The NBA playoffs are well underway, and fans have been treated to an exceptional standard of basketball thus far. With the first round already in the books, only eight teams remain, which means 22 teams are already looking ahead to next season. One such squad is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who started the year exceptionally well before injuries played a significant role in how things ended.

The Cavs ended up in the play-in tournament by battling all year for the eighth seed, only to fall short and end up missing out on the playoffs. Nevertheless, the Cavs have plenty to build upon for next season.


Young Core

What was so tantalising about the Cavs’ season was their young players realising some of their potential ahead of schedule. Evan Mobley, who finished top-3 in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, gives fans hope for the future and how the Cavs could be an outside bet to finish in the top half of the eastern conference. Ohio will have legalised sports betting by 2023, and Cleveland natives may find value in backing the Cavs with a FanDuel Ohio promo code allowing them to further push their support for the Cavs in what promises to be an exciting season.

The past season’s roster had a healthy mix of veteran guile and youthful exuberance, which translated into the rapid development of players like Darius Garland and Mobley, to the point where it will be a feared one-two punch next year. If they could get another supporting player in this year’s draft and continue to develop Jarrett Allen and Collin Sexton, they could be a dangerous team heading into the 2023 playoffs.

Collin Sexton

What appeared to doom the Cavs’ season early on was the injury to Collin Sexton. Unfortunately, he tore his meniscus in his left knee after only 11 games, having not played since last November. Nevertheless, the team rallied, and behind the stellar play of Mobley and Garland, they managed to win 44 games and were even in the top-four seeds early in the season.
In the 2020/21 season, Sexton averaged over 24 ppg, and the talented scorer is still only-23 years-old.

However, where he now fits into a team with fantastic chemistry will be an issue. He can score at ease, but his 6’1 frame makes him undersized for the shooting guard position. Garland is a similar height and build, which would make them one of the smaller backcourts in the league. Garland also excelled without Sexton, taking up more ball-handling responsibilities; he proved his basketball pedigree and his ability to make teammates better with his passing.

Collin Sexton wants to stay and the league is heading towards smaller guard lineups, which could make this pairing work; however, Cleveland may be looking to explore deals to find Garland a more suitable backcourt mate.

Possible Moves

Moving Collin Sexton is one move that the Cavs could make, but there are other possibilities. Having Allen and Mobley gives them one of the bigger frontcourts in basketball, meaning they could move one of them to get a player who would fit into a more flexible lineup. However, the twin towers worked for them this year, and it would be a shame to lose either player at such a young age.

The Cavs also have Caris LeVert, a combo guard who likes handling the ball, and Lauri Markkanen, a powerful forward who lacks defensively, but can put the ball in the hoop. The overlap of guards and bigs would suggest that the Cavs should be in the market for a versatile small forward who could play multiple positions. Players like Keldon Johnson, T.J Warren or Kyle Kuzma could fit in ideally to this roster.

The Cavs are set up for the future, and they have the time to be patient with their players and moves. However, if they aren’t aggressive with development and scouting, they could waste a golden opportunity.

 

 

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