Ranking the top 5 Cavaliers likely heading into the 2020-21 season

Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love and Andre Drummond celebrate after a made basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love and Andre Drummond celebrate after a made basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Here, we’ll take a look at the top five players on the Cleveland Cavaliers, with those likely heading into next season in mind.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a mixed bag of youth, experience, and different skill sets within their roster. Now, the Wine and Gold had far from a stellar 2019-20 season, though, as they had the league’s second-worst record heading into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus.

With that being the case, the Cavs were not one of the teams invited to what will be the league’s season resumption later this summer in Orlando, and for Cavs fans, plenty of focus will shift to the next draft, more so. Coupled with that, too, Cavaliers fans can’t help but look to opening night of next season.

While that is again clearly the focus moving forward, it is a good time to look at Cleveland’s players likely slated to return/head into next season.

Let’s take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top five players likely for next season as of right now.

The first is one of their key veterans.

The best player on the Cavs currently: Kevin Love

Let’s put aside Love’s contract extension, championship nostalgia, and mental health advocacy. Kevin Love is a top 40 NBA player. Love overcame wild circumstances to average 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the 19-20 campaign.

The last piece of Cleveland’s title Big Three was coming off a 2018-19 where he only played in 22 games, in large part due to a toe injury, saw a drama-driven head coaching change, and was surrounded by raw talent.

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2020-21 will give Love the same head coach, more continuity with teammates and extra rest. Cleveland may see Minnesota Timberwolves-style Love next season.

#2: Andre Drummond

The NBA has continuously made the center a less valuable position in the last five years. Despite this, Andre Drummond has been a force in the NBA. The big man has scored, rebounded, and played defense for nearly eight strong years, and is coming off averaging a career-best 17.7 points per game.

The Cavs only got a sneak peak of eight games after trading for Drummond at the deadline, though. Drummond is included here because it is reportedly likely that he will accept his $28.8 million player option and return as the Cavs’ starting center.

In that event, the Cavaliers are getting a two-time All-Star talent that solidifies their recently poor rebounding game. I urge Cavs fans to remember Drummond is just 26 years old and gives the Cavaliers an edge they haven’t had in quite some time.

#3: Collin Sexton

Every NBA team needs a twenty-point scorer. The young Bull gave the Cleveland Cavaliers that badge of honor in his sophomore season, as Collin Sexton finished 2019-20 leading the squad in scoring with 20.8 points per game, according to NBA.com. Albeit Sexton still has visible issues with decision-making and defense.

It’s important to remember that Sexton was, is and will always be a scoring point guard. Continued improvement in regards to passing, defense, especially in the team sense, and more scoring polish should make Sexton the Cavs’ best player in coming years.

#4: Larry Nance Jr.

Larry Nance Jr. gives the Cavs something that the franchise has lacked, stability. On both ends of the floor, Jr. delivers. Teammates and coaches trust a player that is always helping. Next season coaches, teammates and fans can count on Nance night in and night out.

He is also coming off averaging a career-high this past season with 10.1 points per game, to go with 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals per outing. He contributes in so many ways and is a high quality passer for a big.

#5: Darius Garland

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ fifth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft had a mediocre rookie season. At 12.3 points per game on just 40.1 percent shooting and 3.9 assists, fans wanted more from Darius Garland.

Granted, Garland had only played five games in college at Vanderbilt the season prior due to a meniscus tear, and he did play fairly solid, taking that inexperience into account. He was showing growth before missing the Cavs’ last five games leading into the hiatus with a left groin strain.

However, if overly high expectations and him still adjusting to the league mean mediocre play, what does a fully healthy and motivated Darius Garland look like?

The Cavaliers only want one thing from this group, wins. The team has a pretty impressive top five that eyes improvements not in their stats, but in the win column.

Two goals for Collin Sexton for next season. dark. Next

We’ll see if this top five of Cavs players holds true throughout next season, either way.