Cavs’ Garland slots in at No. 37 in CBS NBA Top 100; seems a bit low

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

ESPN, CBS and other media outlets are all doing their top NBA player rankings going into the 2022-2023 season. In ESPN’s player rank of their Top 100 (subscription required) the Cleveland Cavaliers ended up with 6 players in the ranking as Evan Mobley, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, and Kevin Love all made appearances. ESPN ranked Garland No. 46 on their one and I thought that was low.

CBS, however, ranked Garland 37th in their overall Top 100 rankings, which I believe was more sensible.

Garland being at No. 37 on the CBS NBA Top 100 was more realistic than ESPN’s, but I thought CBS’ even slighted him somewhat.

I agree with this one more so than the ESPN one where Garland was ranked at 46. Garland may not have the track record other guys have, but considering the breakout year where he became an All-Star, while averaging 21.7 ppg, 8.6 apg, 3.3 rpg and 1.3 steals, he should’ve been higher. His second season showed marketed growth as well.

What’s more impressive was most of the year because of the injuries to Collin Sexton/Ricky Rubio and to a lesser degree LeVert, Garland was the only perimeter player for a good amount of the year that could handle the ball and make plays for others. He was the best player on a 44-win, playoff-caliber team, while the Cavaliers most of the year were in position to be a top 5-6 seed even with all the injuries they had.

Again I agree with this ranking more than the ESPN one and I know he may not have the track record as some other guys on this list, but if it were up to me personally, even with the CBS ranking in mind, I would rank Garland at No. 25 or close to it.

On the flip side Garland has a chance to build on his All-Star season from last year and I think he will. We saw Garland have a breakout season last year and I believe he could have another level, so it wouldn’t suprise me if Garland rose somewhere in the top 20 after his fourth season. This year I think it’ll be easier and Garland will be more efficient as well.

This year everything won’t be on Garland to create and assist on everything like he did mostly in the second half of last year. Instead the Cavs added one of the top 15-20 players in Donovan Mitchell. Adding one of the best scorers and shot creators will ease the burden quite a bit for Garland, and Mitchell is a pretty decent playmaker, too, so again everything won’t be on Darius.

I think Garland and Mitchell’s games match pretty well and think they’ll play off each other effectively. Considering both are elite level shooters and with Garland’s elite playmaking, it has the makings of a great pairing.

From there, we should also expect a big step from Evan Mobley offensively, and we should expect the offense to run more through him than during his rookie year. If Rubio is anywhere near the player he was pre-injury that’d be another boost as well, along with a healthy LeVert.

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Expect Garland to build off his All-Star season a year ago and be even more efficient, while the Cavs could contend for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference. It wouldn’t be a suprise to see Garland rise up these CBS NBA rankings and find himself somewhere between 15-20 a year from now.