Tyson’s Talents Create Hype for Cleveland


With the 20th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Jaylon Tyson from California University.


The three-level scoring wing finds himself on his fifth team in five years.

This time, however, securing a home in Cleveland. At 6-foot-5 and a half without shoes, Jaylon can play the two or three, depending on what new head coach Kenny Atkinson calls for. His most vital skill is his ability to score anywhere on the court with crafty moves.

Jaylon Tyson

Guard/Wing  | Cal  | 6’5.5″  | 6’8″ Wingspan  | 218.2 LBS  | 21 YRS OLD

2022-2023 stats (Texas Tech)

PPG: 10.7   RPG: 6.1   APG: 1.3   SPG: 1.4   TS%: 58%   3PT%: 40%   USG%: 19.1%

2023-2024 stats (Cal)

PPG: 19.6   RPG: 6.8   APG: 3.5   SPG: 1.2   TS%: 55%   3PT%: 36%   USG%: 30.1%

Offensive role analysis

Two seasons ago, Jaylon took 40% of his shots from three.

Last season, that number decreased to 29% as his on-ball responsibilities grew. With the Cavs, he will enter a situation where he will not be relied upon to run as much pick and roll. His role may resemble his Texas Tech duties where he was asked to spot up and catch and shoot more often.

In the simpler role, his accuracy from three can return closer to the 40% mark from two seasons prior. Playing next to Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland should allow for plenty open shots. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are both willing and able playmakers, creating opportunities for spot-up threes and cuts on the short roll.

Imagine scenarios like the clip above. Cleveland’s star guards attract a lot of attention and Tyson can punish the help. Often, there were plays like this in the playoffs, where Boston helps off Cleveland’s less-accurate shooters, and the shot doesn’t fall. The Cavs shot 31.5% from three in the playoffs.

To continue, in this clip, there is another scenario where Tyson’s shot-making ability could lift the Cavs. Garland and Mitchell are gifted playmakers who create advantages and it will be up to the role players to make the play. Tyson’s experience in taking off-the-dribble shots will make the offense flow more than previous years.

In addition, a talent like Tyson could ease the flow when one of the starting guards rests. His play can be reminiscent of fellow Cav, Caris LeVert. Together, they could make for one of the more versatile bench units in the entire league.

Defensive role analysis

In short, the former Golden Bear isn’t recognized for his defense, but he has some size and tools to become a solid NBA defender. Based on Cleveland’s roster construction, Tyson will primarily guard twos and threes. The expectation is that he will be more of a chaser or helper versus guarding pick and rolls directly. Defenses might attempt to attack Jaylon by using his man as a screener or screening him off-ball.

Luckily for the Cavs’ new rookie, the defensive infrastructure for the Cavs is amongst the top of the league. Mobley and Allen roam and protect the paint excellently, easing the job for whoever is guarding at the point of attack. With his 6-foot-8 wingspan, Tyson has the length to bother shots while fighting to contain. His 36.5-inch max vertical suggests he has the athleticism to make some plays in transition and when helping in the paint.

Some of his strengths on defense include his active hands when fully engaged and his ability to play passing lanes. Adjustments need to be made in the NBA, as some of these plays are careless basketball. It’s at least noteworthy, however, that he possessed a 3.0 DBPM in his sophomore season.

Closing thoughts

Jaylon Tyson, while older for a rookie, still provides upside as a three-level scorer and playmaker.

Obtaining a talent like this at pick No. 20 is great value and could potentially pave the way for future trades if he hits the ground running. He is a fun addition to a bench that needed more shot-making and creation.

The Cavs seemed primed to run it back with a new coach who wants to maximize what has already been built.

Jaylon Tyson’s talents will supplement Cleveland well. Kenny Atkinson has stated that he believes the Cavs have one of the best benches in the league. Look for them to “embrace the bench mentality,” meaning Jaylon could have a more prominent role that could find him on an All-Rookie team.

About Mike Kline

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