The 3 likeliest to be selected
So for most of these entries, we’ve looked at this from the perspective of the Cavs. Now it’s time to put our drafting caps on. The players we have unprotected are Isaac Okoro, Dylan Windler, Dean Wade, Lamar Stevens, Brandon Goodwin, Moses Brown, and R.J. Nembhard. It doesn’t matter if we’re Seattle or Las Vegas in this scenario it all depends on what kind of team we want.
So I think that gives us three obvious picks. If we want a defensive-minded team, we go with Okoro. If we want a pace and space squad, where we’re chucking shots like the Steve Nash suns, we’re going with Dylan Windler. If we want a more traditional team, we go with Lamar Stevens, who’s shown to be an interesting option off the bench and could be a good sixth or seventh guy for an expansion squad.
For the sake of the exercise, we’re not going to cop out by just saying the three best options are Stevens, Windler, and Okoro. We’re going to actually pick.
Why Okoro? He’s strong, a hard worker and a good enough defender to be in the top seven guys in a rotation. Why not Okoro? He’s got no mid-range or three-point shot you can rely on, and he’s offensively limited unless he’s cutting to the basket or in transition.
Why Windler? He’s a good floor spacer in theory though he’s not been a great shooter since entering the NBA. He’s not that tested, having only played 80-some games, so there’s potential and he’s a solid defender. Why not Windler? He’s already in his late-20s, he’s injury-prone, and he’s not proven to be a good NBA shooter, despite being drafted for that very reason.
Why Stevens? He’s versatile, and a good defender. He can guard the low post or the wing, but he does lose some quality the further out he goes. Why not Stevens? He’s versatile but doesn’t excel at anyone’s position, plus he’s undersized as a low-post defender.
Regardless of who is picking, I think the pick that makes the most sense is Stevens. Sure, Okoro is a top 5 pick in the draft but he shouldn’t have been. His offense is the worst on the team, and while he’s athletic, he’s not going to put up points consistently. High ceiling, deep floor. If he doesn’t get better he’s an albatross that will erase whatever positive impact his defense provides. Windler may be the least known quantity and that is both why he’s interesting and not interesting. You don’t know what you’re going to get with him, so why bother? There’s no baseline. Stevens isn’t flashy but he is what he is. He’ll be the most consistent player of the three. Okoro and Windler have higher ceilings but deeper floors. That’s why the pick is Stevens.
Pick: Lamar Stevens