3 2023 NBA Draft prospects Cavs could target in 2nd round

Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA Bruins. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA Bruins. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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At the time of writing this article, the Cleveland Cavaliers are projected to have a second-round pick via the Golden State Warriors. As of now, the pick is slotted to be at 47, but that is likely to change, as the NBA season isn’t even halfway done at this point in time.

Last year, Cleveland selected Khalifa Diop, Isaiah Mobley, and Luke Travers all in the second round. Mobley is currently playing for the Cavs on a two-way contract, while both Diop and Travers are playing overseas. We will have to wait and see if either Travers or Diop will come to the Cavs next season, or anywhere down the future.

In the future, the Cavs could trade the pick at the trade deadline, or add the pick in at the NBA draft to acquire some NBA-ready talent. But for the sake of this article, we will assume this pick will belong to Cleveland at the time of the draft, and Koby Altman will not trade it. Without further ado, here are my players that the Cavs could possibly select in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Prospect No. 1 – Emoni Bates

Emoni Bates probably won’t fall down as far as me and other NBA fans think he will. If he does declare for the 2023 NBA Draft, I do think he will be a first-round talent, just based off of potential alone. Maybe he’ll slide later into the draft, you never know. Personally, I would love having Bates on the squad. Sure, his off-court problems may hinder his draft stock, but if I were drafting just based off of basketball alone, I’d definitely want Bates on my roster.

Looking at his stats, he is averaging 20.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. He is also shooting 37.6% from deep, and 74.0% from the line. Those numbers are pretty solid, nothing to really not like. Considering he is 6’9,” maybe scouts would like those rebounds to be higher, but other than that, he has a solid profile.

Now, let’s look at his negatives. Obviously I mentioned his off-court issues. He was reportedly arrested in September for carrying a concealed weapon, and altering ID marks on said gun. Taking a look back on Kevin Porter Jr., for example, he was also arrested for improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle. Also, Porter wasn’t the best teammate in the world, as a few years ago, the Cavs traded for Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. Once Prince was given Porter’s locker, as KPJ wasn’t playing at the time, Porter threw food at coaches and players, and was immediately traded to Houston afterwards.

Also, looking at Bates’ wingspan, it isn’t a great sight. Cooper Watson of Busting Brackets says in his article that his wingspan was a 6’7.25.” That doesn’t seem so bad, but once you consider the fact that he is 6’9,” that does give him a negative wingspan. That isn’t the worst thing in the world, but to be a good defender in the NBA, wingspan does help. However, Desmond Bane has already made a solid NBA career early on, even with the fact that he too has a negative wingspan.

Wherever Bates does get drafted, I do believe he will spend a solid chunk of his rookie season in the G-League. I don’t think Bates is NBA-ready just yet, but I do think, in time, Bates can become a solid, even All-Star NBA player.