The Cleveland Cavaliers ended the 21-22 season 8th in the Eastern conference with a winning record of (44-38). The Cavaliers nearly made the playoffs but lost the final play-in game to the Nets. The Cavaliers blew everyone away this season when expectations for this team were dangerously low, draft kings put the Cavs wins total over under at 26.5.
Cleveland looks to build on this momentum by addressing their team needs and building off their strengths into next season. One of the biggest questions their front office will face is whether or not to re-sign Collin Sexton.
The Cavaliers were exceptional on the defensive end largely due to their starting front court Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Evan has shown he has the potential to be one of the leagues best rim protectors recording 115 blocks (8th in the NBA) over the course of the regular season.
Jarrett signed a 5-year/$100 million dollar contract to start the season, which seemed like a stretch for a big man who lacked production on the offensive end. However, Jarrett proved last season he can be efficient on both ends of the floor posting a field goal percentage of 67.7% (2nd in the NBA) at the end of the regular season.
Cleveland’s off-season needs
Darius Garland had a phenomenal break out season averaging 21.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. Darius also averaged 35.7 minutes per game which needs to change next season if they want to avoid wear and tear on their all-star point guard.
Ricky Rubio was thriving in the back-up point guard slot until he suffered a devastating ACL tear in Late December, sidelining him for the rest of the season. The Cav’s then recruited Rajon Rondo from the Lakers but he never seemed to mesh with Cleveland’s second unit.
Cleveland needs to recruit a reliable back-up point guard this off-season to lead the second unit and take some pressure off Darius. Bringing back Rubio after he rehab’s his injury seems like the most obvious decision but injuries to older players can be problematic.
Should Cleveland Re-Sign Collin Sexton
If Collin Sexton did not tear his Meniscus at the start of the season, it’s quite possible he would of already signed a long-term extension. Now with the emergence of Darius, the Cavaliers front office is hesitant to sign Sexton to a long term deal.
It has been recently reported by NBA insider Michael Scott of the HoopsHype podcast, that Collin Sexton wants “Starting guard” money. In other words, Collin Sexton wants to get PAID.
With Garland entering the last year of his rookie contract next season, the Cavaliers should leave Sexland in the past and sign Garland to a long-term deal. Both guards have showed they prefer the ball in their hands to score and with the addition of Caris LeVert it just doesn’t make sense to sign another “Starting guard”.
Garland has showed he has a lot of potential last season, it would be a shame to have his growth stunted by adding another primary ball handler to the starting lineup. Cleveland will also have ample opportunity to address their team needs having the 14th, 39th, and 56th picks in the NBA draft.
Collin is still a great player and will get paid this off-season but not by Cleveland. There are several other teams like the Knicks, Pistons, and Wizards that could better use his talents.