Cleveland Cavaliers draft-and-stash player Luke Travers is likely hoping to get a contract from the team sometime in the near future.
He has an opportunity to showcase his talents to the organization, as Cavs general manager Mike Gansey recently arrived in Australia to watch him play in the Australian NBL. Gansey has found himself impressed with the Perth Wildcats forward’s all-around game.
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“He’s been good,” Gansey said of Travers. “Obviously, he’s playing with Perth, who’s a very good team in a good level. He just does a lot of good things. I mean he’s not a big-time scorer necessarily. But he rebounds. He passes. He does all the little things to help you win. I call him a Swiss Army knife. He does a little bit of everything, high IQ basketball player.”
The Cavs selected the 6-foot-7 forward with the 56th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Travers was able to suit up for Cleveland’s Summer League team this past offseason. He played in five games, doing a little bit of everything as evidenced by his averages of 6.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest.
After not receiving a contract from the Cavs, Travers rejoined the Wildcats, which he has been a member of since 2019.
In his fourth season in the NBL, the Australian has continued to show his versatility, recording 9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Travers had a solid performance in a come-from-behind win over Melbourne United on Monday.
The 39-year-old general manager gushed about the prospect’s ability to impact the game without having to score.
“He’s just a really good basketball player,” Gansey told The West Australian‘s The Dribble podcast.
“He does a little bit of everything. He impacts the game without scoring. You see his stats and he’s averaging eight, five and four, a couple of steals and a block. He just does a lot of good things even though he’s not a 20-point scorer.
“He does a lot of good things that help teams win. Playing with Perth, he’s got a lot of experience to grow at a high level.”
Gansey’s evaluation of Travers raises the question of whether Cleveland has a use for Travers. The franchise still seems to be looking for a starting small forward who can complement the team’s stars.
Of course, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley are expected to do the heavy lifting on offense. Thus, the Cavs need a wing who can make an impact on offense in other ways besides scoring and cover opponents’ best perimeter players.
While Travers checks a lot of boxes for Cleveland, a knock on his game is his apparent lack of outside shooting. This season, he has made just 0.6 3-pointers per contest on a 23.4 shooting clip from beyond the arc.
Perhaps his skill set is similar to that of Isaac Okoro, a former lottery pick whose playing time has continued to dwindle since his rookie year. Given that fact, maybe Travers has to strive to improve his perimeter shooting if he wants to land a roster spot with the Cavs.