This list is my opinion of these players in regards to the Cleveland Cavaliers only. It also assumes that the Cavaliers roster will not change between now and the draft, and it will be updated should any major roster changes occur.
I plan on posting v2.0 at the halfway point of the NBA regular season, v3.0 at the 3/4 mark, v4.0 at the end of the season, and v5.0 after the NBA combine. Each version will be updated if there are any major developments either with the Cavaliers or with any of these players, but minor developments will simply be applied to the next version.
1. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, PF/C
Why? Elite defender both on and off the ball. Uses his 7'4" wingspan to block shots and disrupt passing lanes.
Why not? Very raw on offense. Needs to add strength.
Conclusion: Some may be more well rounded players than Noel, but he is an elite defender that is unmatched in this draft class.
2. Alex Len, Maryland, C
Why? Very good two-way player. Imposing defensive presence at 7'1" tall. Most well rounded offensive big besides Cody Zeller in this draft.
Why not? Despite having no glaring weaknesses, he also doesn't have one elite skill that sets him apart.
Conclusion: Not necessarily a difference maker, but a very solid & versatile player at an important position.
3. Cody Zeller, Indiana, PF/C
Why? Top post scorer in this draft class. Very good basketball IQ and instincts on both ends.
Why not? Lacks a good frame for defending stronger NBA bigs. Jump shot not a weapon yet.
Conclusion: Has the potential to be a very good NBA player, but there will be times when he is simply physically outmatched. Overall, though, his good instincts will make him at least serviceable on defense, and perhaps even above average.
4. Alex Poythress, Kentucky, SF/PF
Why? Elite defender that is both quick enough to defend perimeter players and strong enough to defend most PFs. Very athletic with the perfect frame for a SF. Solid jump shot.
Why not? Will create almost nothing for himself at the NBA level. Disappears on offense for long stretches.
Conclusion: Probably has the most upside of any player in this draft except Nerlens Noel. Should become a lockdown defender at the next level, as well as being a plus rebounder, and a guy that can make open shots that our guards create for him.
5. Rudy Gobert, France, PF/C
Why? 7'1" tall with a 7'9" wingspan. Super athletic. Excellent defensive instincts. Need I say more?
Why not? Very raw offensively. Needs to add strength. Difficult to get updates on his progress since he is playing in Europe.
Conclusion: Not really sure. Could be #1 on this list by the end of the year, or could drop off entirely. But certainly has the potential to be a difference maker at the next level.
6. Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, PG/SG
Why? 6'6" combo guard with elite passing and good ball-handling skills. His length allows him to be a terror defensively. Btw, basically all of draftexpress' measurements for him are incorrect.
Why not? Has struggled with his 3-pt shooting so far this year. Lacks the strength needed to defend some small forwards.
Conclusion: MCW has the potential to become a very good two way player. His size and length would allow us to run a 3 guard lineup and still play legitimate defense. More importantly, with proper rotations there could be 2 of our 3 playmaking guards on floor for the entire game.
7. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SG/SF
Why? Very good offensive player who can play on or off the ball. Has the size (6'6" tall), length (6'11" wingspan), and strength (223 lbs.) to defend either wing position. High motor & plus rebounder. You are probably wondering: Why did I put him this low?
Why not? Ball stopper. Will pass out of double teams, but not much else. Debatable how effective he can be in isolations at the next level. Biggest weakness on offense is as a spot-up shooter.
Conclusions: I've gone back and forth on Shabazz this year, but I simply don't think he is a good fit for our starting lineup. Our offense will be more effective with someone who is more willing to defer to his teammates. Could be very effective providing a spark to our second unit, but I simply can't see taking someone who doesn't fit well with our starters in the top 5.
8. Anthony Bennett, UNLV, SF/PF
Why? One of the best athletes in this draft. His explosiveness allows him to consistently get easy buckets inside, and he has shown range on his jump shot out to the 3-pt line. Great rebounder & defender.
Why not? What position does he play? He's a little small for a PF, but I'm not sure he has the perimeter game to be a SF. Could he guard smaller & quicker perimeter players? What about bigger and stronger PFs? Lots of questions at this point.
Conclusions: Tough call. Probably a better fit at PF in the NBA, but it's hard to take someone in the top 10 without a clearly defined role for them. That said, if he keeps playing this well it will be impossible to ignore him. With some guys you just have to forget positions and find a way to make it work.
9. Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG/SF
Why? Very athletic wing with an excellent jump shot. Quick first step, and can finish above the rim. Has both the length and quickness to play excellent defense. Good rebounder. Unselfish.
Why not? Inconsistent, with a low basketball IQ right now. Not a good handle. Doesn't always assert himself on offense.
Conclusion: Often compared to Brandon Rush, he would be a solid, versatile player that could be used at either wing position depending on the situation. Not very polished at this point, but has tons of upside.
10. Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF
Why? Smart, unselfish player that thrives playing off the ball. Excellent NBA frame. Solid defense & rebounding.
Why not? Inconsistent jump shot. Doesn't create for himself. Lacks the quickness to defend some perimeter players, and the strength to defend some SFs.
Conclusion: Has the potential to be a solid supporting player in the NBA. Biggest concerns right now are his defense and jump shot. He should be able to add strength and become an adequate defender in the NBA, but the lateral quickness just isn't there. If the jump shot improves he would be a perfect fit for our offense.
Isaiah Austin, Baylor, PF/C - Love the skillset, just not the results so far.
Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, SG - Great player, just not sure he's a great fit. His game is very similar to Dion's.
James McAdoo, UNC, PF - Another excellent athlete that has underwhelmed so far. If he can show range on his jumper I'll be more interested.
Tony Mitchell, North Texas, SF/PF - Possibly the best athlete in the draft. Might be the biggest headcase too.
Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, C - Perfect frame for a defense-oriented NBA center. Very raw, though, and likely will need more than one year in college.