The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly established a timeline for their rebuild regarding when they’d like to return to the playoffs.
“The Cavs have studied every rebuild over the last 10 years,” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “The complete teardowns. Ones with a more methodical approach. The not-quite rebuilds (Indiana, Charlotte, Milwaukee). They’ve tried to learn from other teams’ successes — and failures.
“The goal was to get a general sense of when teams decided to press the go button, what assets to collect, how to best use cap space, which peripheral maneuvers were most beneficial and how long the pain would last.
“They found a median of 4-5 years, defining success as getting back to the playoffs.”
The Cavaliers most recently made the NBA playoffs in the 2017-18 season, which was LeBron James’ final year with the team. Since his departure, Cleveland has suffered through three consecutive losing seasons.
The Cavaliers do have a very solid foundation in place. Collin Sexton, 22, and Darius Garland, 21, look like they are ready to become Cleveland’s next two stars.
Sexton is coming off of a 2020-21 season in which he averaged 24.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from deep.
Garland’s 2020-21 campaign showed major signs of growth, as the second-year player averaged 17.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from deep. All of those statistics were improvements over his rookie season.
If the Cavaliers hope to meet their goal of returning to playoffs within four to five years, they are going to have to crack the postseason no later than the 2022-23 season.