3 targets for Cavs if they trade up to late first round of 2023 NBA Draft

Colby Jones, Xavier Musketeers. (Photo by Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports)
Colby Jones, Xavier Musketeers. (Photo by Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
Colby Jones, Xavier Musketeers. (Photo by David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

Prospect No. 2: Colby Jones

What’s not to like about Colby Jones? He’s a fierce competitor, and a great defender as well. Sure, he is already 21 years old, so he isn’t the youngest prospect ever, but that should not turn away teams. He averaged 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists last year for a great Xavier team. Xavier isn’t necessarily known to recruit top-end talents, but Colby Jones has really thrived in Xavier’s system.

He’s a great combo guard. His natural position is at shooting guard, but he is a solid enough playmaker to play point guard. What’s also impressive about Jones is his three-point shooting growth. He shot 29.2% from deep in the 2021-22 season, and then improved dramatically to 37.8% in the 2022-23 season. Also, he got 1.3 steals per game, and is one of the best perimeter defenders in this whole draft class.

With that said, Jones would fit right into the Cavs’ system. A hard-nosed and gritty defender is exactly the kind of player Bickerstaff loves, so one shouldn’t be surprised to see Jones getting a lot of minutes with the Cavaliers.

LeVert still should be re-signed even if Jones is drafted. However, Ricky Rubio could be on the chopping block after a poor season and one has to have reservations about his health long term.

Jones could become the backup point guard if he is drafted to Cleveland. All in all, whoever Colby Jones gets drafted to, it will be exciting to see him play.