Draft Watch: Undervalued wing could be perfect pick for Cavaliers at No. 20

The Cavaliers could steal a modern NBA combo guard/wing in the late first round of the Draft.
Miami v Florida State
Miami v Florida State / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

The 2024 NBA Draft does not offer a vast array of star talent, but with No. 20 in the first round, the Cleveland Cavaliers can target a long-term contributor who fits the mold of the modern NBA.

Finding an impact player late in the first round or in the second round is a rare feat for any franchise, but the league has seen a massive uptick in unexpected talent from prospects who flew under the radar on draft night. The Cavaliers could find exit the draft with a rookie prepared to contribute in their first season and enjoy a long career in the modern era. Whether the Cavs target a floor-spacing big man or a big wing, Cleveland can answer one of their remaining needs on a team-friendly contract.

In recent mock drafts, the Cavaliers have ended up with Pittsburgh guard Carlton "Bub" Carrington, a 6-foot-5 point guard who was one of the first prospects mocked to Cleveland. With questions surrounding the Cavs backcourt duo of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, analysts view Carrington as a viable insurance plan to bolster their rotation in the case that Garland's representation attempts to force a trade to maximize Garland's potential earnings and accolades.

While Carrington is a talented guard with potential to lead an offense for years to come, the Cavaliers cannot afford not to explore the wing position, as it sits as their most shallow role in their depth chart. Cleveland's lack of consistent volume shooting and size on the wing has cost them desperately in the past two postseasons. Drafting for fit rather than best available can be a fatal flaw in most years, but this year's draft class lacks any consensus value across the board, meaning the best available target is subject to change at any given moment.

The best wing for the Cavaliers is going undervalued ahead of Draft Night

Projected landing spots for incoming rookies varies drastically this year, with ranges reaching the double-digits across mock drafts. This likely puts the Cavs in position at 20th overall to select an undervalued prospect who has slipped through the cracks and fallen past their expected number.

One such rookie is Swiss wing Kyshawn George. In one season with the Miami (FL) Hurricanes, George became a surprise one-and-done collegiate wing, knocking down 40.8 percent of his 4.2 three-point attempts per game. His 6-foot-8 frame and elite handles for his size and age. His build has allowed him to emerge as both a dynamic backcourt presence and off-ball wing shooter. He glides across the court without hesitation or problem, making him perfect for a movement offense the Cavaliers could employ under their next head coach.

Defensively, George uses his size to his advantage every play. He is able to guard numerous positions, and his coordination and timeliness allowed him to pester opponents and leap into passing lanes, leading to nearly one steal per night and half a block.

Thus far, George has gone undervalued by some draft boards but has been viewed as a lottery selection in others. In his 31 regular seasons games with the Hurricanes, George only appeared in the starting lineup 16 times. Despite his clear talent and potential, the freshman jumbo guard/wing is not viewed as a complete prospect.

Scouts' concerns about George should not stop the Cavs from selecting him if he is available, though. Cleveland's development team has produced numerous unexpected contributors in recent years, converting multiple G-League players into fully-fledged NBA players on multi-year deals. If George is not NBA-ready on day one, every sign points to him becoming a reliable 3-and-D threat with the potential to play the one through four in certain lineups.

Given the Cleveland Cavaliers' need for size in their backcourt and wing rotations, taking a flyer on George could prove to be a cheap upgrade. If George's game translates quickly, he could be a perfect bench contributor, adding much-needed versatility to an aspiring contender with the Cavaliers. There may be more guaranteed prospects in the draft, but the Cavs cannot pass on George without serious consideration.