The Cavs (and other NBA teams) should sign players like Kevin Pangos more often.
The Cavs have made a minor move this offseason signing Kevin Pangos, a former Euro League standout. Pangos, an All-Euro League player (think All NBA-Team), was rumored to be on the Cavaliers radar earlier this summer, making this a rumor that has in fact come to fruition. If only now the Ben Simmons rumor can materialize as well.
While Pangos isn’t a needle mover for many, he should essentially be the Cavs backup point guard behind Darius Garland and should perform well. The 28-year-old played at Gonzaga before going overseas for six seasons. He signed on to play with the Cavs on a two-year deal, worth $3.5 million.
The 6’1, Canadian guard comes to the NBA after putting up good numbers in the Euro League, the Euro Cup, Liga ACB, and VTB United; playing 23.7 minutes per game, shooting 42.4% from the floor, 41.7% from three-point and 81.1% from the free-throw line. He averaged 10.4 points per game, hitting a career-high just this past season with 13.8 points per game. He also averaged 4.7 assists and just shy of 2.0 rebounds per game as well.
The Cavs should’ve been scouting talent like Kevin Pangos for a while now
The Cavs have missed out on some talented foreign talents for a long-time now. While they’ve been known to try from time to time, like Sasa Pavlovich and Jiri Welsch, they’ve largely stayed away from international talent. We’re not even talking about guys like Josh Giddey or Deni Avdija, or recent Spurs’ signing Jock Landale.
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We’re talking about not having any interest in Joe Ingles, the perfect 3-and-D player for the Cavs in 2014. Then there was Jose Calderon, who would’ve been the perfect complement to LeBron James in 2005 and beyond. Looking at how good of a 3-and-D guy he was, especially at that position, he arguably could’ve had even better numbers with the Cavs. Even recently, with Rui Hachimura. Imagine had the Cavaliers drafted him to pair with Collin Sexton. Who knows what the team would look like right now.
The NBA seems to have teams that are hesitant to really dive in on international talent. The Cavs seem to be one of those teams, or at least were. With the fact that the team can’t find high-level, known talents, to come into the organization, going outside of the conventional marquee free agents and high draft pick route should be a norm for them.
The Spurs and Mavericks rose to success in part to their ability to scout talent beyond the borders, and the Cavs are going to need to have that same mindset if they want to succeed in a post-LeBron James world.
The signing of Pangos is a good first step.