The Cavaliers have the number one overall selection in June 26th's NBA Draft. That's awesome. Sometimes I find myself trying to work on something else and I just start giggling to myself thinking about Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid. When Jabari Parker is the consolation prize, you know things are good.
But that's not the only pick the team enjoys. Despite trading approximately 764 second round picks this season, the Cavs still have one. In fact, at 33rd overall, they have a great second round pick. These picks are pretty darn valuable. First round picks are guaranteed contracts in the NBA. Even before they finalize their deals, players selected in the first round are slotted a certain amount of money that ties up cap space. Second round picks, by contrast, aren't guaranteed deals, and as such there is no cap hold.
Of course, second round picks rarely become difference makers. Last season the Cavaliers selected Carrick Felix near the beginning of the second round, and he was largely invisible until the very last game of the season when he made a couple shots. But there are exceptions. I have isolated a couple players who might be available at 33 that could make it in the league. It's not a comprehensive list, and I'm sure I will look into a few more before the Draft. Let's jump in.
Glenn Robinson III - 6'7, 211 pounds. University of Michigan. 20 years old.
This is a guy I liked a lot last season with the pick that ultimately became Sergey Karasev. Robinson III went back to school instead and had what was largely a disappointing season. His true shooting, player efficiency rating, and minutes all went down. What happened? Michigan lost point guard Trey Burke, for one. After having purely been a spot-up, slashing, transition terror role as a hyper athletic small forward in his freshman year, Robinson was asked to create for himself a bit more as a sophomore. His assist rate improved a but, it wasn't an ideal season for him. As such, he is now the 33rd best prospect in the eyes of draftexpress.com
What did I fall in love with? The guy jumps out of the gym, registering a 41.5 max vertical at the combine last month. He's relatively quick and strong. I don't see any reason why he won't eventually be a solid perimeter defender in the league. The form of his jump shot is good, but he has two seasons of shooting around 30% from the college line. At the combine he was 31-50 shooting in their spot-up drill. You can find good wing defenders in the NBA. You can find good shooting from wings in the NBA. Guys that have the potential to bring both to the table? Much more rare.
Given the drive and kick abilities of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, a guy like Glenn Robinson III as a developmental pick makes a good amount of sense.
Patric Young - 6'10, 247 pounds. University of Florida. 22 years old.
After finishing his 9th season at Florida with a successful Final Four run, Patric Young is finally ready to take his shot at the NBA. He's limited. He measured a full inch taller in shoes than many expected, which is crucial for his chances to make it in the NBA. He's going to have to play center, probably, because he doesn't have the perimeter game most power forwards are expected to have in today's game. Luckily, he does have the body mass to at least project to be able to bang with guys down low. He will be able to handle the NBA, physically.
He's a smart kid, winning the SEC's Scholar Athlete of the Year award three different times. This year, he also won the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year award. He has no post game to speak of, and struggled to score even as he became older than much of his competition through his college career. You aren't picking him for what he can do offensively, though he can get up and down the floor and finish in transition.
But this is the second round, and we are looking for guys that are NBA players. Young could definitely be an NBA player. In terms of post defenders that can learn to be a solid rotational defender, I think he's got a shot. I'm not sure he will have the energy of a Chris Andersen, but that type of defender can make himself valuable to teams. Young was at one point a McDonald's All-American. His college career doesn't end with him as a top prospect, but he might still end up being someone that helps a good team.
Artem Klimenko - 7'1, 228 pounds. Saratov - Russia. 20 years old.
I mean, did you think I wasn't going to have a favorite Russian? Last year I was reeling from the Anthony Bennett pick when Chris Grant saved me by selecting Sergey Karasev. 11 months later, a year after Karasev took the league by storm winning Rookie of the Year, I have found the next great Russian NBA player. What? That's not what happened? Well, undeterred, here we are again.
Klimenko is a pure stash candidate. He is long and mobile. He won't jump out of the gym, but his wingspan and footwork could help him. Draft Express says he runs like a deer. He hasn't played against great competition. He spent the last year playing in Russia's second league. He has a 7'4 wingspan and a frame to add on weight. He doesn't really have post moves to speak of, but not many 20 year olds do. While he doesn't play against great competition, many of the bigs he guards in Russia are older, more physical, and more crafty. Whether it was this, or just the fact that he isn't that good, Klimenko's rebounding rate is much poorer than you'd expect of someone his size.