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Cleveland Cavaliers generating significant interest for No. 3 pick

Matt Johnson

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While the Cleveland Cavaliers missed out on the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the franchise is feeling very confident with the 3rd pick. In a draft class that is rich with premium talent at the top, Cleveland might have a trick up its sleeve before draft night.

The Cavaliers are in a unique spot due to the nature of this year’s draft class. After spending top-10 picks on guards in the 2019 and 2019 drafts, there isn’t an overwhelming need at the position. But with Jarrett Allen headed for a max contract, the front office also doesn’t need a center like USC’s Evan Mobley.

That might be exactly why, per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, the Cavaliers are taking calls on the No. 3 pick. While discussions are reportedly preliminary, with teams just gauging the price, general manager Koby Altman has fielded calls from numerous teams about the pick.

While no specifics are given regarding what teams called, it’s easy to predict who two of them might be. The Orlando Magic hold the No. 5 and No. 8 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. While there is some depth to this class, the tier of talent drops after the first four prospects.

Orlando badly needs a star it can build the franchise around, even if it takes that player time to develop. Packaging both first-round picks for No. 3 would put the Magic in position to draft Mobley as the Nikola Vucevic replacement or Orlando could draft Jalen Suggs.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are another logical option. Oklahoma City holds the No. 6 pick, which could be packaged with the 16th overall selection and a future first-round pick. In that scenario, the Thunder could snag Mobley as their center of the future.

It might be wise for the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade their top pick this summer, using it to acquire more draft capital. Given the Collin Sexton trade rumors, it might not even be the only blockbuster deal this franchise makes.