The Cleveland Cavaliers have assembled a deep roster, with four legitimate stars and plenty of useful depth around them. In building that team, however, the Cavs have turned the entire roster over. Darius Garland and Dean Wade are the longest-tenured players as they begin their fifth seasons with the team.
That means that a lot of former Cavaliers players are now spread around the league, and it’s always interesting to keep tabs on how they perform on their new teams. Some alumni are recent departures, and others have been gone for some time. We looked at a few former players off to rocky starts a few days ago; now let’s look at four players having strong starts to the 2023-24 season.
Alec Burks was not a long-time Cavaliers fixture, playing just 34 games for the team in 2018-19, a season in which he would appear for a whopping three different teams, a rare feat. Those games in Cleveland were important for breathing life back into his career, however, and it helped to propel him forward.
Burks is now on the Detroit Pistons and serving a crucial role as their offensive engine off of the bench. He is matching his career-high with 15 points per game and shooting a blistering 53.8 percent from deep. The Pistons are a whopping 34.7 points per 100 possessions better when Burks is on the court than when he is off, playing like a 60-win team.
That will surely drop off, and Burks himself will cool off, but he is proving his value and likely will be a prime trade candidate as the season goes on for contending teams.