NBA Mock Draft Pick #21 - Matisse Thybulle, Guard, Washington
SB Nation’s Cleveland Cavaliers blog Fear The Sword explains the pick:
For this trade, the logic was simple: The Cavs need young talent. We are going to entrust the Cleveland Clinic to help Andre Roberson heal and perhaps Patrick Patterson can help us some. But the prize here is Matisse Thybulle. By any metric, the Cavs were the worst defense in the league last year and also one of the worst ever. Thybulle projects as one of the very best defenders coming out of this class and the hope is that, even if there’s a learning curve moving from playing zone in college to man in the NBA, he should help this team on that end. He also gives the Cavs a young wing trio of Thybulle, No. 3 pick RJ Barrett and Cedi Osman to be excited about moving forward.
These are the terms of the trade in our Blogger Mock Draft between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers:
Thunder receive: JR Smith, Utah’s 2020 second
Cavaliers receive: Patrick Patterson, Andre Roberson, 21st Pick
Welcome to Loud City explains the trade from the OKC point of view:
The Thunder are in win-now mode with a narrow window of opportunity to continue chasing an NBA title. With several projects on the roster already - including Hamidou Diallo, Deonte Burton, Terrance Ferguson and Abdel Nader - adding another probably doesn’t help the immediate cause. What the Thunder needs is flexibility to pursue veterans in the offseason that can help Paul George and Russell Westbrook immediately. JR Smith, however, is not that veteran. OKC will release him by June 30 and owe him only $3.9 million, which can be spread over three seasons. The trade will save nearly $47 million in luxury taxes. Seems drastic, but it’s a way to re-allocate funds and open up the use of the taxpayer Mid-Level exception in July. It might also allow OKC to tap into a $10.8 million trade exception that is good until July 25.