2024 NBA Draft Watch: Cleveland Cavaliers land international forward in new mock draft

NBL Rd 13 - Cairns Taipans v Melbourne United
NBL Rd 13 - Cairns Taipans v Melbourne United / Emily Barker/GettyImages

The 2024 NBA Draft will be the last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers to retain full control of their first-round pick until 2030. They will still have a pick in 2026 and 2028, but the Utah Jazz will retain swap rights. While the prospect pool does not have clear generational talent at the top this year, the Cavaliers have a wealth of possible big forwards to add to their roster.

If Cleveland remains in the top four of the Eastern Conference, they will select in the early-to-mid twenties. The Cavs have a well-rounded roster currently, but their forward rotation is still worth exploring possible improvements. Last year, the Cavaliers selected Emoni Bates at pick 49 and added Craig Porter, Jr. to the roster as an undrafted rookie. While Porter has given the Cavs surprisingly good value as a two-way rookie, Bates has yet to break through the barrier from the G-League to the Association.

As Bates continues to develop, the Cavaliers would be best served searching for another versatile tall wing to add. While the Cavs will almost definitely discover a future superstar in the draft, there is no reason to ignore a talented wing in the modern NBA during the later portions of the draft. The Cavaliers will likely host numerous prospects in the weeks leading up to draft night and may recognize a hidden gem available in the late first round.

Cleveland's latest projected draft choice is a promising international talent

Tankathon's latest mock draft placed the Cavaliers with the twenty-second selection, taking Swedish forward Bobi Klintman from the Cairns Taipans. After his freshman 2022-23 season at Wake Forest, Klintman joined the Australia National Basketball League. Klintman had been viewed as a prospect for the 2023 draft, but he eventually chose to wait one more season to develop before joining the Association.

Standing at 6-foot 10-inches and weighing 225 pounds, Klintman is a versatile forward with solid promise as an older prospect in this year's draft. At 21, Klintman enters the draft with years of experience and a solid body of work to recognize his potential.

While Klintman does not have the potential star power as the draft's top forwards such as Alexandre Sarr and Ron Holland, he has all the makings of a 3-and-D forward with the strength and poise to carve out a long career in the NBA. In the NBL, Klintman has averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds with a respectable 34.1 percent shot from deep on 3.6 attempts per game.

NBA Draft Room praised the big man's guard-like movement and floor spacing qualities from beyond the arc. He was also considered one of the best-passing big forwards in the draft. With an NBA comparison to one-time champion Kyle Kuzma, adding Klintman to the Cavaliers could give Cleveland a dependable stretch forward for years to come.

Defensively, Klintman has the build and versatility to disrupt both forwards and possibly centers. While he is not a lockdown defensive prospect to the level Isaac Okoro was in his draft class, he appears to be a worthwhile addition and can fit into NBA rotations. With a defense-first head coach in J.B. Bickerstaff, Klintman's size and quickness would be utilized to the fullest in his system.

The NBA has seen a rise in international talent in superstars such as Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic, but there have also been several high-end role players making their mark in recent years. Former Cavalier Lauri Markkanen has become one of the Association's premier stretch forwards. Adding a European prospect could bring a new perspective and skillset to Cleveland's current gameplan, especially with Klintman's proven floor spacing capabilities.

Klintman enters the draft with a handful of similarities to Emoni Bates as a tall forward with solid shooting. Klintman may even surpass Bates' initial impact with a more complete skillset in his rookie year. If both players develop to reach anywhere near their ceiling, though, the Cavs would have a lethal forward combination to complement their current star frontcourt of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Klintman especially has everything the Cavaliers could wish for in a young frontcourt partner for either player.

The Cavaliers still have months to determine how they will operate before draft night. Once they make their selection, Cleveland will be able to trade the draft rights if they have a trade proposal at hand. If they do choose to add another rookie to the lineup, Klintman could be their best option if he is available when their name is called.

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