Are the Cleveland Cavaliers Closer to Playoff Contention Than We Think?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, but it may appear that they are closer to a playoff appearance then most people think. General manager Koby Altman is trying to build this team from the ground up.
They currently own the number five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Altman needs to hit a home run with this pick once again. The NBA Draft will take place on Wednesday, November 18.
According to NBAdraft.net, they have the Cleveland Cavaliers currently selecting Deni Avdija, from the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team in Israel though.
They could also select Obi Toppin, who played college basketball in the state of Ohio at the University of Dayton though.
Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Killian Hayes will most likely be off the board at that point though.
J.B. Bickerstaff is the head coach for the next four seasons and he was impressive down the stretch with the squad though.
He took over for John Beilein, who decided to leave the team, after just a few months with the club. Beilein coached at the University of Michigan beforehand though.
Kevin Love is the leader and the heartbeat and the heart and soul of this basketball team. Love will be with this basketball team for a few more seasons.
Some of the key players on the roster moving forward are: Larry Nance Jr., Dante Exum, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Ante Zizic, Dylan Windler, Jordan Bell, Alfonzo McKinnie, Kevin Porter Jr., Dean Wade, and Matt Mooney.
Garland, Windler, and Porter Jr. were all rookies last season. Kevin Porter Jr. has the most upside. Dylan Windler was mostly hurt last season. All three of these players have potential though.
They could maybe trade for another superstar this offseason in either shooting guard C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, who is from Ohio, or small forward Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
One trade that works for C.J. McCollum is him for Larry Nance Jr., Darius Garland, Cedi Osman, and Jordan Bell.
It is tough on the NBA Trade Machine to make a trade for Ben Simmons. The Philadelphia 76ers want to make a trade in order to split up the Simmons and Joel Embiid pairing though. I am sure General Manager Elton Brand is thinking deeply about it though.
These are tough decisions to make. As long as there is no trades next season, the potential starting five could be: C Andre Drummond, PF Kevin Love, SF Cedi Osman SG Kevin Porter Jr. PG Darius Garland. Some of the key players off the bench will be: SF Deni Advija, PG Collin Sexton, PG Matthew Dellavedova, PG Collin Sexton, SG Dylan Windler, C Ante Zizic, SF Alfonzo McKinnie, and PF Jordan Bell.
This bench maybe a little deeper than anticipated though. In a weaker Eastern Conference, they may make it to the playoffs next season but are still a couple of years away from glory again though. General Manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert deserve a ton of credit though.
They made it to the finals in 2018 against the Golden State Warriors and got swept.
They last won the NBA Finals in 2016 in seven games against the Golden State Warriors in seven games. Cleveland was the only team to rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Golden State won 73 games that season and only lost nine games that season though. The Warriors broke the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls of 72-10 record though.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to be a fun watch in the shortened 2020-2021 season and it may not begin until January 2021, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver though.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a bubble for a couple of weeks though.
What do you think of the Cleveland Cavaliers potential next season? Leave a comment below.
Finish a winner with IroniqMedia for all of your NBA coverage here.
Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.