Raptors, Magic make trade offers to Cavaliers for No. 3 overall pick in NBA Draft, per report

by Ryan


The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a somewhat difficult position heading into the NBA Draft. With Cade Cunningham expected to be drafted No. 1 overall, the two players they are likeliest to land at No. 3 both play positions that are theoretically filled on their roster. Guard Jalen Green would be joining a backcourt that already has recent lottery picks Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, but if Evan Mobley is the pick, he would probably have to play power forward rather than center, which is his best position, because the Cavaliers are expected to try to re-sign Jarrett Allen as their starting center. 

There is an alternative to these logjams if they want it, though. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Toronto Raptors, picking No. 4, and the Orlando Magic, picking No. 5, have both made trade offers to move up to No. 3. Orlando especially appears to be in strong position to make such a move if Cleveland is interested because it controls not only the No. 5 pick, but the No. 8 pick as well thanks to its midseason trade of Nikola Vucevic

Mobley would make plenty of sense as a Raptors target. Toronto lost Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in free agency last offseason and struggled to filled the void at center all season. Mobley would do so. If he can contribute right away and Toronto can re-sign Kyle Lowry, the Raptors could use such a deal to jump back into the playoff picture next season. 

Orlando’s timeline isn’t as clear. After trading Vucevic, the Magic figure to spend the next few years rebuilding. Their target might not necessarily be Mobley, either. The Magic already have Jonathan Isaac, Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba as recent lottery picks in the front court. Starting point guard Markelle Fultz is coming off of a torn ACL, so Orlando could potentially be targeting Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, expected to be the No. 4 overall pick to Toronto if the Raptors don’t make a trade, at No. 3.

Cleveland is at the point in its own rebuild in which talent should be the only priority. If that means drafting a player at a crowded position, so be it. But if the right trade offer comes along, collecting assets is never a bad idea. 

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