RUMOR: Darius Garland could be drafted by Lakers or Cavs in trade possibility
The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of many teams that left the NBA Draft Lottery feeling somewhat disappointed. The Cavs initially shared the best odds of landing the top overall pick, but instead fell to the no. 5 position.
Whereas Cleveland had hoped for the chance to draft one of Zion Williamson, Ja Morant or R.J. Barrett, they are likely to miss out on all three unless they get aggressive and move up from their current spot.
But while the Cavs are reportedly showing strong interest in Barrett, they might also be players for Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, who continues to move up in projected mock drafts.
NBA.com writer Sam Smith wrote about the potential for Garland to go as high as pick four or to Cleveland at no. 5, due in part to the lack of quality point guard depth in this draft:
The early consensus among several NBA executives interviewed this week was the obvious top three of Williamson, Morant and Barrett. Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland has been moving up the boards. He left the camp early amidst the belief he received a promise to be selected high. The speculation was Phoenix at No. 6 since the Suns are desperate for a point guard. But some speculated Garland could go at No. 4 to the Lakers or No. 5 to Cleveland in a trade possibility because of the lack of point guards in this draft.
Garland played in just five games in his freshman season at Vanderbilt, but has drawn comparisons to Kyrie Irving for his handle and scoring ability.
If Cleveland opted to select Garland, they would likely commit to moving Collin Sexton to the two, which may be his more natural position anyway.