The Cleveland Cavaliers appears to be fully buying into a new identity
Beloved former Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. once quipped about how the backcourt duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland became ‘surrounded by trees’, but a couple more roster changes prompted a new nickname with a much more urban setting: Tower City.
While Cleveland isn’t exactly known as a city of skyscrapers, it does have what was once the second-tallest building in the world in Tower City Center’s Terminal Tower.
The 52-story downtown property, which features prominently as the crown jewel of the city’s skyline for nearly a century, now has company.
Building the new ‘Tower City’
During the offseason, the front office made certain there will be plenty of seven-footers at head coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s disposal in case he ever runs out of them.
They began by selecting number the three overall pick Evan Mobley during this year’s NBA Draft, re-upping Jarrett Allen to a long-term deal, bringing in Lauri Markkanen via trade, and signing Tacko Fall to a non-guaranteed contract.
Why would they need this many big men, you ask? It certainly guarantees plenty of rim protection to compensate for some of SexLand’s deficiencies on the defensive end.
Cleveland also finished just 24th in the league in rebounding last season, and 27th in points in the paint allowed, so I guess there are merits to it.
And don’t worry, it appears that the coaching staff already devised a plan to rotate Allen, Mobley, and Markkanen to go with Kevin Love —provided he stays on.
Per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor:
"Sources say initial conversations have centered on Allen, Mobley and Markkanen falling somewhere between 26-30 minutes per night — even though it likely won’t be an even split. The low end would leave about 18 a game for Love."
Meanwhile, Fall is likely to be assigned to the team’s recently relocated/renamed NBA G League affiliate Cleveland Charge, working for a call-up in case the team ever needs him.
Assuming they will no longer look to negotiate with Isaiah Hartenstein, Cleveland still employs two other big men in Dean Wade and Mfiondu Kabengele, further driving the nickname home.
What the Cavs’ offseason moves so far failed to address is the gap at the wing position, a hole the team still aims to fill in the few weeks leading up to training camp.