Figuring out exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers are is not easy and attempting to assess exactly what they have is near impossible.
Attempting to define the Cleveland Cavaliers right now is difficult. What exactly are they? Are they a team that is as bad as their record is or were their early season struggles a direct result of their former coach? The team parted ways with John Beilein and eventually hired JB Bickerstaff as their new head coach. The Cavaliers appeared to be a better team with Bickerstaff, but it is not as simple as their record.
Judging the team based off their 5-6 record under JB Bickerstaff is not only foolish, it’s irresponsible. There is more to it than what the surface suggests. Cleveland’s opponents during the 11 games with Bickerstaff as their head coach were either missing key players or sub-par overall.
Collin Sexton saw a sharp uptick in performance under Bickerstaff which is very encouraging. Although a good portion of those games were without his regular backcourt partner Darius Garland. Garland missed some time due to injury and the team looked to be a bit more competent with the experienced Matthew Dellavedova stepping in on an as needed basis. Delly helped keep the ball moving and his teammates engaged. Something that was almost non-existent during the John Beilein era. Ideally Garland would have been able to come into the lineup and duplicate something resembling Delly’s efforts when he was supposed to return.
What does the Cavaliers roster consist of?
The team is imperfect in regards to construction and the team is built in two halves. Veterans and inexperience. The veterans include the likes of Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Larry Nance Jr., Delly, and Tristan Thompson. Although it is worth mentioning that Thompson will be a free agent and is expected to depart in free agency. The young guys include Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dylan Windler. There are also a handful of players who are just there. Cedi Osman and Dante Exum to be exact. Their presence should not impact the future of the team in either way.
It’s about putting together a longterm plan and with how the roster is currently constructed it is quite difficult.
What are the Cavaliers supposed to do? They have an unknown when it comes to Andre Drummond and his team option. Drummond’s decision will likely impact what Kevin Love wants as they represented by the same agency. They could be with or without both to start next season, whenever that is. Then there is the backcourt. Are they going to give the combo of Sexton and Garland another go? Will they move one of them to the bench? Will one of them be traded? These are the questions they need to ask themselves during this idle time. Cleveland needs to identify a direction and head towards it. With their current roster they are pulling in two different directions, tanking and attempting to win, (however it is worth mentioning that their efforts in the latter have been quite lackluster).
What should they do? Build around Kevin Porter Jr.
Kevin Porter Jr. has shown that he has the most promise out of any of the young Cavaliers on the roster currently. When it comes to building around one player and evaluating their future, Kevin Porter Jr. should be who they build around. Find players who compliment Porter and are able to work with his playing style. If they are able to do that they might be able to get back on the right track and shake the woes of the second post-LeBron era.