Evaluating the Cleveland Cavaliers young talent
While anyone could make an argument that the team that has made it to three straight seasons and has brought home a championship in that time isn’t missing anything but unfortunately it is. The team has two major needs lack of youth and lack of defense. These problems can take care of each other if we pursue the right players.
Currently the Cleveland Cavaliers have 12 players on their summer league roster to consider for a youth movement plus F Cedi Osman who the Cavaliers have owned the draft rights to since 2015 has been speaking to the Cavaliers in Vegas about joining the team this upcoming season.
First let us take a look at the players the team currently has
|Sam Casell Jr||Guard||6’4”||190||25||Iona(College)|
|Andrew White||Guard||6’ 7”||210||24||Syracuse|
|T.J. Williams||Guard||6’ 3”||205||22||Northeastern|
|Gerald Beverly||Forward||6’ 8”||235||23||Canton|
|Anthony Gill||Forward||6’ 8”||230||24||Turkey|
|Casey Prather||Forward||6’ 6”||208||26||Germany|
|Malcolm Thomas||Forward||6’ 9”||225||28||China|
|Cedi Osman||Forward||6’ 8”||194||22||Turkey|
|Edy Tavares||Center||7’ 3”||265||25||Cavaliers/905|
In this group of players there are future NBA player, possibly future NBA stars but most likely there are G-Leaguers. It’s the job of the general manager to find which of these will become the studs of the group but today I’ll fill in on that role. So let’s take a look at the potential studs
G Kay Felder
While Felder may not have wowed in his time at the NBA level his rookie season he did wow in his three years at Oakland and in his short time with the Canton Charge. His stat line of 24.4 PPG 4.3 RPG 9.3 APG 0.2 BPG 2.0 SPG on 44.0 FG%, 35.5 3P%, and 84.8 FT% in his final year at Oakland showed tons of promise and when he had his chance to shine in Canton he shine putting up 29.9 PPG 3.4 RPG 6.0 APG 0.4 BPG 1.5 SPG on 46.7 FG%, 36.4 3P%, and 82.6 FT%. While his assist took a dip he excelled as a scorer showing flashes of Isaiah Thomas an his shooting percentages increased against the increased level of talent he was playing. His lack of production in this years summer league should raise some eyebrows but his production over college and all last season with the Charge should rest most worries for now.
G Sir’Dominic Pointer
Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015 and briefly flirted with joining the team early on he ultimately didn’t make the team. Where I see his potential fit with this team lies in what he did his senior season at St. Johns (NY) when he put up a stat line of 13.7 PPG 7.7 RPG 3.0 APG 2.4 BPG 1.9 SPG on 52.4 FG%, 0.8 3P%, and 72.5 FT%. His lack of a three point shot limits his potential in the modern NBA but the key to his fit with the Cavaliers is with his defense and rebounding. Out of all of the prospects the team has at its disposal Pointer had the best defensive career in college. If he could bring steals, blocks, and rebounds on the wing it’d be a huge improvement in 2017-2018.
G T.J. Williams
Williams spent four seasons at Northeastern and while only managing to start his senior year he put up stats of 21.4 PPG 4.7 RPG 5.3 APG 0.1 BPG 1.0 SPG with shooting percentages of 46.3 FG% 33.3 3P% and 76.2 FT%. Rumblings coming out from the summer league is he could be an undrafted steal that might play his way onto the roster this season with his explosive play. The true potential for his future in wine and gold depends on his ability to thrive in Canton this season and earn his way on to the regular season roster.
F Casey Prather
He doesn’t have the greatest size to play small forward in the NBA but he does have the potential to transfer into a two guard at the pro level if he can make the transition quick due to him already being 26 years old. In his senior year at Florida he averaged 13.8 PPG 5.0 RPG 1.6 APG 0.5 BPG 1.0 SPG with nice shooting percentages of 60.3 FG%, 40.0 3P% (though on very few attempts it still leaves the potential to grow into a decent long range scorer) and 67.9 FT%. He’s not the ideal prospect but he holds the potential to develop into a solid role player for the Cavaliers.
F Cedi Osman
The six foot eight small forward who has spent the last three seasons playing in Turkey and leaving Cavaliers fans to only fantasize about our future back up to the king. He didn’t get the volume to put up spectacular stats receiving only 18 minutes per game in the euroleague. He averaged 7.1 PPG 2.8 RPG 0.8 APG 0.1 BPG and 0.6 SPG. With shooting percentages of 47.7 FG%, 34.0 3P%, and 78.7 FT% at only 22 years old there’s plenty of potential left untapped. I see no scenario where the Cavaliers do not trade Osman and he doesn’t end up on the roster this upcoming season. Theres so much raw potential for Osman to develop into a solid scorer, rebounder, and defender. He should have every opportunity to reach that ceiling now with an NBA development staff to train him and the greatest small forward playing in front him to learn from at the pro level.
C Edy Tavares
The answer to the majority of the Cavaliers woes could sit in one player. The 7 foot 3 inch D League 2016-2017 defensive player of the year has the potential to change the way the Cavaliers play basketball. In his one game for Cleveland this season he put up 10 rebounds and six blocks. If he could manage to give half of that off the bench next season it would transform the defensive looks the team can give. Fantasies of finding our very own Hassan Whiteside in Tavares should fly through any fans head when they watch his highlights. Before heading to the NBA last season Tavares spent three years in Europe and decent yet efficient basketball. He’s began to excel in the D League this past season when he put up stat lines of 10.6 PPG 7.7 RPG 1.4 APG 2.7 BPG 0.8 SPG on 59.1 FG%, 00.0 3P%, and 71.4 FT%. While he has no three point shot he has the size and exception rim protection to go alongside his rebounding and if his game can translate to the NBA the way it did from Europe to the D League then Tavares will have a long NBA career ahead of him.