Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija fits the Cavs culture on and off court

Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

According to reports, Israeli teenage prospect Deni Avdija would fit well within the Cleveland Cavaliers systems both on and off the court.

You want system guys. Not just guys who do well in systems, but guys who buy into it. Ideals, principals, the general overall arching believe structure that you teach your team. That’s what separates any organization from any other; a belief that your system works best only when you buy into it. So when talking about sports, that idea is magnified tenfold. If you have a guy who’s supposed to be a vital part of the machine but refuses to do the work, it becomes noticeable really fast. That’s why it’s great to hear that many experts think Maccabi Tel Aviv player Deni Avdija would fit very well in the Cavs system.

Chris Fedor of has been talking to experts about the NBA Draft and the two names getting the most traction for the Cavs at the No. 5 spot in the 2020 NBA Draft are Avdija and Obi Toppin. Both have great potential but both play vastly different styles of basketball.

While Toppin showed leadership in college at Dayton, he’s still a newish prospect to the conversation of the NBA Draft. A lot about him is still unknown at this moment. As for Avdija, Fedor reported about how much praise he’s getting and highlighted all the reasons why many people believe he would work well in the Cavs organization.

"Avdija, on the other hand, should be viewed as one of the frontrunners at this point. He’s not only one of the top wings in this class, but he fits the Cavs’ culture — on and off the court. There’s a belief that his iffy jumper can be fixed. Observers say it’s a small tweak. They point to his guide hand, which sits on top of the ball instead of the side. That can cause friction with his follow through, leading to inconsistency. Another executive felt Avdija didn’t shoot with enough confidence. But his relentless work ethic led to improvement following the league restart."

Fedor goes on to talk about the fact that the Cavs have done their homework on the young Israeli.

"The Cavs have done extensive work on the teenager who could be more ready that others in this class for an early role given the professional competition overseas and the timing of the pandemic that stopped college basketball. General manager Koby Altman, director of scouting Brandon Weems and assistant GM Mike Gansey all made trips to see Avdija in person before the shutdown. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has reached out to former players Omri Casspi, Tyler Dorsey and Tarik Black — all of whom play for Maccabi Tel Aviv — for intel on Avdija and how he fit in that locker room."

It’s his dynamic play and diverse skill sets that make him arguably the best prospect in the draft. He can shoot, guard, and pass.

"Avdija is tough, versatile, smart and seasoned. He can guard 2s, 3s and 4s. He’s a point-forward with excellent vision and an ability to make passes out of pick-and-rolls in the halfcourt while also igniting breaks."

Yet, despite the hype train that is currently leaving this website’s station, it’s wise to temper expectations, as Fedor goes on to talk about the fact that nothing is set in stone.

"This isn’t to say Avdija is the pick at No. 5 if he’s on the board. It’s too early to make that determination. Sources say the previous Bulls regime loved him and likely would’ve taken him at No. 4, one slot in front of Cleveland. But will the new Bulls front office view him the same? Will the Cavs get the chance to make that call on their own?"

After the disaster that Darius Garland has been, and the years of dealing with unhappy players and malcontents, it seems like the right call to go with someone who can sell out for head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and his system. The team needs selfless, high energy, talented and dynamic players who can pass, shoot, and play defense. That’s Avdija.

Ideally, the team should move Garland and maybe another asset and try to land both Toppin and Avdija but that isn’t a very unlikely situation. If only, however. If only.

Next. CBS Mock Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers to take Deni Avdija in 2020 NBA Draft. dark