Cavaliers select Agbaji with number 14 in NBA draft

CLEVELAND (AP) — Adding some championship pedigree, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kansas forward Ochai Agbaji with the No. 14 overall…

CLEVELAND (AP) — Adding some championship pedigree, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kansas forward Ochai Agbaji as the No. 14 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draw.

The Cavs were looking for a winger and believe they got a good one in the six-foot Agbaji, who led Kansas to the NCAA title last season. Agbaji was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four.

Agbaji, 22, averaged 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and made 41% of his 3-pointers last season.

He will join one of the league’s most intriguing young rosters in Cleveland, and a team with playoff aspirations after a turning season.

The Cavs entered the draft with four picks, one acquired earlier in the day in a trade with Sacramento. Cleveland, which already had numbers 39 and 56, added number 49 to the Kings in exchange for the concept rights to Sasha Vezenkov and $1.75 million.

Having picked in the top five in each of the past three drafts, the Cavs weren’t under as much pressure this year to bring in a potential All-Star or even an immediate impact player. They could be more selective.

A jump from 22 wins last season has brought the Cavs back into combatant status. They have one of the most promising young cores in the league, highlighted by All-Star guard Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley, last year’s runner-up who had a strong rookie year.

Cleveland was in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018 last season. However, the Cavs, who were plagued by injuries all year, slumped, losing eight of their last eleven and then to Brooklyn and Atlanta in the play-in format.

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