In the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers had two first-round draft picks and they knew it would be a good chance to rebuild their struggling franchise. With the No. 1 pick they selected Anthony Bennett who has struggled all season. With their second pick of the round (No. 19 overall) they selected Russian Sergey Karasev. At times it seems like the Cavaliers’ organization and fans have had more faith in their Russian rookie than their No. 1 pick. Karasev has been a key player for his country in international games, and although his current development is going slow, he should become a vital member of the roster.
With a deeper roster this year it has been tough for Karasev to get minutes for the Cavaliers which has seen him playing in the D-League for the Canton Charge at times. He was recently recalled and will be looking to get on to the court to up his NBA minutes. In his six games for the Charge he averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in his 28.8 minutes per game. The potential from his international and D-League games is there for all to be seen; now it’s about whether he can transition his skills in to the NBA
When recent trade discussions for Pau Gasol and Luol Deng were going on, there was a hold up which we were led to believe was the other teams wanting a young, talented prospect (Karasev). Some said the Cavaliers should have made the move, but they held their own and got Deng, keeping Sergey in the process. The fact that the Cavaliers weren’t willing to trade him speaks volumes for how much faith the entire organization has in their young talent.
With a little under half of this season’s games remaining it is still possible for Karasev to make an impact this season. But it’s more likely he will continue to develop his skills, work hard and come back ready to compete for regular minutes in the 2014-15 NBA season.