It was somewhat of a surprise to see the 2018 NBA Draft come and go without the Cleveland Cavaliers moving their lottery pick for a proven player.
Ultimately, Cleveland landed former Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick. To be clear, this was a position of utmost need for the four-time defending Eastern Conference champs. Though, multiple reports had indicated that Cleveland was honing in on a trade for Charlotte Hornets All-Star point man Kemba Walker.
Following the draft, Cavs general manager Koby Altman noted that the team was not going to move a player in Sexton who gave a half-hearted appeal for LeBron James to return to Cleveland.
Now comes this report from Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger noting that the Cavaliers are still in on Walker despite selecting Sexton Thursday night.
“The Cavs continue to explore the possibility of working a deal with the Charlotte Hornets for two-time All-Star Kemba Walker,” Berger reported. “Their best chance at such a deal would seem to have involved the eighth pick in the draft, which didn’t happen. One person close to Walker said Thursday night that he still believes such a deal is ‘possible.'”
Berger also noted that Cleveland’s only real hope of retaining LeBron centers around the team potentially landing Walker in a trade. That falls in line with reports from earlier in the week.
There’s, however, one major issue here. If the Cavaliers are not looking to deal Sexton, they have very little capital to acquire a player of Walker’s ilk. Remember, Kevin Love is seemingly off the trade block.
That would leave the likes of Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, George Hill and Jordan Clarkson as the most-valuable options to move in a trade. None of those players would come close to netting a two-time All-Star in Walker.
One thing is clear here. LeBron is checking around the league to see if any other star players are willing to join him in another run with the Cavaliers. If it becomes apparent that’s not going to happen, James is all but gone.