With tipoff about a month away, the Cavaliers have made multiple moves to prepare. Here’s a Cleveland Cavaliers 2023 offseason recap.
Signed Sam Merrill
Sam Merrill showed out for the Summer League. Averaging over 20 points per game and producing a stat line of 27 points, two assists and four rebounds in the Summer League championship game, Merrill finished the game with the highest plus/minus on the team (plus 25). Although he hasn’t seen substantial NBA playing time, with Rubio bowing out, now could be the time he gets the opportunity to shine.
Resigned Caris LaVert
Averaging 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and one steal last season LaVert isn’t exactly the most exciting player, but he’s extremely beneficial to this team. Having the ability to average closer to 20 points per game, he doesn’t get the opportunity to score as much on the Cavs roster but certainly brings life and effective play to the bench squad.
Signed Georges Niang and Ty Jerome
Niang, a high volume three shooter, is a solid addition to this team. Owning a 43.8 field goal percentage and just barely under a 40 three point percentage, Niang will play an important role for this team. While his numbers aren’t the most impressive, his shooting percentages do indicate that he’ll be consistent. Consistent scoring off the bench is something that was lacking from last year’s squad.
Jerome also hasn’t had the most impressive numbers. He averaged 6.9 points, three assists and almost two rebounds last season. This was, however, on a 48.8 field goal percentage and about a 40 percent three point percentage. Not the most exciting but again, consistent.
Traded draft considerations to acquire Max Strus
Strus is another three-point specialist with high consistency. Last season he averaged 11.5 points, two assists and three rebounds with a 41 percent field goal percentage. That was his lowest of his career, but it’s the most consistent of the players so far. Strus will likely be the starting small forward to open the season.
Signed Emoni Bates to a two-way contract
Taken late in the 2023 NBA Draft, Bates has the chance to be a breakout star. Averaging 17.2 points, six rebounds and 1.2 assists in the summer league, Bates’s high scoring and 43.9 field goal percentage was a major reason why the Cavs ended the summer as undefeated champions. While not receiving the same attention as when he was the top rated high schooler in the country, Bates is still the same player and brings the same potential to develop into a talented NBA player.
Acquired Damian Jones
Jones is a center who averages 3.5 points and three rebounds with a 64 percent field goal percentage. After the signing of Tristan Thompson, it’s unlikely Jones will see much NBA playing time.
Signed Tristan Thompson
Thompson hasn’t played since the 2021-22 season, and that season was not a great one for him. Spending the season with four different teams, Thompson wasn’t able to contribute effectively to any. Considering the time spent with each team, though, it’s unrealistic to look at this season as an entirely fair representative of his ability. He’ll likely be the go-to backup center and bring a much needed veteran pretense to this team.
Signed Zhaire Smith
Possibly the player with the lowest floor on this list, Smith may also have the highest ceiling next to Bates. Taken with the sixteenth overall pick by Philly in the 2018 draft. Due to injury he played only 13 games his first two seasons in the NBA, and averaged only 3.7 points, 1.2 points and less than a single assist per game. He did, however, play well at Texas Tech and given the proper development could begin to work back towards the potential he once displayed. He will likely spend most of his time with the Charge or coming off the Cavaliers’s bench.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
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