While there might be questions of what the final product of Stevens looks like, one thing is for sure. He has that dawg in him.
Heading into the season most positions for the Cavaliers have a ton of depth in most spots. The Cavs, however, have a lot of options vying for those wing minutes. There is a seven-foot sized hole left behind by Lauri Markkanen. With all the minutes up for grabs it could result in whoever is showing the most to J.B. Bickerstaff and the coaching staff earns the minutes remaining.
HT/WGT: 6’6 230 lbs
Stats: 63 GP, 13 GS, 16 MPG, 48.9% FG, 6.1 PTS, 2.6 RBS, 0.7 AST, .5 SPG
Stevens’ case for minutes is based on his tenacity and the effort he countlessly displays on the floor night to night. While he is not the most gifted offense player that Cavaliers have at the wing, he still deserves to be in the conversation had for the Cavs’ wing battle. With a 6’8 frame and an ability to body up opposing players on defense, he provides certain skills other wings outside of Isaac Okoro cannot match.
Stevens’ offensive game has undergone changes throughout his tenure on the Cavaliers as well. At Penn State, and in his first season in Cleveland, Stevens relied on the mid-range to generate most of his offensive looks. Over the following years we have seen him more likely to attack the rim and generate a lot more of free throw opportunities. Stevens has also shown a willingness to increase his three-point attempts as needed despite it being a flaw in his game currently. The coaching staff this offseason stressed to Stevens that they would like him to focus on the three-ball in order to keep defenses honest and round out his game.
If Stevens can get his average from three from 28.1% to even a 32% clip that would open things up for Stevens and make him less one dimensional at least a little big. Stevens, however, needs to increase that attempts per game as well. One three-point attempt a game is not going to cut it. Hopefully, this season Stevens doesn’t feel that the hook can pull him off the floor at a moment’s notice as volume is the key for Stevens to unlock more of an offensive potency.