Reason No. 2 – Washington elevates Cleveland’s offense
No matter how good a team can be from behind the arc, losing confidence from deep almost guarantees a loss. This is one area in which Strus, Niang, and Jerome all help the Cavaliers. Going forward, any additions in Cleveland need to pose a threat from three.
Over his four-year career, Washington has a 36.6 percent 3-point percentage on 4.8 attempts per game. He is not a career volume shooter, but he keeps defenses honest. Signing Niang was a clear sign that the Cavaliers want their frontcourt to have at least one long range threat when Evan Mobley is the primary playmaker in that area. Washington gives them another stretch big.
Last season, Washington averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game combined with 2.4 assists. His offense goes beyond a 3-point shooter, as his athleticism as an undersized four gives him an advantage against a number of slower frontcourt rivals.
Washington’s averages are not going to earn him an All-Star appearance next season, but his consistent production is a serious boost for a Cleveland offense that often grew stagnant as games carried on. He plays with energy, slashing to the basket and finding open jumpers.
He can play within a system and at 24 years old is young enough to mold himself to fit what Cleveland needs. Each season Washington shows growth in his game mentally and physically, and he would certainly continue this in a winning culture.
Although Washington might be an ideal teammate next to Mobley, is he really worth potentially losing Allen? As a high-end role player, Washington’s acquisition cost might be a surprise.