Photo: Ran Schwane / AP
This past season, the Cleveland Cavaliers exceeded expectations throughout the season so much that at one point they were the No. 3 seed in a highly competitive Eastern Conference. Had they not been hit by the injury bug at a crucial time in the season to key pieces like Rickey Rubio and the big fellas Jarrett Allen and rookie Evan Mobley, they would’ve positioned themselves beautifully for a run in the 2022 playoffs. Instead, Cleveland wound up in the Play-In Tournament and lost both contests to Brooklyn and Atlanta, failing to make the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.
President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman has always been about turning every stone possible to make the Wine and Gold better, and he jumped at the opportunity to do so by acquiring Donavon Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, a 26-year-old star, and some would argue a superstar.
With Donovan Mitchell in the fold, the Cavaliers have four potential All-Stars on their team. Though Evan Mobley didn’t make it to the All-star game last season, he’s most likely going to this season as he continues to blossom into the superstar everyone thinks he can/will become.
Most of the scoring and play making duties were on the plate of Darius Garland during the 2021-2022 season. Now with Mitchell joining him in the backcourt, it should take the load off of the No. 5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Vanderbilt. "Spida" adds an average of 24 points and 4.5 assists per game to the Cavs, which will help Cleveland get to where they want to be, and that’s in the NBA Finals raising a championship banner in 2023.
Although the Eastern Conference is loaded with young cores, and a few dynamic backcourts with the likes of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray in Atlanta and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Cavaliers have their own dynamic duo in Garland and Mitchell. Both No. 10 and No. 45 have the ability to put up 30-plus points in their sleep on any given night. If Allen and Mobley chip in anywhere between 15-20 points a night each, and they recieve contributions from players such as Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Kevin Love and Dean Wade, there's no limit for this squad.
The future is the brightest it’s ever been in a long time for the Wine and Golders!
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