Many believed the Cleveland Cavaliers would eventually want to tank next season, including myself. It was previously reported by Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon that general manager Koby Altman did not want to trade Kevin Love, but that seemed like coach speak. It wasn’t just public relations, though.
The Cavaliers and Love agreed last week on a four-year, $120 million contract extension (putting his total current contract at $145 million), per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst. With that being the case, the onus is now on Larry Nance Jr. to boost his game. That would further complement Love and Cleveland’s backcourt.
Cleveland’s big man rotation for next season likely consists of Nance, Love, Tristan Thompson, and Ante Zizic. Barring a number of significant injuries, two-way signing Billy Preston will spend most of his time with the G-League affiliate Canton Charge. If Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue is realistic, he’ll have Nance playing starting minutes.
The jury is out on Thompson. He’s not much offensively in terms of point production and playmaking, and he’s not the athlete Nance is. Nor is he only 21, as is the case with Zizic. Nance is a focal point of Cleveland’s future, so he needs the game reps, especially with Love. The first area of improvement for the 25-year old is expanding his scoring repertoire.
Next Up: Score More Off the Catch and at the Free Throw Line