Best Picks for Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019 NBA Draft

Max Staley
UCF v Duke
UCF v Duke / Kevin C. Cox
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

As everyone knows, when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, he left a depleted and injury-riddled team in his wake. The Cavaliers don't have much young talent on the roster outside of rookie point guard Collin Sexton, who came on quite nicely toward the end of the year.

The rest of this roster isn't good enough to contribute to winning basketball, and the Cavaliers finished tied for the second-worst record in the NBA with just 19 wins this season. On the bright side, that means they'll have a 14.0 percent chance at landing the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and a 52.0 percent chance at a top-4 selection. So let's break down the best possible picks for the Cavaliers in the first four picks.

Pick No. 1: Zion Williamson, Duke Blue Devils

This pick should require little to no explaination. Zion Williamson took the college basketball world by storm, and he's arguably the best NBA prospect since LeBron James. If Cleveland manages to luck into the No. 1 pick just one season after losing LeBron, the Cavaliers should rush to the podium to take Zion.

Pick No. 2: RJ Barrett, Duke Blue Devils

This decision comes down to drafting philosophy. Ja Morant is widely considered to be the second-best prospect in this year's NBA Draft, but Cleveland's only blue-chip talent is Sexton, and both play point guard. Considering Cleveland is so low on young talent, doing anything that might harm Sexton's development could be a mistake. RJ Barrett looks like an NBA-ready player, and his scoring ability could take some pressure off Sexton as a secondary playmaker. Morant might be the better player, but Barrett is the better fit.

Pick No. 3: Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech Red Raiders

If Cleveland misses out on the Duke duo, Jarrett Culver is probably its best available option. Culver is a fierce defender, and pairing him in the backcourt with Sexton could give the Cavaliers a tenacious perimeter defense. Culver also excels as a playmaker, as he averaged 3.7 assists per game last season. He could run the offense with Sexton on the bench, and operate as the second ball handler when both players are on the floor.

Pick No. 4: Ja Morant, Murray State

At a certain point, talent has to win out over fit or need. While Morant is an awkward fit on this team, the talent gap between him and the other prospects in the draft is just too wide to pass up here. Morant averaged 24.5 points per game (PPG), and 10.0 assists per game (APG), becoming the first NCAA men's basketball player to average at least 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG since 1983-84. Morant is a special talent, and Cleveland would likely regret passing on him if he fell to the No. 4 pick.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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