Reviewing the 2021-22 Cleveland Cavaliers

June 6th, 2022

By Alan Lu

The 2022 Cleveland Cavaliers won far more games than expected this year, and they have a good group of core players that could help them get to the playoffs in 2023.
(Photo:
Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

The Cavaliers had a very good season this year.  Not much was expected from them this year, as they were one of the worst teams in the NBA last season.  But the Cavaliers drafted well, as they selected Evan Mobley in the 2021 draft, and he teamed up well with Jarrett Allen to provide them with a formidable front court.   They also swung a trade to get Lauri Markkanen in the offseason, and Darius Garland improved to the point where he made the All-Star team.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to double their wins from 22 to 44 this year, due to improved team play and strong coaching from head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.  However, they lost both of their play-in tournament games, and they ended up just barely missing the playoffs this year. Overall, compared to last year, this season could be considered a massive success for the Cavaliers, as they appear to be on the right track, and they have a bright future ahead of them.

Key Players:

Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard, Darius Garland had a tremendous season for his team this year, and he made his first All-Star team in the NBA.
(Photo:
Jason Miller/Getty Images, via Fansided’s King James Gospel)

Darius Garland
2021-22 (CLE): 21.7 PPG, 8.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 46 FG%, 38 3PT%, 89 FT%, 58 TS%. 19.0 PER, 6.3 WS

He is an agile, skilled playmaking point guard that improved immensely, and his strong offensive skills enabled him to make his first NBA All-Star team this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Jarrett Allen had a really good season with the Cavaliers this year, and he too, made his first All-Star team in the NBA.
(Photo:
Matt York/Associated Press, via Akron Beacon Journal)

Jarrett Allen
2021-22 (CLE): 16.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.3 BPG, 68 FG%, 10 3PT%, 71 FT%, 70 TS%, 23.0 PER, 8.5 WS

He did a great job of playing on the interior, and he made his first All-Star team this year.  He was a very efficient rim runner, and he played very good defense this season.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Evan Mobley had a terrific rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers this year.
(Photo:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, via Fansided’s King James Gospel)

Evan Mobley
2021-22 (CLE): 15.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.7 BPG, 51 FG%, 25 3PT%, 66 FT%, 55 TS%, 16.1 PER, 5.2 WS

He had a very good rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He did a great job of playing on the interior, and he was very close to winning in the Rookie of the Year race.  He got hurt late in the year, as that probably made him slip to second in the extremely competitive ROY race behind the equally very good Scottie Barnes, who proved to be more durable this year (Barnes played 5 more games and almost 300 more minutes than Mobley), but Mobley played very well for the Cavs, and he looks to be a cornerstone player for their franchise.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars (4 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Collin Sexton
2021-22 (CLE): 16.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45 FG%, 24 3PT%, 74 FT%, 52 TS%, 11.2 PER, -0.1 WS

Sexton is a very athletic, playmaking combo guard that plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He didn’t shoot the ball very well nor get many assists when he played this season, and he ended up only playing in 11 games before going down to a knee injury, which caused him to miss the rest of the year.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Isaac Okoro
2021-22 (CLE): 8.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48 FG%, 35 3PT%, 77 FT%, 59 TS%, 10.4 PER, 4.2 WS

He is an athletic, energetic swingman tat plays for the Cavaliers.  Okoro had a solid season this past year.  He shot the ball much better, and he also really improved his playmaking and defense for the Cavaliers this season.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars (3 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Kevin Love
2021-22 (CLE): 13.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 43 FG%, 39 3PT%, 84 FT%, 59 TS%, 19.6 PER, 5.7 WS

Love had a terrific bounce back season, and he did a much better job of shooting and defending when he was on the court this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Lauri Markkanen
2021-22 (CLE): 14.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 45 FG%, 36 3PT%, 87 FT%, 58 TS%, 14.7 PER, 5.0 WS

He provided the Cavs with shooting and versatility, and he gave them a tall, frontcourt lineup that could match up to a lot of different lineups.  He didn’t quite shoot as well as he did last year, but he still had a solid season, nonetheless.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Caris LeVert
2021-22 (CLE): 17.0 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.7 RPG, 44 FG%, 32 3PT%, 76 FT%, 53 TS%, 15.1 PER, 2.2 WS

He is an athletic swingman that provided scoring and playmaking skills for his team, but he didn’t shoot or defend particularly well this past season.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Other Notable Players:

Cedi Osman

He played much better, and he really improved as a shooter and defender this past season.

2022 Season Grade: B+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Dean Wade

He had a solid season, as he excelled as a floor spacer and defender before going down to a knee injury late in the year.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Moses Brown

He is a journeyman center that played fairly well as a rim protector in limited minutes in the NBA this year.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Rajon Rondo

He really struggled for the Lakers this season, as he shot the ball horribly for them, but when he was traded to the Cavaliers, he played considerably better for the Cavs this year.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team

Other Players on the Roster:

Dylan Windler

He played very good defense and played a personal best 50 games in the NBA this year, but he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well as he did when he was a rookie, and he’s missed a lot of time due to injuries over the past three years.

2022 Season Grade: D+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

RJ Nembhard

He didn’t play much in the NBA, but he played well in the G-League.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Brandon Goodwin

He is an end of the bench player that shot the ball well in limited minutes.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Lamar Stevens

He is an end of the bench player that provides hustle, motor, and grit for NBA teams.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Cleveland Cavaliers

Ed Davis

Davis is a journeyman center that currently is an end of the bench player that provides hustle, motor, and grit for NBA teams.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Head Coach:

Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach, J.B. Bickerstaff had a very good season, and he led them to 44 wins in the regular season, which was far more than anticipated this year.
(Photo:
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press, via News 5 Cleveland)

J.B. Bickerstaff
2021-22 (CLE): 44-38, missed the playoffs

He did a great job of coaching his team this past season, and he helped double the win total this year compared to last year.  Bickerstaff got his team to win 44 games, he helped a couple of players make All-Star teams, and they were awfully close to the playoffs this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Jarrett Allen
F Evan Mobley
F Isaac Okoro
G Collin Sexton
G Darius Garland
_________________
C Kevin Love
F Lauri Markkanen
G Caris LeVert
14th Overall Pick
F Cedi Osman

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#14, #39, #56

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
45-37, 6th in the Eastern Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:
The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t likely to have any cap space to work with, so they’ll have to maneuver through the draft and/or by way of trades.  They had a solid team this year, but they could use scoring and a backup point guard to add more depth to their roster.  They also could look to make an upside pick if they wish to swing for the fences, as the player that they select may not have to step in right away for next season.

Overall, the Cavaliers had a very good season, and they have a very good group of core players for next year. They will have to decide if Sexton is part of that core too, as he’s been a promising scoring combo guard, but has been oft-injured and has missed considerable time over the past two seasons. Otherwise, they could explore trades to see what they can get back in return. Either way, the Cavaliers won a lot more games than expected this year, and with the nucleus of Allen, Mobley, Garland, and Sexton, they could continue to improve and become a solid playoff team sooner than later.

I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes.  Thanks for reading.

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