The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t touch their core players this summer, and understandably so. They have three All-Stars and an All-Defense big making up their young core, all 26 years old and younger and under contract for at least two more seasons. They are giving this group another run next year.
The trick will be building out the rotation around them. They were active in free agency this summer, signing Max Strus, Ty Jerome, Georges Niang and trading for Damian Jones. They still have at least one open roster spot to fill. Those players need minutes.
The Cavaliers will be building a new rotation
At the same time, outgoing players from the Cavaliers — Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, Raul Neto, Robin Lopez, etc — played 5,140 minutes that will need to be replaced. So those new faces already have minutes waiting for them.
Let’s focus instead on the role players bridging the gap. They survived the summer and are still in Cleveland. Do they deserve more playing time? Less playing time? The bench will be better next season, but it’s not clear who will get the first shot at playing time. Here are five players, three who need to play more and two that need to play less.