CLEVELAND -- At his end-of-the-season press conference in April, Koby Altman was asked how much of an impact Collin Sexton would have on his team's upcoming draft plans.
"I hear where you're going with it," the Cleveland Cavaliers general manager said with an acknowledging laugh, before later relenting: "Are we looking for a specific position? No. We're looking for the best talent that we see in this draft."
At the time, the thinly veiled question posed to Altman centered around the possibility that the Cavs could draft Murray State's Ja Morant, who like Sexton, is a point guard. With Cleveland entering the NBA Draft Lottery in the No. 2 spot, the Cavs had as good of a chance as any team of landing the player considered by many to be the top prospect behind presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson.
Lottery luck, however, wasn't on Cleveland's side.
After being jumped by the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers in the lottery, the Cavs enter this Thursday's draft with the No. 5 pick as their top selection (they also own the No. 26 pick via the Houston Rockets). Barring a trade, Cleveland almost assuredly won't have the opportunity to pick Morant, who is currently projected to be taken by the Grizzlies at No. 2.
The question of whether or not they'd be willing to pick another point guard a year after selecting Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the 2018 draft, however, remains.
Given their current position in the draft, it's hard to make a case for who the Cavs should or shouldn't pick on Thursday, simply because we don't know who will be available. Williamson, Morant and R.J. Barrett are pegged to be the first three picks with the Pelicans now laying claim to the No. 4 pick via the Lakers following the Anthony Davis trade.
In the time since the draft lottery in May, Cleveland has been linked to a number of prospects, including Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver, Virginia forward De'Andre Hunter and Duke swingman Cam Reddish.
You can now add Vanderbilt's Darius Garland to that list.
According to multiple reports -- including ones from Cleveland.com's Terry Pluto and Joe Vardon of The Athletic -- members of the Cavs front office, including Altman, attended a private workout of Garland's in Los Angeles this past weekend. Garland, unlike the other prospects Cleveland has been linked to, is a point guard, raising the same questions that were first broached when the Cavs figured to be in the mix for Morant.
Although Garland might not be as highly acclaimed as Morant is currently, that wasn't the case a year ago when he ranked as the No. 2 point guard in the 2018 class. While a meniscus tear limited his college career to just five games, the Brentwood, Tennesee, native still managed to show plenty of pro potential, averaging 16.2 points and a very impressive .478 shooting percentage from 3-point range.
"Although Garland was robbed of his freshman season due to injury, NBA scouts are still quite familiar with him after his prodigious pre-college play. He entered the season as our clear-cut No. 1 PG prospect, and at least was able to show his talent against USC in mid-November," ESPN.com's Mike Schmitz writes of Garland in his scouting report.
"Based on talent alone, he's a top-five prospect and potential franchise point guard who is built for the modern NBA thanks to his ability to shoot off the dribble from distance. Garland is highly regarded for his approach to the game and intangibles."
As for his potential fit with Sexton, there are some obvious questions.
While Garland has been praised for both his feel for the game and intangibles, his ability as a facilitator -- like Sexton's -- has been questioned. In his five games with the Commodores, the former 5-star prospect averaged just 2.6 assists -- a number even lower than the paltry (by point guard standards) 3.6 assists Sexton averaged in his lone season at Alabama.
The similarities don't stop there, with the 20-year-old Sexton and 19-year-old Garland only being one year apart in age and each measuring in at 6-foot-2. It's not inconceivable to think Garland could endure some of the same growing pains Sexton did as a rookie -- although that might not be the worst thing for a team still in the early stages of a rebuild.
What's more is that between new Cavs head coach John Beilein's propensity for simultaneously playing two point guards and the possibility Sexton is best suited to be a sixth man/combo guard, drafting Garland may not cause as much overlap as one might think.
"We're fortunate we're in an era of basketball now where everyone is so versatile, so talented and has multiple skillsets," Altman said in April. "We have a chance to add an impact player at both picks that will supplement and complement the group."
Garland may very well be one of those players.