Drafting 23-and-under teams to build the ultimate core

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The future of the Cleveland Cavaliers is bright, especially since two of their core players are still yet to enter their primes. Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are two of the best players 23-and-under in the entire NBA, and they form the foundation of why the Cavs will be good for a very long time.

Garland and Mobley are just part of a youth movement in the NBA, one illustrated by the young players breaking into NBA award voting and All-Star rosters, or even the age of the FIBA World Cup roster Team USA is fielding this summer. That doesn’t even include a generational prospect in Victor Wembanyama entering the league this season.

That depth of rising stars led the team here at King James Gospel to consider what it would look like to put together a series of rosters made up only of players 23 years old or younger. Eight of our NBA Insiders took turns drafting a roster of five players. In a unique twist unlike most of these types of drafts, each “team” has to have a lineup balanced enough to play. The exercise was to build the best lineup for a team that could play now and be good for a decade. Build the best franchise, but fit does matter.

The definitive 23-and-under NBA draft

How did the draft go? Which players were in demand in the first round, and who slipped down the board to be a late-round steal? How highly did this group of writers on a Cavaliers website draft Evan Mobley and Darius Garland? Let’s go round-by-round to show how the definitive 23-and-under draft went down.

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