The widely expected start to the 2021 NBA Draft is the Pistons taking Cade Cunningham No. 1, the Rockets taking Jalen Green second, and then it falls to the Cavaliers at No. 3 to take either Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs.
The Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic — the owners of the No. 4 and 5 picks, respectively — want into that conversation and are trying to trade up with Cleveland, reports Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer.
League sources say the Cavaliers have received significant trade interest for this selection, and the Raptors and Magic—the next two teams up to pick—have made offers to move up. But Cleveland might just stay put.
Two factors go into any decision by Cleveland here: 1) What are the Raptors and Magic offering to move up? 2) How highly do the Cavaliers rate Mobley (or maybe Suggs, but probably Mobley)?
Orlando has the No. 5 and No. 8 picks, plus some interesting young players on their roster — Wendell Carter Jr., R.J. Hampton — that could make a good trade package if the Cavaliers don’t rate Mobley as high as others. Cleveland does have Jarrett Allen on its roster as the center of the future (they will have to pay the restricted free agent this summer to keep him). If the Cavaliers don’t think as highly of Mobley as others, they could be open to a package to move down and let someone else grab Mobley.
There will be plenty of trades on draft night — the Warriors want to move the No. 7 pick pretty badly — and the moves could start as high as No. 3.