The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2019 NBA Draft holding the fifth and 26th picks and looking to add talent. The Cavaliers had selected the University of Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth pick in the 2018 NBA draft and would look to add talent to surround him with to build their young core.
2019 NBA Draft Grade for the Cleveland Cavaliers
Despite the fact that the Cavaliers had selected a point guard in the 2018 NBA draft, Koby Altman and the front office decided to select talent over need when they nabbed Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland. Garland was the best player left on the board when the Cavaliers pick rolled around, and they rolled with another point guard. The hope for Cleveland is that Garland and Sexton will be able to share the backcourt together.
Garland is a splendid ball handler. In his short stint before the injury with the Commodores, Garland was able to navigate traffic and get to any spot on the floor. He is more of a score-first point guard, much like Sexton, so there is some concern about the fit with the two young lead guards. However, the Cavaliers made the right decision. Bad teams should always draft for talent instead of drafting for need.
Selecting Belmont University wing Dylan Windler was perhaps a bit of a surprise. Windler is a fantastic shooter. John Beilein’s system being successful is predicated on having ball handlers and shooters. Windler fits that mold as he shot 42.9 percent from three-point range last season. Windler was also an exceptional rebounder for the Bruins. For his career, Windler averaged 7.8 rebounds per game, including 10.8 rebounds per game in his final season.
The question surrounding Windler is whether he will be able to defend NBA wings. Windler is plenty athletic, but his lateral movement isn’t great. If he is able to defend at an average clip, Windler will prove to be a very smart selection by Cavaliers’ general manager Koby Altman.
Kevin Porter Jr.
Kevin Porter Jr is regarded as a top 10 talent from the 2019 NBA Draft. However, questions surrounding his maturity killed his draft stock. The Cavaliers used four future second round picks to trade back into the first round to select Porter. They also sent nearly five million dollars in cash. That shows how badly they wanted to add Porter. He has the potential to be a 20 point per game scorer in the NBA as long as he meets his potential. He is an excellent fit in John Beilein’s system as he handles the basketball very well and is also a great shooter.
Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft Grade
The Cleveland Cavaliers clearly had a goal of fortifying their backcourt. They added three guards to go with soon to be second-year guard Collin Sexton. Although this draft shouldn’t be considered a grand slam, it was a home run. The only thing keeping this from being graded an A or A+ is the questionable fit of Garland and Sexton. It will be interesting to see how the two mesh together. The Cavaliers next goal should be shedding veteran contracts to add more assets in order to begin working on fortifying their frontcourt.
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