Cavs: 2 realistic expectations for Isaiah Hartenstein in 2021-22

Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein blocks a shot. (Photo by Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein blocks a shot. (Photo by Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Isaiah Hartenstein, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein dunks the ball. (Photo by Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /

Realistic expectation #1 for Hartenstein with the Cavs in 2021-22: He’s a constant presence on the interior on both ends

As we alluded to, Hartenstein impressed in his PT for the Cavaliers following the 2021 deadline, and frankly, exceeded my expectations, and I’d imagine those of most Cavs fans.

As a result, in the event that he is back next season/perhaps looking onward, of which I believe he will be, the first realistic expectation for him is that he’s a constant presence on the interior offensively, and defensively, he’s impactful.

Hartenstein again didn’t play much in the NBA in meaningful minutes before coming to the Cavs, but he did show plenty of potential in the G League. With the Cavaliers, his finishing touch with both hands made a difference, whether that was as a roller, at times as a low-post player and on occasion, even as a driver against opposing bigs.

I’d expect that should end up being the case again next season in minutes backing up Allen, who seems highly likely to be back and locked up long-term. Hartenstein did show capabilities as a lob threat too, and that was also nice to see from the 7-footer.

From there, on the defensive end, I would again expect Hartenstein to alter his share of shots in his PT for Cleveland, in the event he’s back.

Hartenstein did have a healthy 2.4 blocks per-36 minutes with the Cavs, and for his career, has had a block rate of 5.4 percent. That sort of thing should aid players such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, perhaps Kevin Love, Cedi Osman/Taurean Prince and/or others.

Now, of course, Hartenstein has had fouling issues, as evidenced by a career 6.9 fouls per-36 minutes, and 5.6 per-36 with Cleveland. He does need to show growth in that regard in coming years/next season hopefully, but for a backup 5 primarily and for a young one at that, it’s not something that I’m greatly concerned about in that sense.

He can progress in that area with film study/experience game-to-game too, I’d think.