The Cavs will make a lot of noise this season, but they’re not title contenders yet

The Cavs immediately went into rebuild mode when LeBron James left Cleveland to go to Los Angeles to join the Lakers after the 2018 season. In the first two years post-LeBron, the Cavs won 19 games in each of those seasons, and in 2020-21, Cleveland won only 22 games, but along the way, they started to gather assets. They added Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. Those guys helped lead the Cavs to a 44-38 record last season and a berth in the Play-In Tournament.

However, Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman felt the team needed another piece, and this offseason, they got a big piece when they acquired three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. 

With the addition of Mitchell, the expectations are very high in Cleveland. Some believe this team can compete for a championship, while others believe they’re still a year or two away.

Let’s take a look at the 2022-23 Cleveland Cavaliers:


At this point, we know at least four of the starters for Cleveland: Garland, Mitchell, Allen, and Mobley. Regarding the small forward spot, it appears that it might be Caris LeVert. Obviously, the backcourt of Garland and Mitchell is going to be explosive. Both Garland (21.7 ppg)and Mitchell(25.9 ppg) averaged over 20 points a contest last season. This season, which is exciting, Cleveland will have two guys that can get their own shot at a high level.

Mobley(15.0 ppg on .508 shooting from the field), who was the Rookie-of-the-Year runner-up last season, says he’s expanded his game on the offensive end, and we all know what he can do defensively(1.67 bpg). In addition, Allen( 16.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg, & 1.3 bpg) is another rim-protector and a guy who played well on both ends to become a first-time All-Star last season.

If LeVert, who was acquired by the Cavs before last season’s trade deadline, is the starter, he’s a guy who had an entire training camp with the team, which should be beneficial. Also, it’s a contract year for LeVert, so he’ll be motivated. If they decide to start Isaac Okoro at the three, they’ll have another solid defender on the court. The key for Okoro, who will get open looks, is being able to hit those open looks, and last season, from Feb. 9-April 10, Okoro was 23-50 (.460) from deep, which was the 10th-best three-point percentage in the NBA over that span. Obviously, he’s not going to shoot it that well from three-point range, but if he gets to the high 30s in terms of three-point percentage, that would be good.

This could be one of the better starting lineups in basketball, and if they’re healthy, it could be terrifying for opposing teams.


The Cavs should have a solid bench. Kevin Love(13 ppg and 7.2 rpg) was a 2021-22 Sixth-Man of the Year finalist and should be able to do the same this season. Ricky Rubio is back and hopefully will be available by December. He was a difference-maker before he went down with a torn ACL last season. While Rubio is away, Raul Neto will probably log some of those backup point guard minutes. Armed with a three-year contract extension, Dean Wade will give the team depth at forward spots, and Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens are solid pieces off the bench. Robin Lopez will be the backup center, and he should be an upgrade over what they had last season. 


J.B. Bickerstaff has established himself as a decent coach in the NBA. He has the respect of the players and was a big reason this team improved last season. This season, the pressure will be on Bickerstaff and the Cavs to win, so it should be interesting to see how Bickerstaff handles the team.


The Cavs could be better and still be in the Play-In Tournament. That is how good the Eastern Conference is this season. In no particular order, you have the 76ers, Bucks, Celtics, Heat, Nets, Bulls, Hawks, and Raptors, who all should be good to very good teams this season. However, the Cavs will be very good this season, but they are still young.

Last season, they won 44 games, and the addition of Mitchell should will improve that number, but if the first-round matchup is not favorable, which is very possible in the East, Cleveland could go out in the first round.

In the end, the Cavs win 52 games and lose in the second round of the playoffs. This team is still a year or two away from being true title contenders, but the future is bright in the Land. 

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