Jul 6, 2023 - Sports

Breaking down the Cavs' stellar offseason

An offseason of excitement. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

​​The Cleveland Cavaliers have relied on subtle moves during a stellar offseason so far.

Why it matters: The New York Knicks dominated Cleveland in the 2023 NBA Playoffs in what had been expected to be a close series.

  • A starting small forward and an improved bench should make Cleveland a true contender next season.

What they did: The Cavs re-signed sixth man Caris LeVert and improved the bench by adding free agent guard Ty Jerome and trading for Utah Jazz center Damian Jones.

Zoom in: The Cavs used their second-round NBA draft pick on Emoni Bates, once considered the country's best high school player before off-court issues hindered his college career.

  • The hope is Bates can still reach his initial potential and prove to be a steal of the draft.

Meanwhile, Eastern Conference contenders the Heat have lost key players, the Milwaukee Bucks must break in a new coach, and the Philadelphia 76ers are set to lose James Harden.

Yes, but: The Boston Celtics got stronger by adding Kristaps Porzingis.

💭 Troy's thought bubble: With better role players, the key now is Darius Garland. I think he could be a better all-around player than Donovan Mitchell.

  • Call me crazy, but the Cavs remind me of the 1973 Knicks, who won a championship behind Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.

💭 Sam's thought bubble: My heart aches for Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens, whom the Cavs traded in the Strus deal, but I can't deny the shooting upgrade.

  • Plus: I don't know how many minutes Jerome will play, but I love that we snatched him from the Golden State Warriors.

What's next: The Cavs could still trade center Jarrett Allen, but president of basketball operations Koby Altman seems happy with the team's roster.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Cleveland.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Cleveland stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Cleveland.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more