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Mock Draft Monday - October 12


**NOTE: The news clips and articles listed don't necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of the Cleveland Cavaliers or their Basketball Operations staff, partners, or sponsors.**


Gary Parrish, CBS Sports

Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Avviv
Date Published: October 9

No. 1, Minnesota Timberwolves - LaMelo Ball, Illwarra Hawks

No. 2, Golden State Warriors - Anthony Edwards, University of Georgia

No. 3, Charlotte Hornets - James Wiseman, University of Memphis

No. 4, Chicago Bulls - Obi Toppin, University of Dayton

No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers - Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Avviv

Deni Avdija, a former Most Valuable Player of the FIBA Under-20 European Championship, should be the first non-American international prospect to come off the board. He's a 19-year-old Israeli who performed well for Maccabi Tel Aviv in games leading up to the season being suspended — and then again after the season resumed. At 6-9, he's tall enough to play power forward and skilled enough to play on the wing. And his shooting has noticeably improved. So, according to most evaluators, Avdija now projects as a likely top-five pick — one who would actually be a nice fit in Cleveland with Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in the backcourt.

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report

Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Avviv
Date Published: October 6

No. 1, Minnesota Timberwolves - LaMelo Ball, Illwarra Hawks

No. 2, Indiana Pacers (via Golden State) - Anthony Edwards, University of Georgia

No. 3, Charlotte Hornets - James Wiseman, University of Memphis

No. 4, New York Knicks (via Chicago) - Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State University

No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers - Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv

The New York Knicks trading up and targeting Haliburton at No. 4 could allow Deni Avdija to be there for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Though their roster may look different a year from now, his versatility fits the current lineup. Avdija would give Cleveland an interchangeable forward who can play on and off the ball with his ability to handle in transition or pick-and-rolls, catch-and-shoot and cut.

His foot speed doesn't pop on defense, but competitiveness helps Avdija compensate, and the Cavaliers should ultimately value his professionalism, reputable work ethic, effort and low-maintenance presence.

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic

Obi Toppin, University of Dayton
Date Published: September 3

No. 1, Minnesota Timberwolves - LaMelo Ball, Illwarra Hawks

No. 2, Golden State Warriors - Anthony Edwards, University of Georgia

No. 3, Charlotte Hornets - James Wiseman, University of Memphis

No. 4, Chicago Bulls - Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Avviv

No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers - Obi Toppin, University of Dayton

The two names I’ve gotten most often when asking around about the Cavaliers are Avdija, who went No. 4 here, and Toppin. That certainly doesn’t mean those are the only two names they’re considering. And again, I don’ think any team has made anything resembling a final decision on even what its board looks like, let alone how it is going to utilize a specific pick. But both of those names also make sense in the grand scheme. Avidja would bring a degree of playmaking that is necessary to a team with two scoring guards running the show in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. In Toppin, the Cavs would get an elite-level screen-and-roll big who can pop, short-roll or get all the way to the basket. Pairing him with Drummond would give the Cavs’ young guards a ton of options on offense. Defense? That’s another question entirely, and the Cavs continue to build one of the worst defenses in league history, as they’ve finished in dead last each of the last two seasons.

Krysten Peek, Yahoo! Sports

Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Avviv
Date Published: August 20

No. 1, Minnesota Timberwolves - Anthony Edwards, University of Georgia

No. 2, Golden State Warriors - LaMelo Ball, Illwarra Hawks

No. 3, Charlotte Hornets - Obi Toppin, University of Dayton

No. 4, Chicago Bulls - Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State University

No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers - Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Avdija continued to play professionally with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Basketball Champions League during the coronavirus pandemic. In the 11 games played, he averaged 14.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and three assists per game and was named MVP of the tournament. Avdija has a solid handle for his size and mainly played wing for Maccabi. His length gives him an edge defensively on the wing, and although he doesn’t move as quick laterally, he’s proven he can stay in front of some of the best players in the EuroLeague, such as Shane Larkin, in the closing seconds of a game. Cleveland has drafted two guards very highly the past two years, and with Avdija’s size and outside shooting, he could be an instant impact player for a struggling Cavaliers team.

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