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Cleveland Cavaliers Win Total 2019-2020

Cleveland Cavaliers Win Total: 24

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a quiet offseason thus far, operating in stark contrast to an NBA gone mad with superstar signings and mega trades that have dramatically altered the landscape heading into the 2019-20 season. The Cavaliers started the offseason by hiring John Beilein as their new head coach.

The basketball coach will be one of the oldest rookies in NBA history next season at age 66 after a 42-year coaching career that spans back to three years as a high school coach in western New York and extends through a 12-year stint at the University of Michigan that included two trips to the NCAA Tournament championship game.

Cleveland is in transition,
potentially looking to deal its last remaining veteran star in Kevin Love, who
along with Tristan Thompson are the only two pieces remaining from the team
that won the franchise’s lone NBA title just three years ago.

General manager Koby Altman has been quiet this offseason, with the total of his offseason signings being to add an undrafted free agent on a two-way contract. Not exactly signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving or trading for Paul George or Russell Westbrook.

No, instead it appears Altman is content to let Beilein enter Year 1 of his NBA coaching career with some intriguing young pieces, a few veterans to provide leadership/salary-floor insurance and likely a whole lot more losses before things turn around.

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Selecting Darius Garland at No. 5 overall

Darius Garland

Darius Garland has an NBA roots. He is the son of journeyman 1980s-1990s point guard Winston Garland, and his ceiling appears to be very high.

After he was the 15th-ranked recruit
in the country in 2018, Garland went to Vanderbilt University, where his
freshman season was short-circuited by a torn meniscus in just his fifth
collegiate game.

The injury didn’t hurt his draft
stock and after the Cavaliers fell from No. 3 to No. 5 overall with some
unlucky bounces in the draft lottery, Garland was there for Cleveland.But here’s the rub: Garland plays the very same position, point guard, as does 2018 first-round pick Collin Sexton, the player taken with the pick acquired from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving deal two summers ago.

Both Sexton and Garland were high-usage players in college and neither did a lot of passing first. As a rookie last season, Sexton had a 25.2 percent usage rate and chucked up 14.7 shots per game to go with just 3.0 assists a night. But Sexton, just a 33.6 percent deep shooter in his lone season at the University of Alabama, shot the 3-ball at a 40.2 percent clip.

In his five games at Vanderbilt,
Garland took 54 shots — 23 from 3-point range — and recorded only 13 assists
against 15 turnovers.

While the Cavaliers may envision
Sexton and Garland as a 2.0 version of the Portland Trail Blazers‘ dynamic
backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, it may end up more like a smaller
replica — both Sexton and Garland are just 6’2”, so it could be shooting
practice for opposing guards.

Garland was on the Cavaliers’ roster at the Las Vegas Summer League earlier this month but did not play. By the time the preseason opens, Garland will have gone nearly 10 months since his last competitive game, the Nov. 23 loss to Kent State during which he went down just two minutes into the game.

So he’ll have the rookie learning
curve and a lot of rust to shake off, while either learning how to play off the
ball or helping Sexton do the same.

This grade could go up if Garland and Sexton figure it out, but going small in the backcourt at a time when wings just keep getting bigger seems like a defensive disaster waiting to happen.

Selecting Dylan Windler at No. 26 overall

Another year, A former UCLA Bruins taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. But Dylan Windler, the 26th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers — with a pick acquired from the Houston Rockets in a three-way deal with the Cavs, Rockets and Sacramento Kings at the trade deadline in February — is not one of those Bruins.

Instead, Windler is the first player ever drafted from the Belmont Bruins after averaging a double-double as a senior and shooting a solid 40.6 percent from deep in his four-year career there. Windler will become just the second player from Belmont — Ian Clark being the other — to play in the NBA and Summer League sessions in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, Windler showed some promise.

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A 6’7” wing who needs to add some
pounds to his 200-pound frame, Windler played in six of Cleveland’s eight games
at the two venues, averaging 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 22.8
minutes per game on 41.8 percent shooting overall, hitting 34.5 percent on 4.8
3-point tries a game.

The numbers didn’t jump off the
page, but Windler looked like he belonged and he had just six turnovers in six
Summer League games — an extremely low number given teams are comprised of guys
still wearing “Hello, My Name Is … ” stickers.

He was a sneaky good rebounder at Belmont, averaging 10.8 per game as a senior after grabbing 9.3 per contest as a junior in 2017-18. As a No. 26 overall pick, Windler looks like a kid who could stick around a while as a functional wing.

Acquiring Kevin Porter Jr.

The Cleveland Cavaliers added a
third first-round pick to their roster a week after the draft, sending four
previously acquired second-round picks and cash to the Detroit Pistons to get
the rights to 30th overall pick Kevin Porter Jr. from USC.

Porter was one of the most
polarizing players entering the NBA Draft, with projections having him as high
as the middle of the first round and as low as late in the second.

Porter’s physical tools are undeniable. His on-court demeanor is what is in question. He played in just 21 games as a freshman at USC last season, suspended after a confrontation with coach Andy Enfield after missing six weeks with a thigh bruise.

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