The Cleveland Cavaliers appear just about as expected. They sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, with little hope or motivation to move out of the last place spot. Fans should not give up on the team though, but give the rebuild a little bit of time. While it’s hard to say there are ever silver linings to losing LeBron James, here are some things that Cavs fans could look at positively in the midst of loss-filled season.
Sexton to improve decision making, defense
Collin Sexton has shown the ability to make the outside jumper at a higher clip than initially expected, but also surprised fans when his defense ranked among the worst in the NBA.
He is a competitive player, and hopefully his work ethic follows. Becoming more familiar with the NBA game should hopefully make Sexton a better defender. He certainly has the athletic tools to become one. Continuing to improve as a perimeter threat will compliment his tendency to attack the basket.
The Cavaliers rank among one of the worst teams in the NBA at moving the ball with 20.2 assists per game. Only the New York Knicks average less than that. No Cavalier averages more than 3.2 assists per game. If the Cavs are going to succeed with Sexton, then he must become a better play maker.
Cedi Osman to continue to mature into a solid starting wing
After beginning as a rough project for the Cavaliers last year, Osman looked to be an interesting prospect with a combination of length, ball-handling, and the ability to attack of the dribble, although all of these skills needed to be developed.
With the vacancy LeBron James left on the wing, Osman stepped in after a couple years as a backup. This season, his numbers improved from 3.9 ppg to 11.7, although he is shooting a lower percentage with the increased looks from the field.
Osman still has potential to improve his jumper, the weakest area of his game. Improving from his .303 3P% will make him a much more serious scoring threat, and like Sexton, would also compliment his ability to attack the rim.
Stockpiling draft picks at the deadline, shipping out nostalgic players
The Cavaliers should be looking to move everyone and everything at the right price, with the exception of their 2019 NBA Draft First Round Pick. Sadly, that includes former franchise favorites such as Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, and possibly even Jordan Clarkson or Rodney Hood.
However, they should not rush to get rid of their lone star player for a weak return. Some combination of picks and young players should be enough for the Cavs to depart with Love, but late lottery picks and expiring contracts will not do the trick.
With the worst record in the NBA, the Cavaliers possess the highest odds at receiving the #1 overall pick. It isn’t likely that any of their moves will drastically change the trajectory of their season, but the Cavaliers should be looking to the future for a rebuild centered around their next draft pick. Let the Tank for Zion Williamson continue.