The Cleveland Cavaliers selected 6'7 Russian youngster Sergey Karasev with the No. 19 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, adding arguably the best shooter in the draft.
The Cavs' decision to take Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall surprised some, as he wasn't really in play for the top pick. Karasev, on the other, hand, had creeped up the board to the point where many were talking about him as a low lottery pick. But the Cavaliers had the opportunity to take him at No. 19, and they seem to have cooled on their idea of trading all their picks.
Karasev is expected to play next season, rather than be stashed overseas.
Having become a hot commodity in only the past two years, Karasev played with the Russian national team that won a bronze medal at the London Olympics. Though he didn't play much at all, the timing of his vast improvements came after the experience. Karasev has since solidified his draft spot by displaying rapid improvements and more than potential while playing for Triumph in the PBL, Russia's top league, and was one of the best international players not named Andrew Wiggins at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit.
Karasev is a 6'7 wing who could use some bulk to his frame. He's not the most athletic player, but he's not lacking in that department either. Karasev has a good handle, a first step to blow by defenders and most notably a deadly jump shot with range. Even though he's mostly known as a scorer, he does have a high basketball IQ and usually makes the right play, especially in finding teammates when he's attacking the basket and drawing help defense.
The Cavaliers need a shooter to open up space for Kyrie Irving to operate, and that's what they'll get in Karasev. They also need a small forward -- a position Karasev is capable of playing at 6'7, though he'll need to add some strength to be able to defend other threes across the league.
Karasev almost certainly will provide an upgrade offensively over Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles, both of whom shot a little more than 40 percent from the floor in 2012-13. As a team, the Cavs ranked 24th in the league in three-point shooting and 29th in field goal percentage. If Karasev brings his smooth jumper with him to the states, those numbers will probably improve.