Cavs 2020 NBA Draft: Deni Avdija playing the 3 and 4 is selling point for him

Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv looks on. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv looks on. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Deni Avdija is seemingly sitting high on the Cleveland Cavaliers draft board as well as many other teams.

Deni Avdija shows signs of being versatile in the league and could be the next player in the wave of European players who are taking over the NBA.

He already is a highly capable ball handler, and playmaking ability that gives him the potential to play a key secondary playmaking role. Along with that, his build at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds, and toughness gives him the ability to play the power forward or to pair with his ability to be in the near future a high level small forward, of course.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers decide to draft Avdija, who is regarded as one of the upcoming drafts’ best wings, he could be the missing piece that the team needs to make them serious playoff contenders.

Last season, the Cavs were one of the worst teams in the league when it came to passing. They ranked 24th in assists per game and really did not have anyone that you could describe as a skilled primary playmaker.

Collin Sexton has reportedly worked on his playmaking during what’s been an essentially extended offseason, and Darius Garland showed positive playmaking signs as his rookie year progressed, but Cleveland has a ways to go in terms of ball movement.

If Sexton’s improvements translate on the court and with an addition of Avdija, it may be enough for the Cavaliers to be a middle of the pack or even one of the better passing teams in the NBA in the not-so-distant future.

This would allow the Cavaliers to play Avdija at a point forward position and possibly give them the motivation to move on from Kevin Love at the power forward spot via trade down the road. In any case, Avdija being able to play the 3 and 4 is a key selling point for him in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Avdija being able to play multiple positions would be especially meaningful for the Cavs.

The only big concern there would be for playing him at the power forward position is that his three-point shot is a bit of a concern for him coming into the league. In his second season playing overseas in the Euro League for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, he shot 27.7 percent from three, 43.6 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the free-throw line, per Real GM.

Something that the Cavaliers need on their team is a stretch 4 for the long-term sense. This is something that Kevin Love brings to the starting lineup that is extremely valuable.

If Avdija’s shooting continues to be this lackluster when he makes the transition to the NBA, it could be the difference between him being a star or a bust in the league. On the plus side, Avdija does have a good shooting motion, has shown flashes from there, and he hit 35.3 percent from downtown in I-BSL play.

Spacing from the power forward is something that is extremely crucial to the Cavaliers. With Collin Sexton likely being the leading scorer looking onward, though, his numbers could take a big hit if there is not a stretch four in the lineup. That’s factoring in seemingly how Love could be dealt in the near future.

Down the road, it would inhibit there being many driving lines for Sexton and feasibly Kevin Porter Jr., if he were to eventually take over at the 3 for Cedi Osman, which would seem reasonable here. Nonetheless, if Avdija cannot score from outside, the paint will be very clogged.

Avdija’s value in the NBA and the difference between him being a 2020 NBA Draft bust and a quality player in the league will be him continuing to improve as a shooter, to truly unlock him even more as a passer/driving threat.

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And as a positive note there, though, the Cleveland Cavaliers have one of the league’s best player development staffs, and Avdija is reportedly an especially hard worker.