Best Trade – The Jarrett Allen trade
While getting rid of a problematic player like Kevin Porter Jr. was the right call, it’s hard to say a trade that netted you a draft pick was better than a trade that got you, arguably, the best defensive center in the NBA. Jarrett Allen is going to be a focal point for the Cavs for years to come.
Best Signing – JaVale McGee
Not a flashy signing, and he’ll probably end the season on another team, but JaVale McGee has been everything for the Cavs. Sure, he’s not an All-Star player but he’s played hard on both ends of the court. Can’t say that about everyone on the team.
Most Likely to Succeed – Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton may never be able to be the leading scorer on a playoff team, but even if he’s someone’s Robin to that person’s Batman, then Sexton will have achieved more than many expected of him. He wasn’t someone many people believed in as a rookie, and even though his three-point shooting is nearly non-existent right now, Sexton seems like the capable scorer a playoff team could use.
Most Likely to Not – Darius Garland
Darius Garland may eventually get to a point where he’s a threat offensively, but as long as he’s giving up two and a half points for every one he scores, he’ll never warrant being a starter on a good team. He has to get better defensively.
Most Disappointing – Isaac Okoro
You can say all you want about how he’s not supposed to be “good yet”, or that he’s a “project” or that he’ll “learn to shoot” as his career goes on. Except, the fifth overall pick in the draft is supposed to be good, he’s supposed to be developed enough to be efficient and he should already know how to shoot. Yes, he’s guarding the opposing team’s best guards most possessions, and he’s getting torched. That’d be fine if he’s Garland or Sexton, a player drafted for offense, but he was drafted fifth overall because of his defense. Defense that’s non-existent at the moment. He’s the worst-rated defensive player on the Cavs out of anyone who’s played 100 minutes. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing off with LeBron James or Luka Doncic, if you’re a top-five pick, and you’re drafted for your defense, you better play good defense.
It’s way too soon to say he’s a bust, but he’s having a bad rookie year. Some expected this, some didn’t. What should be said is if your top-five draft pick was expected to have such a bad year, then he shouldn’t have been taken top-five.
The Face of the Franchise – Jarrett Allen
It’s hard to say for sure who’s going to be the face of the franchise going forward. Jarrett Allen is highly efficient on both sides of the court, a true game-changer defensively and while doesn’t have much of a long-range shot, neither does Collin Sexton. Sexton has oodles of potential. Granted, he’s nearly three years in, it’s time to see that potential take shape. For now, it’s Allen and the team should build themselves around him. He’s the only player on the court who’s just as effective offensively and defensively. If Sexton ever develops a reliable three-point shot, we’ll revisit this.