The Cavs start the season on Wednesday in Orlando. Opening Night is on Saturday against Indiana at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
There were plenty of moans and groans when the Cavs selected Garland with the fifth overall pick in June’s NBA Draft. Some are worried about his size and lack of experience, while others wonder how he's going to fit with the rest of the roster?
The 19-year-old will have his ‘welcome to the NBA’ moments, but that won’t stop him from being one of the top rookies this season. He’s arguably the Cavaliers’ best shooter and his teammates rave about his feel for the game.
Some question his fit with Collin Sexton, but it’s a non-factor when it comes to Garland’s potential. He has natural passing ability and instincts that compliment Sexton’s game, which means the duo should work well together – at least on offense.
This is more about the rest of the NBA than it is the Cavaliers. There will be an organization that thinks it’s one piece away from making a deep playoff run. Portland, Indiana, Boston, Miami and Houston are all teams that could be interested in Love.
If Altman gets the right offer that includes a mix of young pieces and a potential future star, he’ll have to make that move. The Celtics would likely offer a package built around Gordon Hayward.
Pat Riley and the Heat are always in win-now mode. Daryl Morey won’t hesitate to make a splash in Houston if he thinks Love is the missing piece for the Rockets.
Jordan Clarkson, Tristan Thompson, John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova and Brandon Knight are in the final year of their contracts. The Cavaliers will look to trade their contracts to a contender, in hopes of adding future draft picks.
One of these vets will end up sticking around past the deadline and ultimately sign a long-term deal with the organization. Dellavedova is the safe bet. He’s a perfect role player that can help Sexton and Garland’s development. He’s a fan favorite and shouldn’t cost much to retain in the offseason. There’s a chance he starts on opening night in Orlando, which speaks to his leadership and what Beilein thinks of him.
This team will have some highs, but the interest will stem from the young players and their development. Combine that with the veterans that will be on the move at the deadline and there will be storylines all season long. Unfortunately, storylines won’t result in wins. This team is at least a year away from reaching the 30-win mark.