One of the best big men went to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a recent mock for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Two areas of need for the Cleveland Cavaliers are a true center and an upgrade at point guard. Drafting eight overall during the 2018 NBA Draft should allow Cleveland to have the opportunity to choose a quality player at the point and possibly even at center too.
Knowing we are getting closer to the draft, TNT analyst David Aldridge posted his lone NBA mock draft on Monday on NBA.com. In his mock, he projected Duke center/power forward Wendell Carter Jr to the Cavaliers.
Carter should be in play for teams picking three through seven. That said, Cleveland is fortunate to see him slide to them in this scenario.
Aldridge had the following to say about the pick in regard to Carter’s game impacting the frontcourt: “There’s no guarantee he’ll be able to guard in space or on switches. Carter’s game could play next to Tristan Thompson’s and he should rebound immediately at the next level.”
I would not mind this pick depending on how the draft played out. However, there is both good and bad news when it comes to this selection.
The bad news is barring a trade, Carter would join a logjam at center/power forward with Thompson, Kevin Love, Larry Nance, and Ante Zizic already there. Cleveland needs to make a move regardless if Carter is actually the pick or not. While Aldridge makes a good point about Thompson and Carter, I do not see that duo working out.
Carter is more defensive oriented than I would like in this pairing and Thompson does not do anything on the court of value than grab rebounds well. Did I mention Carter is 6’10, the same height as Thompson and Love?
The good news is there will be plenty of time for Cleveland to do what they can to move on from Thompson. Carter put up a respectable 13.5 points for Duke and more importantly, he blocked more than 2 shots/game.
Bringing in a shot blocker has been something Cleveland has needed for some time. Having a trio of Carter, Nance, and Love is ideal and preferred.
I would take my chances with Carter in space because I believe his athleticism is very underrated. Love is not a great defender and with Carter, the former Duke product would be out there on pick and rolls guarding the Stephen Curry‘s of the world instead.
There is plenty of promise and potential for a prospect like Carter. However, he will only be able to reach it if Cleveland creates the necessary playing time and opportunities he needs.