Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers add No. 1 Draft pick Anthony Bennett to their young core

2012-2013 record: 24-58

The youth movement continues in Cleveland. The team added another No. 1 pick in surprise selection in forward Anthony Bennett. He joins All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, the team's other No. 1 selection, former No. 4 picks Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, and former No. 17 pick Tyler Zeller.

Rebounding dynamo Anderson Varejao (who played just 25 last season but was recently cleared to play), guard C.J. Miles and forward Alonzo Gee also remain on the roster from last year. 

Role players Wayne Ellington, Marreese Speights, Shaun Livington and Omri Casspi were replaced by Warriors sparkplug Jarrett Jack (12.9 PPG, 5.5 APG and .404 3P% in 2012-2013), Lakers standout Earl Clark (7.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 2012-2013) and Andrew Bynum, who missed all of last year with the 76ers and settled for a relatively modest contract. He averaged career-highs of 18.7 PPG and 11.8 RPG with the Lakers in 2011-2012. No. 19 pick Sergey Karasav and No. 33 pick Carrick Felix should see limited minutes.

2013-2014 prediction:

Rehired coach Mike Brown has plenty of talented young guys at his disposal. The Cavaliers are not suddenly contenders, but if their main guys stay healthy, they should make a major leap forward. I can only hope that the core of Kyrie Irving (21), Dion Waiters (21), Tristan Thompson (22) and Anthony Bennett (20) stays together for a long time.

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