The Cavs are facing a major offseason that may define the franchise for years to come.
The players are seated, the cards have been dealt and the Cavs were given a bad hand. Cleveland is again looking at yet another offseason of marginal moves, hoping that it’s enough to get the Cavaliers over the hump and into the playoffs. The problem is that no season since the 1998-1999 season has netted the Cavs with a postseason birth unless LeBron James was on the team.
The Cavs peaked in 2013-2014 when the team won 33 wins, a new high mark for the organization since the fall of 1998, in the non-LeBron category of success. That was when the team had some exciting, playmaking depth. Now? The Cavs may pick ninth for all we know, and the roster is made up of talent that the greater NBA scene seems desperately split on.
So what are the biggest issues going forward?
Jarrett Allen deemed the only “real” starter
Apparently, the only piece deemed a “real” starter is Jarrett Allen, a good player who hasn’t really shown his “greatness” yet. Yes, he just turned 23 years old, so who knows what his ceiling is but it’s far more likely that what we saw from him in 2020-2021 is his best foot forward, so what exactly is he capable of long term?
But they also don’t have any franchise pillars on this roster, and they’re going to face decisions on extensions for Sexton and Jarrett Allen sooner than later. One scout told me this year he sees one sure-fire starter among the Cavs’ young core: Allen. That’s it.
If Allen is the only real starter, then what does that tell you of the rest of the team? We’ve talked about Collin Sexton’s issues as a scorer, defender, and facilitator so what more do we need to say about that. Darius Garland played well, especially taking some nice leaps on defense, but is he a real piece that everyone is undervaluing?
Isaac Okoro makes sense for the scheme but offensively he’s a chore to get going. Kevin Love is succumbing to his injuries. Each time he takes the court it feels like he’s losing more and more of his abilities as the Green Candle melts away.
Someone like Cedi Osman may find success in a system that uses him as a point forward, but largely the starting five from last year has issues. Allen being the best of the bunch isn’t unbelievable but it isn’t exactly a strong sign. Nor is it an indication that he’s worth $25 million.