Draft prospect No. 2: Taylor Hendricks, UCF Knights
For those NBA fans who are not locked into NBA Draft prospects at a granular level, the name of Taylor Hendricks might be new, and the University of Central Florida might be a bizarre place for a top-10 prospect to show up. Hendricks has shown over his freshman season that he deserves to be a high pick and will have plenty of name recognition a year from now.
Hendricks is a 6’9″ forward, exactly the profile that the Cavaliers are looking for to diversify their lineup. The freshman shot 39.4 percent from deep this season with excellent mechanics, and that should be a true weapon at the next level. Defensively, he has excellent size and length that help him contest on the perimeter and at the rim, where he racked up a surprising number of blocks. He’s a legitimate weakside rim protector.
The issues for Hendricks are more limiting factors to his future role, rather than reasons he will get played off the court. His handle is loose and will prevent him from creating separation with the ball in his hands, and he is a vanilla passer. Still, as a play finisher, he should excel, and the Cavs certainly have other players ready to create plays.
Hendricks would likely step right into the starting lineup at both the 3 and the 4. Long-term his best position might be as a power forward, but his shooting allows him to play plenty of minutes at the 3. The Cavs have been short of that type of player, so Hendricks would be an excellent fit for their rotation.