5 best prospects Cavs must target if they trade into 1st round of 2023 NBA Draft
The Cleveland Cavaliers added an interesting potential scenario last Thursday before the start 2023 NBA Draft.
The Athletic Senior NBA Draft Writer Sam Vecenie wrote the Cavaliers were among the teams looking at potential opportunities to move up to the late 20s and 30s in a Thursday mock draft.
“Sources across the league have said Milwaukee, Phoenix and Cleveland have explored potential opportunities to move up into the late 20s and 30s due to the depth of prospects on the wing and potential NBA-ready, older rotation players,” Vecenie wrote.
Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor doubled down on that point in a late-Thursday article.
“While members of the front office and scouting staff like that position and believe there will be a compelling, young draft-and-develop prospect late in the second round, there’s an organizational desire to move up and calls have been made to multiple teams in the 20-30 range, gauging the cost of a potential deal, sources say,” Fedor wrote.
The Cavs traded for USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. in the 2019 draft in exchange for four future second-round picks and cash considerations, according to NBA.com. Cleveland would end up trading him to the Houston Rockets for a future second-round pick in 2021.
The Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, and Los Angeles Clippers all hold spots within the 20-30 range. Cleveland currently holds the No. 49 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. It could add players who can contribute immediately if they find a way to trade for a selection in the 20-30 range.
Who are some players the Cavs should look out for if they can to trade into the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft?
Sensabaugh, a 6-foot-6-inch forward from Orlando, Fla., earned 16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game during his lone season with the Buckeyes. He led Ohio State in points per game and took second on the roster in rebounds per outing last season. Vecenie took Sensabaugh at No. 26 in The Athletic’s mock draft.
The former 4-star recruit took pride in his efficiency during a May interview at the NBA Draft Combine. He hit 48.2% of his field goal attempts and 40.5% of his tries from the 3-point line during the 2022-23 season.
“I take a lot of pride in my efficiency,” Sensabaugh said, via The Charlotte Hornets. “Taking the right shots and making the right decisions. Putting the ball in the basket at a high clip. Whether it’s going two for three, or going five for seven, seven for ten, whatever it may be, I try to take the best shot possible and score at all three levels.”
Sensabaugh could bring an immediate scoring and shooting punch to a bench that took 28th place in the league last year with an average of 28.7 points per game.
No modern team can ever have too much versatility.
Jones had a well-rounded season for the Xavier Musketeers last season. He ended the team’s 2022-23 campaign with averages of 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists for a Musketeers squad that finished with a 27-10 overall record and a 15-5 record against conference opponents.
Jones highlighted his versatility on defense in a one-on-one interview with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
“Just my defensive versatility,” Jones said, via The Pacers. “Being able to guard different players on this court. Just my overall game on offense. Facilitating, making winning plays and just all those hustle plays.”
Jones could be a solid addition to a Cavaliers team with guards Caris LeVert and Danny Green listed as unrestricted free agents in 2023.
Jaime Jaquez Jr.
The Cavs will need to find players who can contribute immediately and separate themselves as leaders on the roster.
Jaquez, a 6-foot-7-inch guard from UCLA, has four years and 134 games of collegiate experience under his belt. The native of Camarillo, Calif., started in 126 games over his time with the Bruins, including all 37 of the matchups he played in during the 2022-23 season.
“I think my game grew in pretty much all aspects,” Jaquez said when asked where his game grew the most during his time in college, via The Pacers. “But I think more so when it comes to leadership and being able to help guys. I started off as a freshman, now a senior. I learned how to follow. I also learned how to lead. I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways.”
The original Junkyard Dog chain had five core values etched into its Cleveland Cavaliers logo.
Details. Toughness. Together. Compete. 1 more.
Prosper, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Marquette, can embody at least a few of those values.
Prosper can bring toughness and the willingness to compete if the Cavs can select him with a late first-rounder. He said he wanted to show teams he could bring a spark during a pre-draft workout with the Pacers on Tuesday.
“I just want to show that I could come to a team and be a spark,” Prosper said. “Especially defensively. Help teams defensively with my ability to guard multiple positions. On offense, just be another wing who can stretch the floor, shoot, play in transition, rebound. A guy that brings a lot of energy on the floor, that brings the team up.
“That’s what I want to show those teams. A guy that can come in, contribute and help them win.”
Murray saw his role with the Iowa Hawkeyes explode between his first and third seasons in Iowa City. The 6-foot-8-inch forward scored 20.2 points and grabbed 7.9 rebounds during the 29 games he played and started in last season, a noticeable jump from the 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds he averaged the year before.
The ability to play in a more expanded role helped build his confidence last season, the 22-year-old forward said in a June interview with For The Win.
“We built that relationship where I could stay in the game, and he wouldn’t have to worry about foul trouble, he wouldn’t have to worry about me not shooting the ball if I missed a couple of shots,” Murray said. “I was able to show a lot more of my game and my versatility offensively and defensively.”
Murray could add depth at either forward spot if the Cavs need to invest more at the three or the four. Both forwards Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens are listed with non-guaranteed deals for the 2023-24 season. Stevens is listed with a team option. Osman’s contract becomes fully guaranteed on June 29, according to Spotrac.
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Author: Alex Sabri