Will the Cavs regret not drafting Trayce Jackson-Davis?
The Cavaliers drafted a pair of centers in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft, a draft-and-stash big from Senegal named Khalifa Diop and USC big man Isaiah Mobley, brother of Cavs phenom Evan Mobley. They may have felt that they needed a wing more than a big, and so when the 49th pick came around they acquiesced to the request of an agent and didn’t draft Indiana big man Trayce Jackson-Davis.
That’s the likeliest explanation, but at the time and now “TJD” looks like a steal. He isn’t the next coming of Brad Daugherty, but he was a prolific big man in college who has a lot to offer NBA teams. He can score, he rebounds incredibly well and he has enough defensive tools to stick in a rotation, perhaps from Day 1.
The Golden State Warriors seem likely to give Jackson-Davis a spot at the rotation early on, and his Summer League supports that reality. In two appearances and just 22.3 minutes per game he has averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. That defensive playmaking could be a boost to his chances right away.
The Cavaliers could use a backup center with upside, a player who can be called upon and also develop into something more should the Cavs decide to move on from Jarrett Allen. Trayce Jackson-Davis could have been a part of that solution; did the Cavs make a mistake not drafting him?