NBA Draft: How did Cleveland Cavaliers do in 2020 NBA Redraft? – King James Gospel - Techy Hunters


Friday, July 9, 2021

NBA Draft: How did Cleveland Cavaliers do in 2020 NBA Redraft? – King James Gospel

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers were in a familiar position in the 2020 NBA Draft, picking fifth for the second year in a row. They took Auburn wing Isaac Okoro in last November’s draft, a 6-foot-5 wing who was one of college basketball’s best perimeter defenders as a freshman.

After one full season of basketball, we can look back at the 2020 Draft with the benefit of hindsight. Our sister site Hoops Habit did so, publishing a complete first round redraft for the current rookie class. The changes began immediately, as LaMelo Ball jumped from the third pick to go first overall in the redraft.

The picks in front of Cleveland mixed around, but only one player moved up into the top four. With Ball going first, Tyrese Haliburton now went second after a superb rookie season for the Sacramento Kings. Former top pick Anthony Edwards came in at three, essentially swapping places with Ball, and the Chicago Bulls once again took Patrick Williams out of Florida State.

Who did the Cleveland Cavaliers take in the 2020 NBA Redraft?

When the Cleveland Cavaliers went “on the clock” in the 2020 NBA Redraft, they had a similar selection of players to last November’s draft. This time around, instead of taking Okoro, the Cavaliers went for a larger wing and selected Washington forward Jaden McDaniels.

The lanky forward was a onetime top-10 recruit and expected top-5 pick, but a lackluster freshman season at Washington saw him slip down draft boards. Last November he fell all the way to 28th overall, going to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

McDaniels did not let the slide prevent him from proving his worth on the court this season. On a Minnesota Timberwolves team beset by injuries and loaded with young players still figuring out their craft, McDaniels was able to step into a rotation role from the jump.

The 6-foot-8 rookie played most of his minutes at power forward, filling a significant hole for a Timberwolves team that desperately needed an option at the 4. He averaged 24 minutes per game across 63 contests, including 27 starts. His box score stats were decent if not spectacular, as McDaniels averaged 6.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Where McDaniels really flashed his upside was on the defensive end. He averaged a block per game in his limited minutes, posting a block percentage (an estimate of how many of the opposing team’s two-point shots he blocked while on the court) of 3.4 percent, 17th in the entire league and third among non-centers, per Basketball Reference.

That is helped by McDaniels’ 6-foot-11 wingspan, his high motor and his natural fluidity as an athlete. For the Timberwolves he looks to be a major building block moving forward, a potentially elite defender in a core of offense-first players with the upside to grow on offense as well.


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