BOSTON (CBS) – Chris Mannix, senior basketball writer for Sports Illustrated, joined the Gresh and Zolak Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub to discuss the NBA’s upcoming draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers possibly trading their no. 1 pick, and the options that the Celtics have as they head into tonight’s draft.
Many teams have contacted the Cleveland Cavaliers inquiring about their no. 1 pick, and the Cavs haven’t been afraid about wanting to trade back to gain additional assets. The Cavaliers have had a history of drafting no. 1 picks, one great (LeBron James), Kyrie Irving and a few busts. They are hoping to draft another great one.
“Cleveland continues to shop this pick,” said Mannix. “They have talked to Utah, who’s dangling Derek Favors in addition to their 5th overall pick. Orlando obviously wants to move up. Philadelphia also wants to move up. But you’ve got to remember, this is Cleveland, and even though it is a different general manager, they are the kings of misdirection. I can tell you for sure they are actively shopping it right now.”
It has been said that the Cavaliers can’t decide whether to draft Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. People have gone back and forth on who is the better player. Mannix has an idea of who he would draft no. 1 overall.
“I think that Wiggins is the best overall player,” said Mannix. “Look, if they (Cavaliers) keep the pick, I don’t think it’s Jabari Parker. I think Jabari Parker has been a part of this smokescreen, because Utah really wants Jabari Parker. They would pick him no. 1 if they moved up.”
The Boston Celtics are also looking to be a big player in this year’s draft, seeing that they hold the 6th overall pick as well as the 17th overall pick. Many people are calling for them to make a major trade during the draft. Mannix thinks a big trade could happen, but not necessarily tonight.
“It’s not necessarily about drafting guys at a certain position,” said Mannix. “It’s about acquiring as many assets as humanly possible. Because more likely than not, over the next year or so, Danny Ainge is going to package these guys together and go get a different player.”
Big things are set to happen at tonight’s NBA draft and nobody knows who will make the big move or when it will happen. But what we do know is that it will be must-watch television.