Considering how much the Cavs are banking on players they’ve already drafted, internal improvement is going to be massive for them over the next few years. For three-point shooting specifically, here are a few candidates to improve whenever the Cavs play basketball next.
Sexton is already a good three-point shooter — 38% overall, 42.1% on catch-and-shoot threes, 35% on pull-ups, per nba.com — and him staying at this level would be a good thing. This is not the area where he needs to improve.
But Sexton could. Summer/mid-pandemic/any workout tapes posted to social media aare to be taken with a grain of salt, but it appears that he’s been working on extending his range a few steps back beyond the arc. If that becomes a thing, it absolutely can push him up another level as a scorer on and off-ball.
(Side note: Him working out to Wale’s Ambition, which rules, is so on-brand that it’s good.)
Garland is an eye-of-the-beholder player. Some say that his rookie year — which admittedly wasn’t great — is a sign that he was a mistake at No. 5 overall. Optimists (and the Cavs) will give him something of a pass considering he was out for a year-plus before he debuted in the NBA. And when you go back to his draft profile, his shooting ability and deep range were considered two of his better attributes. In fact, a knock on him was that he settled for jumpers too often instead of driving hard to the rim. With the Cavs, were he drive more, it might help others generate more open three-point looks. Plays like this should become a big part of what the Cavs have Garland do. This is part of how he can get to making a real impact on the game vs. being just a guy on the floor.
One interesting note about Garland: his three-point volume and percentage varied month to month. It’s hard to know what to do with that or what it says about him. Year two should provide clarity.
Kevin Porter Jr.
Of any of the Cavs’ young players, Porter Jr. arguably has the most upside as a creator. He’s also a willing shooter — FiveThirtyEight has him on the high-end of three-point volume among rookies. There’s room for him to be some kind of offense hub who takes step-back and cross-back three-pointers when the Cavs just need someone to get a bucket. There were flashes of this — notably when he dropped 30 points on the Heat — in his rookie season. There’s definitely something to be had there.
Like Garland, there’s room for the Porter Jr. to create more for others too. The Cavs are big believers in his passing ability and wanted to give him more playmaking reps before the season was halted. Expect to see that if the Cavs play in a second NBA bubble and/or when the 2020-21 season starts.
In his senior year at Belmont, Windler was a 42.9% three-point shooter with on 7.1 attempts per game. He was also a 84.7% fee throw shooter, a strong indicator that he’ll be a good three-point shooter at the NBA level.
In summer league — which should be taken with multiple grains of salt — Windler showed that he was comfortable shooting at NBA range and beyond. That’s valuable.
Can he defend? No idea. Is there any secondary creation upside where he could be something like Donte DiVincenzo is for the Bucks? No one really knows. But Windler can shoot. The Cavs like him and might have had him ahead of Porter Jr. last season had he not gotten hurt. But shooting is how Windler will contribute as the Cavs what else he can do.