After a season where the Cleveland Cavaliers played just one rookie, Isaiah Mobley, for a total of 84 minutes all year, it doesn’t appear likely that they will have any significant rookie contributors this next season either. The Cavs don’t have a first-round pick for the first time since 2017 due to the trade for Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers.
Slotted to pick at number 49 from the Golden State Warriors, it’s unlikely they will find someone who can immediately make an impact on a playoff team. On the other hand, there are plenty of buy-low prospects who might be able to thrive in the three-and-D role the Cavs desperately need.
Below are five ranked wing targets for the Cavs in the 2023 NBA Draft.
No. 5: Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Coming in at number five, Jaime Jaquez will likely be the first player selected out of the five wings listed. The UCLA Bruins’ senior thrived in his college career on both ends of the floor.
Offensively, Jaquez often isolates at the mid-post and uses great footwork and shooting to score effectively. Standing at 6’7″, he can fulfill various roles on offense. He has shown the ability to pass out of the post-up and can run the pick-and-roll as both the screener and handler. The biggest offensive question mark for Jaquez is his ability to consistently knock down threes. Since shooting is the Cavs’ primary need, his development in that area is crucial for him to see significant playing time.
On the defensive end, advanced metrics indicate his ability to make impactful plays. However, his success on defense mainly comes from help-side rotations, and his slower foot speed raises concerns about guarding faster NBA players. Jaquez excels as a smart team defender and utilizes his length to disrupt passing lanes.
The uncertainties surrounding his ideal defensive position, along with his inconsistent shooting, place him lower on this list. Furthermore, acquiring him would likely require a trade-up, and the fit may not be worth sacrificing additional assets.