Chris Manning (@cwmwrites): For starters, I think there’s no way this team is actually good — the playoffs the pipe dream of all pipe dreams. As the players and coaches have all said in the last week or so, the season is about a lot more than wins and losses. That means that Kevin Love is healthy and good, Collin Sexton takes a step, Darius Garland looks like a keeper, etc. For the 2019-20 Cavs, this season is all about having the future of the franchise take steps forward and, even if there are flaws in their games, look like something for the Cavs to work with as they try to get good again. Winning 25-30 games, keeping the top-10 pick and heading into the summer with an optimistic view of the future is all the Cavs can ask for.
Justin Rowan (@cavsanada): The best case for the Cavs would obviously need to involve several best case scenarios for the various players hitting. From Love, Thompson and Nance each playing 70+ games while looking like the best versions of themselves, Osman and Sexton continuing to develop, and maybe even two of the rookie make the All Rookie team. In the extremely unlikely scenario where all of that occurs I could see this team sneaking into the playoffs. That being said, I feel like this team is going to win 27 games which is probably already on the optimistic side of things. The Cavs had a top-15 offense last season with Love on the floor and he never had the chance to play while in game shape. I think this is a more talented team, but it’s lacking experience. They’ll likely be fun-bad, but how good they are will depend on the health and play of the veterans more than anything else.
David Zavac (@DavidZavac): The Kevin Love and Darius Garland show takes off and the fun season a lot of people seem to expect really comes to fruition. Collin Sexton takes a mini-leap defensively while maintaining his higher-efficiency play from the end of last year, and there are no impromptu press conferences called to assure fans that he does in fact get along with Garland. The three man big rotation of Love, Thompson, and Nance actually turns out to be above average around the league as their various skills complement each other in positive ways. At least one of Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler, and Kevin Porter, Jr. impress. At least one of the Cavs many expiring contracts nets a decent asset.
CM: I think the Cavs’ season would start going off the rails if John Beilein doesn’t work as a coach and the offense just never clicks in a way that makes you think that the system is going to work. At the same time, the defense (which probably won’t be good) doesn’t really improve and doesn’t come together in a meaningful way. The whole experience, with way more lows than highs, just puts the whole franchise in a weird spot next summer, even if they are going to have another lottery pick in June. The worst thing that could happen is that the Cavs invest in culture and structure all year and it ends up being all for naught.
JR: Love gets hurt, the rookies struggle with consistency and end up appearing further away from contributing than anticipated. John Beilein struggles to connect with the team and they take a step back in terms of developing a positive culture and identity outside of the shadow of LeBron James. The team then trades Kevin Love for a late pick with no proven talent coming back in return and despite finishing with the best lotto odds for the second straight year, the Cavs fall out of the top four slots.
DZ: Darius Garland does not show the ability or hints of the ability that made him a top prospect. Collin Sexton reverts to the type of play we saw from him last December. Kevin Love does not play his way into trade value, which would mean he’s probably not helping much on the court. John Beilein proves to be a little too rigid for the NBA and its culture.