Cleveland Cavaliers: Zion Williamson Isn’t the Only Player to Consider in the Draft
All the talk going into the college basketball season was about Zion Williamson. He’s projected to be the number 1 overall draft pick. A lot of fans, analysts, and GM’s are overlooking a few other big men. Two of these athletes, Bol Bol and Charles Bassey, are top freshman aiming to be lottery picks in the NBA Draft. This bodes well for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in desperate need of a franchise big man.
The Cavs still need to find their franchise big. Kevin Love isn’t the player he once was (and he’ll likely be traded before the start of the NBA Draft), Thompson can’t live up to the massive contract he signed. Larry Nance Jr. shouldn’t be the team’s backup option in the frontcourt. And who knows about Ante Zizic. Problems for the team are clear when it comes to size and depth.
This is why the Cleveland Cavaliers are in a great spot to take a franchise-altering big man. It doesn’t matter where they pick in the lottery. The 2019 Draft Class isn’t weak at all. The end of the world won’t be coming if the Cavs fail to get the ultimate prize in Zion, as the talent level is so high.
Let’s say Cleveland doesn’t get the 1 pick. That would mean missing out on Williamson. Picking a player like Bol of Bassey might not be the sexy move, yet, its one that could play out well for the Cavs future. We aren’t talking about slouches with Bol and Bassey. They were both 5-star recruits coming out of High School.
Bol can be compared to his father, Manute. I’d say he’s got a similar game to Roy Hibbert. The footwork, shot blocking, size, and scoring, make the two eerily similar. There’s a lot to work on with Bol. He’s not consistent at all. Above all else, the weight might be an issue. Bol is rail thin for a guy his size. Although, Bol is oozing with raw potential. If he figures out the NBA, there might not be a natural center like him for many years.
On the other hand, Charles Bassey is 6’11 and weighs 245 lbs. While that’s 3 inches less than Bol, he’s a good 15 lbs heavier. The Western Kentucky product is a name not many have heard of. Averaging a double-double in the early part of the season (14.4 points, 10.4 rebounds), he’s a talented prospect. People have said Bassey is better than Western Kentucky’s 2017 prized 5-star recruit, Mitchell Robinson, who never played a game for the Hilltoppers.
Ask any Cavs fan and they’ll tell you it’s Zion or bust. It would just seem that many have failed to pay attention to the games of Bol and Bassey. Both are raw, much more than Willamson. Still, don’t get the impression they can’t play. It might take more time for them to blossom, but the Cavs have plenty of that. In the end, they MIGHT be better than Zion. It’s a risk the team would need to be willing to take.
It’s obvious that any NBA coach and GM would rather have Zion. He’s light-years ahead of the other NCAA Freshman class. Although, for the Cavs, who need a lot of work, they can’t just assume he’ll fix all the problems. We see how Zion plays now, but will that aggressive style of play work in the NBA?
We don’t know how Zion will fare against the top-tier NBA talent. This might be as good as he can get. Compare Williamson to Bassey or Bol, who still have so much untapped potential. Of course, there’s the chance neither Bol or Bassey ever touch Zion in terms of ability. This clearly might be a one-person race. I doubt that highly.
Cleveland might be tempted by other big men such as Nazreon Reed, Jalen Smith, or Jontay Porter. And while these are great talents, Bol and Bassey are the two who have the greatest upside. They are easily the most talented in a class of promising big’s. In my opinion, the Cavs would be making a big mistake going with someone other than the big 3.
It’s possible the Cleveland Cavaliers opt to not take a big and go small. This would mean going R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Romeo Langford, or Kevin Porter. Would that be the smartest move for the Cavs? No, as the Cavaliers need to obtain a dominant big. If they continue to sit Zizic and not let him develop, there are little choices left in the league.
There are plenty of solid starters (and maybe some All-Star’s) in this draft at the SG/SF position. The list of big men drops off after Zion, Bassey, and Bol. They need to secure one of them to ensure they’ve found their franchise player.
In no way would I suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers take Bol or Bassey over Zion if he’s there. They’ll likely need to get the 1 pick in order to obtain him (With the Cavs track record that might actually end up happening). It’s not going to be the end of the franchise if they don’t, though. There are options out there for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether it be Bol or Bassey, or Zion, the team just needs to find the right fit for the future of the franchise.
Who do you think the Cleveland Cavaliers should draft? Leave a comment below.
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