Once again the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves with the Number one Draft pick but not knowing what to do with it. The Utah Jazz are hoping they give it to them, offering Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and the number five overall pick for that top spot in the 2014 NBA Draft and Jarrett Jack.
A year has passed since the Cavs made what now seems to be an awful choice: Picking Anthony Bennett with the number one overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Bennett might actually do much better in the future and showed signs of improving but a rookie season in which he averaged 4.2 points and 3 rebounds per game while shooting 35.6% from the field makes it seem like the Cavs might be looking for more proven talent than taking another gamble.
A year ago it also seemed that no matter who came out on top in this draft, the team would be happy. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or even Joel Embiid looked like immediate impact makers. They still should be (except for Embiid with his injury issue), but not with the same upside as previously thought. Wiggins still seems to be the number one player on most mock boards, but there are a lot more concerns to what he’ll bring to the table than before. No one is talking about the next ‘LeBron James’ anymore.
The Jazz wouldn’t mind having the number one pick. They have plenty of caps space, but also a contract to Derrick Favors they really don’t like. Favors is due to make $12 million next season, and carry on making that kind of money through the 2017-2018 season. Even though he significantly improved last season with more minutes, averaging 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, the Jazz don’t want his production for the kind of money they’re paying him.
Do the Cavs? They might. With only Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson to call reliable frontcourt men on the roster going into next season (Spencer Hawes is a free agent) and with Embiid injured, the Cavs might want someone more ready to play significant minutes and if they offload the Jarrett Jack contract to the Jazz, who do need a solid backup point guard to Trey Burke they’ll have enough cap space to make another important signing even with Favors and Burks joining the team.
The Jazz probably want Andrew Wiggins with their first pick, although Jabari Parker is also worth considering. They need players in both positions while the Jazz also work to sign Gordon Hayward before he slips away from them. In Utah who have a new head coach, there’s more patience than in Cleveland when it comes to making the playoffs. The Jazz are trying to build a solid yet inexpensive team that will eventually become a playoff team again. For the Cavs, considering the moves they’ve made in recent years, it’s only about the now.