Cavaliers European/Overseas Players To Keep An Eye On

September 8, 2023

Tony Camino


4 Players Overseas Whose Rights Are Owned By The Cavs

International players are having growing success every year in the NBA, with the last five MVPs not being from America. Just this past year, number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama came over from France. While the top international prospects come over to the NBA as soon as they are eligible, some stay overseas once they are drafted.


Cavalier’s Top Overseas Players

Selecting professional players from overseas doesn’t automatically put the player on the roster, it just gives the team the right to negotiate the buyout with the current team to come over. With late-round picks, players wait years before coming over, and some don’t come at all. The Cavs’ roster is deep right now, but here are four European players the Cavs have the right to.

  • Forward Luke Travers: Australia
  • Center Khalifa Diop: Spain
  • Center Artūras Gudaitis: Greece
  • Forward Chukwudiebere Maduabum: Japan

Luke Travers: Melbourne United, Australia

  • 9.8 PPG/ 5.6 RPG/ 3.0 APG in 24 mins last year in NBL
  • 7.0 PPG/ 6.3 RPG/ 2.0 APG in 26 mins in 2023 Vegas Summer League
  • 6’7” combo forward with defensive versatility

The Australian 22-year-old currently playing in his home country in the NBL, Luke Travers is somewhat known by Cavs’ fans for his experience playing in the Vegas Summer League. In 2022, the Cavs selected Travers 56th overall. After helping the Cavs to the Summer League title, Travers signed a three-year contract with Melbourne United to stay in the NBL in Australia. While his shot is a work in progress, he showed flashes of his defensive versatility that can help an NBA team.


Khalifa Diop: Gran Canaria, Spain

  • 7.7 PPG/ 5.0 RPG/ 1.0 BPG in 20.1 minutes last year in Liga ACB
  • 4.0 PPG/ 8.0 RPG/ 0.7 BPG in 17.4 minutes in the 2023 Vegas Summer League
  • 6’10” big man who dominates the paint

Another familiar face, Khalifa Diop was selected 39th overall by the Cavs in the 2022 NBA Draft. The 22-year-old from Senegal showed his ability to crash the boards in his limited games this past Vegas Summer League. Diop is a very raw prospect and has a lot of work to do offensively to become NBA-ready. Diop is signed to Gran Canaria in Liga ACB through 2025 and might look to make the leap after that.


Artūras Gudaitis: Panathinaikos, Greece

  • Euroleague veteran, 10 years in Europe for six different teams
  • 12.5 PPG/ 7.1 RPG/ 1.0 BPG in 23.8 minutes in 2018-19 Euroleague
  • 6’11” paint-centered big man, thrives on the glass

The 30-year-old from Lithuania is a seasoned veteran in Europe and was drafted 47th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2015. Acquired in the deal that sent George Hill to Cleveland in 2018, it’s very unlikely Guaditis will ever come over to the NBA. His minutes have decreased every year and he seems to be past his prime.


Chukwudiebere Maduabum: Tokyo United Basketball Club, Japan

  • 11.6 PPG/ 4.9 RPG/ 0.5 APG in 2020-21 for Fukuoka Rizing in Japan
  • Playing professionally since 2011, made 5 G-League appearances
  • 6’9” big man, two-time Japanese League blocks leader

From Nigeria, Chukwudiebere Maduabum is a 32-year-old who was drafted 56th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Acquired in 2016 from the Sixers for Sasha Kaun, Maduabum is another overseas player who is probably never coming over.


Recap

While Travers and Diop have seen Summer League action recently and are very young, the other two are established veterans overseas and won’t be making the jump to the NBA anytime soon. Both Diop and Travers are under contract for the foreseeable future as they look to develop before coming over and joining the Cavs.


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