NBA Draft Rumors: Cavs Have “Supreme” Interest In RJ Barrett; May Trade Up

Cleveland is interested with the Duke forward and could trade up from the fifth overall pick in order to be able to draft him

Photo via Sports Illustrated

We’re within a month from the 2019 NBA Draft and while many think the top three picks are a lock, the Cleveland Cavaliers could make some noise by moving up.

Last week,’s Chris Fedor wrote in his Q & A that Cleveland thinks “highly” of the prospect out of Duke and added that if the opportunity presented itself, the Cavs would explore the possibility of moving up from the 5th pick to get Barrett.

On Friday, the Athletic’s Joe Vardon was on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland and re-iterated what Fedor wrote about Barrett.

Barrett is currently projected to go third overall to the New York Knicks in many mock drafts but there’s also another rumor being floated around that involves the Knicks trading down from third overall.

Cleveland doesn’t have two lottery picks like Atlanta does but being at 5, the Knicks wouldn’t have to drop down as much in the draft order and pick up a solid player still with that pick.

Now many will likely ask, what would Cleveland have to give up to move up two slots in the draft order?

They can look back to last year’s draft as the best example. Dallas and Atlanta swapped the third and fifth overall picks in last year’s draft which turned out to be Luka Doncic and Trae Young who are the frontrunners to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

Dallas also sent a protected first-round pick which Atlanta ended up receiving this year but it was top 5 protected for the 2019 and 2020 drafts, top 3 protected for the 2021 and 2022 drafts and unprotected for the 2023 draft.

Cleveland could potentially offer the same exact deal to New York and the Knicks would still be in a position to draft someone like Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Virginia’s DeAndre Hunter, Duke’s Cam Reddish or making an offer to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair him with potentially Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving in free agency.

The Cavaliers could also offer a future first-round pick they acquired from Milwaukee in the George Hill/Matthew Dellavedova trade but I would think Cleveland would want to hold onto that just in case Giannis Antetokounmpo would leave in the near future and the Bucks would fall back towards the bottom of the league.

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