The 2022 NBA Draft is just a few days away, and with the 14th pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the opportunity to select someone who could be a significant contributor.
Every team wants to draft someone who will make an impact right away, but plenty of players take a few years to develop before they emerge as positive assets.
Since they’re a young team looking to build for a better future a few years from now, the Cavs have the luxury of waiting a bit for whoever they draft this year to mature.
There may not be the next LeBron James or Kobe Bryant in this year’s draft, but there may be some players outside of the top 10 who could eventually be can’t-miss players.
Here are two men the Cavs may be able to get their hands on.
On Monday, Cleveland will hold a workout for Williams, who is an interesting prospect for Santa Clara University in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In his first two seasons for the Broncos, he didn’t seem all that interesting, as he averaged just 7.7 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.
But he blossomed big-time this year, putting up 18.0 points a game while shooting a strong 51.3 percent from the field.
Williams stands 6-foot-6, allowing him to play both the 2 and 3 in the NBA, but his 7-foot-2 wingspan may give him potential beyond your standard 3-and-D player.
When combined with his solid basketball IQ, he could have the makings of a high-level defender, even though he is not an elite athlete.
He also shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range this year, and he has improved his passing, as he has gone from 1.9 assists a game as a freshman to 4.2 this year as a junior.
After Williams had a great showing at the NBA combine and during his various workouts, his stock has seemingly been rising.
“People don’t realize is he’s a lockdown defender,” his brother Cody Williams said. “He has a wingspan that was bigger than a lot of 7-footers in the combine. He’s an underrated passer. He gets guys open, is really unselfish, and he’s super versatile. He can shoot the ball from deep so he can fit into a lot of teams.
“So when he started bumping up and they started seeing that at the combine and in his workouts, I wasn’t surprised.”
The question is whether Williams will still be available when the Cavs are on the clock.
The Cavs’ biggest need is a two-way wing, ideally with length, which is what both Williams and Eason are.
Eason is 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, which means he may also be able to play the 4 in the NBA, especially since he has an outstanding 7-foot-2 wingspan.
As a sophomore for Louisiana State Univerity this year, he averaged 16.9 points on 56.4 percent shooting from the field in just 24.4 minutes a game.
His most impressive aspect is his defense, as he can guard multiple positions, and he can get the job done both in terms of stealing the ball (he averaged 1.9 steals per game this year) or by blocking shots.
Tari Eason was able to disrupt so many possessions this year on the defensive end, and put his 7'2" wingspan to good use, especially while digging on drives pic.twitter.com/tApzsFxxl7
— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) June 15, 2022
Eason is pretty athletic, which allows him to score well in transition, as well as take advantage of his ballhandling skills to get to the hoop.
The Tari Eason transition show is must-watch TV.
Just an absolutely elite open-space athlete who covers ground so, so quickly. 1.339 PPP in transition per Synergy this season. pic.twitter.com/HtW6hO3woc
— David Sajdak (@davidsajdak8) June 14, 2022
He is a bit turnover-prone, and he could use better consistency and focus, but perhaps if he comes to a team with a strong culture and has the work ethic and desire to be great, he can become a very nice player.