The NBA season is almost here, and after an interesting offseason, there are new teams to look out for. There are teams who were once in a place of mediocrity, and now an NBA championship is within reach. One of those teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going into the 2022-23 season with the most buzz they have since the return of LeBron James. James returned to the Cavaliers in the summer of 2014. He made the announcement with an open letter where he told fans he “was coming home.” And when James returned, the Cavaliers were back in championship conversations. The 2014-15 Cavaliers made the NBA Finals in James’ return, but lost to the Golden State Warriors. However, James and the Cavaliers returned to the NBA Finals for the next three seasons. And in that time, the Cavaliers won the organization’s first championship (and the city of Cleveland’s first championship in 50 years). For Cleveland fans, this was a special moment, and as James yelled out “Cleveland, this is for you” after the game, the whole world saw how significant the win was for Cleveland. Championships no longer seemed like something out of a dream, and it looked like the Cavs could win another. But things changed.
After James’ departure from Cleveland, the Cavaliers were back in rebuild mode. They drafted Alabama guard Collin Sexton (who was known for Alabama’s 3-on-5 game) in 2018, and he was the first piece of their upcoming rebuild. The Cavaliers also went on to draft players such as Darius Garland (in 2019), Isaac Okoro (in 2020) and Evan Mobley (in 2021). Each of these players have established themselves as pieces of the Cavaliers core and will lead the Cavs to success for the next few years. And after the addition of Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers are potentially one of the best (young) teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. This piece will examine their rebuild (post LeBron’s second departure) more in depth and what NBA fans can expect from this team going forward. Here is a look at the Cavs’ rebuild.