Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Alfonzo McKinnie’s 2019-20 play thus far

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Alfonzo McKinnie handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Alfonzo McKinnie handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Alfonzo McKinnie, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Alfonzo McKinnie drives. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten pretty nice play out of Alfonzo McKinnie, and here, we’ll grade his play on both ends thus far in the 2019-20 season.

I’ve been pleased with the play of rotational forward Alfonzo McKinnie thus far in the 2019-20 season when he’s been out there for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 27-year-old has twice been signed to 10-day deals by the Cavs, and then was signed to a multi-year deal following the 2020 trade deadline.

The deal turned out to be for four years and $7.2 million, and three of them are non-guaranteed, so it is ultra-team-friendly for the Wine and Gold.

In terms of on-the-floor impact, as it is evident that while he likely is not an every-game player for Cleveland next season and/or potentially coming years, McKinnie still projects as a solid rotational forward option.

Here, we’ll grade his play on both ends of the floor thus far this season, of which it’s uncertain whether or not that will eventually be played out down the road due to concerns involving the novel coronavirus pandemic, at least in some capacity. As far as recent reported updates as of Monday involving individual player workouts/safety measures to be taken by teams, you can view those here.

We’ll begin with McKinnie’s offensive play.

Taking a look at McKinnie’s offensive play

At first glance, McKinnie is not a player that’s going to light up the basic box score as a scorer/significant offensive presence. He has averaged 4.6 points and just 0.4 assists to this point this season, though he has only played 14.8 minutes per game, as noted by Basketball Reference.

Even so, scoring in bunches isn’t what Cleveland is expecting from McKinnie, but it when he’s in the floor in rotational minutes, McKinnie is a good cutter, as he’s displayed when’s out there, and he thrives in transition.

At 6-foot-7 and as a bouncy athlete that is capable of occasional straight-line drives after receiving passes from ball-swings, he has shown that arguably his best attribute offensively is as a finisher. McKinnie has hit an above average 65.7 percent of his shots in the restricted area, per’s shooting data.

For a player that’s not going to have the ball in their hands a ton throughout possessions, I’ll take that. Along with that, while it’s been on a relatively modest 9.4 percent frequency, McKinnie has placed in the 91st percentile as a cutting scorer thus far in 2019-20, per Synergy Sports.

Now, we’ll touch on the negative side, though, and that’s more so the issue here.

McKinnie is anything but a floor-spacer, as this season, he’s hit just 21.5 percent of his three-point attempts. That’s NOT what you’re looking for to help open up driving lanes for pieces such as Kevin Porter Jr. or at times when he’s on the floor with McKinnie, Collin Sexton.

Related Story. Grading Kevin Porter Jr.'s play thus far in 2019-20. light

McKinnie has only hit 22.4 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-pointers, too, and on pull-ups, he’s had an effective field goal shooting clip of just 29.5 percent, per’s shot tracking data.

Realistically, when you factor in that McKinnie is not much of a productive ball-mover, as shown by an assist rate of only 3.2 percent, it’s clear that McKinnie is not a key offensive option as a scorer or playmaker when he’s in.

He is again a player that cuts well, though, and will be involved on the offensive glass regularly. Also, he is at least capable of getting it to teammates following that to reset, and when going up for putbacks, which he does get fairly often, he can finish through contact due to his body control.

The offensive grade for McKinnie thus far is not stellar, but not awful.

McKinnie’s offensive grade thus far in 2019-20: C+

Next up, we’ll hit on McKinnie’s play on the defensive end, where he’s been one of Cleveland’s better players, I believe.