#24 Jared Cunningham
With the twenty-fourth pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Oregon State junior guard Jared Cunningham. Cunningham together with Cleveland’s picks at 33 and 34 are part of a proposed trade to Dallas for the seventeenth pick Tyler Zeller.
Cunningham is a 6’5″ shooting guard who averaged 17.9 points and 2.5 steals last season culminating in first team All-Pac 12 honors. Despite his good shooting mechanics, Cunningham only hit on 33.8 percent of his 4.1 three-point attempts per game, but his great first step and ability to draw fouls makes him an offensive threat with significant upside in the NBA. Cunningham got to the foul line impressive 7.5 times a game.
Cunninghan needs to add strength to take advantage of his blow-by ability and finish plays at the rim instead of relying on floaters. He also needs to work on his jump shot, but that is also something that should be correctable.
Over the past season, Cunningham played some minutes at point guard and showed signs that he may be able to learn the position in the NBA. This could impact on Dallas guards Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones who will be competing with Cunningham for minutes next season.
Tyler Zeller gives the Cavaliers a solid young center who can develop in conjunction with Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Dion Waiters.