The Cleveland Cavaliers had a very nice offseason both in the draft and free agency. In the draft, the Cavs used their first pick to draft forward Anthony Bennett, a guy who can score in bunches. Via free agency, the Cavaliers added the second-best center in the NBA when healthy, Andrew Bynum. The Cavs also made some under-the-radar signings, most notably the addition of Jarrett Jack.
Jack had a very impressive debut with the Cavs, getting a lot of playing time in the first half due to foul trouble for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving. In 23 minutes off the bench, Jack put up 12 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor with three assists and only one turnover. He also seemed to be a calming presence for the young Cavaliers’ squad. Jack was the only consistent scorer early in the game, carrying the Cavs offensively in the first quarter.
In 2012-13, Jack averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 assists while playing 29.2 minutes per game for the Golden State Warriors. Jack was signed to be the backup point guard for the Cavs, providing a huge upgrade over last year’s backup Shaun Livingston. Last season with the Cavs, Livingston averaged just 7.2 points and 3.6 assists in 23.2 minutes per game.
Thanks to the very productive offseason the Cavs had, the team now has much more depth than they had in 2012-13, especially at the point guard position. Led by Irving, Bynum, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson with Jack, Bennett and Dion Waiters filling solid roles on the team, the Cavs should be able to finish as a fifth or sixth seed in the Eastern Conference this season.
That is, if the team can stay healthy – something it hasn’t been able to do in quite some time. Irving, Varejao and Bynum have all developed reputations of being injury-prone in their careers, and depending so much on them to stay healthy is a dangerous game for the Cavs to play. The upside is there for this Cavs team, but the downside could be very bad.