No. 3: More playmakers
Caris LeVert has reportedly expressed in the past that he prefers coming off the bench and with his new deal by re-signing with the Wine and Gold, LeVert seems primed to take more command of leading the charge for the bench guys.
We’ve seen LeVert dazzle us all with his play at times but he’s been up and down to some degree, too. He may go for 40-plus points one night and score only four points the next night. He’s continued to play better defense as he’s played in Cleveland and he should have another good season with the Cavs.
The other new players including Strus and Niang are going to be mostly off-ball contributors, but they can move the ball still to some extent, and Jerome can create some opportunities for himself. That will only help the bench.
We haven’t really touched on the use of Ricky Rubio, who has played off the bench for the Cavs the last two seasons. He was still recovering from his prior ACL injury last season but could also be big in helping this group and he has always had playmaking abilities.
Recently, we saw guard Sam Merrill go crazy with his shooting and impressive play in Las Vegas Summer League, too. Additionally, there was new second-round pick Emoni Bates and fellow two-way contract rookie Craig Porter Jr. who could in time make a big impact on this new and improved Cleveland bench.
To reiterate, though, hopefully Bickerstaff recognizes some of these new talents that have arrived on the squad and that he plans to trust them first and then use them second. If he does then this new Cavs squad could be knocking on the door of an NBA Championship.