Man, sometimes creating a title Google will like has some unintended consequences…but the Cleveland Cavaliers, winners of 19 games in 2018-19 and in possession of a second-year player who just put up the third-worst advanced-stats season in NBA history (measured by VORP), are not good.
The question here isn’t will they make the playoffs or indeed be in contention after Thanksgiving. The question is whether they’re going to win the 24 games (tied with Charlotte for the lowest over/under on the board) required to pay the over bets.
Whether that happens will depend mainly on whether Collin Sexton and his minus-2.1 VORP (and minus-0.6 Win Shares) will develop the way De’Aaron Fox did in Sacramento after his catastrophic rookie year or whether Sexton is actually just a garbage player who has no business occupying an NBA roster.
Considering that minus-2.1 VORP is the third-worst season in NBA history (but curiously wasn’t even the worst VORP last season; Kevin Knox‘s minus-2.2 VORP was, and both men trailed only Michael Olowokandi‘s beyond Thunderdome awful minus-2.6 in 1999-2000), you can guess where I think this is going, but let’s get to it officially.
2018-19 record: 19-63
2019-20 over/under: 24
Good: Sexton hit 40.2 percent of his 296 three-point attempts in 2018-19.
Bad: He does absolutely nothing else well on a basketball court.
A point guard, he averaged 3.4 assists and 2.6 turnovers per 36 minutes.
A 6’2” perimeter player, he grabbed just 3.3 rebounds per 36.
His DBPM was minus-3.7, worst in the entire league among players with at least 2000 minutes.
His overall BPM was second-worst ahead of only Knox, the only player with a greater argument for biggest bust of the 2018 draft (although if it counts, Sexton was drafted eighth while Knox went ninth, which if nothing else makes them the worst two consecutive lottery picks in NBA history.)
Sexton is also a mediocre finisher (57.0 percent from three feet and in), threw up a ton of bricks on aborted drives (31.1 percent between 3 and 10 feet out), posted a horrific .480 eFG% (seventh-worst in the 2000-minute club), and just generally stunk out the joint every way you can stink out the joint except for the 1.5 made threes a game.
And he’s supposed to lead the Cavs’ offense into the future. Yeah. Good luck with that. He’s not getting any better in 2019-20.
A Shambolic Supporting Cast
Nance the Younger put up .131 WS/48 on a 19-win Dumpster fire, good for almost five Win Shares by himself, he posted a legit solid 2.7 VORP, and he has a fantastic nose for the basketball on the boards, grabbing 17.1 percent of the available rebounds when he was on the floor.
He’s also a great rim finisher (72.8 percent inside three feet), a poor-but-improving three-point shooter (33.7 percent, up from a career mark of 29.5), and even not a total liability from the free throw line (71.6 percent.)
But below Nance…hoo boy…
Only three other Cavs on last year’s team posted a one-decimal-place VORP greater than zero. Of those, only Tristan Thompson (0.7) topped the 0.1 mark.
What is Cleveland supposed to do with this roster? Sexton’s not getting any better, Nance is going to attract attention from teams looking to add a sixth man for a draft pick or two (and the Cavs might bite on that chance to build a Process), and anyone who’s been on this team long enough to have once called LeBron James a teammate is showing why that 2018 squad that went to the Finals might’ve bested the 2007 team for the worst team LeBron ever dragged to the championship round.
I don’t know how this is possible, but a 19-win team does not look any better than it did in a season in which 63 times, they fell in defeat.
Where are the five wins coming from to make the over? Sexton’s development? Kevin Love coming back from the dead? Matthew Dellavedova taking Sexton’s starting job and doing to the NBA what Australia did to the USA in international play ahead of the FIBA World Cup?
Cleveland looks worse than the Knicks. They look like they’re going to win 15 or 20 games and not even get to the lowest over/under in the league.
The Cleveland Cadavers look dead. It’ll be a wild season to dissect when it’s all done. Busted. Under. Garbage fire.
NEXT: Chicago Bulls.