that could be targeted in a draft-selection trade with the Cavaliers is the Minnesota Timberwolves who have three first-round selections, picking 4th, 16th and 23rd.