2 takeaways from the Cavs’ picks in the 2022 NBA Draft

Ochai Agbaji (right), Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Ochai Agbaji (right), Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The 2022 NBA Draft has come and gone, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers with questions pertaining to their selections. With their first selection, the Cavs took Ochai Agbaji. A 6’5″ swingman, Agbaji was a 4-year college player, improving in each of his seasons and capping it off with a National Championship.

Agbaji excels in shooting, has profound athletic tools, and a sturdy frame. Additionally, Ochai has a winning pedigree that fits with the mindset of this team.

The second round of this draft is where things got interesting for the Cavs. With their first pick in the second round, the team selected Khalifa Diop. The expectation is that Diop will be a “draft-and-stash” player, remaining with the Spanish League for this upcoming season.

The team then double-dipped on big men with their third pick, selecting Isaiah Mobley, the brother of Evan Mobley.

Isaiah Mobley looks like more than just a brotherly-love selection as he has real tools that could help him find minutes for next season.

With their last pick, the Cavs selected Luke Travers, an Australian wing player. It is still unknown whether Travers will come over for this season or not, but it’s reportedly likely he’s stashed as well.

There’s a lot to digest from this 2022 NBA Draft, circling back to the claim of these moves creating questions. Why go with two bigs in the second round? Why weren’t they able to trade back into the first round? Why did the team prioritize instant impact over player progression? How do these draftings affect players on the roster?

Drafts always bring questions but what are two key takeaways? 

Takeaway #1: The Cavs didn’t feel the need to take a chance on a young player

Well, the biggest takeaway is that the Koby Altman and the front office didn’t feel the need to take a chance on a young player. Everyone is confident in this core and the depth of the team. It’s been talked about all offseason, what will the minute distribution look like?

Shifting to a win-now mentality, there just wasn’t going to be many opportunities for another 19-year-old to work through his mistakes.

It’s also why they looked towards draft-and-stash players in the second round. Not having to worry about those players for the year allows them to better assess the current state of the team. If they feel Diop/Traver’s services are necessary, they’ll bring them over. If not, they are easily tradeable at some point.

Speaking of the depth of the roster, another question came about following the Agbaji pick.

Takeaway #2: Does the Agbaji drafting signal the end for one of Cedi Osman/Isaac Okoro?

The rotation is essentially set in stone. Darius Garland/Collin Sexton (seemingly)/Lauri Markkanen/Evan Mobley/Jarrett Allen looks to likely be the starters with Kevin Love/Caris LeVert being the 6th/7th man. A free agency signing and Agbaji could push Cedi Osman/Isaac Okoro to be the 9th man or out of the rotation completely.

Do I expect that for Okoro? No, I believe his defensive tenacity is too much for him to not have some role on the team. For Osman however, things look very dicey.

Osman has already registered numerous DNPs over the last couple of seasons as the shooting isn’t enough to make up for some defensive lapses and offensive miscues.

I don’t expect a ton of minutes for Cedi this upcoming season and would call for a trade as his “expiring” contract makes him a great asset.

Okoro isn’t in the clear either. His role next season will depend on his improvements as a jump shooter and the strides he makes as a shot creator.

Next. Three centers the Cavs should consider in free agency. dark

All in all, the Cavaliers are in a great spot as a team. They can now look to free agency to fill any cracks and go into next season feeling confident about a playoff push.