CLEVELAND, Ohio – Scribbles in my Cleveland Cavaliers draft notebook:
1. You can see the influence of two factors in the Cavs first round draft picks. The first is the front office placing an emphasis on analytics and outside shooting. A strong case can be made that Darius Garland and Dylan Windler are perhaps the two best 3-point shooters in this draft.
2. The second influence is new coach John Beilein. The former Michigan coach also loves outside shooters – and also scorers who can move without the ball open. That is the 6-foot-8 Windler, who is more than an excellent 3-point shooter.
3. I wrote a lot about the Cavs and Garland, starting with a story that ran Monday morning about his private workout with the team in Los Angeles. That was a major tip-off that loomed large on the Cavs draft board. Beilein is not afraid to play smaller guards if they can score. That's why it was very open to the Collin Sexton / Garland combination.
4. Defensively, the young guards will have some nightmarish moments on the court. Beilein will have to find help for Sexton and Garland. David Nwaba is a 6-foot-4 guard who showed last season he can defend. The Cavs can and should give him a $ 1
5. I am fascinated by Windler, the 6-foot-8 small forward from mid-major power Belmont. He averaged 21.3 points and shot 43 percent from 3-point range. Garland was a 48 percent shooter from beyond the arch. What I Like Like Windler averaged 10.8 rebounds per game.
6. Some analysts have been lukewarm to Windler because he'll be 23 on September 23. Well, the Cavs need to draft everyone under the age of 21. No. 30 pick is Kevin Porter Jr. is 19 years old. When the season opens, Garland also will be 19 and Sexton will be 20. The Cavs acquired the No. 30 pick in a trade with Detroit.
7th Windler had 35 points and 11 rebounds in Belmont's 79-77 loss to Maryland in the NCAA tournament. He shot 11-of-23 (7-of-14 on 3-pointers) and had only one turnover. I can see him thriving under the share-the-ball system Beilein wants to implement. The Cavs consider him "a great fit."
8. Porter is a 6-foot-6 gifted athlete who was the Washington State High School Player of the Year in 2018. He picked USC on offers from several elite basketball programs. He has the athleticism to be a good defender, rebounder and slasher to the basketball. He likes to shoot those James Harden long step-back jumpers, but very few players other than Harden can make them.
9. There are several warning lights hovering over ports. He shot only 52 percent at the foul line. He doesn't move well without the ball. He had more than a month with a serious injury. He came back and then was suspended for “conduct issues.”
10. Porter played only 21 games, averaging 9.5 points. He did shoot 41 percent on 3-pointers. Some of the players have been evaluated by more than one year in college. The NBA now scouts the top high school players, especially in the elite summer AAU tournaments. That's where the Cavs first became interested in Garland and Porter.
eleventh Porter also caught the attention of the Cavs and other teams with his play in high school. Some projected him as a top 15 draft selection when the college season opened. Porter has a lot of raw talent, but could be a challenge for Beilein to coach.
12. Beilein also saw a lot of the top players in high school. As a coach of Michigan, he attended the top AAU summer Leagues as part of his recruiting process.