The View From Pluto: The Cavs' Future Begins This Week, With or Without LeBron

Jun 20, 2018

Tomorrow’s NBA draft will play a big role in the Cavs’ future. Cleveland has the eighth overall pick, and it’s a decision the team will have to make without knowing LeBron James’ next move. He’s been quiet about what he’ll do when his contract is up at the end of the month.  

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says this is the Cavs' first meaningful draft pick since 2014, just before LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland. 

That year, the Cavs selected Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 pick. Once James annnounced his return, the Cavs sent Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love.

The NBA's graybeards

Since then, the Cavs have been more concerned about winning with James than developing a younger team. As a result, the Cavs have one of the oldest teams in the league.

Not counting James, Pluto says there are just two players on the current Cavs' roster that the team drafted: Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson. The last time the Cavs had a draft pick was 2015.

However, Kyrie Irving put the Cavs in the position to draft high this year. When he announced last summer that he wanted to be traded, the Cavs sent him to Boston and got a first-round draft pick as part of the deal. They ended up with the eighth selection following the recent NBA draft lottery

The LeBron window is closing

And now, Pluto says, that pick matters.

"When you have LeBron, you don't have time for the draft. The window for LeBron is closing, whether he's going to stay or he's just getting older. 

So, Pluto says the team has to start thinking long-term.

"At some point as you keep adding older guys, you've got to get younger whether you have LeBron James or not."

And, Pluto says if James decides to stay, he'll likely sign another one-year deal, making the future just as uncertain.

"They actually picked up some young players at mid-season. Larry Nance, Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood. So, they have to continue to make moves to make the roster younger and better."

"You can't be thinking how this pick will impact what James is going to do. You've got to say, 'How does this pick make us better?'"


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