Cavs’ approach with these 2 players early on next year will be telling

J.B. Bickerstaff (left) and Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
J.B. Bickerstaff (left) and Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers huddle up prior to a game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers fans should have positive feelings about the team after the season they had that wrapped up roughly two months ago.

No, the Cavaliers did not make the postseason, which was a bit disappointing with how the team played for much of the season. On the plus side, the Cavaliers did still have a heck of a turnaround, in doubling their win total from the year prior from 22 to 44 victories, and there were a number of quality performers for the team as a whole.

The most prominent guys were Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Garland had a big-time third-year leap, and he and Allen both repped the Cavaliers with Team LeBron in the Cleveland-centric All-Star Game. Mobley, meanwhile, had 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per contest, and finished in second for the Rookie of the Year by a narrow margin.

Aside from those guys, Kevin Love was huge for the Cavs in a move to a bench role, and actually finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting. I thought offseason sign-and-trade acquisition Lauri Markkanen settled in to a role adjustment as his season progressed, too, and Cedi Osman gave a notable lift to the team off the bench on plenty of instances. And others such as Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens made their presences felt, particularly defensively in that sense.

It was cool to see Ricky Rubio prior to his torn ACL in late December pop as a supersub-type player following his trade acquisition, too. His injury, especially along with Collin Sexton‘s (meniscus tear) early on in November, was so unfortunate, but it’s understandable that it’s long been rumored Cleveland could potentially bring back Rubio this offseason.

I have mixed feelings on that; I do hope Sexton is back, either way, and it appears he likely will be. Both can undoubtedly help the team, provided they can be mostly healthy and not have setbacks, anyhow.

As far as next season for Cleveland, while there were a number of bright spots for the team in 2021-22, regardless of who the Cavaliers select next week, even more so seemingly at #14 in the 2022 NBA Draft, there are two Cavs I could have doubts about.

Others could be in that realm, but these two guys I feel more strongly about, and the teams’ approach with these two players will be very telling, in my opinion.

To that point, we’ll take a closer look at them here, beginning with #1 next.

The first is a young wing heading into Year 3 who needs to show more if he again gets a large chunk of minutes.