NBA Draft Sleepers: 5 Players the Cavs should Consider in the Second Round



The Cavaliers struck gold yet again in the NBA draft lottery by getting the first overall pick. With the first pick there are only a few options: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid or trade the pick. The Cavs also have the third pick (33rd overall) in the second round. There are many options and directions David Griffin could go with this pick. Here are five guys I believe the Cavs should seriously consider (in no particular order):


  1. Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State. Payne, a senior, has experience and has developed his game. While he doesn’t have a lot of room to grow, he has one of the polished games out of all the forwards in this draft. He is a great athlete at 6’ 10”. Payne possesses the ability to stretch the floor as he does have a solid jumper but he has the size the play by the basket as well. I believe Payne would be a good fit on the Cavs. While it is hard to speculate what scheme the Cavs will run next year because they don’t have a coach yet, Payne’s skills could fit into most schemes. He will have to improve defensively, but Payne is one of the more NBA-ready prospects.
  2. Sean Kilpatrick, SG, Cincinnati. Kilpatrick, like Adreian Payne, is also a senior. With Kilpatrick what you see is what you get. Kilpatrick is the most polished player in this draft and lacks room to develop; he is pretty much at his peak. This could be viewed as good or bad. He is a solid jump shooter and decent athlete. Kilpatrick would be a good piece on the Cavs. He doesn’t have the star potential you would look for in the first round, but he is guy who can come off the bench and really help out.. I would love to see Kilpatrick back up Dion Waiters. My biggest concern with Kilpatrick is his size. At only 6’4’’ he isn’t the big athletic shooting guard. Due to this, I would be content to see Kilpatrick play some backup point guard.
  3. Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier. Semaj Christon is an intriguing prospect as a guy who could backup Kyrie Irving. Jarrett Jack is not part of the future plan for the Cavs and as much as I like Matthew Dellavedova, I don’t know if he has the offensive upside needed. Christon is a fantastic athlete and measures about 6’3’’ but has a 6’6’’ wingspan. Christon is fairly raw at this point but has a lot of room to grow. He has all the measurable but needs to grow as a point guard, much like Kyrie Irving does. Christon will need to work on his jump shot and hit the weights. I like Christon as a backup to Irving, and should Irving leave next summer, Christon could step in and be a very serviceable guard.
  4. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, SF/SG, Greece. Antetokounmpo is not quite the athletic freak his brother Giannis (15th overall pick of the Bucks last year) is but he is still something. Thansis played in the D league last year, where average a very respectable 12 points and 4 rebounds while shooting a very good 55% from the field. Antetokounmpo’s strengths lie in his frame. He is 6’7’’ and really quick. He isn’t a great ball handler, but rather a slasher who can cut to the basket and finish above the rim. On the defensive end, Antetokounmpo has the potential to be a great defender, due to his physical attributes and motor. Antetokounmpo is absolutely a guy the Cavaliers should look at in the second round. He is a versatile wingman who could help the Cavs greatly. He has plenty of room to grow and has great potential.
  5. Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor. Austin has perhaps the highest upside of anyone in this draft. Austin is 7’1’’ and has a very good jump shot for a guy his size. For Austin to be a legitimate NBA center he needs to get a lot stronger. Austin is a guy, who with the right training and workout program, can be an all-star center. The hardest thing for a big man to develop is a jumper, which Austin has. It’s all a matter of if Austin is willing to put in the work and get better. In addition, Austin will have to develop a post-game in order to truly be a threat with his back to the basket. I would be ecstatic is the Cavs drafted Austin, just imagining the pick and pop/roll combo of Irving and Austin has me salivating. I feel Austin has the highest upside and star potential.

By Josh Friedman. Follow me on twitter @therealjoshf

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