Chris Grant and the Cavalier front office have done a great job drafting and acquiring players that can compliment each other. There is a great mix of players with a good post game, and players who can hit the outside jumper. One thing they all have in common is they can run the floor, which is most important in this Byron Scott offense. We have a great array of young talent still learning the NBA game, and to add to that we have the veteran Anderson Varejao. Here is a breakdown of the Cavalier big men and things to look for this upcoming season.
Anderson Varejao – Most want to trade Andy for a first rounder because he has a high market value right now, but I believe he is a perfect veteran player for a team full of young guys. Each year Andy is at the top of the list for offensive rebounds, creating more opportunities. Nothing inspires young players more than those hustle plays. Andy is the heart and soul of this team and in my eyes, whatever the Cavs are offered wouldn’t be enough for him.
Tristan Thompson- Most Cavs fans may still be questionable about Thompson, but I believe he was the best rookie big man last year. Kenneth Faried came on strong at the end of the year, but Thompson had some great games early in the year, and finished the year just as strong as he started it. He didn’t look too motivated at the end of last year, but as a rookie, who lost as many games as we did, I don’t blame him.
Samardo Samuels- A force to be reckoned with in the paint, but inconsistencies on the court and problems with the coaching staff have caused him to lose minutes. His weight loss has been a hot topic at Summer League. He is relentless around the rim and brings a great attitude to this team.
Jon Luer- Great pick up by the Cavs. He creates an outside presence for our big men and must be guarded on the perimeter. Hasn’t stood out too much in his short NBA career, but he will be a great compliment to our current big guys who are more of the grinder type in the paint.
Tyler Zeller- Great pickup by the Cavs front office. A true 7-footer that can run the floor better than any other big man in the league. He has a nice elbow jumper, similar to the great Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Kyrie and Zeller can work together to create a great pick-and-roll game, but don’t expect it early in the season. I believe the 2012 ACC Player of the Year will fit nicely with this offense.