NBA

Ranking the Cleveland Cavaliers from five against the rest of the NBA

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Garland-LeVert-Markkanen-Mobley-Allen came in at No. 11 in Bleacher Report’s ranking of the NBA’s 30 planned starting rosters.

CLEVELAND — The NBA draft has come and gone, the Summer League has come to an end, and rosters are beginning to edge closer to where they will eventually be when the league closes the 2022-23 season on Oct. 19.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers ended last year’s campaign wondering what could have happened after a storybook first half was slowly faded by a series of injuries to key players before finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference, ultimately losing to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks in the play. -in tournament.

RELATED: Cleveland Cavaliers unveil new uniforms for 2022-23 season

The NBA’s offseason has certainly not been without fireworks over the past few months. All-Stars on the move, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving likely leaving Brooklyn, and draft picks that won’t be selected until your newborn is in kindergarten being traded as teams look to each other. rush to the top of the NBA.

The Cavs haven’t been quiet either. While many teams looking to take the next step in their development traded assets well into the second half of this decade, the Cavs selected four-year-old college starter Ochai Agbaji from Kansas with the final lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They also brought back fan-favorite veteran guard Ricky Rubio, brought in Raul Neto as backcourt depth until Rubio was recovered from a torn ACL, bolstered the depth of their front court with center Robin Lopez and signed All-Star point guard and budding superstar Darius Garland. the biggest contract in team history.

RELATED: Report: Cleveland Cavaliers Sign Darius Garland to Maximum Five-Year Rookie Extension

So where does that leave the Cavs for the 2022-23 season compared to the rest of the league? According to Bleacher Report, their off-season roster and moves put them in a very good position to build on last year’s early success.

The Cavaliers, with a projected starting five of Darius Garland-Caris LeVert-Lauri Markkanen-Evan Mobley-Jarrett Allen, came in at 11th in Bleacher Report’s ranking of the NBA’s 30 projected starting rosters and No. in the East. Conference.

The Cavs’ starting five ranked ahead of teams like the Dallas Mavericks (12), Atlanta Hawks (13), Miami Heat (15), Toronto Raptors (16) and Toronto Bulls. Chicago (18).

The only teams ahead of them in the East are the Boston Celtics (2), Philadelphia 76ers (3), Brooklyn Nets (6, so far) and Milwaukee Bucks (9).

What is the X factor?

It’s no surprise that the young core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen turned heads and demanded respect after the jump they all made last year. However, it was budding sophomore superstar Evan Mobley who believed heavily in the Cavs’ potential.

Mobley has the potential to be a true franchise game-changer and the full effects of what his game can bring to this team on the field are nowhere near being fully realized.

The top of the NBA looks really wide open. Does that mean the young Cavaliers are ready to compete in this space next year? Probably not. But they also don’t have many teams to skip, as the balance of power in the NBA over the past four or five years has shifted significantly from the Eastern Conference to the West.

A new core, a new identity and even a new look. The Cavs’ presence in the Eastern Conference playoff picture seems destined to stay here for a long, long time.

He may even be strong enough to convince an old friend from Akron to come back for the last race. The best part about it? If it’s not ultimately meant to be, unlike 2014, we’ll still have a lot to look forward to.

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