The 2022 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching, and fans will soon know who the Cleveland Cavaliers will take with the 14th pick – or if they instead trade the pick.
Assuming Cleveland keeps the pick, there are some interesting prospects who may have upside and could be on the board when it is time for the team to make its selection.
Most regard this year’s draft as a three-horse affair between Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith, and that after those three there are few, if any, who stand out.
But given the Cavs’ needs at the wing position, there are two players in particular they should seriously consider if they’re still available at pick No. 14.
Williams has gotten a good amount of publicity lately thanks to a strong showing at the combine and during workouts.
Jalen Williams will be in for a pre-draft workout with #Cavs tomorrow. With his size, length, shooting, playmaking & versatility, he could be an ideal fit.
“He’s the biggest riser — and rightfully so. The more I watch, the more I like him”https://t.co/CBK8ZjzC7T
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) June 20, 2022
He stands 6-foot-6 and has an impressive wingspan of 7-foot-2, which should allow him to comfortably play the 2 and the 3 at the NBA level, as well as give him tremendous potential on the defensive end.
The Santa Clara University product is an efficient scorer who put up 18.0 points a game this season on 51.3 percent shooting from the field.
There may be some questions about the consistency of his outside shot, but he did knock down 39.6 percent of his 3-point attempts for the Broncos this year.
Williams has taken a bit of time to develop, as his numbers this year are drastically higher than his numbers the previous two seasons, but even if he takes a little while to develop at the NBA level, his potential looks pretty high, at least as a complementary player.
His defense, defensive instincts, 3-point shooting and athleticism could be a big boon to a Cavs squad that doesn’t really have such qualities at the 2 or 3.
The Arizona native has also improved his passing over time, going from 2.3 assists in 2021 to 4.2 assists a game this year.
Lately, there has been some noise that the Cavs will take Dieng at No. 14, and one reports even claims they made a “promise” to him that they will draft him if he’s available.
Many league executives believe #Cavs have made a draft promise to prospect Ousmane Dieng, per source.
— Tim Larson (@TimLarsonSports) June 21, 2022
Dieng is a foreign prospect from France who has played one year of pro ball in Australia’s National Basketball League.
His stats are not that impressive – he only put up 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.3 blocked shots on 39.8 percent shooting from the field, but some feel he has immense potential.
Dieng is 19 years of age and stands 6-foot-10 and 216 pounds, and although he lacks ideal size and strength to play the 4 at the NBA level, some have been impressed with his defense.
His length allows him to guard opposing forwards who are tall, and although he may not have the most elite athleticism, some feel he can become a very good defender.
Dieng also has impressive ballhandling skills and the ability to create shots either for himself or others.
His 3-point shooting needs lots of improvement (he made only 27.1 percent of his treys in the NBL this year), but since the Cavs are a very young team, perhaps they can be patient with his development if they see enough real potential in him.