After an offseason that saw the Cleveland Cavaliers go big-name hunting in the trade market, the early returns of that have been positive.
The Cavs were somewhat of a surprise team in 2021-22, which saw them finish with a 44-38 record, ultimately good enough to compete in the play-in round. With young players making the jump and the team boasting some strong veterans, the Cavs pounced in the offseason, acquiring Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.
Mitchell is scoring at a torrid pace, leading the Cavaliers with 30.1 points per game. In addition to what would be a career-high average, he’s also shooting the best he has from the field, with a .505 field goal percentage. It’s hard to say if that is sustainable for a career .444 shooter. Still, he has made some adjustments, and there are options surrounding him in Cleveland that can take defenses away.
The acquisition of Mitchell hindered the Cavs’ depth, but they still have six players averaging more than ten points per game. Mitchell has led the charge, but Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are two youngsters that are elevating their games.
Mitchell gives this team a bonafide superstar, coupled with the young players developing around him, have the Cavs are 12-6 and third in the Eastern Conference. Even with an impressive record, there’s room for this team to improve and make a run at one of the top two seeds in the East.
This team can grow throughout the season and be more dangerous when the postseason hits, so their futures odds are something to consider.
Cavaliers Futures Outlook
When looking toward the futures market with only an 18-game sample, take note of a team’s ability to take another step when the games start to matter. Mitchell has shot a smidge below his regular shooting percentage in the postseason, averaging 28.3 points per game under those circumstances. He will clearly be the focal point when the games begin to matter. With a supporting cast that can grow into more prominent roles, there’s reason to be bullish about the Cavaliers and their odds of winning the Eastern Conference. They currently own the third-shortest odds at +700, behind the Milwaukee Bucks (+230) and Boston Celtics (+240). There are concerns about their inexperience, but the Cavs have a roster that can do damage in the playoffs, so there’s value in backing their current price.
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