INDEPENDENCE, OH (92.3 The Fan) – When the Cavaliers landed shooting guard/small forward Sergey Karasev with the 19th pick on draft night, right away many who knew his background felt the Cavs got a steal with the Russian.
He is a shooting guard/small forward, and exactly the type of player the Cavs needed.
At 6’7″ he can play small forward, which since a certain Akron native left has been the Cavs weakest position.
Tuesday in Independence he met with the media for the Cavs for the first time, and seemed excited about making the transition from playing in Europe to the NBA.
“For me when I was young it was a dream to play in the NBA, and when I heard the Cleveland Cavaliers picked me, it was exciting,” Karasev said.
“Now I am going to work hard and try to bring some new stuff to Cleveland.”
Karasev was touted as a very talented shooter and passer, but he’s already well aware that to play with the Cavs and returning coach Mike Brown, you have to play defense.
“I know that he’s a defensive coach, and I am going to try to bring some weakside help,” Karasev said. “I am going to play aggressive defense and work hard.”
This summer Karasev will wrap up his play in Europe with the senior national team in Eurobasket.
It’s a family affair for him as his father was just named as head coach of the team.
Once he finishes that, he’s on to Cleveland to try to help the Cavs make the postseason for the first time in the post-LeBron era.
“I think it’s a way different game in Europe, but I understand the game and if I just go to work and show Coach Brown I can be a good teammate I think I can be in the rotation and have minutes,” Karasev said.
Right now Karasev says he’s at about 200 pounds, but knows that to play with the big boys of the NBA he is going to have to put on size and strength to his 6’7 frame.
“I can play both positions, it just depends on how coach puts me on the court,” Karasev said.
“Everybody knows that shooting is the best of my game, but my court vision, creating with teammates, I am going to bring a lot of assists to the team.”
Karasev put up an average of 16.1 points per game in 11 Eurocup games this season, and the Cavs hope that as he gets more and more time in the NBA, those numbers will translate.
The attitude for the Russian is there, now it’s just a matter of making the move and learning how things are done in the NBA.
For the Cavs, if he can develop into the player they feel they got, they could look back as maybe the steal of the 2013 NBA Draft.