Tag Archives: NBA Draft


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            CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the draft rights to Cedi Osman, the 31st pick, Rakeem Christmas, the 36th pick, and a 2019 second round pick in exchange for the draft rights to Tyus Jones, the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, to Minnesota. Also tonight, the Cavaliers selected Sir’Dominic Pointer with the 53rd pick of the draft.

Osman (6-8, 210) spent the 2014-15 season playing for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball League first division. He was selected to the league’s All-Star Game after averaging 8.5 points on .438 shooting from the field, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 20.8 minutes over 25 contests. He also appeared in 27 Euroleague games this past year and averaged 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.3 minutes. Osman spent his first two professional seasons with Pertevniyal in the Turkish second division (2011-2013) and moved to Anadolu Efes in 2013-14 in the first division. A member of the Turkish National Team at the 2014 World Cup, Osman holds career averages of 9.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in Junior National Team play and was selected FIBA Europe U20 Championship MVP after leading Turkey to a gold medal.

Christmas (6-9, 250) played in 142 games during his four years at Syracuse. During his senior season, he averaged 17.5 points on .552 shooting from the field, 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 34.3 minutes per game. He led the Orange in points, rebounds and blocks, while earning Third Team All-American honors. Christmas was also named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-ACC. He was one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award as a senior and ranks sixth all-time in school history in games played and eighth in blocks (247). The forward finished his four-year collegiate career averaging 7.4 points on .560 shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 22.0 minutes.

In 33 games as a senior at St. John’s University, Pointer (6-6, 192) averaged 13.7 points on .524 shooting from the field, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.4 blocks in 34.6 minutes. He went on to earn Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and Second Team All-Big East honors. Pointer spent four years at St. John’s, playing in 130 games and averaging 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in 28.2 minutes. He ranks third in school history in blocks (172) and fifth in steals (200).


FoxSportsOhio.com NBA Writer Sam Amico joined me today to analyze the Cavs 2014 NBA Draft as well as look ahead to free agency and where LeBron James might end up.

Sam Amico Photo


The Cavs selected two players in the 2014 NBA Draft, Kansas shooting guard/small forward Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick and Virginia shooting guard Joe Harris with 33rd pick. After the draft ended Cavs G.M. David Griffin met with the media to answer questions on both players.

David Griffin Draft Night Photo


For the second year in a row the Cleveland Cavaliers selected a Canadian born player with the first overall selection in the NBA Draft by picking Kansas small forward Andrew Wiggins. Last year’s G.M. Chris Grant shocked everybody by taking Anthony Bennett. This year the pick of Wiggins by new G.M. David Griffin does not come as a surprise. With the foot injury and surgery to Kansas center Joel Embiid, basketball  executives figured Griffin would pick between Duke’s Jabari Parker and Wiggins and he did, with Wiggins being the choice.

David Griffin Photo 5-13-14









Small Forward  –  6′-8″  –  200lbs  –  Age – 19  –  Kansas  –  FR.

Reach  – 8’11    –  Wingspan  –  7’0    Max Vert  –  44 inches

Season Averages:17.0 PPG-6.0 RPG-1.5 APG-44.8%FG-34.1%(3FG)-  77.5%FT

I asked Wiggins during a conference call with the Cleveland media after he was selected if the scouting reports on him not being aggressive enough on the court were fair? His response to that question was, “You won’t have to worry about that next year!”

When Wiggins was asked how good of a player he thinks he can be, he responded, “I think I can be a great player, I want to be one of the best.” He added, “That comes with hard work and dedication and sacrifice. That’s what I need to do to become the best.”




An athletic freak! His dad played in the NBA and his mom won medals in track in the Olympics for Canada, so his DNA is scary good. When you combine his 6’8 frame, 7-foot wing span and a 44 inch vertical jump, it’s crazy what he can do athletically on the court. His coach at Kansas Bill Self said he has the quickest second jump he’s ever seen, meaning he has the ability to bounce up and down like a pogo stick on the offensive boards and beat guys to the rebound for easy put backs. His transition game is above average. Imagine him filling the lanes on a fast break, getting from one end of the floor to the other and throwing down a tomahawk dunk!

