Throughout the 2013 NBA Draft, we’ve already seen plenty of surprises and nonsensical selections. Fitting into the category of the former was the no. 1 overall pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who selected Anthony Bennett with their top pick, skipping over other higher profile players that they could have grabbed at that spot.
With their second pick of the first round, at no. 19 overall, the Cavs elected to select another sizable forward, selecting Russian prospect Sergey Karasev. This is a guy that quite a few teams were connected to heading into the draft, with the Cavs getting good value at 19th overall.
He could stand to add a little meat to his 6’7″ frame, but he has terrific upside as an offensive prospect. He has a smooth shot and the ability to hit from anywhere on the court. His vision is excellent, and he’s a very intelligent player, allowing him to be an excellent passer.
If there’s a drawback, the main knock on Karasev has been his athleticism, or lack thereof. He’s not the tightest player defensively and could be a liability in that regard.
Karasev might not be a guy who’s going to see time with the Cavs right away. Cleveland might have selected him with the intention of keeping him in Russia for at least one more year to develop and refine his game, while they look to save a bit of money to add high profile talent to the rest of their roster. We’ll know more about that as the summer wears on, though.
Regardless of when Karasev makes it over here, whether it’s for the 2013-14 season, which he’s shooting for, or 2014-15, this is a great value pick and a great fit for the Cavaliers. Though he’s not without his flaws, he’s the type of wing player they needed, and should fit right in when he is ready to make the jump over.