Happy Tuesday, friends,
The first sip
This isn’t the main reason the Cavs will succeed or fail in the next few years — the development and progression of Evan Mobley and Darius Garland feel like the biggest driving factors of this era of Cleveland basketball. But don’t overlook the importance of depth.
Right now, the Cavs are not deep. With Isaac Okoro now out 2-3 weeks, Denzel Valentine (who wasn’t great anyway) and Dylan Windler looking like nothing, the Cavs are thin on the wing. And really, this team is not deep beyond a top-eight or so: Garland, Mobley, Okoro when healthy, Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love, Lauri Markannen, Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens, The last two are iffy certainly could be improved on. Rajon Rondo, in theory, makes this nine.
That is just not a deep team. This is not a roster built to survive COVID or injuries. Going forward, Cleveland supporting their core with more depth — either find through the draft or off the scrap heap a la Jae'Sean Tate in Houston — is going to continually be paramount.
That’s why someone like an RJ Nembhard or other G League signees matter. To maximize what it can be, Cleveland has to get those kinds of players to provide the roster depth it doesn’t have right now.
Tom Ziller in GMIB on the need to expand All-Star rosters. (Also: Some love for Garland and Jarrett Allen in there.)