We’re heading to the Central Division in the Eastern Conference for our next team: the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs had to deal with rebuilding without LeBron once before, so they’re no stranger to what they’re going through. This time around, King James won’t be coming back to save them. Cleveland has acquired plenty of young talent over the past couple of years; this may be the year it starts to pay off.
Cleveland is invested in seeing the rebuild all the way through since they didn’t make any major moves this off-season. The two young guards have been marketed as the focal points of the team from here on out and they’re sticking to that. Cleveland made moves more around the fringes than anything. They did have the fifth pick in this year’s draft, but the class wasn’t exactly loaded. As far as free agency and trades go, the team brought in Javale McGee, Matthew Dellavedova, Damyean Dotson, and Thon Maker.
McGee came by way of trade from the Lakers and looks to add to the plethora of bigs the Cavaliers already had. Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie were the two pieces the Cavs sent back to L.A.. Delly is back in Cleveland for another stint and should provide useful as a backup guard. He hasn’t been a great player on the court for a couple of years, but he brings leadership. The young backcourt tandem of Garland and Sexton should be able to learn a thing or two from the Aussie. Dotson and Maker are more along the fringes for the team. Both are still young, but they haven’t been able to come into their own in this league quite yet.
As I mentioned before, the Cavaliers had the fifth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The team has been more offense-oriented in their draft strategy the past couple of years as they’ve chosen guys like Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dylan Windler. This year, the team completely reversed that and went with Issac Okoro. Okoro was pegged as one of, if not the best, defender in this draft. He is long, athletic, and strong for someone his age. His size should allow him to be able to play alongside Sexton and Garland going forward. Issac’s offense is a work in progress, but he shows flashes. His shooting is the biggest concern to this point and will need to improve. If he wishes to be out on the court with the young guards he will need to become more of a catch-and-shoot threat.
Cleveland is an interesting team. Many overlook them because of how bad they’ve been in recent years. But, they do have veteran talent in Nance Jr., Love, and Drummond to go along with some young guys that could begin to produce. Okoro should make an impact right away due to his defense and if Sexton or Garland takes an unexpected leap, the team could sneak into the playoff picture.