So, the Cavaliers look like they won't be able to escape another trip to the lottery. Too many injuries, too many wasted opportunities. With the NCAA tournament underway, the Cavs scouting department will be out in full force. Who should YOU keep an eye on?
NOTE: I don't need to tell you to keep an eye on Wiggins, Parker, and Embiid, so they will not be on the list.
(Cavs currently projected in the lottery)
- Marcus Smart - G - Oklahoma State University
I am loathe to list guards on this list, because I don't think the Cavs need to use a high lottery pick on another one. HOWEVER, you never know how the summer will turn out. Smart is a bully on the court, with the size and attitude to intimidate smaller guards. His motor, length, and nose for the ball make him a devastating defender. As much as I'd be annoyed with a guard, a player of Smart's talent and demeanor is something the Cavs could use.
- Gary Harris - G - Michigan State University
Again, ugh, a guard. Harris has a lot of similar characteristics Smart does. He isn't as strong of a ball handler, and is more of a pure 2 than point guard, but he's really good. He can shoot from anywhere, albeit a bit streakily, and has a non-stop motor.
- Julius Randle - F - Kentucky
Randle hasn't quite lived up to his hype, but not as much as some people make you think. He is still a top 5 talent, and a ridiculous athlete at power forward that can score from anywhere on the floor.
- James Young - G/F Kentucky -
I think the Cavs will be a little too high to be in his range, but with a good tournament he could rise up boards. The 6'8 18 year old needs to show that he can score consistently, but Kentucky's chemistry is spacing is so messed up that I'm not sure he can. Still, he has the raw ability and is the youngest player in this draft class.
- Rodney Hood - G/F - Duke University
Hood is probably the second best shooter in the draft. At 6'8 180 the 21 year old has great size for an NBA guard but is a little light to get many minutes at the 3. He is passable but doesn't stand out as a defender, and doesn't rebound much for his size. Two things he would need to work on.
- Doug McDermott - F - Creighton
The Cavs will probably be too high to take him. He is the best shooter and scorer in the draft, which is really good. His athleticism is debatable, as evidenced by the 34 steals he has in about 4500 college minutes. He also needs to get stronger, seeing as his position in the NBA is probably the 4 to match up with slower of foot players. He is also a really really good scorer, if I didn't mention that.
- Aaron Craft - G - Ohio State
How literal are we taking "prospects" and "in the tournament"?
Prospects not in the NCAA tournament you might want to look at are Noah Vonleh a 6'10 forward from Indiana, and Clint Capella, a 6'10 F/C from Switzerland. Capella has been increasingly interesting to me due to his 7'3 wingspan and defensive potential. Friend of Blog Alexandre Raffalli, who hails from France (where Capella plays) was nice enough to send along some info on him: