There has been a lot of news swirling around the Cleveland Cavaliers this week before the NBA season officially tips for the Cavs Wednesday evening. News has emerged regarding the current state of Cleveland’s roster and even current player extensions. Here is a roundup of all of the Cavaliers news before the season begins on the evening of October 20.
Collin Sexton will be a restricted free agent
The elephant in the room is the recent update about Collin Sexton’s future in Cleveland. The Cavs could have extended Sexton ahead of the season by 6 PM EST on October 18th with a rookie contract extension. The two sides did not agree on a deal, now Sexton will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
Per Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid, Sexton’s guaranteed money in contract discussions was a deal-breaker,
“But, what made Sexton and his camp ultimately decline Cleveland’s offer was the amount of money guaranteed to him. According to sources familiar with their thought process, Sexton was hoping to sign a four-year, $100 million extension with the Cavaliers. Those same sources said both sides went back and forth over terms to keep Sexton in Cleveland long-term but nothing could come to fruition and eventually, the deadline passed.”
The discussion of a Sexton extension was certainly on the table and considered ahead of the deadline. With that said, the Cavaliers probably still see a long-term future for Sexton in Cleveland, this should not be too big of a deal yet. This piece of news is of course important since Sexton could end up earning more or less money with his play this season.
Kevin Love in a very limited role?
Another interesting tidbit in the Cavs news world is the veteran Kevin Love’s potential role this season. It is somewhat expected Love is not going to be a centerpiece this season. The newly-extended Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen as well as the rookie Evan Mobley will get more playing time than Love. This crowded frontcourt is essentially pushing Love to the side.
Recently, Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com reported the Cavs want to keep Love around 20 minutes or less per game this season. That is a pretty limited role for a former All-Star and core piece in Love. Pluto went on to explain keeping Love healthy is one of the main factors in the plan.
This will be an interesting area to keep an eye on this season. Will the Cavaliers really limit Love this much if he ends up playing well? That would be hard to believe if they truly want to make the playoffs. How Markkanen and Mobley perform will of course be a factor as well. Love’s role on the 2021-22 Cavs will be intriguing, to say the least.
Evan Mobley has a bright future
The Cavalier debut of the rookie Mobley is very anticipated. After being selected third overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, there are high expectations for the rook, and understandably so. Mobley’s impact on the defensive end was already seen in the preseason, which should continue in the regular season.
In the first week of October, general managers across the NBA took part in a survey. This survey asked GMs to vote on who will be the best player among the 2021 draft class five years from now. Mobley received the most votes in the survey. With Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green in the class, this comes as a slight surprise.
As mentioned, a lot of hype already surrounds Mobley. That hype just keeps amassing more and more, this survey furthered that. The survey concerning Mobley is exciting and makes his debut even more anticipated. However, Cavs fans must remember he is a rookie and will have growing pains. Mobley should grow immensely this season, becoming a core piece of the Cavalier franchise.
The Cavs already dealing with injuries
Focusing on what to expect in the season-opener, the Cavs already have some injuries. Both Dean Wade and Dylan Windler, which are expected to be bench contributors, are dealing with injuries. Wade is dealing with an ankle while a hip is holding Windler back. Both players did not practice on Monday and are questionable for the season-opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.
#Cavs J.B. Bickerstaff said Dean Wade (ankle) and Dylan Windler did not participate in practice today.
Bickerstaff said he's hopeful Wade will be available for the opener but will see how he responds tomorrow. Bickerstaff said he is less hopeful for Windler on Wednesday.
— Kelsey Russo (@kelseyyrusso) October 18, 2021
This will of course be a hit to Cleveland’s bench in a challenging game in Memphis. On the other hand, the Cavs are a deeper team this year and can still begin 1-0. It is still unfortunate Cleveland is handling some injuries before the year has even started. The Cavaliers need to get off to a hot start and these injuries are not helping.
The official 2021-22 Cleveland roster
The last piece of news ahead of the 2021-22 season is the final Cleveland Cavalier roster. Both Brodric Thomas and Mfiondu Kabengele were members of the Cavaliers last season, that is no longer the case. Both were cut a little over a week ago. In their place, the Wine and Gold signed the already fan-favorite Tacko Fall and win R.J. Nembhard.
Now both Fall and Nembhard are on two-way contracts, which means they will be playing in the G League some. Both will be in a reserve role and will hardly see the floor this season. The additions still matter though, who knows what happens this season in terms of roster moves and injuries.
That is it for the news roundup before the season officially tips off. The Cavaliers will begin their season Wednesday evening at 8 PM EST in Memphis as 7.5-point underdogs.
Featured image courtesy of Cleveland.com
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