Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 6/10/13
CLEVELAND -- As can be expected, the Cavaliers are still kicking around ideas on what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Should they try to trade it? Should they keep it and take Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and his rebuilt ACL? Should they stick with their philosophy of selecting the best player available, regardless of position, and let the chips fall where they may? The answers are perhaps, perhaps and perhaps again. Its true, as Cavs general manager Chris Grant and his staff are exploring all options and seem to have settled on none. Their latest dose of due diligence is centered on Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, a 6-foot-4 sharpshooter whos been compared to NBA veteran Ray Allen, now of the Miami Heat. According to FOX Sports Ohio sources, abundant discussions are taking place in the Cavs front office about the possibility of drafting McLemore, and how things might unfold if he indeed became the pick. The Cavs appear to be intrigued not just by McLemores remarkable perimeter touch, but his explosiveness near the basket. Like most evaluators, they believe he can turn into a bona fide scoring whiz at the next level. Of course, anyone who follows the Cavs knows they chose a shooting guard in last years draft with their first selection (No. 4 overall) -- and they do indeed still believe in Dion Waiters. He was named Rookie of the Month in February and proved to be a kid who can really fill it up, as well as create shots for others with an ability to drive and distribute. That said, sources indicated the Cavs arent entirely sold on Waiters, at least not yet. And its not often you can feel completely confident about a guy whos had just one season to prove himself. At any rate, if the Cavs do go with McLemore, they know it could create a sticky situation involving Waiters. Theres certainly no indication hed be receptive to such a move, particularly if it meant he was demoted to a sixth-man role. But expectations are higher than theyve ever been in the Grant era, with owner Dan Gilbert and fans all but publicly demanding a playoff appearance. In order for that to happen, Grant has to push the right buttons, upgrading the talent in all areas and drastically improving the defense. Clearly, that was a reason for the second coming of coach Mike Brown -- who is said to be particularly big on the idea of landing another inside presence and additional length on the wing. But if the Cavs eventually decide McLemore has the brightest future of anyone in the draft, McLemore is who they will select. The rest can be sorted out later. Going big? Cavs big man Anderson Varejao is making good progress after a quadriceps procedure and blood clot issues limited to him to 25 games. He is expected to be ready for training camp. Varejao remains the top option for the Cavs at center, but dont think team officials are just blowing off his recent injuries as a string of dumb luck. Instead, sources said the Cavs are greatly concerned about Varejaos ability to stay on the floor, and are making it a priority to add depth in the frontcourt this summer. That will be easier said than done, of course, as most teams prefer to hang on to talented big men. The Cavs found this out first hand in exploratory talks with the Portland Trail Blazers regarding LaMarcus Aldridge. As already reported, those talks failed miserably. Additionally, sources said the Atlanta Hawks are in a holding pattern when it comes to center and potential trade chip Al Horford. Hawks GM Danny Ferry is preparing to make an all-out pitch to Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard is an unrestricted free agent who has indicated hell test the market in July. Other than Howard and Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic, the list of available big men is considered relatively thin. Pekovic is an a restricted free agent, meaning the Timberwolves could match any offers (much as the Indiana Pacers did last summer when center Roy Hibbert received a deal from the Blazers). Regardless, the Cavs have gobs of available space under the salary cap, and remain very interested in using some of it to lure Pekovic. Unrestricted free agent center Andrew Bynum, who missed all of this past season in Philadelphia with a knee injury, does not appear to be on the Cavs radar. Double Dribbles The Cavs remain interested in Georgetown small forward Otto Porter, as well as Maryland center Alex Len. They would be even more interested if they were able to pilot a trade down out of the No. 1 spot. However, such a maneuver appears very unlikely as the June 27 draft approaches. Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams, Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and North Carolina small forward Reggie Bullock also have the Cavs attention. The first two are likely to be gone before the Cavs No. 19 overall selection. Bullock very well could still be there. As for potential second-rounders, the Cavs are said to like Nigerian small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who played professionally in Greece this past season, and Virginia Tech combo guard Erick Green. The Dallas Mavericks are intensely shopping the No. 13 overall pick, with hopes of moving out of the lottery and obtaining assets of their own. One such proposal, according to sources, involved the Mavs offering the 13th pick and veteran forward Shawn Marion to the Cavs for the Cavs two second-round selections (Nos. 31 and 33) and a 2014 pick. The Cavs passed on the offer. Still, sources have said the Cavs are more than willing trade partners, and outside of star point guard Kyrie Irving, consider no one on the roster untouchable. Multiple sources believe the Pacers are looking for a taker for veteran small forward Danny Granger. The Cavs are interested, but have reservations about the knee injury that forced him to miss the season. If the injury robbed him off his explosiveness, such a move would hardly be worth the gamble. Finally, the Cavs continue to consider former No. 1 overall draft pick Greg Oden a possibility in free agency. Oden is a center and, again, the Cavs want to add bigs. But the organization is highly skeptical about whether Oden can return following multiple surgeries on his knees. He hasnt played in the NBA since December 2009. Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO
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