Cavs 2021 NBA Draft: Josh Christopher could provide key scoring boost

Arizona State Sun Devils guard Josh Christopher celebrates in-game. (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Arizona State Sun Devils guard Josh Christopher celebrates in-game. (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2021 NBA Draft is projected to be one of the best drafts in years, thanks to a plethora of prospects that can be potential stars and/or productive players in their NBA careers. That should bode well for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who began this 2020-21 season pretty well, all things considered, but have had flaws show in more recent games.

One of these players who can end up providing a key boost for the Cavs is Arizona State freshman Josh Christopher.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard is one of the many intriguing prospects slated to be in the upcoming draft, albeit particularly jumps out when thinking of how he could be an impact contributor for the Wine and Gold.

Currently, at Arizona State, Christopher is having a solid year, averaging 14.3 points per game, to go with 4.7 rebounds for the Sun Devils. He has shown flashes of being a very good pro thus far at ASU, and with the Cavs, could be quite the scorer as becomes somewhat more polished in coming years.

Christopher could bring scoring pop for the Cavs, and take pressure off of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.

One of Christopher’s standout performances was in a loss against UTEP in which he dropped 24 points on an efficient 50.0 percent form the field. His performance in his second outing of the 2020-21 season also was an especially notable one in which he dropped 28 points against Villanova on 11-of-17 shooting.

From the Cleveland Cavaliers’ perspective, Christopher could provide a key scoring boost, feasibly in a bench role, but could perhaps be a starter and be a dynamic backcourt partner with Collin Sexton, maybe, and as a 6-foot-5 running mate.

With Christopher, though, he could realistically be an impact player for the Cavs to have for the near future, with his ability to create space off the bounce, get to the basket with a solid 215-pound frame, and again, take pressure off of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in terms of on-ball shot creation.

Christopher does need to further develop his perimeter shot, as evidenced by him only having hit 30.5 percent from three-point range with ASU this season, but that can come in time, albeit his ability to generate looks in the mid-range area leads one to believe there could some pull-up three-point shooting capability down the road.

And again, Christopher is a very good driving threat, and has done a nice job of getting to the foul line, where he’s hit 80.0 percent of his attempts.

Moreover, he could help the Wine and Gold as perhaps a key bench scorer that could make things happen in crunch time situations for Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff in coming years, again if Cleveland were to select him in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Also, with Kevin Porter Jr. previously having been essentially dumped via trade to the Houston Rockets due to maturity issues, Christopher could help inject some life on-ball into the offense for Cleveland, which will need more of that long-term.

And when projecting on the defensive end, Christopher does need to develop more, as do young guard prospects, but he does have real potential there. Plus, his 6-foot-9 wingspan gives him the possibility to be a very valuable two-way player, and that’s aided him in averaging 1.5 steals per outing, and a steal rate of 2.7 percent.

Anyhow, if he’s selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2021 NBA Draft, Christopher can feasibly provide a significant lift as a backup bench scorer, and for stretches, be a highly capable backcourt partner with Garland/Sexton being staggered.

He could perhaps fill in in some lineups at small forward with those two here and there as well, which would be something to watch, although Taurean Prince/Osman and/or Okoro are of course set to be on the floor in that realm. Prince is set to be expiring after next season, though.

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In any case, it’s clear that the Cavs could use another notable on-ball guard shot creator/driver, given that Porter departure, and a big-time athlete in Christopher could help fill that void.