2020 NBA Draft

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Smooth

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What's most frustrating about this draft is while the Cavs are in a position to capitalize on acquiring a top talent, there's no one good fit considering the current roster construction...

Okoro and Advija both play the main position of Cavs need but both have have significant holes that limit what their true ceiling will be, and also how effective they would be on this roster.. Vassell may be the best fit but likely isn't someone you spend a top-6 pick on...

Toppin would be another obvious fit given we could use a long-term fit at PF but his age and defensive deficiencies are concerning enough to give you pause about spending a top-5 pick on him...

How the Cavs view Drummond long-term really is a significant piece in all this, given two of the Cavs best options are Wiseman and Okongwu... If the Cavs view Drummond as a long-term fit and someone they want to lock up, I don't see how either could be in consideration.. Meanwhile, if the Cavs plan to move on from Drummond, I'd argue Wiseman and Okongwu should be #1 and #2 atop their draft board... To me, Wiseman is the best prospect in this draft, and also has the highest ceiling, and Okongwu is really intriguing with his skillset, play style and age...

This draft class being so guard heavy is really what kills the Cavs the most, considering the best prospects are all one or two guards... I know the Cavs should be in a position to take BPA, but I just don't see anyway the Cavs should consider Ball, Edwards, Anthony, Hampton, Maldeon, etc... To me it comes down to this: the Cavs need to start prioritizing defensive players, especially players they see becoming strong two-way players... Does taking a player like aforementioned, really advance the Cavs forward when considering they already have Porter Jr, Sexton and Garland on the roster? If they take a guard, it likely means moving on from Sexton or Garland... So are the available guards that much of an offensive upgrade over Sexton/Garland + worth the sunk cost of what you've invested in those guys? To me, I don't believe so...

If the Cavs want to be successful, they have to find two-way players... That's why if the Cavs do go guard, I think they can get away with Haliburton or Hayes since they have a good defensive base which allows to be contributing players moving forward and fit into this current roster...

While the rankings are a bit different from what we've seen, I have to say I really enjoyed The Ringer's draft comparisons for some of the top prospects--they seemed pretty spot-on..

Anthony Edwards: Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, Dion Waiters
Tyrese Haliburton: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Onyeka Okongwu: Bam Adebayo, young Antonio McDyess, Taj Gibson
Devin Vassell: Khris Middleton, Robert Covington
James Wiseman: David Robinson, mild mannered Rasheed Wallace
Isaac Okoro: Gerald Wallace, Justise Winslow
Obi Toppin: Amare' Stoudemire on offense, Jahlil Okafor on defense
Deni Advija: Nicolas Batum

If you had a gun to my head right now, I'd say if Cavs get a top-2 pick you take Wiseman and move on from Drummond... If they get a top-4 pick, you take Okongwu and move Drummond... If they get a top-6 pick, you pick Haliburton...
 

Adam

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What's most frustrating about this draft is while the Cavs are in a position to capitalize on acquiring a top talent, there's no one good fit considering the current roster construction...

Okoro and Advija both play the main position of Cavs need but both have have significant holes that limit what their true ceiling will be, and also how effective they would be on this roster.. Vassell may be the best fit but likely isn't someone you spend a top-6 pick on...

Toppin would be another obvious fit given we could use a long-term fit at PF but his age and defensive deficiencies are concerning enough to give you pause about spending a top-5 pick on him...

How the Cavs view Drummond long-term really is a significant piece in all this, given two of the Cavs best options are Wiseman and Okongwu... If the Cavs view Drummond as a long-term fit and someone they want to lock up, I don't see how either could be in consideration.. Meanwhile, if the Cavs plan to move on from Drummond, I'd argue Wiseman and Okongwu should be #1 and #2 atop their draft board... To me, Wiseman is the best prospect in this draft, and also has the highest ceiling, and Okongwu is really intriguing with his skillset, play style and age...

This draft class being so guard heavy is really what kills the Cavs the most, considering the best prospects are all one or two guards... I know the Cavs should be in a position to take BPA, but I just don't see anyway the Cavs should consider Ball, Edwards, Anthony, Hampton, Maldeon, etc... To me it comes down to this: the Cavs need to start prioritizing defensive players, especially players they see becoming strong two-way players... Does taking a player like aforementioned, really advance the Cavs forward when considering they already have Porter Jr, Sexton and Garland on the roster? If they take a guard, it likely means moving on from Sexton or Garland... So are the available guards that much of an offensive upgrade over Sexton/Garland + worth the sunk cost of what you've invested in those guys? To me, I don't believe so...

