Cleveland Cavaliers: One key goal for Darius Garland for next season

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2019-20 season being done, we will see no more Darius Garland in action for them this year. A key goal for him for next season jumps out, though.

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 2019-20 season has come to a close after the NBA will be resuming play while leaving the bottom eight teams of the league out, and one of those teams is the Cavs. In terms of reported updates regarding details of the NBA’s formatting for the remainder of the current season, you can view those here and also here.

Anyway, while this last season seemed like it was nothing but a drag and frustrating, a lot more went into it than just that. For the Cavs, it was not about putting up wins. It was about competing, getting better as a young team and trying to solidify their young core of the future.

They wanted to play hard night in and night out, compete and play in close games. Did they do that all year long? Absolutely not.

That said, I believe that there are a lot of different things you can still scrap from the 2019-20 season as productive parts and bright sides to look at for the future of this team.

Cavs rookie guard Darius Garland had an up and down rookie campaign. While I believe it was more up than down, he still has raw talent in some areas that need a bit of polish and coaching. So, what’s one key goal for Garland heading into the 2020-21 season, then?

A key goal that stands out for Garland for 2020-21 for the Cleveland Cavaliers is averaging five+ assists per game.

When you look at the Cavs guards currently on the roster, it seems as if Cleveland Cavaliers fans across the world all have many different opinions. Some think Garland is the man of the future and slander Collin Sexton, while others think Sexton is the future. While I may be a Sexton guy, Garland has some very, very solid tools to his game and without a doubt will be a productive guard in this league.

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Why does he need to average five+ assists per game next season, you ask?

Garland is without a doubt the number one passer on the entire Cavs’ roster. The more he was on the floor, the more he was able to create different opportunities for his teammates, such as Kevin Love and Cedi Osman. Plus, Garland is so much more of a scoring threat than the expiring Matthew Dellavedova, who is a good playmaker, though.

Moreover, one major highlight from Garland’s rookie campaign was the bond and chemistry he was able to build with center Tristan Thompson.

While Thompson has a fate that is yet to be determined with the team, himself along with Garland make each other better when they are out there together.

Considering that, whether or not the expiring Thompson is back, Garland could have a similar relationship on the floor with center Andre Drummond. That’s assuming Drummond is back, of course, which is likely to be the case, as he’s reportedly likely to pick up his $28.8 million player option for 2020-21.

Anyhow, in Garland’s rookie season, he averaged 3.9 assists per game. Adding one more per game is an easy upgrade and would do that much more for the team. That started to show leading into the then-novel coronavirus-induced hiatus, too, as Garland had 4.9 assists per game in his last 10 games active, as indicated by NBA.com. That was before missing the Cavs’ last five games with a left groin strain.

Additionally, when Garland and Sexton are out there together for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Garland is the guy to create shots and spread the floor, as Sexton has really ran with the shooting guard role, and that paid off, as he led Cleveland with 20.8 points per game in 2019-20.

If Garland can give the Cavaliers five or more assists per game next season, there will be many other categories that take a positive leap other than just the numbers. With the way Sexton grew as a ball handler and playmaker as this past season progressed, the potential of the two playing together is still there.

As the 2020 NBA Draft approaches and so does the lottery, which are reportedly slated to be on October 15 and August 25 for now, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, things could get quite interesting for the Cavs. As rumors swirl, one thing that stays are the LaMelo Ball talks.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers already having a plethora of young guards on the roster, also including Kevin Porter Jr., would they really take Ball?

Ball showcased promising playmaking potential for the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, but it’s unclear how he’ll translate to the NBA game, and more so in the shooting sense, and with the Cavs, along with that.

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While nobody knows the answer just yet, the young guards will continue to work and get better heading into next season, and Garland further progressing as a primary playmaker would be a really pleasant sight for Cleveland.