We didn’t think it could happen, but the Cavaliers went ahead and did it, anyway.
That’s right, the Cavs actually made a selection (and zero trades) with their four picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
With their first selection, or No. 14 overall, the Cavs took Ochai Agbaji, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward out of Kansas.
You can’t blame them. He was pretty good at one of America’s most recognized basketball institutions, leading the Big 12 in scoring at 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while playing 35 minutes a night last season as a senior. And remember, college basketball games consist of 40 minutes.’
Here is what the official NBA Draft Guide had to say about Agbaji:
“Prototypical size, length and athleticism for an NBA wing. Dynamic shooter with deep range and excellent mechanics. Ball-handling and passing skills have improved. Highly effective defender; guards multiple positions.”
So, it sounds like his game should translate well to the next level.
Of course, and this is pure speculation, but if Agbaji is as good as advertised, you have to wonder if there will still be a spot for Isaac Okoro in Cleveland.
But whatever, The Cavs can sort all that out in training camp if they have to.
Now, on to the other three picks — all second-rounders.
There had been some rumors that the Cavs would try to package them to move up and snag another first-rounder. And maybe president of basketball operations Koby Altman indeed tried.
If so, he didn’t like what he what he was offered in return. Or maybe he was offered nothing.
Anyway, back to the picks.
With the No. 39 overall pick, the Cavs took Khalifa Diop, a 7-1 center from Senegal who played in Spain last season. He is likely a draft-and-stash project, so don’t count on seeing him wearing a jersey that reads “Cavaliers” next season. Nor is he the first player the Cavs ever drafted with the last name of Diop.
Speaking of which, the Cavs took USC power forward Isaiah Mobley at No. 49 overall. He isn’t the first player the Cavs drafted named Mobley, either. In fact, Isaiah is the older brother of Evan Mobley, also taken by the Cavs in the draft — last season, also out of USC, at No. 3 overall.
Isaiah Mobley is sort of “stretch” four, meaning he is a power forward who can shoot. While his touch from the perimeter is a clear strength, the national analysts expressed some concerns about his conditioning. The Cavs will find out soon enough if that’s an issue, as the newest Mobley is expected to play summer-league ball.
On the bright side, he did lead USC in scoring this past season as a sophomore, averaging 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Finally, with the No. 56 pick, the Cavs selected Australian forward Luke Travers. It’s too early to know what their definite plans are for him, but unless they think he’s better than, say, Lamar Stevens, Travers will likely play in the NBL, and not the NBA, for the time being.
So we didn’t think it would happen, but somehow, it did. The Cavs truly exited Thursday night with four new players.
How many of them eventually will actually be Cavs remains to be seen.