At his end-of-season press conference in April, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman said he wouldn’t let a player’s position dictate whether he picked him.
As it turns out, he meant it.
With the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night, the Cavs selected Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland. In doing so, Cleveland has now drafted a point guard in the top 10 of each of the last two drafts after picking Alabama’s Collin Sexton a year ago.
A former 5-star prospect, Garland arrived at Vanderbilt a year ago as one of the country’s top ranked players. An MCL injury, however, ultimately limited his college career to five games, in which he averaged 16.2 points on 47.8 percent shooting from 3-point range.
“Although Garland was robbed of his freshman season due to injury, NBA scouts are still quite familiar with him after his prodigious pre-college play. He entered the season as our clear-cut No. 1 PG prospect,” ESPN’s Mike Schmitz wrote of the Nashville native. “Based on talent alone, he’s a top-five prospect and potential franchise point guard who is built for the modern NBA thanks to his ability to shoot off the dribble from distance. Garland is highly regarded for his approach to the game and intangibles.”
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