The Cleveland Cavaliers enter the 2021 NBA Draft with the No. 3 overall pick.
CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: the Locked On Cavs podcast in the video player above is from June 17, 2021.
After landing some luck in the draft lottery, the Cleveland Cavaliers enter the 2021 NBA Draft with the No. 3 overall pick.
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With that in mind, here are three prospects the Cavs could take with their first-round pick during next month’s draft on July 29:
Jalen Suggs, SG, Gonzaga
One of college basketball’s top players last season, Jalen Suggs helped lead Gonzaga to a 29-1 record while 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Suggs is a strong defender who also possesses above-the-rim athleticism, playmaking prowess and intangibles that make him perhaps one of the safest picks in this year’s draft.
While the Cavs selected guards in 2018 and 2019, Suggs likely has a higher ceiling than either Collin Sexton or Darius Garland. Drafting him could force Cleveland to make a decision on the future of its current starting backcourt or give the Cavs flexibility with Sexton up for a contract extension this offseason.
Jalen Green, SG, G League Ignite
The No. 2 prospect in the 2020 recruiting class, Jalen Green opted to spend last season playing in the NBA’s G League instead of college. Appearing in 15 games for Ignite, the Napa, Califonia, native averaged 17.9 points on .461 shooting (.365 percent from 3-point range) to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
At 6-foot-6 and 186 pounds, Green is an explosive finisher around the rim who possesses a high-level shotmaking ability that extends to 3-point range. With perhaps the most complete offensive game in this year’s class, Green could instantly find himself the centerpiece of Cleveland’s lineup.
Evan Mobley, C, USC
The best big man in this year’s draft, Evan Mobley matches strong athleticism and a modern skill set with a 7-foot, 215-pound frame. Leading USC to the Elite Eight as a freshman, the former 5-star prospect averaged 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 33 games last season.
Largely considered to be the second-best prospect in this class behind Cade Cunningham, Mobley might be off the board by the time the Cavs make their pick. But if he’s available, he could give Cleveland a solid alternative to signing Jarrett Allen to a contract likely to top $100 million this summer.