Cavaliers News: Who Experts Expect Team to Select with No. 14 Pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers showed a lot of growth during the 2021-22 season. They went 44-38, marking the first time they had a winning record since going 50-32 during the 2017-18 campaign. It also came after they had won no more than 22 games over the previous three seasons.
However, it wasn't enough for Cleveland to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. As a result, it was among the 14 teams that learned when they will be selecting in the 2022 NBA draft through the lottery drawing, which took place Tuesday night.
It wasn't a surprise that the Cavaliers ended up with the No. 14 overall pick, as they had only a 0.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 selection. So this will be the first time since 2017 that they won't have a top-10 pick and the first time since 2018 that they won't have a selection in the top five.
Still, the Cavs will have an opportunity to add an exciting prospect when they're on the clock come June 23.
Here's a look at who Cleveland could select, based on post-lottery mock drafts.
Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin
Johnny Davis probably won't be among the first handful of players taken in the draft like some had expected at one point. But the Wisconsin guard is still a talented prospect who was the Big Ten Player of the Year during the 2021-22 season.
And The Athletic's Sam Vecenie has the 20-year-old going to the Cavaliers at No. 14.
"When he was at his best, Davis was a good three-level scorer who also played hard on defense. That translates at least on some level to the NBA," Vecenie wrote. "The ceiling on his draft status has dropped a bit in recent months, but I’d still anticipate him going in the No. 7 to No. 17 range."
As a sophomore, Davis broke out this past season, averaging 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds in 31 games, while shooting 42.7 percent from the field. His numbers may have ended up even better if he hadn't been playing through an ankle injury as the Badgers' season was winding down.
If Cleveland drafts Davis, he could be a valuable addition to a group of wing players that already includes Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert.
That would especially be the case if Davis showcases the same type of scoring ability he had in college.
Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State
ESPN's Jonathan Givony also has the Cavaliers drafting a wing player at No. 14, noting that the team is likely to add to that area of its roster via the draft and free agency.
Instead of Davis, though, Givony is projecting Cleveland to take Ohio State shooting guard Malaki Branham.
In his lone season with the Buckeyes, the 19-year-old averaged 13.7 points in 32 games and shot 49.8 percent from the field. He also shot 41.6 percent from three-point range.
Givony believes Branham's "frame, length, scoring instincts and shot-making prowess" could allow him to make a seamless transition to the NBA.
"He started the season slowly but looked like one of the most talented perimeter players in the country down the stretch, carrying Ohio State offensively, and in a highly efficient manner," he wrote.
Branham may excel early in his NBA career, so perhaps that could be appealing to the Cavaliers given how close they were to getting back to the playoffs this past season.
Dyson Daniels, SG, G League Ignite
Although Dyson Daniels is a shooting guard, he has great playmaking skills that can allow him to be a facilitator in an offense.
Now that the Cavaliers no longer have Ricky Rubio, perhaps they could be looking for player with that type of skill set who can help Darius Garland in that role.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has Cleveland drafting Daniels, who spent this past season playing for the G League Ignite. He averaged 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 14 games, and the NBA reporter sees similarities between the Australian and a current guard in the NBA.
"Though Daniels needs to work on his jumper, he is like Derrick White in the sense he can still make a positive impact because of his unselfishness and high IQ," O'Connor wrote.
Daniels has a lot of potential and gained some valuable experience while playing in the G League. So it's possible the Cavs will want to add him if he's on the board at No. 14.