The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer a rebuilding team trying to develop a number of young players and biding its time until it made a leap forward. They also aren’t a veteran team who has drafted a bunch of late-round players to fill out the back end of the roster. Their core is largely made up of its young players, and the rest of the youngsters were jettisoned to bring in Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert and Max Strus.
Even so, it’s always important to be evaluating a team’s young prospects. Who is in the pipeline, developing their skills from inside of an organization, gaining institutional knowledge and being groomed to thrive on this specific team. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or New Orleans Pelicans have a lot of work to do in this area; the Boston Celtics much less so.
The Cavaliers don’t have a lot of pro
Looking at the Cavs’ roster, some of their “younger” players don’t fit the purpose of this exercise; let’s age-out Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen. Emoni Bates needs a ton of development, but as the team’s only draft pick this year his inclusion seems obvious. We also know that the Cavs already gave up on Lamar Stevens, Ochai Agbaji and Dylan Windler, all through different means.
With the roster being filled out with veterans in their prime, there isn’t much room for prospects. Which young players should the Cavs protect a spot for as they develop them into future contributors, and who should they give up on and move in a trade or by waiving them? Let’s take a close look at five such players.