Cavs: Taurean Prince might be getting his rhythm back

Cleveland Cavaliers wing/forward Taurean Prince looks to make a play. (Photo by Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing/forward Taurean Prince looks to make a play. (Photo by Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /

Taurean Prince was a Cleveland Cavaliers player that was mentioned in trade rumors leading into the March 25 deadline, as was JaVale McGee and Cedi Osman, in terms of the more realistic candidates near then.

McGee would eventually be dealt to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round picks, and the Cavaliers would generate a $4.2 million trade exception for McGee, for what it’s worth.

And the Cavs and Andre Drummond eventually agreed to a buyout shortly after the deadline, and he’s now on the Los Angeles Lakers, as a brief side note.

Prince and Osman are still on Cleveland, though, but while Osman appears to be having his rotational role decreased considerably, given his shooting woes, and Prince had been banged up for a good stretch, Taurean may be getting himself back more.

Prince, who had been sidelined for a 10-game span due to a shoulder injury, first made his way back into the rotation in a March 29 blowout loss at the Utah Jazz. He then was still likely getting himself back, if you will, in another tough L against the Philadelphia 76ers last Thursday.

That said, it looks as if he might be in-line for a pretty solid close to the season, in regards to him at least appearing more comfortable in the past two games.

Prince might be getting his rhythm back for the Cavs.

Prince had again been banged up, and is still seemingly working his way back from an ankle injury, too.

That hasn’t been ideal, either, but he looks to be getting closer to full strength, and though the shots haven’t necessarily been falling at a particularly high clip, the shot creation and catch-and-shoot abilities have been more on display for Prince in those past two.

In Miami on Saturday, Prince did give the Cavaliers juice in some bench run, en route to a season-high 19 points on seven-of-13 shooting (and two-of-four from three-point range), also factoring in his Brooklyn Nets games earlier on pre-trade.

He appeared to be getting more separation in that one on-ball, and the driving ability to counter has been there somewhat, which has led to free throws. He hit his three attempts from the stripe at the Heat, and he got to the line eight games in a big W at the San Antonio Spurs, hitting seven, as an added positive sign.

Prince has, in a general sense, looked to have more of his rhythm back in these past two games, and even at least against Philly, was getting to his spots more, though the looks weren’t falling.

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And he did only hit three-of-nine field goal attempts at the Spurs, but the shot creation/ability to generate space for his looks was there more consistently, and he was able to get to the line a bunch in that one, helped lead to 14 points in 26 minutes. In that one, he had seven rebounds and two blocks, as an aside, too.

But the key takeaway from these past two outings with Prince is that he seemed to just be more comfortable out there after a few feel-out games, if you will, coming off the injury absences.

That’s been a good sign in relation to the outlook for Taurean heading into the closing stretch of the season, also.

Now, as far as the minutes-share, I’d still expect him to get his share of burn, factoring in some stretches at the 3 and 4. We’ll have to see, though, as Isaac Okoro is seemingly figuring things out more of late, for one, and two-way Lamar Stevens has been a solid defender in spurts.

Plus, Dylan Windler, to some extent, when he’s back (knee soreness) could play into things, and regarding the 4, Love looks to be getting more comfortable, Dean Wade has looked to be a rotational factor and Larry Nance Jr. when he’s back 100 percent (illness) will be getting his considerable share of run.

With Nance, for reference, it will be a bit before he’s fully back I would think, though. According to a report from Chris Fedor of, Nance will be set to miss his fifth straight game on Thursday at the Oklahoma City Thunder, and is likely not going to be in either of the Cavs’ back-to-back home games upcoming this weekend.

Per Fedor’s report, Nance lost nearly 20 pounds during that time since first falling ill on March 29, due to him not being able to get nourishment down much. Fortunately, Nance is reportedly getting better, per Fedor, so hopefully we’ll see him in within the next week or so, even if it’s with a minutes restriction for a game or two before he gets himself completely right stamina-wise and to gain much of that weight back in due time.

In any case, Prince, when he’s mostly healthy, has been a nice reserve piece for Cleveland post-trade with Brooklyn also involving Jarrett Allen. In 23.8 minutes per appearance, he’s had a fairly respectable 9.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and has hit 39.0 percent of his three-point attempts.

Now, as far as projecting onward, with him after next season set to be expiring, and given the prior rumors, it wouldn’t be really surprising if Prince were perhaps eventually traded before next season.

However, maybe he sticks around toward closer to the 2022 deadline, for example. We’ll see in regards to that/the former possibility, anyhow.

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The rest of this season, though, I’d still expect the 26-year-old Prince, who could seemingly be getting back into a good rhythm, to still often get his share of rotational burn.