Leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, Nick Mancini will be profiling the top 20 players available. The Cleveland Cavaliers currently own pick Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33. Follow Nick on Twitter @nickmance.
No. 16. Steven Adams – Pitt, Freshman 7’-0”, 255 lbs, C
2013 stats- 7.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Another prospect, another intriguing big man. Steven Adams, the New Zealand import from Pitt, came into his freshman season with loads of hype. But did he necessarily live up to that hype?
If you ask me; not so much. Adams, physically, is ready for the NBA. He is a superb athlete with an NBA-ready body. The competition he played against in New Zealand, though, didn't prepare him for life in the Big East. During his first few collegiate games, he was just overwhelmed.
But, as the year went on, he did improve. He started to impose his physical will on teams and he was just a monster at times this past season. Defensively, he is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker. Right now, he is ready to help a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers in those categories specifically.
His motor is great, and for his size, the athleticism he has is unbelievable, which is why he's is testing off the charts in workouts. But offensively, oh my. He’s not ready…not even close.
Adams might make Nerlens Noel look like Patrick Ewing in the post offensively right now. But he is jumping up draft boards despite this. In high school, he was able to get by offensively based on his size. In college, though, he noticed players started to catch up to him.
He just doesn’t have the experience and polish offensively. He may not sniff the court this season based on that, but teams looking to stash a player in the D-League may be willing to take a gamble.
The Cavs will give Adams a long look if he is still on the board at No. 19. Will they be willing to wait for his offensive game to come around? I’m not so sure. Adams may have the biggest upside reward of anyone in the draft, but ultimately I think the Cavaliers would pass on him given the chance.
No. 15. Dennis Schroeder – Germany 6’-2”, 165 lbs, PG
2013 stats – 11.9 points, 3.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds (NY Phantoms / GER)
With the first point guard to show up in the top 20, Dennis Schroeder from Germany is an ultra-quick guard with a huge wingspan. He’s another European prospects who could hear his name called in the first round on June 27.
Schroeder opened some eyes at the Nike Hoops Summit when he put on a clinic against a collection of the top young players in the game. He is super quick with the ball and in the open court is a blur. His ball-handling skills, for a 19 year old, are at an elite level.
If he is at the top of the key, defenders just better hope to contain him. He can get to the rim at will and his penetration skills almost remind me of Kyrie Irving. Almost.
I really think he has the chance to develop into something special; I am a big fan of this kid. He will need to add strength once he enters the league though. At just 165 pounds, he is very slight of frame. But strength will come as he develops.
He is not a pure point guard, though, as Schroeder looks to score more than distribute. He will need to improve his decision-making and basketball IQ as time goes on.
Now I know the Cavs have Irving and he isn’t going anywhere, but they do need a backup. I would love to see Schroeder coming in off the bench in a rotation with Irving and Dion Waiters.
I think this is the season the Cavs dip into the Euro talent-pool and actually achieve success. I see Sergey Karasev as that player, but Schroeder is also going to be a great pickup for whoever grabs him.