Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a rather surprising move by hiring John Beilein as their new head coach following a successful stint with the Michigan Wolverines, per CBS Sports. As a new report claims, the team might take a similarly unexpected route with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and take a chance on either one of two college prospects said to have some “red flags.”
In a report published on Friday, Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor cited league sources who told him that the Cavs are “expected to cast a wide net” as they decide on whom to pick in next month’s draft. While there are several “obvious” choices for the No. 5 pick, such as Duke’s Cam Reddish, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Cleveland is reportedly considering Oregon center Bol Bol and University of Southern California guard Kevin Porter Jr., two talented “wild cards” who were surrounded by their share of question marks in college.
Per Fedor’s sources, Porter met with the Cavaliers on Wednesday night after the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, as the team is now hoping that he would be available in the coming weeks for a pre-draft workout in Cleveland. A highly-touted recruit from Seattle, Porter averaged just 9.5 points for USC in 21 games before the Trojans suspended him indefinitely due to an unspecified “personal conduct issue.”
While injuries had slowed Porter down during his freshman season at USC, Bol’s own one-and-done campaign at Oregon saw him miss substantially more time, as he played just nine games before he went down with a season-ending foot injury. The 7-foot-2-inch center, whose late father, Manute Bol, had a long NBA career in the 1980s and 1990s, produced good numbers for the Ducks when he was on the floor, averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks and shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range.
Kevin Porter Jr., being honest about the fact that teams are concerned about his background, asking questions in interviews about red flags, suspension. Porter has a wide range projection in the draft. pic.twitter.com/jXy7H8PdSl— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 16, 2019
Commenting on the Cavs’ rumored options for the 2019 NBA Draft, Bleacher Report wrote that Bol and Porter make for “risky” selections in the top five. However, the outlet added that Cleveland could also “consider swinging for the fences” in the 2019 NBA Draft due to the lack of talent surrounding last year’s No. 8 overall pick, point guard Collin Sexton.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are reportedly scheduled to take a look at one of the aforementioned “obvious” candidates for the fifth overall selection. Per Cleveland.com’s Fedor, Reddish, a forward/guard who played alongside fellow top draft prospects Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett at Duke, recently said that he will be meeting with the Cavs on Friday.