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Cavaliers trying to deal into NBA draft

Published: Thu, June 24, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.

Associated Press


The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t have a coach, any draft picks or a clue if LeBron James is coming back.

But in this volatile summer, things are changing quickly.

The Cavs, who traded away their selections while chasing an NBA title, are trying to move back into tonight’s draft through a trade.

The team has purchased second-round picks in each of the past two years, and could be positioning to do it again.

Cleveland has discussed deals with several teams, even listening to offers for point guard Mo Williams, who has drawn some interest.

Williams has had two solid regular seasons with the Cavs, but he has been maddeningly inconsistent in the playoffs since joining Cleveland.

With trade rumors swirling, as they typically do before the draft, Williams pleaded on his Twitter account that he wants to stay with the Cavs.

“Please don’t trade me, I’m not ready to go,” Williams wrote. “I’m begging. My work ain’t done yet. I’m on both knees. I’m serious.”

The Cavs do not have any deals in place for Williams, but that could change once commissioner David Stern declares the draft underway.

Owner Dan Gilbert has stated he would like to utilize the draft to improve Cleveland’s roster, which has lost some of its luster following the team’s second-round playoff loss to Boston.

In recent days, the Cavs have put their coaching search on the back burner to focus on the draft and they have identified as many as 10 players they would consider selecting.

To get one of them, they would need to acquire a late first-round or second-round pick.

They traded their first-round choice to Washington in February in the deal for Antawn Jamison and sent their second-round selection to Phoenix last summer in the package for Shaquille O’Neal.

Gilbert would like to upgrade his roster before free agency opens on July 1, when James can consider offers from other teams. It’s unlikely the Cavs can pull off a blockbuster deal for a big-name player, but that doesn’t mean Gilbert — and new general manager Chris Grant — won’t try.

Another option for the Cavs is to trade guard Delonte West, who like Williams, was a major disappointment in the postseason. Although the team won’t admit it publicly, West’s legal and health issues were a distraction last season. West, who has acknowledged having a bipolar condition, will stand trial next month in Maryland on weapons charges.

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