Report: Oscar Tshiebwe working out for Cavs and Celtics this week

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In the days leading up to Thursday’s 2023 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly one of the teams looking at University of Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe as a potential selection.

Entering this year’s draft, the Cavaliers are in a difficult position, with their first pick presently not scheduled to take place until 48 other players have been taken. The team’s original first-round pick was sent to the Indiana Pacers last year in the deal to acquire Caris LeVert.

That leaves the Cavaliers a dwindling pool of talent to select from, with Tshiebwe apparently catching the team’s eye.

Tshiebwe, who stands 6-foot-9 and hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, actually began his collegiate career at West Virginia University.

Over his four collegiate seasons, he averaged a double-double, scoring 14.5 points and grabbing 12.3 rebounds per game. In his time at Kentucky, Tshiebwe elevated his game, averaging 16.9 points and 14.4 boards per contest.

His production during his first year at Kentucky resulted in him winning plenty of honors.

Tshiebwe’s size likely means that he’ll be used as a forward in the NBA. One reason why he might still be an option at center is because of his impressive 7-foot-4 wingspan and notable strength.

One of the criticisms toward Tshiebwe is that he will be 24 years old at the end of his rookie season. That concern is a relatively modest one, with another being that much of his scoring doesn’t take place far from the basket.

Such concerns are why he’s mainly viewed as a potential second-round selection. If they select Tshiebwe, the Cavaliers are no doubt hoping to cash in on a Kentucky product like the Miami Heat did six years ago.

In that instance, the Heat chose Bam Adebayo, who’s since developed into a force on the court. He was the 14th overall pick in 2017, which means that Tshiebwe enters this draft with much less fanfare.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.