Nearly through their rookie year, and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft Class could ultimately be the team’s building blocks for success.
Even with Dylan Windler out for the year, the rest of the Cleveland Cavalier rookies have shown some serious skill in their premiere season. The duo of Kevin Porter and Darius Garland are shooting remarkably well for being pups, with Porter shooting 45% from the floor, 34% from three, and 72% from the free-throw line. He’s got a great first step, runs well in transition and can score from just about anywhere on the court.
Darius Garland isn’t hitting as well as Porter, with 40% from the floor, 35% from three but is shooting about 88% from the free-throw line. He’s also upped his assists-per-game to just about 4.0 a game, a far cry from the start of the season. Both players need to work on their defense and become a bit more consistent but that seems very likely to happen as they move into their second year as pros.
One reason why this class may stand out among others in the NBA and previous Cavs classes is the possible addition of a healthy Windler. If he can come back next year to start his rookie year in earnest, he could really set the tone for the team. He’s a solid 3-and-D player (shoots good threes, play solid defense), with great mechanics. Injuries sidelined him for most of the year, outside of a handful of minutes in the Cavs G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.
The three young players are among the few positives from a rather tumultuous 2019-2020 season. Garland has struggled at times, and Windler’s been hurt but Porter has been such an unexpected surprise. With the continued development of Cedi Osman, the improved shooting of Larry Nance Jr. and hopefully a more steady Collin Sexton as a sixth man next year, this team could be a sleeper playoff contender.