He already knows how to play defense and wants to. How many college kids can you say that about? He uses that great athletic ability on the defensive end to guard 2’s, 3’s and some 4’s.  So he’s ready to contribute right away on the defensive side of the ball.

Shoots it well from the free throw line and his jump shot is good, not a great. His pull up “J’ is solid, as is his intermediate jumper and he has decent range.

Penetrates well, has a very quick first step and the alley-oop out of bounds play is tailor made for him.

High character kid and a student of the game.



Must get stronger and add a few pounds to his frame.

His jump shot and his overall offensive game needs to be more consistent.

He can get lost in the shuffle out on the court at times because he needs to be more aggressive. Some teams are concerned that he’s too passive. That he doesn’t have that killer instinct or alpha dog mentality.

He needs to work on his ball handling which will allow him to attack the rim more in the half court set and make him a better passer. Going left off the dribble is a definite weakness and with his athletic ability he should finish better around the rim. But that should come when he gets stronger.

Has good form on his jumper, but it needs to be more consistent, especially from beyond the arc.


Roda Thoughts:

Reminds me of a taller version of one of the best two-way players I’ve ever seen in the NBA, Sidney Moncrief.

It looked like he was figuring things out at the end of the season for Kansas as he stepped his game up when Joel Embiid went down with a back injury as he had games of 41p-8r vs West Virginia, 30p-8r vs Oklahoma St., 22p-7r vs Iowa St. and 19p-4r versus Eastern Kentucky in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. But his final game at Kansas was a clunker. In the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament against Stanford he was held to just 4p-4r on 1 of 6 shooting from the field in a 60-57 loss to Stanford. That left some people wondering how could he disappear in the biggest game of the season? But he also showed his true character after the defeat saying, “I let a lot of people down. If I would have played better, we wouldn’t be in this situation, you know? I blame myself for this.”

He will need to become more consistent, aggressive and attack more on offense if he wants to reach that superstar level. But he has arguably the most upside/potential of anyone in this draft because of his athleticism, ability to play three positions, he already plays defense, is a hard worker, with a high basketball IQ and on top of all that is a good kid who will take well to coaching.

Wiggins is my favorite player in this draft and his coach at Kansas Bill Self told me he’s going to be a “Stud” in the NBA!


KENNY RODA 2014 NBA MOCK DRAFT 3.0 – (updated 6-26-14)


1 Cleveland – JABARI PAKER – Small Forward – Duke – 6’9 – 241                                                                                                            

Joel Embiid was the pick in my first mock draft, then he needed foot surgery.  Andrew Wiggins was my choice in Mock Draft 2.0. Now, if the Cavs  decide to keep the pick and not trade it, as there is some intel out there that they could make a deal. But if they don’t, and  after going back and listening to G.M. David Griffin’s comments from May 13th as well as with the hiring of David Blatt as head coach and LeBron James opting out early to be a free agent, I have changed my mind again and went with Parker as the Cavs pick. I personally have always wanted and still want Wiggins. However with LBJ as a free agent, Griff as an offensive G.M., the Cavs may feel the need to win right away and Parker gives you that best chance because his body is far more developed than Wiggins at this point and he’s more polished and potent offensively right now than Wiggins. He has an extremely high basketball IQ and Parker is also more of a catch and shoot guy than Wiggins, and with two ball-dominate guards in Kyrie and Dion, Parker looks to be the better fit. So by the slimmest of margins, and even though I think Wiggins has more upside in a few years, I’ll say the Cavs take Parker. The good thing here is, with either player, the Cavs are going to be a better team and fill a major need. Not bad for a team who before the lottery was scheduled to pick 9th!

