29. Cleveland Cavaliers select Riley Kugel
The Cavaliers are poised to be near the top of the Eastern Conference this season but have long-term questions. Donovan Mitchell will be entering the final year of his contract in the summer of 2024, and Cleveland must extend or trade the four-time All-Star. They also need to decide if they can win with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley in their frontcourt.
The Cavs added wing depth this summer, but expect them to be searching for more with this selection.
Kugel was a reserve to begin his freshman season, but an injury allowed him to jump into the starting five. Over the final 14 games, the 6’5 wing averaged 14.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 31 minutes per game. Kugel shot 47.4 percent from the field and 36.7 percent on his threes as he displayed impact potential on both ends of the floor.
Can Riley Kugel become the go-to scorer for the Gators? He had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio as a freshman, so there is plenty of work to be done on his playmaking. The 6’5 wing must prove he can shoot over 37 percent and defend multiple positions. If he does, Kugel could be a lottery selection.
The Cavs have Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell to handle the ball. They would love to add a sharpshooter to their talent core if they can keep it together.