Cleveland Cavaliers: Taurean Prince is still valuable piece off bench

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Taurean Prince looks to make a play. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Taurean Prince looks to make a play. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Taurean Prince had some ups and downs last season after having been acquired via trade by the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Brooklyn Nets, but I thought he was solid for the most part.

The issues for Prince were more so involving injuries though, objectively. Prince missed some games with an ankle injury earlier on, then what turned into a 11-game absence in March because of a shoulder sprain, and then his season ended out in late April because of ankle surgery.

Prince was reportedly likely to have left ankle surgery after the season anyway, for what it’s worth; so that was to be expected.

Nonetheless, when Prince was able to go, and he was able to be in for stretches, he typically was a nice bench contributor as a catch-and-shoot threat and as an on-ball shot creator. With Cleveland last season, he had a respectable 10.1 points per game and knocked in 41.5 percent of his 4.1 three-point attempts per contest in 23.7 minutes per appearance.

And leading into his season being concluded because of the surgery, Prince was seemingly in a good rhythm as a shooter, too. In his last 10 games active, he had 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest, and hit 45.7 percent of his three-point shot attempts in that span.

There were issues for Prince in regards to health last season, though, and he, along with Cedi Osman, were key players previously mentioned in trade rumors before the league’s past deadline.

That said, while I could foresee Cleveland end up possibly looking to trade him before next season and/or feasibly by the 2022 deadline, with him set to be expiring, I could also foresee him sticking around at least until near the next deadline. Or maybe, health depending, Prince could still stick through the next deadline; we’d have to see on a potential extension, though, and currently, I wouldn’t expect that at this point.

In any case, from my perspective, I still see him as a valuable bench piece for the Cavaliers heading into next season.

Prince is still a valuable bench piece for the Cavs.

Again, Prince had issues with his health last season, and the then-condensed schedule didn’t help him in that regard. Albeit I would imagine that over the offseason, he should be able to come into next season fully healthy and hopefully can start on the right foot, if you will, as a result.

When Prince was more in-rhythm/regularly in the fold, he was giving the Cavs nice production, mostly off the bench especially. I wouldn’t want starting much aside from potential spot starts, factoring in Isaac Okoro and him having encouraging close to the season, and with another potential wing draft pick.

At the 4 position, if Larry Nance Jr. is back healthier, and/or with Kevin Love, I wouldn’t expect starts for Prince normally, either, and Dean Wade could have more next season, I believe.

However, Prince is still a valuable piece off the bench for the Cavaliers when he’s able to go and is mostly healthy, to me. He’s a guy who should still have his share of chances when healthy early on next season/into the season, and based on how Prince was closing out last season, I’d think he’ll get his considerable share of playing time if he’s around still.

Again, with Dylan Windler perhaps in the mix as well, along with maybe Osman, and Okoro/a potential draft pick, Prince could seemingly be dealt before next season. But I could very well still foresee the 27-year-old wing/forward well in the mix for the Cavs, and/or maybe a player that sticks through the deadline anyhow.

He’s still a valuable reserve shooter/shot creator for the Cavaliers that when healthy, did often give the Wine and Gold a lift, and off the bench, in particular, can be a spark plug perimeter scorer for stretches.

Next. Dean Wade could start in more games in 2021-22. dark

That to me makes him still a valuable piece heading into next season for Cleveland that can still help the Cavs in his share of playing time; we’ll see if there’s a potential move involving him, though.