Former NBA coach Eric Musselman knows Dwight Powell well.
That’s because Musselman spent the previous two college basketball seasons as the lead assistant coach at Arizona State, while Powell played at Stanford. Both programs are members of the Pac-12 conference.
And Musselman said the second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft — and soon-to-be-member of the Cleveland Cavaliers — could be a steal.
"(Powell has) an NBA body and he’s a very underrated passer," Musselman said.
Powell is 6-foot-11 and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the No. 45 overall pick in last week’s draft. Sources said he was immediately traded to the Cavs, along with veteran Hornets center Brendan Haywood, for small forward Alonzo Gee.
Powell, 22, averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds during his senior season. His Stanford team eliminated No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and Kansas from the NCAA tournament.
"In college, Powell could play small forward, power forward or center," said Musselman, who served stints as head coach of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, and is entering his first season as an assistant coach at LSU.
"Powell was a very tough matchup in the Pac-12. You’ll be able to put him in an NBA game as rookie."
The Cavs’ trade with the Hornets involving Powell, Hayward and Gee cannot be made official until July 10, per NBA rules.