2  Milwaukee – ANDREW WIGGINS – Small Forward – Kansas – 6’8 – 200

3  Philadelphia – DANTE EXUM – Point Guard – Australia – 6’6 – 195

4  Orlando – NOAH VONLEH – Power Forward – Indiana – 6’10 – 245

5  Utah – AARON GORDON – Power Forward – Arizona – 6’9 – 225

6  Boston – JOEL EMBIID – Center – Kansas – 7’1 – 260

7  LA Lakers – JULIUS RANDLE – Power Forward – Kentucky – 6’9 -240

8  Sacramento – MARCUS SMART – Point Guard – Oklahoma St. – 6’4 – 220

9  Charlotte – DOUG McDERMOTT – Small Forward – Creighton – 6’8 – 220

10 Philadelphia – NIK STAUSKAS – Shooting Guard – Michigan – 6’6 – 205

11 Denver – JAMES YOUNG – Shooting Guard – Kentucky – 6’6 – 215

12 Orlando – ELFRID PAYTON – Point Guard – Louisiana Lafayette – 6’4 – 185

13 Minnesota – GARY HARRIS – Shooting Guard – Michigan St. – 6’4 – 210

14 Phoenix – RODNEY HOOD – Small Forward – Duke – 6’8 – 210

15 Atlanta – ZACH LaVINE – Shooting Guard – UCLA – 6’5 – 181

16 Chicago – SHABAZZ NAPIER – Point Guard – U-CONN – 6’1 – 175

17 Boston – P.J. HAIRSTON – Shooting Guard – UNC/ NBA D-League – 6’4 – 228

18 Phoenix – DARIO SARIC – Small Forward – Croatia – 6’10 -235

19 Chicago – CLEANTHONY EARLY – Power Forward – Wichita St. – 6’7 – 210

20 Toronto – ADREIAN PAYNE – Power Forward – Michigan St. – 6’10 – 240

21 Oklahoma City – KYLE ANDERSON – Small Forward – UCLA – 6’9 – 230

22 Memphis – T.J. WARREN – Small Forward – North Carolina St. – 6’8 – 220

23 Utah – TYLER ENNIS – Point Guard – Syracuse – 6’2 – 181

24 Charlotte – GLEN ROBINSON III – Small Forward – Michigan – 6’7 – 212

25 Houston –  CLINT CAPELA – Power Forward – Switzerland – 6’10 – 210

26 Miami –   JORDAN CLARKSON – Point Guard – Missouri – 6’5  – 186

27 Phoenix –  K.J. McDANIELS – Small Forward – Clemson – 6’6 – 200

28 LA Clippers – JERAMI GRANT – Small Forward – Syracuse – 6’8 – 215

29 Oklahoma City –  JARNELL STOKES – Power Forward – Tennessee – 6’8 – 260

30 San Antonio – JUSUF NURKIC – Center – Bosnia – 6’11 – 280



33 Cleveland – WALTER TAVAREZ – Center  – Spain – 7’3 – 265

After taking Parker with the first pick to provide offense from day one, the Cavs need to add defense to David Blatt’s team. So they take a 22-year old true center who is all about defense at this point in his career from what I’ve read and seen on youtube. He’ll give the Cavaliers a low post defender who will protect the rim and rebound. He’s very raw offensively, but the Cavs won’t care and need some depth at center with Anderson Varejao in the final year of his contract. Also in play here could be Russian center Artem Klimenko.  A  7’1 – 228 center with a 7’4 wing span and a 9’4 standing reach. I’ve got to believe that David Blatt knows of him and may have some say in taking Klimenko.


It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Lebron James opted out of the final two years of his contract in Miami, but maybe that fact that he did it six days before his opt out deadline date and two days before the NBA Draft is somewhat surprising.

LeBron James photo small 11-27-13

Per ESPN.com reports, James agent Rich Paul notified the Miami Heat that the 4-time NBA MVP would indeed be testing the free agent waters, just like he did when he had the same opt out clause in Cleveland back in 2010.

While James could still end up resigning with the Heat for more years and more money (about $30 million more over 1 year), this at least gives other teams around the league who thought they had a chance to sign James a legitimate shot to convince him that his best chance to win more titles is to sign with them and not back with Pat Riley in South Beach.

LeBron and Kyrie shake hands at Z jersey Ceremony 3-8-14

The Cavaliers have been rumored to be one of the teams that will go hard after James to try and bring him back to Cleveland where he spent the first seven years of his NBA career before leaving in free agency in July of 2010.

In his time as a Cavalier he led Cleveland to their only appearance in the NBA Finals, but came up short of a championship, losing to the Spurs in four games in 2007. For the Cavs to have any shot at bringing James back to Northeast Ohio two things have to happen.

One, team owner Dan Gilbert and James will have to patch up their differences after what happened because of the “The Decision” in 2010 and Gilbert’s letter that followed.

