Cleveland Cavaliers Fantasy Basketball Season Preview

LeBron James finally wins one for the land and people’s first assumption is he’s going to take it easy during the upcoming regular season, to save himself for the playoffs. Yes, the same super-competitive player who got annoyed when people were referring to Steph Curry as the best player in the league. Something tells me he won’t be taking it too easy.

At the time of writing this, J.R. Smith has yet to re-sign with the Cavs (and still hasn’t put his shirt back on), but I’m going to assume he will, because it’ll be ridiculous if he doesn’t (re-sign, he can go shirtless for however long he likes).

Player Movement

Notable Ins Notable Outs
Chris Andersen Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Dunleavy Chicago Bulls
Timofey Mozgov Los Angeles Lakers
Matthew Dellavedova Milwaukee Bucks

Cleveland Cavaliers Depth Chart

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Kyrie Irving
Mo Williams
J.R. Smith
Iman Shumpert
Jordan McRae
LeBron James
Mike Dunleavy
Richard Jefferson
James Jones
Kevin Love
Channing Frye
Tristan Thompson
Chris Andersen

Rotation Player Projections

POS PLAYER USG MPG PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG% FT% TO
SF LeBron James 31.3 35 24.9 7.3 6.7 1.4 0.6 1.1 52 73.1 3.2
PF Kevin Love 23.4 32 16.3 10.1 2.4 0.8 0.5 2.1 41.9 82.2 1.8
PG Kyrie Irving 29.5 32 19.9 3 5 1.1 0.3 1.6 44.8 88.5 2.5
C Tristan Thompson 11.6 32 9 10.4 0.9 0.6 0.7 0 58.8 61.6 0.8
SG J.R. Smith 18.1 30 12.1 2.7 1.7 1.1 0.3 2.5 41.5 63.4 0.8
SG Iman Shumpert 13.2 24 5.7 3.7 1.7 1 0.4 0.8 37.4 78.4 1.1
SF Mike Dunleavy 14.4 20 6.3 2.4 1.1 0.4 0.3 1.1 41 78.4 0.7
PF Channing Frye 18.3 20 8.7 4.2 1.2 0.3 0.3 2 44.1 78.6 0.6
PG Mo Williams 22.9 15 6.8 1.5 2 0.2 0.1 0.7 44.1 90.5 1.2

Rise in Value

Tristan Thompson

With only Channing Frye as the only playable back-up big-man on the roster it’s hard to see Tristan getting less than 30 minutes a game, which should be enough to get him a double-double on most nights (don’t get your hopes up, I’m talking about the 10 point, 11 rebound kind). He doesn’t offer much in other categories, besides FG% and he needs to bring his block average up to at least 1 per game to be a decent draft option, but I’m confident he’ll get pretty close.

My only concern is the Kardashian curse not that he’s dating Khloe, but my wife assures me that isn’t really a thing.

Player Summaries

LeBron James Still Elite

I touched on this earlier, but LeBron James is still LeBron James, and I don’t see any signs of him taking a back seat to Kyrie now that he has won a championship in Cleveland. Sure, he’s more likely to be sitting out in back-to-back games, which Cleveland have 18 (tied for most in the league), but when he’s on the court it’s hard seeing him playing less than 33 minutes a game, unless it’s a blow-out.

Kevin Love Punt-blocks

I think we need to let go of the idea that Kevin Love used to be a 25 and 12 player in Minnesota, because he hasn’t played for the Timberwolves for the past two seasons. As of now, he’s a 16 and 10 player, who can get you 2 3PM a game and is a nice punt-block big-man. And that’s OK.

Kyrie Irving Punt-assists

Kyrie lit it up in the NBA finals, but he’s still a point-guard who doesn’t give you starting point-guard assist numbers. That aside, he’s a great punt-assist point-guard given his contributions to PTS, 3PM, STL and FT%.

J.R. Smith Deep League

At this point we know who J.R. Smith is, he’s a fantasy basketball 3&D specialist (3PM and STL), who can get hot in any given week and win you the three-point category on his own. He’s a fun player to own in H2H leagues, but he can hurt you in Roto formats. Ride the pipe at your own risk.


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