Just like every NBA team, the Cavaliers are going through the pre-draft process, bringing in prospects for individual and group workouts as they prepare to make some picks.
One of those prospects is Ohio State product Malaki Branham, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard and likely first-round pick, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavs own the No. 14 overall selection, and most mocks have Branham being taken in the Nos. 12-17 range.
Of course, a lot of Cavs fans are familiar with Branham, as he attended Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, which just happens to be the same high school that produced LeBron James. He was named first-team All-Ohio his junior and senior seasons and won two state championships with the Fighting Irish (2018 and ’20).
He then chose Ohio State over multiple other suitors, including Alabama and Baylor.
The Cavs weren’t able to interview Branham at the NBA Combine in Chicago last month, Fedor reported, so bringing him in now makes sense. Per Fedor, Branham will work out for the Cavs on Wednesday — and is even gaining some “top-10 buzz.”
Along with the lottery pick, the Cavs have two second-round selections (Nos. 39 and 56). They will be taking a look at multiple players who could be selected in those spots as well over the next few weeks.
Sources have also told Hoops Wire the Cavs might look to package their two second-rounders for an older veteran to help in reserve.
Anyway, back to Branham, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and third-team All-Big Ten. He clearly improved as the season went along, coming off the Buckeyes’ bench at first, then turning into a regular starter.
He also went through a hot stretch in February where he scored 22, 27 and 31 points in a three-game stretch. A native of Columbus, he averaged 13.7 points and 3.6 rebounds on the season.