Two, new G.M. David Griffin must convince James that his new coaching staff made up so far of head coach David Blatt and associate head coach Tyronn Lue along with the Cavs roster he will have come opening day 2014-15 will give LeBron the best chance to win a title in 2015 and for years to come.

During his four years in Miami, James led the Heat to the NBA Finals each year, winning titles in 2012 and 2013. Miami failed to “Three-Peat” though this year, as LeBron and the Heat were knocked off by the San Antonio Spurs in five games.  It is believed that James will end up where he thinks he has the best chance to play for more championships.

So let the recruiting and the “Summer of LeBron 2” begin.


With Power Forward Dario Saric from Croatia reportedly about to sign a contract that will keep him in Turkey for at least the next two years, he drops in the rankings big time.


1 Andrew Wiggins            SF    6’8 – 200 – FR – Kansas

2 Jabari Parker                  SF    6’8 – 241 – FR –  Duke

3 Noah Vonleh                  PF    6’10 – 240 – FR – Indiana

4 Dante Exum                   SG    6’6 – 188 – 18 years old – Australia

5 Joel Embiid                      C     7’0 – 250 – FR – Kansas

6 Julius Randle                  PF    6’9 – 225 – FR – Kentucky

7 Aaron Gordon                PF    6’8 – 210 – FR – Arizona

8 Marcus Smart                PG   6’4 – 225 – SPH – Oklahoma St.

9 James Young            SG/SF   6’6 – 215 – FR – Kentucky

10 Doug McDermott       PF    6’10 – 210 – SR – Creighton

11 Rodney Hood              SG   6’8 – 180 – SPH – Duke

12 P.J. Hairston                SG    6’5 – 220 – SPH – North Carolina

13 Cleanthony Early        PF    6’8 – 220 – SR – Wichita St.

14 Nik Stauskas                SG    6’6 – 200 – SPH – Michigan

15 Gary Harris                  SG    6’5 – 210- SPH – Michigan St.

16 Jusuf Nurkic                  C     6’11 – 280  – 19 years old – Bosnia

17 Elfrid Payton               PG     6’4 – 185 – JR – Louisiana Lafayette

18 T.J. Warren             SF/SG     6‘8 – 230 – SPH – North Carolina St.

19 Zach LaVine                SG     6’5 – 181 – FR – UCLA

20 Adreian Payne            PF     6’10 – 240 – SR – Michigan St.

21 Kyle Anderson            SF     6’9 – 233- SPH – UCLA

22 Clint Capela                PF     6’11 – 222 – 19 – Switzerland

23 Shabazz Napier         PG    6’1 – 175 – SR – UCONN

24 Tyler Ennis                 PG    6’2 – 181 – FR – Syracuse

T-25 K.J. McDaniels        SF     6’6 – 195 – JR – Clemson

Dario Saric                      PF   6’10 – 223 – 20 – Croatia

RODA RATINGS – 2014 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS TOP 25 – (updated 6-21-14)

With Joel Embiid having foot surgery and now out 4 to 6 months along with some other information and conversations that I’ve had with people around the league, here is my updated Top 25 list of players for the 2014 NBA Draft.


