DK Nation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2022-23 campaign. Here we take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers, who look to take another step towards contending for a championship with a talented young core capable of being together for the foreseeable future.
Cleveland Cavaliers 2022-23 Outlook
Key additions: Donovan Mitchell
It’s not every day you get to add a young superstar without sacrificing a key piece in your roster. The Cavaliers gave up plenty to land Mitchell but none of the players they parted with were “untouchable”. Getting a proven playoff performer who should be motivated by a change of scenery is a coup for GM Koby Altman, who now potentially has the best young core in the NBA.
Key departures: Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji
Sexton missed most of last season with an injury, while Agbaji was the first-round pick Cleveland sent to Utah in the Mitchell trade. Markkanen had a few good moments but has never quite reached his potential and likely tops out as a rotation player for the Jazz. The Cavaliers have enough depth to make up Sexton’s production.
Expectations were already high before the Cavaliers traded for Mitchell. The minimum expectation now is likely to make the playoffs and win a playoff series depending on the matchup. Cleveland has the personnel to get this done.
Projected starting lineup
Mitchell will join All-Stars Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the starting lineup. The final spot will go to either Isaac Okoro or Caris LeVert, with the latter being the more likely choice. Cedi Osman could also be in the mix if he improves his defensive chops but LeVert likely gets the nod.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Evan Mobley
Mobley put up impressive numbers as a rookie, averaging 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. With defenses focusing on Garland and Mitchell, look for Mobley to get better matchups and take advantage. He’ll also likely start shooting from the perimeter more, as the Cavaliers try to maintain having him and Jarrett Allen on the floor at the same time. Mobley could be one of the breakout fantasy players if this offense is as efficient as expected.