30 Teams in 30 Days – #22 – Cleveland Cavaliers

Owner Dan Gilbert’s claim that the Cavaliers would win a championship before LeBron James isn’t looking like such a great prediction anymore (not that it ever was). The good news about bottoming out post-LBJ is the Cavs wound up with a point guard who might be better than Chris Paul. I’m well aware that sentence may be completely sacrilegious is some circles. But despite his Duke affiliation, I am completely onboard the “Kyrie Irving is the best young player in the NBA” bandwagon.

I’m not wild about the rest of the team around him. I think the organization has completely Kahn-ed two out of three lottery picks in the last two drafts (sans the obvious Irving pick, of course). I’m not a big believer in either Tristan Thompson or Dion Waiters. I think Tyler Zeller has the size and ability to be a nice NBA backup.

Anderson Varejao is obviously the second best player on this team. When healthy, he’s one of the top energy guys in the entire league. Offensively, he’s limited, but any team in the league would be more than happy to take Anderson Varejao on their team.

Dion Waiters just seems like a huge gamble. I could be wrong on this (hey, first time for anything!), but I don’t think he’s going to be top 5 impact kind of guy. When you watch him, you can see some D-Wade and Eric Gordon in his game, but I think you are most certainly getting the poor man’s version. If Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, or Andre Drummond don’t wind up better than Waiters, I’ll eat crow. It felt like a huge reach at the time, though. I can’t exactly bury them the same way for the Tristan Thompson pick because there just weren’t guys there.

The rest of the team is made up of so-so pieces (Daniel Gibson, Alonzo Gee, Samardo Samuels, and a guy who I suspect will be a “Who He Play For” candidate for Charles and Kenny next year Donald Sloan

Biggest question mark

Can anyone else on this team besides Kyrie Irving provide some offense?

Predicted season scenario

Irving is going lead this team to 5-10 more wins that they should with this lack of talent. However, if he were to struggle coming back from his injury this summer or get re-injured, it could be dark days once again in Cleveland. In some aspects, though, another top 5 draft talent might be needed so this team doesn’t wind up as another team good enough to make the playoffs, but not talented enough to ever do anything.

Predicted Record: 29-53

More Previews
#23 – Washington Wizards
#24 – Phoenix Suns
#25 – Toronto Raptors
#26 – Houston Rockets
#27 – Sacramento Kings
#28 – Orlando Magic
#29 – Detroit Pistons
#30 – Charlotte Bobcats