Expectations for the Cleveland Cavaliers starters next season

Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images /
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The NBA season is three months away, yet luckily, Cleveland Cavaliers fans and other basketball cultists can watch the WNBA and they were able to tune in to Summer League. Until the NBA resumes in mid-October, I recommend catching the greatest show on the court, the Las Vegas Aces. That squad moves the rock like a freshly forged sword cutting through flesh.

But next season, regarding the Cavaliers, expectations are as high as the constellations. In 2023-24, the Cavaliers will have the ninth-most expensive payroll in the league. The clock is ticking for the current build of the Wine and Gold to win. It may not be next year that the promised land is reached, but below are reasonable expectations for the starters.

Darius Garland

Darius Garland’s goal should be to earn top Robin status in the league. In the starting lineup, Donovan Mitchell will catch most of the opponents’ schemes first, leaving Garland in single coverage or open. This will allow him to get loose running receiver routes behind or inside the arc for catch-and-shoot bombs and close-range finishes.

There is no reason a marksman like Garland can’t crack or get close to the 50-40-90 club while being the guy that catches the second-most attention. His shooting splits in 2022-23 were 46.2 percent from the field, 41 percent behind the arc and 86.3 percent at the line.

Getting back to the All-Star Game is a big deal too. Despite not making it last season, Garland still produced at that level, being one of eight NBA players to average at least 21 points and seven assists last season.

The league’s antiquated exhibition is a popularity contest, but it has some importance in this regard: a bunch of selections or lack thereof could make the difference in a Hall of Fame ballot.