This week, Cavs GM Koby Altman is getting an up-close look at Israeli draft prospect Deni Avdija.
Per cleveland.com, Altman is spending about six days to see the 19-year-old, 6’8” Deni Avdija play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Maccabi plays in both the Euroleague and in the Israel league with Avdija playing more domestically. In Israeli league competition, he’s averaging 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 56.6% overall and 41.7% from three. In Euroleague play, he’s only playing 13.6 minutes per game.
The cleveland.com report also indicates that Cavs director of scouting Brandon Weems and assistant general manager Mike Gansey have both made trips to scout Avdija.
On paper, Avdija makes a lot of sense for the Cavs. He plays forward — a position of need — and has the upside to become a pretty good two-way player in time. The 2020 class isn’t considered to have a ton of top-level talent — most mocks have Georgia guard Anthony Edwards slotted at No. 1 at the moment — but Avdija could be a top-five level talent. Assuming Cleveland ends up in the top-five picks — right now, they could slip as low as sixth — there’s a good chance he comes available. It’s also fun to imagine him joining a young wing group of Cedi Osman, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler.
It’s still very early, though, for the Cavs to zero in on one single prospect. But it’s good to take a look at Avdija based on his apparent upside.