Cleveland Cavaliers Draft Grades
The Cavs selected Darius Garland from Vanderbilt with the first of what turned out to be three first-round picks. Heading into the year Garland was the consensus top PG prospect in the draft, but suffered a torn meniscus in his knee just five games into his freshman season, and never played college ball again. Garland is an excellent shooter off the dribble and has unlimited range in the Steph Curry-Trae Young mold. He struggled a bit as the primary creator, with an assist-to-turnover ratio under 1.0 in a small sample size, assisting on only 13 shots while turning the ball over 15 times.
He was compared to Damian Lillard throughout the draft process, and while I do think his shooting coming out of college is comparable to where Lillard was at that time, they’re not close to the same type of athlete. Lillard was able to finish through most contact at the rim and had insane burst. Garland is a much shakier finisher and rarely attacks the rim with the same verve as Dame. Cleveland selected Collin Sexton with the 8th pick last year, and he had a solid rookie season, but was not the PG they thought he would be. They hope to pair him with Garland in a Portland-style backcourt. But while Garland projects to be a very solid offensive NBA player, it remains to be seen how well he can pair with Sexton.
Grade: B- (80.0)
With their second first-round pick, the Cavs took Dylan Windler from Belmont. Windler is a 6’8 sniper who is a very solid creator and an above-average rebounder. He spent four years at Belmont, improving his statistics and on-court impact every season, finishing his senior year averaging 21.3 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 2.5 apg on 54/43/85 shooting splits. He is a prospect who will be able to come in and contribute to the team right away and has do-it-all role-player potential written all over him.
Grade: B+ (89.0)
The Cavs traded four future second-round picks plus $5 million (the most money ever paid for a pick) to Detroit for the rights to the #30 pick. With that selection, they took Kevin Porter Jr. from USC. Porter Jr. was one of the most talented offensive players in the draft; he already has an NBA level step-back jumper and has an incredibly shifty handle. He has the size (6’5.5” tall with a 6’9” wingspan) to potentially be a solid NBA defender, though he still must show improvement on that end.
Grade: B+ (87.5)
Cavs Overall Draft Grade: B (85.5)