Projecting whether or not the Cavs’ #5 pick will be a Day 1 starter

Florida State Seminoles wing Devin Vassell celebrates in-game. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Florida State Seminoles wing Devin Vassell celebrates in-game. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Killian Hayes, Cleveland Cavaliers
Killian Hayes (#3) of Ratiopharm Ulm drives. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Examining the Cleveland Cavaliers key guards, realistic draft targets

Looking at the Cavaliers’ current guard situation, it is an interesting one. Last year, the Cavaliers spent their #5 overall pick on Darius Garland after it was reported that he opened eyes during his workout with the team. Coming into the season, Cleveland’s small backcourt of Garland and Collin Sexton drew comparisons to the backcourt that we see for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Even with a few bright spots, the duo disappointed. The two struggled defensively and their offensive output wasn’t nearly enough to outweigh the defensive struggles.

Despite what was said above, there is some context behind their struggles. For one, Garland wasn’t himself in year 1 and that was highlighted in an interview he did with Chris Fedor.

Instead of using the offseason to improve on his game, Garland had to recover from a meniscus injury that he suffered in college at Vanderbilt and after not playing basketball for just about a year, the Cavaliers threw him into the wolves rather than easing him into the NBA. Now, with a healthy offseason to add strength and work on his craft, I expect Garland to be much better.

The interesting thing about the Cavaliers’ current guard situation is that Garland was a pick influenced by former head coach John Beilein and he has since stepped down, with J.B. Bickerstaff replacing him.

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It will be interesting to see if Bickerstaff looks to continue with this small backcourt or not. If the Cavs do look to move on, they could target Killian Hayes or Tyrese Haliburton, two oversized guards at 6-foot-5 who would form a nice backcourt alongside Sexton.

Now as a quick side note, Hayes’ agent did emphasized how the Cavs essentially have little-to-no interest in drafting a guard, but that could seemingly be a smoke screen and Hayes’ varying skill set be could be of interest to the Cavaliers.

With all of that being said, I believe that either of those players would be Day 1 starters if the Cavaliers are to use their pick on them.

A point guard selection would lead all to believe that the Cavaliers have little to no faith in a small backcourt and Sexton, who led Cleveland in scoring in 2019-20 at 20.8 points per game, has shown much more potential than Garland has.

That would mean that Garland would be reserved to the bench. A potential trade could ensue down the road involving Garland as well.

Next up, we’ll take a look at Cleveland’s wing situation/possible targets for the Cavs in the draft.