Jalen Williams to Cavs in mock

A recent mock draft from Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (subscription required) has the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams. Here is the explanation from Vecenie in terms of reasoning and fit with the Cavs.

Williams spikes up the board here for the Cavs. He fills a legitimate positional need for the Cavaliers while also bringing a lot of high-level skills. He is long at 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. He can shoot off the catch and make plays off the pass. He can act as a secondary ballhandler in spots and also has versatility in terms of who he guards on the other end. The Cavs desperately need wing-sized players, so Williams would be a good swing for them.

Sam Vecenie on Williams’ fit with Cleveland

One major takeaway here is the 7’2″ wingspan of Jalen Williams. This fits right in with their recent history of adding players with length. Williams in addition to Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen would create problems for their opponents. Williams averaged 18 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists during his junior season at Santa Clara.

At some point the addition of Jalen Williams to the Cavs would mean they would have some decisions to make roster wise. Ideally Williams would be able to start eventually and that would mean the team must evaluate the future of Lauri Markkanen in Cleveland. Markannen’s status with the team already feels to be on shaky ground. Perhaps the Cavs move Markkanen (and possibly others) to clear playing time for Williams should he be Cleveland’s pick. Putting together the right young pieces is crucial right now and this would help their cause.


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