If the Cavs want to be successful, they have to find two-way players... That's why if the Cavs do go guard, I think they can get away with Haliburton or Hayes since they have a good defensive base which allows to be contributing players moving forward and fit into this current roster...

While the rankings are a bit different from what we've seen, I have to say I really enjoyed The Ringer's draft comparisons for some of the top prospects--they seemed pretty spot-on..

Anthony Edwards: Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, Dion Waiters
Tyrese Haliburton: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Onyeka Okongwu: Bam Adebayo, young Antonio McDyess, Taj Gibson
Devin Vassell: Khris Middleton, Robert Covington
James Wiseman: David Robinson, mild mannered Rasheed Wallace
Isaac Okoro: Gerald Wallace, Justise Winslow
Obi Toppin: Amare' Stoudemire on offense, Jahlil Okafor on defense
Deni Advija: Nicolas Batum

If you had a gun to my head right now, I'd say if Cavs get a top-2 pick you take Wiseman and move on from Drummond... If they get a top-4 pick, you take Okongwu and move Drummond... If they get a top-6 pick, you pick Haliburton...
Love that Toppin comprison :chuckle:
 

Nathan S

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I like a lot of those comparisons, but can't help pointing out that Stoudemire at age 22 was an NBA All-Star averaging 26 ppg. Not quite convinced that Toppin is the same caliber of offensive talent.
 

Smooth

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Couple of interesting discussion points that came up in discussions on a couple of podcasts with Kevin O'Connor (Ringer) and Chad Ford.. (Fran Franschilla also hopped on one podcast with Ford to discuss Avidja, Hayes, Ball, etc., and was pretty good as well)

-- This draft is really a case study in how risk averse NBA GMs are... You have guys like Haliburton or Okoro who check all the boxes, don't come with any baggage and likely will be good, long-time NBA players... However you have guys like Wiseman and Ball who come with some many variables and a wide range of outcomes: it could either be really good or really bad... They speculated some teams could elect to play it safe with the prospects in this draft, but also the unique pre-draft process compared to previous years..

-- In following on the Wiseman comparison's, O'Connor compared Wiseman as someone who could be similar to Andrew Wiggins: the talent and the allure is there and while they might be productive, how much do they ultimately contribute to winning? O'Connor also pointed out one of the reasons he lists Wiseman and even Okongwu lower on his board is based on positional cost analysis... He mentioned why pay or invest in players like Wiseman/Okongwu when you can pay Javale McGee, Aaron Baynes, Daniel Theis, etc., to be just as effective in their role but also at a much lower cost basis... I'm not sure I agree with that, based on what I think Wiseman/Okongwu can be on the high end, but it's definitely interesting value analysis...

-- O'Connor and Ford had a mock draft and when they brought up the Cavs, they brought up something that I think is a distinct possibility this year: trading back (and I'd even suggest trading out)... They didn't mention any teams but would Charlotte trade up for Edwards/Wiseman/Ball and give up PJ Washington to move to the front of the lottery? Would the Knicks trade up and give up Mitchell Robinson? What about Phoenix and Oubre? Could any of the Bulls young talent be on the block with a new GM? I don't think the Cavs would move out of the lottery, but I have to think trading back and getting into the 7-12 range where Okoro, Avidja, Vassell, even Toppin, etc., (or maybe even Josh Green or Aaron Nesmith work their way into the discussion) become a lot more appealing...

-- This isn't based off of anything, but I keep coming back by how much homework the Cavs have done on Avidja and all of the pieces Fedor has pushed out about him that unless the Cavs get a top 3-4 pick, Avidja is likely their guy..
 

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If anyone is interested, I am willing to wager pretty much anything that Drummond will not be here beyond his current contract. I don't think he factors into the Cavs draft decision making whatsoever.
 

