Previewing the 2022-23 Cleveland Cavaliers
September 28th, 2022
By Alan Lu
Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans should be optimistic for the upcoming NBA season. Last year was a good season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were able to double their win total from 22 to 44 wins, and as they had strong seasons from new All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, as well as from then rookie big man Evan Mobley, the Cavaliers were able to get to the play-in tournament.
Unfortunately, they were unable to win any of the games in the play-in tournament, and they wound up missing the playoffs. Fortunately, in the offseason, the Cavaliers were able to swing a big trade to land Donovan Mitchell to improve their talent level and scoring attack. They now have thrust themselves into the mix as legitimate playoff contenders, and their fans may be cautiously optimistic for the upcoming season.
Donovan Mitchell is a very athletic combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he is a very good pick-and-roll ball handler on offense. On the other hand, he will need to improve his team play and defense, and he can sometimes play too selfishly, which can hinder the flow of the offense at times. He’ll need to play a more cohesive style with his teammates, but he is definitely talented enough to be a superstar once again this season.
Darius Garland had a tremendous season last year, and he improved immensely as the lead ball handler for the Cavaliers in 2022. He did a great job of shooting, scoring, and distributing the basketball, and he made his first All-Star team. While the Cavaliers’ backcourt will be undersized, they will have a potent scoring attack that will definitely help their team offensively.
Jarrett Allen is an athletic, energetic center that thrived as an interior player for the Cavaliers last season. He did a great job of scoring, rebounding, and defending in the paint, and he was one of the best interior defenders last year. He made his first All-Star team, and he will be the team’s defensive anchor for many years to come.
Adding to those three, second-year big man Evan Mobley had a very good rookie season, and while he might not be a star yet, he is a rising star that has strong skills on both ends of the floor. He is a good ball-handling big man that excels as a scorer and playmaker on the floor, and he is also a solid rebounder and defender. He will still need to add more strength to be able to handle stronger players, but he is a solid player that could be a superstar in the future.
The Cavaliers made several notable additions, but the biggest one obviously was when they made a blockbuster trade to acquire superstar guard, Donovan Mitchell in a move that could really bolster their team.
They also signed playmaking point guard, Ricky Rubio, whose strong playmaking skills along with fairly solid defensive skills make him a solid role player, but has struggled with his outside shot from time to time. Robin Lopez is a high-motor big man that will provide minutes as a backup center. Raul Neto is a game managing, backup point guard that can run the team and play some defense.
The Cavaliers traded away three key role players to Utah in a move to get Mitchell, along with picks. Sexton is a very athletic scoring combo guard that struggled to knock down outside shots and didn’t always show great court vision, but has plenty of upside. Markkanen and Agbaji are sharpshooting, floor spacers whose ability to knock down shots and make plays can help teams, especially on offense. Rondo is a playmaking point guard that can rack up assists, and is a solid rebounder and defender, but has struggled with his outside shot and scoring from time to time, but has been known to be sometimes difficult for coaches to deal with, and he also had legal trouble earlier this year. Moses Brown and Ed Davis were backup big men that didn’t play very much, but Brown is an upside big man that could get minutes on a different team in the future.
F-C Isaiah Mobley
Isaiah Mobley is the older brother of Evan Mobley, and he is a skilled big man that can shoot and pass the basketball. He’s not nearly as athletic or as explosive as his younger brother Evan, but Isaiah Mobley is a fundamentally sound big man that could develop into a reliable backup big man in the future.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Key Bench Players:
G-F Isaac Okoro
F-C Kevin Love
G-F Cedi Osman
F-C Dean Wade
The Rest of the Roster (projected to make the team):
G-F Dylan Windler
G RJ Nembhard (Two-Way)
F-C Isaiah Mobley (Two-Way)
F-C Jamorko Pickett (Exhibit 10)
Others in Camp:
F-C Mamadi Diakite (Exhibit 10)
G Sharife Cooper (Exhibit 10)
G-F Nate Hinton (Exhibit 10)
G-F Chandler Vaudrin (Exhibit 10)
2021-22 (CLE): 44-38, missed the playoffs
Career: 156-225, 1-4 in the NBA Playoffs
J.B. Bickerstaff did a very good job of leading his team to win far more games than expected, and the Cavaliers were a strong defensive team last year. They will need to improve on offense, but they did swing a big trade to land Donovan Mitchell. Cavaliers’ fans are expecting big things out of their team this year, and Bickerstaff could finally lead their team to the playoffs, as they were very close last season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers surprised many people by winning far more games than expected last year, and they were virtually on the door step of the playoffs before falling short in the play-in tournament. They had strong seasons out of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley, and they’ve been building a strong core for their team.
In the offseason, they swung a major trade to land superstar guard Donovan Mitchell. The Cavaliers have made moves to put themselves in playoff contention, and they could sneak up on teams to get into the postseason. They have slowly built a good team, and Cavaliers’ fans should excited for both the upcoming season and for the future.
Projected 2022-23 Win-Loss Record and Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 46-36, 5th in the Eastern Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to lose in the 1st Round to Miami
I went to Basketball-Reference and Spotrac to look up some information for this write-up. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and the NBA season will start on October 18th. Thank you for reading my write-up of the 2023 Cleveland Cavaliers.