3 young players Cavaliers should develop, 2 to give up on

Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Craig Porter Jr., Wichita State Shockers. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images /

The Cavaliers should develop Craig Porter Jr.

The Cavaliers used their only draft pick this year on Emoni Bates, a player once heralded as the second coming of Kevin Durant and now a one-trick pony struggling to adapt to new expectations. Bates will certainly get a shot to grow into an NBA player, but it’s the guard no one had heard of who may end up being a longer-lasting NBA player.

Craig Porter Jr. went to junior college and then Wichita State University, hardly a hotbed of NBA talent (all apologies to Fred VanVleet and Landry Shamet). He wasn’t even particularly dominant in the American Athletic Conference, and he was more than simply undrafted; many Top 100 lists didn’t even include Porter.

That’s why it was so surprising when the Cavaliers signed Porter to a two-way contract. What did they see in the guard? That became apparent the second he stepped onto the court in Las Vegas Summer League. Despite playing alongside high-volume players in Vegas he stuffed the stat sheet, nearly lodging a triple-double in the title game and finishing with averages of 12 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

At 6’2″ Porter lacks the size to play on the wing, so he will need to catch on as a backup point guard. It costs the Cavs very little to keep on a two-way deal for this season and let him get plenty of run in the G League. If he can show that the passing from Summer League was not a fluke, there is a long-term NBA future ahead of him.