2022 NBA Draft: Will Jeremy Sochan’s intoxicating versatility cause Cleveland Cavaliers to overlook positional fit?

CLEVELAND, Ohio — For the first time since 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers did not select a top five in the NBA draft. If a team holds number 14—the lottery’s final pick—they have no control over the outcome. There’s no Evan Mobley or Darius Garland coming. It’s not a small pool of prospects to choose from this year. Sources tell cleveland.com that the front office has about 10 players on its first-round radar and is trying to identify the best combination of talent and suitability.

The countdown is running. June 23rd is getting closer and closer.

In the days leading up to the draft, cleveland.com will be investigating a handful of prospects who could realistically be in play for the Cavs in their expected area.

Next up: Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan.


Statistics 2021-22: 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 47.4% FG, 29.6% 3P, 58.9% FT

Age: 19

Height: 6-9

Weight: 230

Span: 7-0

Position: Forward

things to know:

citizens of the world — As Sochan puts it, he is Polish, English and American – a mix of all three. The pesky, defensive-minded forward was born in Oklahoma, grew up in England, attended school in Germany, played high school baskets in Indiana and spent his lone collegiate season with Baylor in Waco, Tx. He is also a Polish citizen who – just like his mother, who plays as a point guard – has championed the country in international competition and became the youngest member of Poland’s senior national team.

Signature Look — Forget the enticing — and diverse — abilities for a moment. How about the hair? It’s as versatile as his game and quickly became Sochan’s unmistakable trademark during his debut season. Blond. Gray. Violet. Blue. Short. Bald. shaggy. Curly. During the May combine, Sochan said he was planning something “special” for draft night.

In the numbers — Sochan started just one game at Baylor and was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year. He was also selected to the all-freshman team. Overall, Sochan, while not exactly known for his offensive skills, has scored double-digit goals in 14 of 30 games and six of the last eight. He hit double-digit rebounds in five contests. In his finals, Sochan finished with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in the NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina.

Due to his speed, long stride and skillful cutting, the well-travelled youngster demonstrated multiple routes to the basket, proving to be an effective slasher and terrific finisher, averaging 1.42 points per shot around the edge in the half-court that counted was in the 92nd percentile. He also shot 60.7% from inside the arc in Big 12 games. The numbers aren’t as flatteringly off the rim. About a third of his shots came in half-court spot-up situations, averaging just 0.97 points per catch-and-shoot jumper, which was in the 48th percentile.

Mom knows best – Sochan’s mother was his first coach. She told him to focus on defense first. During his scouting media session, Sochan said he is proud to be a varmint and mentioned Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Patrick Beverley and Jrue Holiday as players he admires.

About the fit:

No, he’s not a pure Sagittarius and his form needs work. Can the Cavs really afford to draft another non-shooter? That’s a question they’ll need to investigate further over the next week.

People who have watched Sochan believe that the numbers will improve due to its respectable mechanics and an outstanding work ethic, which have led to a rising stock over the past few years. Also, Cavs generally believe that shooting is a correctable error – provided the mechanics aren’t “broken”. You’ve seen it with Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and even Larry Nance Jr. before last summer’s three-team trade with Portland and Chicago.

While Sochan’s offensive play is currently limited to slicing, attacking the rim, rebound and run and ball movement, is it wise to ignore the other aspects that make him an intoxicating lottery pick?

The energetic forward is full of potential and has what the NBA is looking for in modern wingbacks – size, versatility, strength, length, speed, athleticism, uninterrupted drive. Even late in the season when injuries from Baylor teammates forced him to play small ball five, he had no trouble making the switch. With his toolbox, wingspan and physical style, Sochan could immediately be an inside-out defensive force that fits into the fabric of the modern game.

Stylistically, he fills in many blanks for Cleveland, which relied on a unique tall-ball look that confused opponents early in the season. With Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley anchoring the color, Sochan would have the potential to become a perimeter irritant.

Sochan looks like a JB Bickerstaff player.

What you say:

Sochan – “I am a citizen of the world. I am polish. I’m English. I’m american. i am a mix It was exciting. I feel like I’ve been everywhere and I feel like I’ve seen it all. Well, not everything. You can always keep learning. But it has been good for me. It opened my mind. Seen so many countries and cultures.”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report, NBA Draft Analyst – “He has a lot of fans. To get him that high in the lottery you have to be willing to bet on his development. he is young Right now, the idea of ​​him is more appealing than production or numbers or being a productive player as a rookie. It’s a cliché to say he can defend any position on the floor, but he can. We saw him do it in college. he is young It’s a gamble on his offensive development. But when it comes to versatility, he checks a lot of boxes – when everything goes right. At best, I compared him to Nic Batum.”

NBA manager — “If he could shoot he would be a top five pick. But that remains a question, so he’ll likely be available late in the lottery. The things he does have a positive impact on winning. He’s a potential mismatch nightmare.”

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