Cavs, Warriors both buy a pick on NBA Draft night
With only one draft pick between them, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors had to spend some of their riches in order to get what they wanted Thursday night at the NBA Draft.
The Warriors selected Vanderbilt center Damian Jones with the 30th and final pick of the first round — their last pick until 2018, thanks to the trade that brought Andre Iguodala to town. So they shelled out about $2.4 million for UNLV guard Patrick McCaw, whom the Milwaukee Bucks drafted with the No. 38 pick.
"When we drafted Jones, we did not have anything in place," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. "I knew we wanted to stay in play and had several players in mind. The second round goes pretty fast and 38 is pretty close to 30. We had to act."
The Warriors are getting used to making moves with few or no draft picks. They didn’t have a pick in 2013 or 2014.
The Cavs didn’t have one this year, so they bought the No. 54 pick from the Atlanta Hawks and drafted Oakland University point guard Kay Felder. The 5-foot-9 Felder averaged 24.4 points and 9.3 assists last season, when he was named Horizon League player of the year.
Felder was the only player in the country to rank in the top five in scoring and assists. He’s just the fifth Division I player in the past 20 years to average more than 23 points and six assists in a season.
Cleveland already has three point guards on the roster in star Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova. Williams is expected to pick up his option for next season while Dellavedova is a restricted free agent who lost coach Tyronn Lue’s trust and playing time during the finals against Golden State.
Felder already has an ally in Cleveland as Cavs scout Brandon Weems, a close friend of superstar LeBron James, spent two seasons as an assistant at Oakland.
The Cavs aren’t expected to be active in free agency, mostly because they don’t have any salary cap room. However, they will be busy.
James will opt out of his contract in the coming days, but he’s already said he intends to re-sign. J.R. Smith will test the market and it’s still unclear what veteran Richard Jefferson will do after announcing his retirement and then changing his mind after fans chanted "one more year" during the team’s massive rally on Wednesday.
And then there’s forward Kevin Love, who sustained a concussion and struggled throughout much of the finals before contributing in Game 7. Love’s name continues to swirl in trade rumors and the Cavs could be intrigued enough to listen to offers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.