The Cavaliers will not be good in 2019-2020.
That is not news; it is simply a fact.
With depression out of the way, the Cavaliers offer tremendous upside moving forward, just not in the upcoming season. The guard duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland looks exciting and explosive as both can score the ball and shoot the rock with excellence. While Garland only played five games in college, he seems to be an ideal pair for Sexton as they can alternate playing on-ball and off-ball. Neither is a pure point guard, but together, they should be able to create enough offense for Cavaliers, at least when both players escape the learning years.
Sexton had a transformation that would make the Cleveland Browns jealous. Before the All-Star Break, Sexton had a serious argument of being the worst player in the history of the NBA. Despite his effective three-point shooting, Sexton was poor. However, as soon as the calendar flipped to February, Sexton played like a borderline All-Star. Sexton averaged over twenty points per game, recording a stretch of games which saw him score no fewer than 18 points in a game for 15 games. While it is alarming that a point guard recorded a total of one double-digit assist game, there is some potential for Sexton to develop into a better facilitator.
Garland is certainly an enigma due to one glaring box score number: five games played. While a certain former Cavalier lottery pick had an abbreviated freshman season turn into a rookie of the year campaign (hint, Kyrie Irving), it is simply unrealistic to anticipate that Garland explodes as a rookie. Most small guards have a difficult transition to the NBA. Expectations are low in the present, but Garland has enough athletic talent and basketball potential for the Cavaliers to risk the fifth pick on the Vanderbilt prospect.
The Cavaliers are loaded with other young talents such as Cedi Osman and Larry Nance, but neither player has notably high potentials. Osman should be an effective wing for the next decade, flashing some ball-handling and perimeter shooting mixed with some solid defensive effort. Nance is a high-energy player who has been working on his jump shot in recent years. As of now, Nance is a rim-running big man who works hard on defense and the glass.
With the Cavaliers waiving JR Smith, the next cog to fall might be Kevin Love. Love does not have significant trade value, but he may be able to net a first-round pick or a young potential player. Tristan Thompson could be moved, but it is doubtful that the Cavaliers would find a package worth accepting.
With new head coach John Beilein, the Cavaliers will look to establish a winning culture based around the three-point shot. Sexton and Garland can shoot, as can the other two first-round draft picks that the Cavaliers made in Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter. Osman has a workable jumper. Jordan Clarkson, another potential move, has been an effective scorer at times, but he has an unreliable three-ball.
The Cavs will likely only win 20 games, but they should have some exciting moments mixed in with the garbage. The Cavaliers are playing the long game in their quest for a second NBA title.