Perhaps the luckiest franchise of all time, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be selecting No. 1 overall once again on June 26. Cleveland has won the NBA Draft Lottery three times now in the past four years, but have failed to turn the team around since LeBron James abandoned it in the summer of 2010. Kyrie Irving, who was selected with the first pick in 2011, was expected to be that franchise piece to serve as a replacement for James. However, after balking on several other key draft picks and failing to make any free agency or trade acquisitions worth speaking about, Cleveland has remained stagnant in terms of improvement.
Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the Cavaliers will not offer Irving the maximum extension, which could in turn lead to his departure sooner than expected. Irving still has another year on his rookie contract, but this does not prevent Cleveland from shipping him out simply to end the drama. Numerous incidents within the locker room have somewhat tarnished Irving’s reputation, labeling him a poor leader and very selfish player. Dion Waiters can be one to attest to that point as the two have reportedly had a multitude of ongoing issues for an extended period of time.
Further, one franchise looking to acquire a potential superstar will be none other than the Los Angeles Lakers. It is not secret that Kobe Bryant‘s career is rapidly winding down and the future is anything but bright. Although Los Angeles does not possess many tradable assets, they are in possession of the seventh pick in what is supposed to be a loaded draft. Unlike recent years, quality players are still expected to be available as late as the seventh pick, possibly capturing the attention of a team like the Cavaliers.
Trading Irving for an additional lottery pick could build the foundation for a dynamic duo in future years, as well as clear some cap room in hopes of making a splash in free agency. With the first and seventh pick, Cleveland can basically choose the direction of the franchise whether it be a power duo up front, or a dynamic backcourt. As for Los Angeles, they would acquire a potential superstar to pair with Bryant in the backcourt, who’s mentorship will be priceless. Additionally, Irving may just be the piece Kevin Love is looking for when choosing his next team in the summer of 2015. Not to mention the strong possibility that Byron Scott is hired for the head coaching vacancy, somebody who Irving is extremely close with.
Either way, we are in for a roller coaster of an offseason.