Eastern Notes: Cavs, Draft, Simmons, Knicks, Ivey

The Cavaliers control three picks in next month’s draft — besides the No. 14 selection, the team also has No. 39 and No. 56. However, the odds of Cleveland drafting three rookies for the 2022/23 roster are low, says Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber-only link).

Multiple sources have told Fedor that the Cavaliers using the No. 39 pick on a player who will make next season’s team is a “50-50 proposition.” As for No. 56, Fedor suggests that pick is “highly likely” to be used on a prospect who could be stashed internationally with an eye toward the future.

If the Cavaliers don’t have a specific player they like at No. 39 or No. 56, it sounds like at least one of those picks for a future second-rounder or two will be a viable option. In that scenario, Cleveland would gain at least one extra pick that could be used as a sweetener in a future trade or to eventually draft a player when the roster has more openings and is in greater need of an injection of young talent.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • In a separate article for Cleveland.com, Fedor attempts determine which prospects the Cavaliers are most likely to target at No. 14. Fedor stresses that the Cavs are still doing their due diligence and that it’s impossible to know exactly who will be available at the end of the lottery, but identifies Ohio State’s Malaki Branham and LSU’s Tari Eason as two players to watch, adding that Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji would also be a logical fit.
  • Nets guard Ben Simmons is “progressing well” in his rehab from back surgery and is “in great spirits,” a source tells Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link). It’s a somewhat generic update, but it’s still good news for the Nets that Simmons remains on track for training camp, given the injury setbacks he experienced this spring.
  • The Knicks are doing their homework on Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, having used one of their allotted 20 interviews on him at last week’s draft combine, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. While Berman suggests the meeting is a sign that New York has at least explored the idea of trading up from No. 11, he acknowledges that it’s not unusual for the Knicks to do their due diligence on players projected to be drafted outside of their range, if only to gather information for the future.
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