No.1: Floor Spacing
Let’s get the most obvious out of the way. The Cavs need shooting badly, and Niang provides that.
His aforementioned accuracy from deep immediately gives the Cavaliers a legitimate threat against any defense.
In his last three seasons, Niang has averaged roughly 2.5 rebounds per game. He might not be pulling down double-double nights on the boards, but Niang’s stocky build at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds gives him the durability to play up against tougher interior presences.
To an extent, Niang’s shooting and size places him in the same role as Kevin Love and Dean Wade filled over the last season.
Love was sorely missed in the NBA Playoffs. While Niang is not a one-for-one replacement, the former Iowa State forward brings the Cavaliers an answer to one of their biggest question marks last year. Their depth in the post is expanding, and they are doing it by adding more shooting to surround their developing core four.
As Garland and Mobley continue to improve and raise their ranking across the NBA, Niang will provide a dependable teammate that gives both players the chance to learn how to win.
Niang can do just a little bit of everything in Cleveland, and he doesn’t need the ball long to do it. 70.7 percent of Niang’s three-point attempts were off of zero dribbles, per NBA.com’s stat tracking.
While shooting from deep is a fantastic quality to improve the Cavs, there’s more to Niang’s game both on and off the court that impacts the Cavaliers right away. His veteran experience might give the Cavs the edge they need next post season.