3 bold predictions for the Cavs in the 2022-23 season

Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

It’s hard to remember a time when I was this excited ahead of a Cleveland Cavaliers campaign. Sure, LeBron James’ eventual return was more than compelling, but I don’t recall that team having a star at four of the five starting positions while all being under the age of 26.

Needless to say, this coming season is going to be a lot of fun and I’m ready for every second of it.  However, with the excitement comes expectation. Last season was really just a fun ride where we were just happy they finished with a winning record at the end of the year. Now, with the new-look roster, it’s time for some real results.

As we inch closer to the start of the 2022-23 season, let’s take a look at three bold predictions for the Cavaliers and their young stars.

Cavs bold prediction No. 1: Darius Garland leads the NBA in assists

While this might seem like a bold statement on the surface, this could be a really safe prediction considering what Darius Garland was able to pull off last season.

Garland is one of the best playmakers in the league and he put the rest of the league on notice in 2021-22. He ranked among the league’s best in terms of assists, averaging the sixth-most per game with 8.6, behind only Chris Paul, James Harden, Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Luka Doncic. What’s even more impressive is he did this without Jarrett Allen, one of his favorite targets, for a good chunk of the season.

While the trade acquisition of Donovan Mitchell might lower Garland’s usage, don’t expect Garland to become an off-ball player a bunch. The Cavs didn’t sign him to the largest deal in team history just to stick him in the corner to shoot threes. They want him to have the ball in his hands because that’s how he excels and that’s how he earned his contract.

So, while Mitchell will likely handle the ball often, he should also be a frequent recipient of Garland’s laser passes in transition and off screens.

If the big men can stay healthy and the offense sees an uptick in tempo, there will be plenty of opportunities for Darius Garland to be the league’s leader in assists.