The 2019-20 NBA season is soon approaching. We now know the rosters and schedule, but we never know how teams will perform. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in an awkward position. They are arguably on the edge of being a low seed playoff team in the Eastern Conference. They aren’t there yet, but a few moves could move them there eventually. Yet, they are also projected to be a lottery team this year. This puts them in a weird spot. Will they stress winning this year? Or will they try to tank for another top pick next year?
I believe the Cavs had a solid offseason. They didn’t sign too many players, but they drafted well and are on the way to decreasing team salary trouble. I think Cleveland will have a better record than last year’s 19-63. Although, I don’t think anyone is expecting them to make the playoffs. My prediction is that the Cavaliers will improve by twelve wins and go 31-51. This isn’t going to give them a playoff berth or a top pick. Cleveland will have to ask themselves: Would you rather be a high lottery team, or a middle of the road team? Most fans would probably prefer more wins.
Team’s Defensive MVP
The Cavaliers have great offensive potential. But, per usual, the defensive side of the ball is suspect. In the playing time he will get, Matthew Dellavedova will be the Cavalier’s defensive MVP. We all know how much hustle and heart Delly has. He’s proved it year in and year out. He may not be the best defender out there, but he will never allow easy baskets. He’s going to force other Cavaliers to play to his standard on defense. Of course, this is barring injury or trade.
Team’s Offensive MVP
This is definitely a tough one, since there are a ton of threats on offense for Cleveland. I’m going to roll with a rookie here, in Darius Garland. Now, he has proved the least on this team, obviously being a rookie and not playing in the Summer League. But, he is going to have some high expectations. Garland didn’t play much in college, but was considered one of the best players in his class coming out of high school.
I could’ve went with numerous other players here. You could say it would be Kevin Love, Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman or even Jordan Clarkson. I didn’t go with Kevin Love, because I think there is a very high chance he gets traded this year. Cedi is a good option, but he won’t have as big of a role this year. Clarkson is a deadly scorer as we all know, but he could be traded as well. All eyes are on Darius Garland.
No, I’m not leaving out the Young Bull, Collin Sexton. Sexton has been in some quiet trade rumors since Darius Garland was drafted. He has probably heard them, but shouldn’t be worried. With that being said, Sexton is still going to play with a chip on his shoulder. After a solid rookie year, he will be looking to improve immensely. He’ll have more help this year, and I think that he’s going to strive to be the leader of the team. He’s got the makings of a great player in the NBA. He’s got to improve on his distribution of the ball and defensively to become the true face of the team. If Kevin Love is traded, Sexton should be the number one guy on this team.
Kevin Love is Traded
The rumors will finally come true. Kevin Love could be traded to a contending team some time before the deadline. The main reason he may still be on the team is so that he can put up numbers and gain some trade value. Kevin Love is in no way a bad basketball player, but he’s just not a great fit for Cleveland anymore. The Cavaliers are midway through a major rebuild, and a veteran like Kevin Love isn’t going to amount to many more wins. Cleveland may just cut their losses, and may not get much for him. Look for Love to be traded later in the year for a solid pick along with an expiring contract.
Tristan Thompson is Benched
Tristan Thompson may not even be the starter to begin the year. I am projecting that he will start, but I don’t think he’ll have the spot all year. Larry Nance Jr. could be a potential starter depending on how the year goes. Also look for John Henson, who Cleveland traded for last year. Personally, I just don’t think Thompson provides much for this team anymore. He is on the final year on his deal and could very well be out of Cleveland by next year.
Cavs Will Have two Players on All-Rookie Teams
We know Darius Garland should have a good rookie season, and I think he could earn a spot on the All-Rookie 1st team. But, what about Dylan Windler? Nope, I’m going with Kevin Porter Jr. Although I do think Windler will contribute this year, I don’t think he will end up having numbers good enough to earn him a spot on the All-Rookie team. Porter Jr. is a sleeper pick. He fell in the draft when some figured he’d be a lottery pick. He may not start out with a large role, but it should expand throughout the year. There is a chance he ends up starting, but I think he’ll be a star as one of the first guys off of the bench.