Twenty-nine different opposing NBA teams will walk through the doors of Target Center to play the Wolves this season, and we want you to know as much as you can about all of them. What’s the order of the teams we’re previewing? It’s actually completely random! Now, a team that boasts a pair of young, talented guards, but a ton of questions to go along with them.
Notable Players Acquired: Darius Garland (draft), Kevin Porter Jr. (draft), Dylan Windler (draft)
Notable Players Lost: Cameron Payne (free agency), J.R. Smith (waived), David Nwaba (free agency), Deng Adel (free agency)
What Went Down In 2018-19?
Not a whole lot of wins! With Kevin Love, still certainly the best player on the team, injured for most of the year, the Cavs were not much of a competitor in the league. They fired coach Tyronn Lue six games into the regular season and proceeded to win just 19 games the entire year.
The biggest positive development of the season was the growth of rookie Collin Sexton and the young Cedi Osman. While there was a strange amount of discontent about Sexton coming out in the media, there’s no doubt he can play. He averaged 16.7 points and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and an impressive 40.2 percent from three. He’s a good ball-handler and his off-the-bounce game is rapidly improving. He will be a good pro.
Osman also had a bit of a breakout in his second year in the league. He averaged 13 points per game after scoring just 3.9 his rookie season.
The Offseason Was. . .
Relatively quiet. The Cavs lost a few contributors but no major players. In the draft, they brought in an exciting young talent in Darius Garland. However, he comes with question marks. He missed almost the entire 2018-19 college season with a meniscus tear and he’s also undersized. He could become the next Damian Lillard, or he could be more of a Seth Curry type. Both are good players but one clearly has an advantage. The success of the Cavs’ offseason will depend on Garland’s development and fit with Sexton.
The Big Question
How will Sexton and Garland coexist? The two young, ball-dominant guards will need to figure out how to play together. It’s certainly possible it will all be fine, but it’s not certain. Cleveland is better off in the long run if Sexton and Garland become a dual-threat backcourt rather than a situation where there is a competition for the starting spot. Competition in practice is good, but both these players are talented enough to play and Cleveland should be heavily invested in their development. Outside of Sexton and Garland, there are still question marks around Love. His timeline doesn’t fit the rest of the roster. We'll see how that situation ends up.
This Writer’s Prediction
A bottom-four finish in the East doesn’t seem unlikely but if Love plays a full season for the Cavs and Garland and Sexton work out this is a team that could surprise some people. I don’t see them making the playoffs but it’s not all bad in Cleveland.
Describe This Team In 15 Words Or Less
Young, not without promise, but lacking the talent necessary to compete in a meaningful way.