Cleveland Cavaliers: Early impressions of Isaiah Hartenstein

Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein shoots the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein shoots the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Isaiah Hartenstein, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein passes the ball to Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

#3:  Solid rebounding/defense off the Cavs bench

An oft overlooked part of what JaVale McGee brought to the table in his short stint as a Cavalier was his ability to stabilize and often anchor a defense in short spurts. In only 15.2 minutes an outing, McGee provided 1.2 blocks which would translate to 2.9 per-36 minutes. He also chipped in 5.2 rebounds a contest and never complained about his role within the organization.

Hartenstein for what it’s worth in his short time here has put up 1.3 blocks and has already had a 14 rebound game in just 26 minutes. He has been nothing short of a bargain thus far considering he’s only on the books for an average of $1.6 million over this season and if his player option for the 2021-22 season is taken into consideration, he’d be set to be on the books for $1.8 million.

If he can supply somewhere in the neighborhood of 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and a block per game, he will see the floor on a nightly basis.

Granted, the 22-year-old’s fouling does need to be cleaned up, but more experience could very well help him manage that, and him having only one foul versus the Miami Heat was a positive step in that realm.


Three games is an extremely small sample size and there is every bit the chance that Hartenstein doesn’t stick in Cleveland considering that the team isn’t a finished product and is trending towards another top five pick.

But with that said, he is off to an encouraging start with his new club and has a much clearer path to meaningful playing time than he ever did in Denver, and previously to begin his career with the Houston Rockets. The opportunity is right in front of him.

All he must do is seize it and prove himself to be the Cleveland Cavaliers backup center of the future. He will almost certainly never challenge Jarrett Allen for the starting role, but being the next man off the bench isn’t a bad position to be in.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players. dark

Here’s to hoping that Hartenstein has found himself a home for the foreseeable future.