Kay Felder was one of the most electrifying players in college basketball last year, and will look to continue that on the biggest stage. The Atlanta Hawks selected Felder with the 54th pick in the 2016 Draft, but sent his rights to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for cash considerations worth $2.4 million.
Success as a second round pick is based so much on a player's fit with a team, and how he meshes with that team's star players. It becomes even more important when one of those players is LeBron James, the best player in the world. Luckily, Felder appears to already be in good graces with the four-time MVP.
Who was a proponent of Cleveland's pick of Kay Felder? LeBron James.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 24, 2016
At the moment, Kyrie Irving and Mo Williams are the only point guards on the Cavaliers roster. Matthew Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, but with the selection of Felder it's possible that they aren't going to match any offer sheet that he gets. That should provide Felder with a chance to earn some minutes coming off the bench.
As a junior at Oakland, Felder averaged 24.4 points per game. As we stated in our scouting profile, he can fill it up in a variety of ways. He's comfortable shooting from anywhere on the floor, and can blow past defenders who aren't quick enough to keep up with his first step. Threes off the bounce, acrobatic layups, it doesn't matter, Felder is a scorer first and foremost.
Kay Felder: bucket getter— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 24, 2016
He should also provide the Cavaliers with some playmaking punch off the bench to relieve James and Irving of their ball-handling duties in a pinch. Felder was the NCAA leader in assists per game with 9.3 per contest. He's effective in the pick-and-roll which is a staple of all modern NBA offenses, and is a nightmare in transition. Playing with a group of veterans like Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Mo Williams on bench units would allow Felder to ease his way into getting a feel for the league.
Felder will also benefit from playing under Head Coach Tyronn Lue, considering that Lue spent the majority of his 14 seasons as a small backup point guard, and should be able to provide the rookie with some guidance on how to be an effective role player in the NBA.
As talented as Felder is on the offensive end, his staying power in the league will depend on his commitment to playing defense. He took a lot of possessions off in college due to his workload on the other end, but won't be able to get by with those habits at the next level. Felder has a small but strong frame, and was one of the most athletic players in the draft regardless of size. He should be able to use those traits to become a capable NBA defender.
Felder will have to prove to the Cavaliers in Summer League and training camp that he's worth keeping on the roster. He has a lot of potential to be a microwave scorer off the bench similar to Nate Robinson or Isaiah Thomas. If he's able to stick around, Felder might find himself alongside LeBron as he hoists another Larry O'Brien trophy next summer.