Cleveland Cavaliers View Kay Felder As First Round Pick


Kay Felder was selected 54th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Nonetheless, the Cleveland Cavaliers see him as a first round talent.

“I think he’ll respond great, but I think Cleveland told him he is tall enough. They told me they thought he was a first-round pick, and they didn’t have a pick, but if they did, they would take him. What they said was true.” – Oakland University head basketball coach Greg Kampe said of Kay Felder, according to USA Today.

Brandon Weems, LeBron James’ friend and former teammate at St. Vincent – St. Mary’s, was hired as a scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015. In the two years before Weems joined the Cavaliers organization, he was an assistant coach at Oakland University.

Weems arrived on the Golden Grizzlies campus the same year that the team’s long-awaited and highly coveted point guard was to come.

Related Story: What Does Kay Felder Bring To The Cavs?

The point guard that was so important the Golden Grizzlies didn’t recruit a single point guard after they offered him, according to the Detroit News‘ Tony Paul; a move that resulted in the team playing without a point guard on the roster the year before the chosen one was to arrive.

The reason David Griffin was reportedly trying to acquire a first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is clear.

The reason his teammates and coaches didn’t consider Matthew Dellavedova coming back as a real possibility is clear.

The reason the team gave up $2.4 million for the 54th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, a figure higher than Mo Williams’ salary, not including the price of the pick’s contract is clear.

They believe in Kay Felder.

“Kay is a dynamic playmaker, and most importantly, the type of person and competitor that we want to add to our locker room.” – General Manager David Griffin on Kay Felder

If Felder was a foot taller, with his playing style and production, he’d have been in consideration to be one of the top five picks in the draft. If Felder was just inches taller, he could have been a top ten draft pick, like Kemba Walker.

Felder’s been compared to Walker, Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson but truth be told, he was a better scorer and distributor than any of them in college.

He’s as quick and shifty as Barry Sanders, as ESPN‘s Myron Medcalf writes, the second-best leaper in the NBA combine ever with a 44-inch vertical without any training and just a coaches son and film room junkie means he has a high basketball IQ.

In Las Vegas Summer League action, with head coach Tyronn Lue watching, Felder provided the first glimpse of what could be. Felder scored 14 points in 27 minutes, dished out 5 assists without turning the ball over, went 6-for-8 from the charity stripe, and had 3 steals in his first game.

In the second game saw Felder score only 6 points on 3-for-10 shooting but he also dished out 4 assists as he continued his impressive playmaking from the last game. This game also provided a glimpse into Felder’s defensive chops and mental edge.

In one sequence in the third quarter, the ball was stolen from Felder by Isaiah Whitehead. Felder promptly proceeded to chase down Whitehead for a sensational block.

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About a minute later, Felder got a steal, went down the court and got an assist, and then as he came back on defense he stole the ball again. Felder finished the game with six steals and two blocks.

Oakland University runs a system that is similar to Tyronn Lue’s. It’s fast-paced, the floor is spaced with shooters and the primary ball handler is able to dominate with dribble-drive penetration.

Felder has unique physical gifts combined with a very tight handle on the ball and a jump shot good enough to make his step back jumper his most dangerous shot. The point guard is also savvy, with a variety of countermoves that make him nearly unable to guard one-on-one. He’s sensational to watch.

Next: David Griffin's Shrewd Moves Counter Golden States' Offseason'

Felder might be the third point guard on the depth chart when the regular season starts but he is, without a doubt, a first round talent.