The Cleveland Cavaliers enter the 2015-16 season with one goal in mind—winning the NBA championship.
General Manager David Griffin has iterated that the Cavaliers will return much of the same core that led the team to the NBA Finals last season. He stated the following during the team’s end-of-season press conference:
“We’re incredibly excited about moving forward with this group…we intend to keep this group together.”
For the most part, Cleveland has done that this offseason. LeBron James, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, James Jones and Timofey Mozgov have all been re-signed to new contracts. Veteran swingman Mike Miller exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season
While there are several pieces from last season that have yet to be re-signed, the Cavaliers largely return the same nucleus from last season.
There will be a couple of new pieces added to the equation with a slight shuffling of the starting lineup for the 2015-16 season.
Without further ado, here are your 2015-16 Cavaliers.
Starter: Kyrie Irving
Reserves: Mo Williams, Matthew Dellavedova
Kyrie Irving will enter the 2015-16 season as the starter at point guard, and barring injury, will end the season as the starter at the position.
During the first season of the new “Big Three,” Irving established him as a great No. 2 offensive option behind James. Despite playing his four seasons in Cleveland as the primary scorer and ball handler, Irving adapted to being a secondary option and he did it well. The 23-year-old averaged 21.7 points and 5.2 assists on a career-high 41.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Though he was considered the No. 2 option, Irving stepped up and acted as the primary option when needed. While facing the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, he scored a franchise-record 57 points in a 128-125 victory.
Mo Williams was brought back to Cleveland, where he played from 2008 until 2011. The Cavaliers desperately lacked scoring from their guards off of the bench in the postseason, and Williams will be expected to rectify that problem. He becomes the primary backup at point guard to Irving.
Though Matthew Dellavedova has yet to be re-signed, he has received virtually no interest from other teams around the league. Dellavedova’s value lies primarily in Cleveland, where his many weaknesses can be masked while playing with such a stacked supporting cast.
Expect the Australian to re-sign in Cleveland for a reasonable price over three or four years. He’ll be considered the third point guard where he can play limited tough minutes as a pesky defender.
Next: Shooting Guard