Cavs: How Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. should improve, based on reports

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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Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The extended offseason seems to be paying off for young Cleveland Cavaliers players.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not been in game action since March 10, in what was a close loss to the Chicago Bulls. Then, the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus happened, and with the Cavs then not being a team invited to Orlando for the NBA restart, their 2019-20 campaign, at least game-wise, was over.

Along with that, recently in an interview with Citizen CNN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver noted how his “best guess” is seemingly kicking off next season in January.

That had to do with maybe a better potential for fans being at games, which would obviously help from a revenue standpoint.  Albeit Silver did touch on how we’ll how to see it seemed for “rapid testing,” etc in relation to COVID-19.

So when looking at this from a Cavaliers perspective, you’d have to expect some rust early on next season, considering the squad again has not played in game action since March. And preseason action won’t be nearly the same thing as regular season contests, assuming there is that.

Leading up to that point, though, it’s paramount that the Cavs are able to keep their players engaged as best as they can, and furthering the development of young pieces such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr. and others will be so crucial.

Fortunately, the Cavs are beginning their own in-market downtown bubble for most notably, team workouts, with still some individual work, too, on Wednesday. There will be six sessions to play out in that regard, and these should be invaluable for Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, to help from a development standpoint for especially young players, but also for team chemistry.

In the realm of youngsters, according to a report from’s Spencer Davies on Tuesday, a source told him that Sexton is “looking monstrous” and “huge” after working on his frame, and next season, that should only aid him as a scorer.

Along with that, Davies alluded to how Garland, who went home to Nashville for most of this essentially extended offseason it seemed, has “come back to Cleveland with a better physical frame.”

Davies also said how that source touched on Garland has been “throwing down alley-oops in 1-on-0 workouts, asserting the fact that he’s healthy and has his legs under him without any limitations.”

Garland last season was underwhelming overall as he shot only 40.1 percent, but we did see flashes, and as a playmaker, he had a better 5.1 assists per outing in his last 26 games as compared to the season overall at 3.9 assists per game. Defensively, he was a sieve throughout, though.

That said, he didn’t come into his rookie season in an ideal sense, with how he wasn’t able to work on his game and was rehabbing from a meniscus tear that cut his collegiate season before short at Vanderbilt to just five games.

For further context into how DG, who is currently listed at 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds, has looked, a report from’s Chris Fedor also hit on Garland’s improved frame and how he’s focused on “transforming his body.” Here was more on that from a source of Fedor’s.

"“He looks different,” a source said. “Skill set and talent is all there. But physically, he looks different. He knew that would have to be a priority and he’s taken that really seriously. He’s more shifty. We saw a lot of craftiness this year. He had that West Coast swing when he was just balling and we beat Denver on the road and he had those up-and-unders and scoop shots. So, you saw that craftiness. But he’s way more shifty than he showed as a rookie. He looks like he’s moving a whole lot differently.”"

That’s really encouraging when it comes to Garland, and hopefully, we see that play out next season.

Fedor also touched on how Porter, in relation to what jumped out to me from his report, noted how Porter should featured via screens more to highlight his playmaking. From there, Fedor hit on how sources have said that KPJ “has focused on his 3-point shot — extending his range and becoming more consistent with mechanics after hitting just 33.5% from beyond the arc in 2019-20.”

Fedor also went into more detail about what a source said following that from Porter as a shooter.

"“He’s so talented there’s not much he can’t do. He just moves so different,” a source said. “His shot looks really fluid right now. His form is a little higher than it was. He is a flat out bucket-getter so don’t want to mess with him too much, but just elevating it and putting a little more air under it. That’s been really good for him.”"

So what’s the key takeaway from these reports from the Garland/KPJ perspective, then?

We’ll emphasize how both should improve for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

We’ll begin with Garland.