Cavs: It’s hard to foresee Damyean Dotson being back next season

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Damyean Dotson handles the ball. (Photo by Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Damyean Dotson handles the ball. (Photo by Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) /

Earlier on in the season when the Cleveland Cavaliers were very thin in regards to available guards at the time, and with Darius Garland and Collin Sexton banged up then, Damyean Dotson did an admirable job as a playmaker.

Dotson’s passing/ball movement feel has been perhaps the best positive takeaway about his season overall this season, too, though. That’s been whether or not Cleveland’s young backcourt has been dealing with injuries, to be clear.

On the year, Dotson, a natural 2 and score/shoot-first player, has had a respectable 3.9 assists per-36 minutes. He’s had what’s also been a career-high with an assist rate of 17.5 percent, too.

Defensively, I think he’s been pretty solid as well when the rotational burn has come for him.

That said, Dotson, who was signed via two-year, $4 million deal before this season by Cleveland with the second season non-guaranteed, has been pretty underwhelming as a perimeter shooter. And he’s realistically been known as a rotational shooter, as was known as being the case in his two prior seasons, especially, with the New York Knicks.

Coming into the season, that appeared to be his key selling point for minutes. Dotson hit a pretty respectable 36.8 percent of his then-4.7 three-point attempts per outing in 2018-19 with New York and in 2019-20, still hit 36.2 percent of his then-3.4 deep attempts per game.

Albeit with the Cavaliers, Dotson, who has had 6.5 points in 19.0 minutes per game, has largely struggled as a perimeter shooter, and when he’s gotten burn, he’s had his share of opportunities.

He’s hit by far a career-low 28.9 percent of his 3.3 three-point attempts per game this season, and although he’s been efficient of late after an extended absence due to knee soreness, his deep shooting has been typically disappointing.

And that, and the up and down offensive play, to go with the non-guaranteed next season leads me to believe it’s difficult to foresee Dotson being back next season.

It’s hard to foresee Dotson being back with the Cavs next season.

It’s been a really tough season for Dotson when it comes to the shooting, and with the key impact for him seeming to be as a rotational perimeter shooter, and even with him still having plenty of open looks throughout the year, it’s difficult to see him back.

That’s not even factoring in Dylan Windler to some extent if he can be healthier next season, as he did play his share of minutes as a rotational 2, and Dotson does not have nearly the passing vision of say, Cedi Osman. That’s from a rotational secondary playmaking sense, for instance.

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Additionally, whether or not Matthew Dellavedova is back next season, of which I wouldn’t expect to play out, Cleveland could feasibly look to sign a backup point guard such as Frank Ntilikina or perhaps Patty Mills.

So that could potentially further complicate things regarding a possible impact for Dotson, as that could lead to less usage/opportunities for him to make plays. To be clear, though, Dotson is a natural 2, to reiterate.

Albeit with how the soon-to-be 27-year-old Dotson has often struggled this season as a perimeter shooter/floor spacer, which one would theoretically consider his best skill, it’s hard to foresee him being back next year with Cleveland.

On a frequency of 36.6 percent, Dotson has hit 36.0 percent of his catch-and-shoot three attempts, per’s shot tracking data, which has been okay. Although him having hit just 13.2 percent on pull-up threes, and having knocked in just 26.2 percent of wide open triple attempts this season has been objectively disappointing.

There have been flashes from Dotson regarding shot creation, and I’m not discounting that; however, the rough misses from him far too often throughout this season have been disheartening.

Injuries have perhaps played some into it, as earlier on, he did have some ankle soreness which didn’t aid him, and Dotson recently had a 12-game absence due to knee soreness. That didn’t help.

But point being, it’s been a largely disappointing season from him, and with Collin Sexton’s continued improvement, and Dotson not being his most comfortable as a rotational lead guard, and perhaps Windler/Isaac Okoro factored in some at the 2, Dotson didn’t aid his case. That’s for being deserving of minutes for next season regularly game-to-game, other than from an injury standpoint for others.

Moreover, the non-guaranteed structure for next season for Dotson with the Cavaliers leads me to think, given the underwhelming shooting from him this season and up-and-down scoring viability when he’s had considerable burn, that he won’t likely be back next year.

Perhaps I’ll end up being wrong; I wouldn’t bet on that being the case with Damyean heading into his fifth season and nearly 27, though.

Next. Cavs: The Cedi Osman Experience. dark

We’ll see.