Sergey Karasev, No. 19 (Mock Draft)
The Cavs add a big-time shooter from Russia.
by Brendan Bowers / @BowersCLE
On April 9, 1996, Dominique Wilkins scored 35 points to help Greece Panathinaikos to an 81-71 Euroleague victory over CSKA Moscow.
The win moved Wilkins’ team into the Euroleague championship.
Outscoring every player not nicknamed “The Human Highlight Film” that day, though, was a Russian point guard named Vasily Karasev. While his two-year-old son looked on, Karasev led CSKA with 23 points.
Two days later, Karasev helped CSKA secure a third-place Euroleague finish with a win over Real Madrid. Wilkins, meanwhile, added a Euroleague title to his Hall-of-Fame resume.
Fourteen years after meeting Wilkins in the Euroleague Final Four, Karasev—one of the best European point guards of the 1990s—would become the head coach of BC Triumph Lyubertsy in Moscow.
Triumph was originally established in 2003 under the name BC Dynamo and they currently play in Russia’s top professional league, the PBL.
This past season, Triumph employed the top professional player in all of Russia.
He is the same player who heard stories growing up about the time his Dad competed against a perennial NBA All-Star in the Euroleague Final Four.
He is also the same player who Chris Grant and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be targeting with their second first round selection of the 2013 NBA Draft.
With the No. 19 pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select…
Sergey Karasev from Triumph Lyubertsy.
After making the No. 1 overall selection, the Cavaliers are back on the clock at 19. They originally acquired this pick through a trade that sent Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.
The Cavs will be targeting the highest-ranked prospect on their board at this spot and that is the now 19-year-old small forward from Russia named Sergey Karasev.
In 2011, while playing for the Under-19 Russian National Team, Karasev scored 17 points in a 79-74 victory over a Team USA. The American squad that day included Meyers Leonard, Jeremy Lamb, Tim Hardaway Jr and Doug McDermott among others.
During the ’12-13 campaign, while playing under the direction of his father, Vasily, Karasev averaged 16.5 points in 45 games for Triumph Moscow.
He went for a season-high 27 in a five-point win over Khalid El-Amin’s Le Mans team on November 7 when he connected on 6-7 three-pointers. Karasev also registered season-highs of 6 assists and 10 rebounds with Triumph last year.
Like his father, Sergey has the ability to create shots for himself and others. He’s most comfortable scoring the basketball, however, and that is the role the Cavaliers will hope he can fill coming off the bench in the Association.
Besides Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee is the only other wing player Cleveland currently has under a guaranteed contract for ’13-14. Wayne Ellington is a restricted free agent, CJ Miles is on a non-guaranteed deal and Cleveland does need quality depth at the wing.
The goal for the Cavs in making this pick is to eventually build their second unit around Karasev.
Outside of a projected starting lineup that includes Waiters, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao—and potentially Otto Porter—Karasev would be a rotation-player who comes off the bench with Tyler Zeller and Gee in Cleveland.
He is projected to play the 3 but also has some potential to develop into a guy who provides back-up minutes at both wings.
Regardless of position, Karasev has the shooting ability to help open up driving lanes for Irving and Waiters to exploit offensively. If defenders take away that jumper, he also has some ability to put it on the deck himself and attack the rim.
The issue for Karasev, though, will be on the defensive end of the floor. He does not appear to possess that star-caliber burst needed at times to stay with the NBA’s premiere scorers.
Growing up in a basketball family, however, Karasev could combat his athletic shortcomings with a higher-than-average basketball IQ in the League.
That will be the hope that Grant and Cavaliers fans would share, at least, with the selection of Karasev at 19.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Cavs||Otto Porter||16||Celtics||Mason Plumee|
|2||Magic||Nerlens Noel||17||Hawks||Lucas Nogueira|
|3||Wizards||Anthony Bennett||18||Hawks||Tony Mitchell|
|4||Bobcats||Ben McLemore||19||Cavs||Sergey Karasev|