CLEVELAND – Unlike the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, which leaned more towards addressing needs in the low post or on the wing, the Cleveland Cavaliers addressed depth and defense on the perimeter in Carrick Felix.
After selecting former UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett with the top overall pick and Russian swingman Sergey Karasev 19th, Cleveland would select Arizona State Sun Devils guard Carrick Felix with the 33rd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and deal the rights of California guard Allen Crabbe and the 31st overall pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for two future second round picks.
Felix, 6’6 and 215 pounds was considered by many, one of the best perimeter defenders, averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Sun Devils and would score in double figures in 28 of his 35 games.
With Mike Brown back in Cleveland, The former Pac-12 All-Conference and All-Defensive standout’s defensive prowess may have been one of the factors in attracting the Cavaliers and their new emphasis on protecting the perimeter.
Going forward, while many Cleveland fans may not know who Felix is just yet, think of him as a younger and lankier version of Matt Barnes—minus the multiple tattoos—thanks to his versatility and ability to lock down on the wing.
In selecting Bennett, who can score in a number of ways in the post, Karasev, who is deadly from outside and Felix’s ability to guard and lock down on defense and Cleveland has pulled off one of its most successful drafts in recent memory.
Credit should be given to the Cavs front office and general manager, Chris Grant for avoiding the temptation of mortgaging it’s future on over-the-hill veterans such as Shawn Marion and Paul Pierce—who would be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets—while adding two more second round picks, which in itself is a win-win for a very young Cleveland team.
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