Why the Cavs are a lock to make the playoffs in 2022-2023

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Mitchell deal should make the Cavs a playoff lock, and it raises their ceiling

Before the Mitchell trade, LeVert was the most likely starter along with Lauri Markkanen, while the other 2 players traded in Sexton and Ochai Agbaji were expected to have big roles in the bench rotation.

The Cavaliers gave up some key players in the rotation, yes; still, they certainly don’t equate to the player that Donovan Mitchell is. Instead the Cavaliers replaced them and LeVert with Mitchell, a top 15 player and a 3-time All-Star, at the starting 2 position.

The Cavs finished last year tied for 17th in offensive efficiency, however, they again really fell apart when DG wasn’t on the court. Adding Sexton back, Rubio, and LeVert would’ve really helped in that area, but instead they added a top 15 player in Mitchell and one of the league’s most dynamic scorers.

It’s a question mark, sure; despite that, if Rubio can get semi-close to where he was before the injury with a lot less pressure on LeVert being in a key bench role, that’d be significant.

Garland and Mitchell should fit very well and when you look at their games they should be able to play off each other. Garland isn’t necessarily a ball-dominant player with his shooting abilities, vision and passing acumen.

The ball was in Mitchell’s hands a ton at Utah, but offensively he had to always carry the load as they didn’t really have many guys that could score consistently via their own shot creation. Mitchell can score in any way, is a tremendous shooter and a decent playmaker. Offensively I believe you’ll see the Cavaliers make a huge jump in the 2022-23 campaign.