clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cavaliers outlook heading into 2023 offseason

The Cavaliers have been eliminated from the postseason. Here’s how they look heading into the offseason.

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five
Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers stands on the court during the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 26, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. New York defeated Cleveland 106-95 to win the series 4-1.
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers were considered a sneaky bunch heading into the 2023 NBA playoffs but promptly got eliminated in five games at the hands of the Knicks. Cleveland’s defensive effort wasn’t enough to stop New York, and its offense sputtered for most of the series. Here’s how the Cavaliers shape up heading into the offseason and what decisions they’ll have to make ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

2022-23 season recap

After adding Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz, the Cavaliers looked like one of the best teams in the NBA for most of the first half of the season. Defense was the calling card for Cleveland, with Mitchell, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley all elevating their play. They weren’t quite able to hold on against the best of the East but they kept pace with that group and were likely hoping to get hot at the right time.

Unfortunately, the offense went cold. Mitchell and Garland could never put together a good game, and Jarrett Allen was getting dominated by opposing bigs on the glass. The Knicks simply outperformed the Cavaliers in every aspect of the game and thus, won in five contests.

2023 offseason priorities

Caris LeVert is a free agent, and the Cavaliers would probably like to bring him back. Garland’s mega extension kicks in next year, and he’s a good fit with Mitchell. The two will be able to grow together and should figure out how to play better with each other after a full offseason of work. Mobley should keep improving, especially on offense.

The key question is with Allen, who has three more years on his deal. He’s a strong interior defender but when he’s getting outworked, he provides no value. His offensive game is non-existent and the Cavaliers have to wonder if a $60 million commitment is worth it. The team also has to make decisions on the fringes with players like Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro and Ricky Rubio. Cleveland needs some overall depth but the current bench might be changed entirely.

The core of Mitchell, Garland and Mobley is staying put. LeVert probably gets a strong offer from Cleveland as well. The big decisions will be about Allen and the bench squad.