Although Cleveland returned to Florida State for a second season, he’ll still be 20 at the time of the 2023 NBA Draft. He’s got incredible size for a wing that also has guard skills at 6-foot-7. The physical tools that Cleveland possesses jump off the page and are a great fit for the modern NBA.
The major thing holding the sophomore back is shooting. He really needs to improve his 3-point shoot, knocking down less than 20% of his attempts as a freshman.
The mechanics aren’t all that bad and his shot looks pretty fluid, it just doesn’t drop. Due to these struggles from deep, he often passes up looks. Cleveland will need to build confidence this season as a 3-point shooter. What is a bit concerning is that he is a poor free throw shooter as well, which doesn’t give optimism towards his future shooting from beyond the arc.
With that in mind, Cleveland is effective near the rim, shooting nearly 50% on 2-point attempts last season. His body control is excellent and is something he leverages quite a bit when taking the ball to the rack.
Furthermore, Cleveland has shown the ability to create his own shot in isolation which is promising moving forward. He’s got a good handle for his size which should also translate at the NBA level. He’s a plus lob threat as a guard and likes to play above the rim.
One thing that makes Cleveland really stick out is rebounding, especially on the offensive end. He is always tracking the ball and pulls down a ton of boards for his position.
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He is a solid shot blocker and defender, but still has a long way to go. Regardless, the upside is clear on that end on the floor.
As an overall prospect, what makes Cleveland unique is his ability to be productive without being a volume shooter. Many players coming out of college are good scorers, but do nothing else. Cleveland is quite the opposite. He plays with fire and energy and only got better as the year went on last season.
Cleveland came off the bench most of his freshman year and earned 2021-22 ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors. The former five-star prospect was once considered a one-and-done player, but is coming back for one more season to improve draft stock.
The 6-foot-7 wing is the type of player that fits nearly any system and can fill a variety of roles effectively. At Pace Academy in high school, he wont back-to-back state titles and was one of the most underrated players in his class.
Late First or Early Second-Round Pick in 2023 NBA Draft.
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