With the offseason complete and the NBA regular season rapidly approaching, it is time to preview each team and set our expectations. Next up, we take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Regular Season: 19-46
Eastern Conference: 15th
- Isaac Okoro (5th Overall Pick)
- JaVale McGee
- Rayjon Tucker
- Thon Maker
- Damyean Dotson
- Alfonzo McKinnie
- Jordan Bell
- Tristan Thompson
- John Henson
Three Key Questions
How do they sort out their backcourt?
The Cavaliers are known for having a large variety of young guards to choose from and develop into the future, but many are asking if it is too much. If you take away all the upside and look purely at performance so far, none of their guard could be labelled as certain starters. A lot of their guards are on the fringes of starting and coming off the bench, so it is a difficult dilemma that coach, J.B. Bickerstaff faces going into the season and the rotation will likely go through many different looks by seasons end.
How does Isaac Okoro fit?
The Cavs chose to draft Isaac Okoro with the 5th overall pick and he will likely come straight into the starting lineup and act as the team’s best perimeter defender from day one, mostly by default. He will have a lot on his plate and will have to perform if he wants to keep his spot with other young forwards like Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler also fighting for the starting spot. In the best-case scenario, Okoro will have an instant impact on this young Cavs team and raise their defensive floor while bringing some consistency on the offensive end.
Do the Cavs move on from any of their bigs?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are clearly starting a complete rebuild and the best way to do that is trade some or all of their aging bigs, most notably Kevin Love. Moving on from Love should be a simple decision to make. He is a defensive liability who is moving into his thirties and is on a ridiculously large contract since winning a championship with LeBron. It will be difficult to move him due to his negative value and the Cavs may have to take on some bad contracts in return, but I see it at the easiest way to move forward with their rebuild as it would open up cap room and allow younger players to make their way up the rotation.
The Cavs are clearly in full rebuild mode and with the Eastern Conference getting more competitive, I do not expect to see to much improvement to their record. While their record may not improve, they should still look like a more cohesive unit and I expect development from all of their young guards. The Cavs should be an intriguing team to watch with their young talent and Okoro can produce some highlights but its after the season when they will have their major opportunity to improve with better cap flexibility, another top pick and further youth development.
Regular Season Record: 22-50
Eastern Conference: 13th