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If anyone is interested, I am willing to wager pretty much anything that Drummond will not be here beyond his current contract. I don't think he factors into the Cavs draft decision making whatsoever.
I tend to agree. I also have been thinking more about Wiseman. He is probably going to be pretty good. I think the question of whether you want to pay for him is the only thing to be concerned about. He is going to be a good center. Do you want to pay him the max? Probably not. Cavs have never shown any dedication to the center position. The gave up 2 firsts for Moz and they paid TT 18M. Neither is a swing for the fences. Both stopgap measures sort of. I think philosophically they just don't value centers.

Drummond was finding a house you don't like, but realizing it was undervalued and could be flipped IMO.

I keep coming back to Wiseman because he is clearly the #1 pick on potential. I also don't think he will bust like Edwards might. It's just the least valuable position. Still would you take Embiid, Gobert or Robinson #1 in this draft? One of those is not like the other, but I think you might? I'd guess right now now Embiid>Gobert>Wiseman>Robinson.

Unrelated, I have started thinking that Vassell is better than Deni. I think if you slide to 5 you might want to take Vassell.
 

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I tend to agree. I also have been thinking more about Wiseman. He is probably going to be pretty good. I think the question of whether you want to pay for him is the only thing to be concerned about. He is going to be a good center. Do you want to pay him the max? Probably not. Cavs have never shown any dedication to the center position. The gave up 2 firsts for Moz and they paid TT 18M. Neither is a swing for the fences. Both stopgap measures sort of. I think philosophically they just don't value centers.

Drummond was finding a house you don't like, but realizing it was undervalued and could be flipped IMO.

I keep coming back to Wiseman because he is clearly the #1 pick on potential. I also don't think he will bust like Edwards might. It's just the least valuable position. Still would you take Embiid, Gobert or Robinson #1 in this draft? One of those is not like the other, but I think you might? I'd guess right now now Embiid>Gobert>Wiseman>Robinson.

Unrelated, I have started thinking that Vassell is better than Deni. I think if you slide to 5 you might want to take Vassell.
See, I'm not so sure I agree with center being the least valuable position or one you don't invest in... I understand it in the context of where the game is going, but having a center who can do it all and be a versatile anchor on defense, really opens up everything for your team and finding those players is hard to do..

As far as impact goes:
7 of the top 20 EWA ratings were centers (8 if you include Anthony Davis)
7 of the top VA ratings were centers (8 again if you include Davis)

I understand ball-handlers have a greater high end value in today's game, but finding a do-it-all center is even more valuable considering all the things they're being asked to do, and especially if you're planning to run a 4-out, 1-in type offense and are facing that on defense...
 

Nathan S

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See, I'm not so sure I agree with center being the least valuable position or one you don't invest in... I understand it in the context of where the game is going, but having a center who can do it all and be a versatile anchor on defense, really opens up everything for your team and finding those players is hard to do..

As far as impact goes:
7 of the top 20 EWA ratings were centers (8 if you include Anthony Davis)
7 of the top VA ratings were centers (8 again if you include Davis)

I understand ball-handlers have a greater high end value in today's game, but finding a do-it-all center is even more valuable considering all the things they're being asked to do, and especially if you're planning to run a 4-out, 1-in type offense and are facing that on defense...
Totally agree with this...bigs who have the skills to go with their physical gifts are among the most valuable players in the NBA every year. The question is...does Wiseman have the skills? Does Okongwu?
 

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Totally agree with this...bigs who have the skills to go with their physical gifts are among the most valuable players in the NBA every year. The question is...does Wiseman have the skills? Does Okongwu?
I guess I should have said that. I don't think Wiseman has the skills. I think he is probably a less defensive Dwight Howard. Okongwu seems more valuable as a switch defender, and is a better roller.

I think I take Okongwu over Wiseman because of the skills. He is a switch defender and rim protector while Wiseman is just a rim protector.
 

Nathan S

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I guess I should have said that. I don't think Wiseman has the skills. I think he is probably a less defensive Dwight Howard. Okongwu seems more valuable as a switch defender, and is a better roller.

I think I take Okongwu over Wiseman because of the skills. He is a switch defender and rim protector while Wiseman is just a rim protector.
I'm not super confident in Wiseman, but I do think there's quite a gap between him and Okongwu in rim protecting potential. Look no further than our own Tristan Thompson for an example of an undersized center who put up solid shot blocking numbers in college, but never developed into a useful rim protector in the pros. Wiseman may have other issues defensively, but 7'+ guys have historically been much more reliable in translating college shot blocking to pro shot blocking.
 

