The rebuilding of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise begins in earnest with this evening's NBA Draft.
Where the night will get interesting is Utah's pick at No. 3. The Jazz seemed torn between Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight for weeks. A number of executives around the league expected the Jazz to settle on Knight, but the latest reports out of Salt Lake City have them taking another look at Kanter.
The Cavs are believed to be targeting Kanter at No. 4, likely to set up a trade. The Cavs are high on Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas and snuck him into town on Tuesday, DraftExpress reported this morning.
If Kanter is off the board, the Cavs could select Valanciunas for themselves and scrap the idea of trading down to get him. Fans don't know much about Valanciunas because he's only 19 and plays overseas, but executives around the league love him. It is believed the San Antonio Spurs, with one of the best scouting departments in the league, are targeting Valanciunas. That is why they are dangling Tony Parker in an effort to move up high enough to nab him.
Terms of Valanciunas' buyout remain unclear, but it's likely at this point he will remain in Europe at least for next season. There are rumors that his buyout for next season is $2.5 million. Any NBA team that drafts him would only be able to pay $500,000 of that, leaving the $2 million balance to come out of Valanciunas' pocket. It's unlikely he'd be willing to pay that much.
As for the top overall pick, the Cavs are remaining silent, but all signs point to Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. The Timberwolves have flirted with the idea of taking Kanter in recent days, but it would be surprising if they took anyone other than Arizona forward Derrick Williams.
Then things will start to get interesting when the Jazz decide between Kanter and Knight. Should they pass on Knight, he won't fall below the Raptors' fifth pick. The Raptors would be ecstatic to get Knight at No. 5.
Now it's your turn. If Kanter is available, how do you want the Cavs to draft? Do you want Irving and Kanter or Irving and Valanciunas, knowing Valanciunas might bring with him an extra draft pick or player in a trade scenario.