College hoops are in full swing as tournament play is just around the corner. Many collegiate prospects will be looking to move onto the NBA at the conclusion of their seasons. The big power conferences like the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, and ACC all have some excellent players that NBA teams are watching closely in hopes of adding to their teams come the NBA Draft, slated for June 22, 2023.
That’s still four months away but it’s never too early to start scouting these players. That’s no different for our Cleveland Cavaliers, who have done well in recent drafts to get the team they have today. Unlike the Big 10 prospects the Cavaliers should target, the ACC prospect list is more balanced and less dependent on drafting a forward.
Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro were all drafted by the Wine and Gold over the past few seasons. Cleveland has a second-round pick, so the player they select may not be a top-20 player, but they’ll be good. The Cavs could also look to package that and future seconds, perhaps, to move up into that top 20 or 30.
Today, let’s look at the ACC conference and five talented players that would look great in the Cavs uniform.
ACC prospect No. 1: Kyle Filipowski, PF Duke
If you’re looking for a player standing at 7 feet who can play inside and outside and can nail the three-pointer to join Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen look no further, than Kyle Filipowski from Duke. The freshman Blue Devil has been playing well and when you watch him play, he reminds you a bit of a former big man of the Cavs in Lauri Markkanen.
Cleveland needs some help with that second group of players that come off the bench, especially a player or two that can give Mobley and Allen a breather. Filipowski could definitely be a welcomed addition to the Wine and Gold. He’s being projected in going from the late first-round to the mid-second round by various mock NBA draft boards.
He’s played 25 games so far this season and is nearly averaging a double-double where he’s gone for 15 points and nine rebounds a game. He most recently went for 22 points in a big win against Notre Dame. In a game against Virginia Tech, he went for a season-high 29 points.
He’s been working on his outside game too but his percentage of 29% on three-point shots isn’t great yet but you can see he will improve. Cleveland has had some past busts in the area, but Filipowski looks as far from a draft bust as you’ll come.