Cavatt

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I'm not super confident in Wiseman, but I do think there's quite a gap between him and Okongwu in rim protecting potential. Look no further than our own Tristan Thompson for an example of an undersized center who put up solid shot blocking numbers in college, but never developed into a useful rim protector in the pros. Wiseman may have other issues defensively, but 7'+ guys have historically been much more reliable in translating college shot blocking to pro shot blocking.
Tristan has something else going on. He only won 28% of jump balls. He is in the same tier as guys like Nene and Dirk. Can you explain to me why one of the bets rebounders in the league is getting the same percentage of jump balls as some of the oldest most ground bound big men? I don't want to try to totally negate your point, but Tristan has some weird inconsistencies in his game I can't explain.

Okongwu is pretty much exactly TT's size though and Wiseman has 5" in wingspan on him. One of the criticisms I have seen of Wiseman is he is not actually a good defender, but can block shots, whereas Okongwu's defensive numbers are good.

Which one is more likely to get run off the floor? Even watching Drummond and TT play, I see why some of us have thought TT is better despite worse numbers.

Very tough. I feel like I can argue it both ways. It doesn't help we didn't see Wiseman grow this season.
 

Nathan S

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Tristan has something else going on. He only won 28% of jump balls. He is in the same tier as guys like Nene and Dirk. Can you explain to me why one of the bets rebounders in the league is getting the same percentage of jump balls as some of the oldest most ground bound big men? I don't want to try to totally negate your point, but Tristan has some weird inconsistencies in his game I can't explain.

Okongwu is pretty much exactly TT's size though and Wiseman has 5" in wingspan on him. One of the criticisms I have seen of Wiseman is he is not actually a good defender, but can block shots, whereas Okongwu's defensive numbers are good.

Which one is more likely to get run off the floor? Even watching Drummond and TT play, I see why some of us have thought TT is better despite worse numbers.

Very tough. I feel like I can argue it both ways. It doesn't help we didn't see Wiseman grow this season.
No doubt Okongwu is the safer pick...way, way safer. Hard to imagine a scenario where he isn't a key roleplayer at worst. But I think there's a solid chance that some guy picked late first/early second, like Tillman, Reed, or Jalen Smith, will end up being a very similar player to Okongwu. In contrast, it's clear that Wiseman is the only Wiseman in this draft, for better or for worse.
 

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No doubt Okongwu is the safer pick...way, way safer. Hard to imagine a scenario where he isn't a key roleplayer at worst. But I think there's a solid chance that some guy picked late first/early second, like Tillman, Reed, or Jalen Smith, will end up being a very similar player to Okongwu. In contrast, it's clear that Wiseman is the only Wiseman in this draft, for better or for worse.
I don't know what the move in this draft is. 2013 would tell us that we should go with the safer pick. We could have had Otto Porter or Oladipo, either would have been better than Bennett in the Title run. Or you can take the other lesson from 2013 and really reach and take a guy that people say should be in the teens to get the Giannis of this draft. That seems very low odds though. I'm leaning toward Okongwu/Vassell and going the safe route.
 

Nathan S

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I don't know what the move in this draft is. 2013 would tell us that we should go with the safer pick. We could have had Otto Porter or Oladipo, either would have been better than Bennett in the Title run. Or you can take the other lesson from 2013 and really reach and take a guy that people say should be in the teens to get the Giannis of this draft. That seems very low odds though. I'm leaning toward Okongwu/Vassell and going the safe route.
Kind of funny that this draft actually has a Giannis kind of prospect in Pokusevski. Super lanky, super young, putting up super stats against super weak Greek competition, will probably get drafted somewhere in the teens.
 

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Kind of funny that this draft actually has a Giannis kind of prospect in Pokusevski. Super lanky, super young, putting up super stats against super weak Greek competition, will probably get drafted somewhere in the teens.
Funny you bring him up. I was just looking at his numbers and a couple write ups about him yesterday. Never heard of him before (which isn't saying much coming from me). Could be a wild card sort in this draft but very risky. I like Okongwu but he strikes me as a TT clone, which isn't a bad thing really. I watched a few of his HS highlights and it looked like he could make high school 3s. Could he have untapped shooting potential?
 

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