Cavs among 6 teams that improved the most in offseason, claims B/R

Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Based on how last season ended, and with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ primary needs being apparent heading into the offseason, their moves in the early days of NBA Free Agency were not shocking.

The Cavaliers re-signed Caris LeVert, signed Georges Niang, acquired Max Strus via sign-and-trade from the Miami Heat, traded for Damian Jones in a deal with the Utah Jazz and then Cleveland signed Ty Jerome. Cleveland’s two-way signings were Isaiah Mobley, 2023 No. 49 overall pick Emoni Bates and Craig Porter Jr., all three of whom were key contributors for the Cavs in their 2023 Summer League title run in Las Vegas.

For the Wine and Gold, it was a productive offseason, and it was encouraging to see Cleveland add much needed perimeter shooting with Niang and Strus being brought on-board. It remains to be seen whether the Niang and Strus signings will make a notable impact in years ahead, but with how those players can shoot the ball and improve spacing, it was logical for the Cavs to sign them.

With those moves in mind, in particular, being the rationale, and with Cleveland’s approach, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report was a big fan of what the Cavaliers did this offseason. Furthermore, he highlighted the Cavs as one of his six NBA teams that improved the most this offseason in a recent piece.

Here was what should resonate with Cavaliers fans from Favale’s piece.

"“Some have scoffed at the additions of Max Strus (four years, $62.3 million) and Georges Niang (three years, $25 million). They shouldn’t. Both price points are fine. Strus is making a hair above the non-taxpayer mid-level exception while Niang costs barely more than the mini MLE. Their outside volume is worth the cost of admission.Niang just knocked down over 40 percent of his threes on more than nine attempts per 36 minutes. Strus hit 35 percent of his triples on near-identical volume and promises the added benefit of draining ultra-difficult attempts in motion or off the (quick) bounce.”"

Time will tell as to how their moves pan out, but the Cavs look to have had a quality offseason, as Bleacher Report expressed.

The Cavaliers haven’t made the big swing this offseason, as compared to last offseason, when they made a blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell in a deal with the Utah Jazz. It hasn’t been likely that the Cavs would, though, and this next season, it is still clear that Cleveland needs more internal development, particularly on offense from Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland has to respond next postseason, too.

Those things aside, as the aforementioned Favale demonstrated in his piece for B/R, the Wine and Gold added two high-level shooters and floor spacers in Strus and Niang this offseason. Both of those players were just the kind of contributors, especially from an off-ball perspective, that the Cavs needed, and when they’re on the floor, they should make a difference for Cleveland’s offense.

Granted, looking beyond the Strus and Niang additions, Cleveland didn’t do anything that would qualify as a splash, and there’s still some defensive questions the Cavaliers will have iron out on the wing and in the forward rotation. Niang is definitely not known for his defense, for instance.

However, it’s not an overly-homer take to be bullish on the Cavaliers next season. Plus, with how Strus and Niang could have an immense offensive impact, their signings could prove to be realistically, reasonable, in the long run, as Favale essentially stressed.

Looking past the additions of those two shooters, Cleveland drafting Bates could end up being quite the steal down the road.

Even with questions about his shot selection, lack of defensive polish and being a work in progress physically, it was a worthy upside pick, given where the Cavaliers selected the former high school phenom who at one point seemed to be a shoe-in to be a lottery pick. And despite it only being in Las Vegas Summer League, Bates’ play then was encouraging. There’s reason to believe he can have the buy-in needed to be a really capable off-ball contributor, which will be crucial for his long-term outlook.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Best move they did and didn't make. dark

On multiple fronts, the Cavaliers have had a very strong offseason.