Sergey Karasev, a Russian scorer picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 19 pick in last month’s draft, will be signed shortly and formally introduced to the Cleveland media early next week.
WFNY’s Scott Sargent was the first Cleveland news member with the report on Twitter today, although it appears other Russian basketball writers had reported the news earlier in the week (link).
Karasev, 19, has been playing for the Russia team in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. He was named as the tournament’s best player following his team’s 81-74 championship victory over Australia. A Cavs press update shared the impressive efficiency of Karasev’s eight-game performance: 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 24.9 minutes per game.
The Cavaliers’ other two recent draft picks, UNLV forward Anthony Bennett (No. 1) and Arizona State wing Carrick Felix (No. 33), were introduced to the Cleveland media on June 28. However, only Felix has been playing for Cleveland’s Las Vegas Summer League team as Bennett continues his rehab from May shoulder surgery.
There had been some Internet murmurs earlier this week that perhaps Karasev wasn’t going to be joining the Cavaliers this upcoming season, instead continuing to play over in his native country. This news about his impending signing with the team and introduction to the media likely squashes those rumors, as the 6-foot-8, 200-lb. guard/forward was highly regarded entering the draft process. His performance at April’s Nike Hoop Summit in Portland led many draft observers to call him the most NBA-ready international player in the class.
[Related: 2013 NBA Draft: Cavaliers select Sergey Karasev with the 19th-overall pick]