1 Andrew Wiggins            SF    6’8 – 200 – FR – Kansas

2 Jabari Parker                  SF    6’8 – 241 – FR –  Duke

3 Noah Vonleh                  PF    6’10 – 240 – FR – Indiana

4 Dante Exum                   SG    6’6 – 188 – 18 years old – Australia

5 Joel Embiid                      C     7’0 – 250 – FR – Kansas

6 Julius Randle                  PF    6’9 – 225 – FR – Kentucky

7 Aaron Gordon                PF    6’8 – 210 – FR – Arizona

8 Marcus Smart                PG   6’4 – 225 – SPH – Oklahoma St.

9 James Young            SG/SF   6’6 – 215 – FR – Kentucky

10 Dario Saric                    SF   6’10 – 223 – 19 years old – Croatia

11 Doug McDermott         PF    6’10 – 210 – SR – Creighton

12 Rodney Hood              SG   6’8 – 180 – SPH – Duke

13 P.J. Hairston                SG    6’5 – 220 – SPH – North Carolina

14 Cleanthony Early        PF    6’8 – 220 – SR – Wichita St.

15 Nik Stauskas                SG    6’6 – 200 – SPH – Michigan

16 Gary Harris                  SG    6’5 – 210- SPH – Michigan St.

17 Jusuf Nurkic                  C     6’11 – 280  – 19 years old – Bosnia

18 Elfrid Payton               PG     6’4 – 185 – JR – Louisiana Lafayette

19 T.J. Warren            SF/SG     6‘8 – 230 – SPH – North Carolina St.

20 Zach LaVine                SG     6’5 – 181 – FR – UCLA

21 Adreian Payne            PF     6’10 – 240 – SR – Michigan St.

22 Kyle Anderson            SF     6’9 – 233- SPH – UCLA

23 Clint Capela                PF     6’11 – 222 – 19 – Switzerland

24 Shabazz Napier         PG    6’1 – 175 – SR – UCONN

25 Tyler Ennis                 PG    6’2 – 181 – FR – Syracuse




Hear what Kansas coach Bill Self told me were the positives and negatives with Andrew Wiggins in my recent 1 on 1 interview the Jayhawks bench boss.



Last year the Cleveland Clinic played a major role in the Cavaliers passing on a pair of centers in the NBA Draft in Nerlens Noel and Alex Len. This year it looks like the Clinic has become a major factor again in helping determine who the Cavaliers will select with the 1st overall pick in 2014.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com broke the story today about a potential brake in Joel Embiid’s right foot that was discovered during the Cavaliers physical. YahooSports.com Adrian Wojnarowski followed that up with these tweets:

Adrian Wojnarowski        ✔ @WojYahooNBA

Cleveland doctors discovered right foot injury in exams and passed info onto Embiid reps, sources tell Yahoo. Fear is a right foot fracture.

12:54 PM – 19 Jun 2014


Adrian Wojnarowski        ✔ @WojYahooNBA

Embiid’s consulting w/ orthopedist Dr. Richard Ferkel in L.A.; determination on fracture and possible surgery expected soon, sources tell Y.

12:59 PM – 19 Jun 2014


So with this information Cavs G.M. David Griffin probably has been reevaluating his potential decision as to who to take number #1 overall next Thursday. More than likely it comes down to two choices, small forwards Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.

While both one-and-done guys play the same position, they are two totally different types of players.

The 6’8 – 200 pound Wiggins is considered a strong defensive player with a solid offensive game, that makes him the more complete all-around player with ridiculous athletic ability. His 44 inch vertical jump along with his 7-foot wingspan have GM’s throughout the league salivating.  His ceiling is considered to be very high. His college coach Bill Self told me he feels that Wiggins offensive game will become more consistent because the NBA style of play suits Wiggins great athleticism, especially in the transition game.

The knock on Wiggins is that he doesn’t have the killer instinct, he’s not aggressive enough. I asked Self about that and the Kansas coach told me, “That’s fair, because with his athletic ability he leaves you wanting more. However his maturity is starting to catch up with his athleticism. He’s going to be a stud!”

The other choice David Griffin has is Parker from Duke. He’s 6’9 but weighs 240 pounds, making his body more physically ready for the NBA competition and pounding. His offensive game is where he will earn his money. Inside and outside, back to the basket or facing up, Jabari Parker can shoot it and score the basketball. His offensive game is more complete and consistent than Wiggins and that’s why a lot of G.M.’s, scouts, coaches and media members feel he is more ready to play and will contribute to a team on offense right away. You hear the term “Plug and Play” with Parker a lot and that’s what will be expected of him where ever he ends up.

The downside to Parker is his defense. His lateral movement and foot speed are of major concern to NBA front office folk on the defensive side of the ball. He may be too slow to guard the quicker, more athletic 3’s and not big enough to guard most power forwards. So you’ll have to give a little on defense to gain on offense.

Could the Cavs still end up taking Embiid depending on the severity of his foot injury? Yes. But for a team who missed badly on number #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett last year and for a team who is desperate to make the playoffs, it’s unlikely they can take a chance with Embiid, but will instead pick between Wiggins and Parker.

Either way they’re going get a potential all-star player who fills their biggest need at small forward.  One is more ready to play right now in Parker. The other is the two-way player with more all-around upside in Wiggins. It’s time for David Griffin to make one of his many important off-season decisions. Good luck Griff!