The Cleveland Cavaliers will have the No. 1 overall and No. 33 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In the next few weeks here at Right Down Euclid, we will be profiling players the Cavaliers might draft on June 26th. Today, we profile Washington shooting guard C.J. Wilcox. Click here for more draft profiles.
Tale of the Tape
Name: C.J. Wilcox
Position: Shooting Guard
Honors: PAC-12 All-Second Team
2013-2014 Per Game Stats: 18.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 45.3% FG%, 39.1 % 3PT%, 87.3% FT%
C.J. Wilcox didn’t have the best career at Washington. In four years, he only made one NCAA Tournament, and his teams struggled with him as the primary creator. However, he has solid NBA potential as a role-player, because he’s an elite shooter and has the physical profile to be a decent defensive player at the next level. He’s already 23 years old, which is what might keep him from being a first round pick, but Wilcox is a strong candidate to make an impact as an early second-round pick.
Wilcox has decent length for a shooting guard, standing 6’5” with a near 6’10” wingspan. He’s an average athlete, however, which could limit him in the NBA. Wilcox lacks elite quickness and is wiry, and lacks strength, which hurts him on both ends. The one athletic category Wilcox does accel in is explosiveness, as Wilcox can finish above the rim and does a solid job contesting shots. Overall, Wilcox is a fairly average physical specimen, but should have enough to perform well in the NBA.
The main draw to Wilcox is his shooting ability, particularly from three. Wilcox was a 39 percent three-point shooter last season, and took a lot of shots from NBA-range, which is directly translatable to the NBA. He’s particularly excellent in spot-up opportunities, which will likely be his calling card in the NBA, but he was also successful as a PNR ball handler in college. This could mean that Wilcox can be a secondary ball-handler at the next level, but that’s not for certain, due to his average handle and lack of strength. It’s uncertain if he will be a good finisher against NBA size due to this, and if he’s a PNR threat, it will be as a shooter or passer. Wilcox will likely play exclusively on the perimeter at the next level, but his shooting will allow him to make an impact as a role player.
Wilcox has the physical tools to be a decent perimeter defender. He’s not the quickest player and will get abused in the post by bigger guards, but Wilcox’s length and explosiveness will help him. He can get taken off the dribble, but he recovers well, and his length can bother shooters on the perimeter. The major concern over Wilcox is his off-ball defense, which can be ugly. He gets lost often, and doesn’t quite understand help defense. He has the tools to be a really effective help defender, so this is going to be key to his development early on. However, if he can get there, it’s completely reasonable to expect him to develop into a solid three-and-d guy.
Wilcox is an older prospect, which could limit his growth and development in the NBA, and is why he’s a likely 2nd-round guy. He also has some potential injury risk as well, having suffered through stress fractures in his left foot as a junior, something that could flair up again in the NBA, as was a problem for C.J. McCollum last year. The injury did not seem to affect him in 2014, but it is something to keep in mind when assessing his potential.
Wilcox has a lot of similarities to Danny Green, in both physical traits and on-court ability. Green has made a mark as primarily a spot-up shooter in the NBA, but in college, had very similar skills to Wilcox as an off-the-bounce creator in a solid UNC offense. Green was a much better collegiate defender than Wilcox, but they both excel as on-ball defenders, and work within their own physical abilities. Both are average athletes with similar length, and should play the same role in the NBA. Wilcox will likely fill the same role Green has with the Spurs if he makes it, although he too will likely need to land in a good situation that can use him.
How Does He Fit on the Cavaliers?
The Cavaliers could be one of those good situations for Wilcox. The Cavs need spacing, and Wilcox can certainly bring that. With the Cavs, Wilcox’s one elite skill fills a need, and his teammates would capitalize on his off-ball cutting skills as well. Defensively, he has the wingspan to potentially mark small forwards, and could be played alongside Dion Waiters in small-ball lineups. Basically, Wilcox could play the C.J. Miles role for a lot cheaper, and could likely do so right away. He’d be a smart player for the Cavs to look into if they want to part ways with Miles.