The 2015 NBA Draft was an unusual one for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the team didn’t hold a lottery pick. Instead, the Cavs traded away their only first round pick (24) to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for picks 31 and 36. Along with their own second rounder (53), the Cavaliers left Brooklyn with a draft and stash prospect in Cedi Osman, Syracuse senior Rakeem Christmas and another senior, this time from St John’s, in Sir’Dominic Pointer.
Players selected in the second round rarely get court time, let alone someone picked seventh-to-last. This will probably be the reality that Pointer will need to deal with in his rookie season, as he is expected to spend most of his first season with the Cavs D-League affiliate the Canton Charge.
While Cavalier fans may not yet be over their finals lost to the Golden State Warriors, Pointer believes he can bring the same talents to the court as one of the Warriors glue guys, per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, “Draymond Green just happens to be one of them who’s on the main stage right now. I can defend for a team. I can do the same things Draymond can do for a team. I can defend, hit an open shot, play hard and encourage my team.” If Pointer turns out to be anything like Green, it’s safe to say that the Cavs would have a major draft steal on their hands.
Although, for the sake of this article, let’s assume that Pointer becomes immediately apart of Cleveland’s rotation next season and is a key rotation player. How would he be able to help the Cavs if this was the case? His defensive tools, explosive athleticism, high motor and colorful personality are all elements of Pointer’s game that will allow him to be a productive member of the Cavaliers next season.
The defensive attributes of Pointer’s game is what caught the eye of the Cavs front office and GM David Griffin explained that after the draft, per cavs.com:
"”Amazingly for us, Sir’Dominic was still on the board at 53. Sir’Dominic is a very rare player in his ability to both guard on the ball and to be a defensive playmaker. Again, odds are tough when you’re picking at 53 that a guy’s going to make a roster, but this is a guy that could’ve played in a Finals game from an attitude perspective and from a defensive perspective and from an athletic perspective.”"
Pointer has an innate ability to be able to guard positions 1 through 4 and his lateral quickness and energy on the perimeter makes him someone the opposing team always needs to be aware of on the defensive end. In his final season at St John’s, Pointer showed his capability to be the defensive playmaker that Griffin touched on, as he averaged 2.5 blocks a game and a touch under 2 steals a game. Pointer also averaged 5.8 defensive rebounds a game for the Red Storm last season, which highlights Pointer’s willingness to stay involved in the entire defensive possession.
Pointer’s defensive efforts didn’t go unnoticed during his time at St John’s, as he was named the Big East’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year last season and he finishes up his time with the Red Storm being ranked third in school history in blocks with 172 and fifth in steals, with 200.
As one of the Big East’s most versatility defenders during his four seasons in college, Pointer’s defensive intelligence and mindset will translate well to the NBA stage. Playing along side defensive aces Iman Shumpert and LeBron James, Pointer will be able to pick up some tricks of the trade from the very best and this will only benefit him in his long-term development.
Pointer’s combination of quickness, strength, body control and skill to literally explode to the basket automatically makes him one of the most athletic players on Cleveland’s roster.
While it is good to have all the athletic tools, what distinguishes Pointer is his ability to actually translate his athleticism to the court and use it to his advantage. Pointer is always running up and down the court in transition and this allowed him to throw down some monster slams at St John’s:
When Pointer is able to rise up for a ridiculous dunk, it completely changes the tide of a game. St John’s teammate Phil Greene IV explained how Pointer’s athletic attributes impacts the ballgame, per The Red Strom Report “When Dom gets on the break and dunks on someone, it changes the whole momentum. It gets us fired up and jacked up.”
Pointer uses his athleticism to ensure he is always seen and noticed on the court. Whether it be simply running in transition, throwing down a monster jam or sending an opposition players shot into the fifth row, Pointer is sure to make an impact on the game in some way or another. In today’s fast paced NBA game, Pointer’s athleticism should translate excellently to the pros.
Cleveland’s roster is full of players with never ending motors in Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Matthew Dellavedova. These types of players never take a possession off and always give the team an emotional boost and a burst of energy and adrenaline.
Pointer fits right in with the trio named above, as he is an energizer bunny and had one of the best motors seen in the Big East during his time at St John’s.
Pointer has a motor that never quits and this allows him to leave it all out on the court. Griffin touched on how a player like Pointer would be able to contribute in a finals game after the draft and his motor is a major reason why. Pointer’s motor allows him to make winning players, the hustle plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet, that coaches always stress and these plays in a finals game are simply invaluable.
You can never have enough players with high motors on your roster and joining a team who has plenty of them already, Pointer should fit right in.
Cleveland developed one of the closest locker-room bonds between teammates in the NBA this season, as the team adapted a brotherhood type of feel. This relationship between players builds chemistry, which leads to wins on the court, and the Cavaliers were able to do exactly that this season.
According to Pointer’s teammates at St John’s, Pointer is one of the most colorful and love-able personalities off the court. As one of the leaders in the locker-room last season at St John’s, it’s clear that Pointer’s maturity and free-spirited attitude allowed him to become an adored figure on the Red Storm.
“He is such a caring person,” stated St John’s Assistant Coach Tony Chiles. “He is a team-first guy, his always been that and his really our emotional leader.”
D’Angelo Harrison explains Pointer as a “different kind of character”, citing his “5 different hairstyles in 4 weeks” as the reason why. Harrison continued his praise of Pointer, “His always giving back, he always wants to help you. If you need a dollar, here’s a dollar. If you need someone to talk to you, he gonna talk to you. Even if you don’t want him to talk to you, his gonna talk to you. His like you uncle almost. That’s just Dom for you.”
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Red Strom center Chris Obekpa was pretty much speechless in his explanation of Pointer, “His outgoing, just, I don’t want to say crazy, his just Dom.”
Greene IV also praised Pointer, explaining why his personality makes him a beloved teammate, “Outgoing, says anything silly, funny. His a fun guy to be around, loving person. He just silly man, you really can’t describe Dom. Dom is Dom.”
High character guys are highly valued in today’s NBA and Pointer fits that bill. His personality and attitude should fit right into an already close Cavalier locker-room.
How do you think Sir’Dom will help the Cavaliers this season? Comment with your thoughts below or hit me up on twitter @lukesicari.
All quotes courtesy of The Red Storm Report, unless stated.