The Cavs made zero notable offseason additions via free agency or trade this year.
While there is no one who they could have brought in that would make them relevant in 2020, they should have been more active than doing nothing. First off, they should have attempted to trade Kevin Love if they were not going to attempt to build a semi-competitive roster around him. Love serves no purpose on this team, but he is still good enough to net Cleveland a solid asset.
They finally moved on from J.R. Smith this offseason and watched Cameron Payne and David Nwaba depart for the Raptors and Nets, respectively. None of these moves will impact the 2020 season for the Cavs, but it’s important to understand the totality of their offseason, specifically because these departures opened up a big hole at the guard position in Cleveland.
The team chose to fill this hole via the draft, where they had 3 picks, all in the first round. With all 3 of those picks, the team selected - you guessed it - guards.
At number 5 overall they drafted the highly touted, and relatively unknown, Darius Garland. Garland was supposed to be a lottery pick, but he missed the majority of his freshman year with Vanderbilt. Even still, he showed enough during the pre draft process to warrant being a top-five pick. On paper, this doesn't seem to make a ton of sense considering the team took a ball-dominant guard in last year’s lottery in Colin Sexton, but Garland has the natural scoring ability to be a successful off-ball guard. He is a good three point shooter (shot 48% in five games before getting hurt in college), and solid rebounder, but he will need to improve his defense at the NBA level.
Cleveland then took shooting guard Dylan Windler out of Belmont University at 26. He is a career 40% three point shooter and will likely have a sizable bench role for this team as a rookie. The team desperately needs shooting off the bench, and Windler should help fill that hole nicely.
Finally at number 30, the Cavs selected USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. KPJ is a bit of a project, specifically on defense, but he has the natural talent to have gone much higher in this draft. He shot 41% from three last year and will now compete with Windler for minutes off the bench.
Overall, the Cavs did a good job of getting value for their draft picks while addressing a position of great need, but didn’t do a lot otherwise.
Offseason Grade: C | Predicted Eastern Conference Ranking: 14
The Cavs had the most boring offseason of all teams. In fact, they were the only team to make zero additions to their roster. The good news is we can judge them on the deals they should have made, not just the ones they did(n’t). Holding onto Kevin Love could come back to haunt them, as he won’t help move the needle for this team, and an injury or slip in play could hinder their ability to get a quality asset at the deadline or next offseason.
The draft was solid for the Cavs, as they added an intriguing group of guards. The draft helped pull their grade up ever so slightly. While Cleveland fans should be excited to watch their young players, the team will not be good this year (actually, they will be quite bad).
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady