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Kay Felder.

Biggest sleeper in the 2016 NBA Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kay Felder

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The NBA draft lottery is a curious animal at the best of times. In fact, it says it in the title; it's a lottery.

Yes, often enough the number one overall pick will be the best player in the draft. See LeBron James, see Tim Duncan, see Shaquille O'Neal, see Magic Johnson and the list is only getting started.

But, Kobe Bryant wasn't a number one pick. Stephen Curry wasn't a number one pick and neither was his new teammate, Kevin Durant.

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There are always some sleepers in the draft process that go on to defy their position and complete the kind of cinderella stories that we all love. I'm not saying they lose a slipper and a GM arrives with one that just fits right - although, now that I've said that, that metaphor does fit rather well - I'm saying that they take their rightful place at the dance in the NBA.

Two All-Stars from last year - Draymond Green and Isaiah Thomas - were both second round draft picks. In fact, Thomas was the very last and 60th pick in the 2011 draft, but he has gone on to become the current face of the Boston Celtics.

Green has an NBA ring and also finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting last term. It's safe to say these two men were underestimated and undervalued, but who can say the same this year?

Kay Felder

Oakland v North Carolina

Meet Kay Felder; a 21-year-old point guard from Michigan - like Green - who stands just 5'9" tall - like Thomas - and has just come off a tremendous college season.

Felder was drafted 54th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, but he was immediately traded for over $2 million of cash considerations to the NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

You're probably thinking: '54th out of 60? How good can he be?' That would be a fair assumption to make, but the only reason the Oakland product fell down the draft board so badly is due to his size.

Even playing the point guard position these days requires a bit of size. D'Angelo Russell of the L.A. Lakers is 6'5" after all.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers

However, in an age of floor stretching and small ball - on top of Matthew Dellavedova's departure to the Milwaukee Bucks - the Cavaliers saw an opportunity to make use of the draft's little pocket rocket.

As you'd expect, Felder has explosive athleticism. His vertical is an astonishing 44 inches and he uses his dynamic tools to attack the basket at nearly every opportunity.

Some crazy footage is doing the rounds on social media of his insane jumping ability and tenacious shutdown defence. The Cavaliers' No. 20 actually recorded six steals in just 47 minutes of play at the NBA Combine in Chicago and averaged just under two every game on the college circuit last season.

He led the draft in assists with an average of 9.3 a night; that's welcome news in light of Delly's departure in northeast Ohio. The Australian's reliable handle and ever-improving three-point shot developed into part of the arsenal for the Cavs, and while Felder does the majority of his damage from two-point range, he did rack up 24.7 points a night last season.

2016 NBA Finals - Game One

Up until January, Felder's form of 26.7 points and 8.7 assists an outing had been so good that only one player in the past 15 seasons at college had managed to post similar numbers. That was JJ Barea, now of the Dallas Mavericks.

The springy guard dropped 22 points on the Chicago Bulls at the Summer League this past week to indicate that he is ready for a spot in the champions' rotation right away. Felder clearly has the talent, he should provide an excellent supporting option for Kyrie Irving this season if he can bring his explosive skill set to the main stage.

If he developed his three-point shot more, he might be spoken of in the same breath as names like Nate Robinson, Muggsy Bogues and Damon Stoudamire.

Remember the name: Kay Felder.

Topics:
NBA Draft
NBA
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James

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