Draft Prospect No. 3- Melvin Ajinca, France
Exiting the realm of college hoops, French forward Melvin Ajinca is worthy of serious intrigue from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sports Illustrated described the 19-year-old as "an energetic lefty wing with good size" with a "translatable NBA skillset". The NBA has certainly seen a rise in European players rising to prominence, and the league can never get enough big wings.
Ajinca has been playing organized basketball since 2019 with Centre Federal Du Basketball, joining Saint-Quentin this year. As the Cavaliers continue to pursue another NBA championship, Ajinca gives the team a rookie with years of professional experience. The league has already seen the value in these prospects, namely in 2023 first overall pick Victor Wembenyama, another French rookie.
This season, the 6-foot 8-inch forward has attempted 4.3 three-pointers per game over 37 contests, connecting 38.8 percent of the time. He has not become a headlining star with jaw-dropping statlines, but Ajinca has real value and proven talent at a young age.
If his game translates to the NBA, Ajinca would quickly earn a spot in Cleveland's rotation in either forward spot, adding floor spacing and toughness to the lineup.