NBA Draft Night is almost here! A rich pageantry of collegiate wunderkinds, characters, and conspiracy. With free agency the dominion of old money teams, the draft is the easiest way to level the playing field. It's the aspiration for a better future. And a reward for being losers. The right pick can change fandoms and legacies. The Warriors aren't the Warriors if they don't find a Draymond Green with the 35th pick. Is Klay Thompson playing better than what you expected from the 11th pick in a weak draft?
The Cavs pick 8th this year. Perhaps the only prized possession from the Kyrie "The World Is Flat Enough" Irving trade. It's not the best pick and the Cavs are probably looking at the 2nd tier of talent available, but with the right development they could be picking up a star. Here's a look at the Cavs' prospects heading into Thursday night.
Dream Scenario: Maybe the only thing that can save this summer for Cavs fans is if Cleveland somehow found a way to trade this pick to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard thus convincing LeBron James to stay. It's a stretch. Would Kevin Love, maybe Rodney Hood, and the 8th pick be the best offer on the table for the Spurs? Doubtful.
Realistic Best Case Scenario: One of the players with superstar potential falls to the 8th pick. It is a precarious position though where Cleveland remains on the outside looking in. The best players in the draft seem to be the Aytons, Doncics, Bagleys, and Jacksons. Deandre Ayton can be a monster, a sleeker Joel Embiid. Doncic seems to be the real deal. I'll predict he'll be the funnest player to watch from this draft.
The Cavs won't have a chance at these guys. But they can hope that a Michael Porter Jr. might fall to them. Facing concerns with the back surgery that sidelined him for most of his freshman year, Porter's ceiling is the roof. Porter has a really nice skill set for the NBA. He's long and a pure scorer. And if LeBron leaves, there will be no shortage of ego in the Cavs locker room.
Most Realistic Scenario: The Cavs take a gamble on another player with high upside. I see Trae Young and rising Kentucky Wildcat Kevin Knox as picks that make sense for a franchise that may need to take risks. Mikal Bridges from national champion Villanova and Miles Bridges of Michigan State (no relation) should be really solid pick ups. Less of a risk plus less boom and bust potential.
The Anthony Bennett Scenario: It's a real shot in the dark to try and predict who's going to be a bust in this year's draft. You can only guess. The worst thing the Cavs could do is trade this pick for average talent disguised a la a Trojan horse; perhaps much like the Isaiah Thomas deadline deal was. Getting talent on level with the likes of Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope won't convince kings or peasants.
My Gut Scenario: I'd hope that somehow a Michael Porter Jr or Jaren Jackson Jr become available for Cleveland. Not likely though. I think the Cavs take a chance on Kevin Knox. And hope he follows in the steps of Devin Booker. Collin Sexton remains an outcome. Trae Young would be the most polarizing. For all the hype it brings, draft night can be a cruel night. The wrong pick can set franchises back years. But the right pick can keep a city and franchise buzzing for a decade.