With the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Cavs have selected Alabama point guard Collin Sexton. With LeBron James's future hanging in the balance, it's a choice that will be massively scrutinized over the next few days.
Welcome to CLE and the @Cavs franchise, @CollinYoungBull. Everybody here in the draft room is more than excited you will be bringing your talents, skills, and most importantly your passion & work ethic to The Land. Let’s go #youngbull.
With the trajectory of their franchise riding on where he decides to play next season and beyond, the Cleveland Cavaliers entered this year’s draft not knowing if they were choosing a player to help them — and James — contend for another championship, develop a prospect for the future or potentially take a player to trade.
James has until June 29 to exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season or decline it and become an unrestricted free agent, officially making him the planet’s best and most coveted player.
The 33-year-old is not expected to reveal his intentions until after the draft.
Anything seems possible at this point. James and his representatives have kept an air-tight lid on their plans.
James has remained off social media since the playoffs began in April, and his self-imposed blackout has continued since the Finals ended.
He’s been quiet, but there’s no doubt he’s watching.
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The Cavs, too, have been secretive while general manager Koby Altman prepared for his first draft by consulting with his staff on what to do with the No. 8 overall pick, the one they received last summer in the seismic trade that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
It’s proved to be quite a quandary for Cleveland, and James isn’t helping the Cavs by keeping them in suspense.
It’s also possible that James hasn’t made up his mind.
Following Game 4 in the Finals, James said he’ll factor in his family’s well-being along with his thirst to win more titles into a decision that once again has Cleveland edgy.
“I still want to be in championship mode,” he said. “I think I’ve shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.”
And while there are numerous unknowns, there is one indisputable fact: the Cavs must upgrade their roster to have any chance of keeping James and continuing a relationship that was resurrected in 2014.
After yielding to Irving’s request and trading him, the Cavs spent all last season trying to replace him. They never came close, and without a dependable second scoring option or a guard, James was forced to shoulder a heavier load than ever. He succeeded in getting to his eighth straight Finals, but was then overmatched by the deeper Warriors.