When the Cleveland Cavaliers brought in the likes of Max Strus and Georges Niang in the offseason, it was about bolstering the club's shooting efforts. The same applied to some degree when it came to their Ty Jerome signing, and Tristan Thompson was a late-offseason addition for veteran leadership, interior defense and functional depth.
While the Cavaliers' core guys have had some inconsistencies to this point this season, which had played into Cleveland's ups and downs as an overall group, the new guys have played pretty well, aside from Jerome, who has barely played yet because of ankle injury.
As it pertains to those aforementioned offseason pickups, it was noteworthy to see Bleacher Report give that group two thumbs up for their play thus far for the Cavs, too. In a recent piece, B/R's Grant Hughes re-graded each NBA squad's free agency adds, and when it came to the Cavallers, he gave them high praise, with an "A" grade.
First, here was what Hughes first highlighted in relation to Strus' play to this point for Cleveland.
"The Strus signing seemed perfect from the moment it happened, giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a dangerous three-point marksman who could get his shot off on the move. Nothing we've seen diminishes that assessment. "- Grant Hughes
Hughes would then touch on Strus' splits, and pointed out how Strus had been "hitting 39.1 percent of his catch-and-shoot treys, 50.0 percent of his wide-open attempts and regularly defending the opponent's toughest wing." Fresh after the Cavaliers' win over the Orlando Magic, he's connected on 39.7 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-point attempts, and his wide-open deep shooting clip has been 51.3 percent, per NBA.com's shot tracking data. Clearly, his defense has given the Cavs a boost as well.
Looking beyond Strus, Craig Porter Jr. got some love from Hughes as well, and as was previously noted, with those two in mind really, and Niang beginning to get going, Hughes was bullish on the Cleveland's offseason adds.
B/R had high praise for the Cavaliers' offseason adds so far.
Georges Niang has rebounded from a rough start to the season, and while it took time for him to get adjusted to a new situation, he has connected on 40.0 percent of his three-points in the last 14 games. In that span, he's had 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest as well.
From there, Craig Porter Jr. has given the Cavs a jolt when he's had opportunities, also, and has looked to be a heck of a steal. Porter has had 7.2 points and 2.3 assists per game for the season with Cleveland, but as Hughes expressed, Porter "put together a streak of five-straight double-figure scoring efforts from Nov. 17 to Nov. 25 that included three games with at least five assists."
With Porter's driving, finishing, and playmaking prowess on both ends of the floor, he could be a legit factor for the Cavaliers from here, and with what he's provided as a two-way contributor, it's hard to believe he went undrafted.
In a general sense, despite the lack of production from Jerome for Cleveland's bench, given how he's missed nearly all of the season thus far, the offseason adds for the Cavs have given this team a lift, by and large.
Strus, who was acquired via sign-and-trade from the Miami Heat, is on track to have a career year, and he's led by example for this Wine and Gold squad. His two-way play has been outstanding, and as was aforementioned, Niang has gotten more in-rhythm looks in recent weeks, and for both of those players have helped Cleveland's ball and man movement.
Porter's contributions obviously played into B/R being high on Cleveland's offseason adds thus far, but although Jerome has been a non-factor to this point, the Cavaliers have benefited defensively from Thompson's time on the floor, and on the glass, too.
Hopefully, Cleveland's free agency adds can keep giving the Wine and Gold quality play, as they get further acclimated to the group. That'd only help this group establish more consistency and cohesion as they get deeper into December.