The Cleveland Cavaliers took Darius Garland with the 5th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, yet Tyler Herro of the Heat continues to make the Cavs pick look bad.
The Cleveland Cavaliers took Darius Garland with the 5th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. A move that, even at the time looked like a bad idea. The Cavs already had Collin Sexton, an all-around better player, and played mostly at the same spot as Garland. Garland, however, was expected to be a compliment for Sexton. Supposedly able to shoot three-point shots, and pass, while playing good defense, Garland was expected to help facilitate the offense through Sexton and Kevin Love. That didn’t end up happening. Making things worse was the fact that a player like Tyler Herro was still on the board.
Garland’s rookie year was awful. He did shoot 40% from the floor but only 35% from the three-point line. He only averaged 4.0 assists again and over 2.5 turnovers. If that’s not bad enough, Garland was so awful that he actually was measured as the worst player in all the NBA, not just including rookies.
Taken just eight picks later with the thirteenth selection by the Miami Heat, Herro had some mild hype but with guys like Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunns, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, and Jae Crowder on the roster, Herro wasn’t expected to be needed to play well in his rookie year. Let alone blow up as he did. Shooting nearly 43% from the floor and nearly 40% from three-point, Herro came on hard in his rookie year. He didn’t just shoot the ball well, but he also showed incredible athleticism, solid defense, and the ability to distribute the ball.
All things Garland was supposed to do for the Cavs.
Herro also plays off-ball a lot and can play SG or SF on the court. A perfect compliment for the combo-guard style of Sexton. Herro’s second-round heroics against the Milwaukee Bucks also helped seal the deal that the Garland pick was just a bad pick for the Cavs. There’s not much room anymore for guys having abysmal rookie years when they’re taken that high. Not when guys like Herro, the 13th pick in the NBA Draft mind you, is dominating the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Cavs should look to move Garland while he still has some value. While the 2020 NBA Draft isn’t loaded with star-making guards, a player like Italian-American Nico Mannion should be available later in the first round. Dynamic and quick, he could possibly be the Cavs point guard of the future if given time to develop. So if you can flip Garland for a late-first round pick, then maybe you can get something of value back for him.
Regardless of whom the Cavs draft in 2020, it won’t change that Herro has made the already bad Garland selection look like a wasted pick even more.