2019 Draft, Pick #5 - Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

Dr. Gymbo

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People in places are saying Garland has a soft touch around the rim.

I have not seen this to be the case. Certainly can improve though. But hype machine in full effect. If there’s one place I see him struggling, it’s around the rim.
Agreed. For the second coming of Stephen Curry mixed with Kyrie Irving, the hype machine seems to be in maximum overdrive.

I can’t help but feel like we are going to be in for a huge disappointment from this kid. Plus the negative impact his presence will have on Sexton has me concerned. But I certainly hope I’m wrong.
 

J_J

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We will have struggles but we need to be patient (sometimes that is tough for some cavalier fans). I believe Sexton and Garland can work. I do not expect it will change in the span of a year as this year is more about development and gaining trust with each other and playing basketball to our strengths and helping each other.

For the first time in many years we have a coaching staff who I feel very comfortable to develop players offensively and defensively.

It is going to be fun watching players move without the ball, pass, find the open man, and shoot with ease. We have more talent now - just need some athletic wings - wish we got a player like Grant Williams or Siakam.

I love Garland’s game and I believe Sexton and Garland have heart and talent to help each other. Just need those athletic wings.
 

1B4IGO

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Great post JJ. I feel exactly the same. I think patience will be the key to next season. We tend to expect instant results and some deliver like Luka but some develop like Trae Young, using a couple examples from last year.

I am looking forward to this season now that we have a coach a what could be a plethora of young talent.
 
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The Human Q-Tip

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I still believe it is possible to build a decent defense around Sexton and Garland... Boston did it with IT and Bradley and Portland with Dame and CJ.

The challenge the Cavs will face is how much do you sacrifice to build a good defense around those two? If you can find two good defenders that are also 35%+ 3pt shooters as well as a rim protector, then you have a great start. But, that is not easy, and moreover...
We'll end up sacrificing offensive contributions at other positions to find defenders able to cover for the defensive weakness of our backcourt. That'll make us much more dependent on our backcourt to carry the scoring load...which is exactly what happens in Portland.

And we still won't be able to switch very often on defense.
 

jking948

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We'll end up sacrificing offensive contributions at other positions to find defenders able to cover for the defensive weakness of our backcourt. That'll make us much more dependent on our backcourt to carry the scoring load...which is exactly what happens in Portland.

And we still won't be able to switch very often on defense.
Sure, but I do not know that, from an offensive standpoint, having most of your offense generated from your backcourt is all that unique... This past year, Houston, Portland, Brooklyn, Boston, and Indiana all operated this way.

Now, sure, nobody recently has won with an undersized backcourt... but over the last twenty all but three title teams was either a superteam or had the best active player in the NBA. Ultimately, it is unlikely to win a title anyways, but it clearly is possible to build a good playoff team with the majority of your offense being generated from your backcourt.

I have said this before, but I have far less of an issue with the Garland pick than with the glut of guards and poor defenders surrounding our two lottery picks. It is only year two of the rebuild, so I fully accept that this may change, but it will most likely be a problem this season.
 

AllforOne

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Sure, but I do not know that, from an offensive standpoint, having most of your offense generated from your backcourt is all that unique... This past year, Houston, Portland, Brooklyn, Boston, and Indiana all operated this way.
To say nothing of the closest thing we've had to a dynasty the past few years. Until KD beta'd his way there in 2016, Golden State's offense came primarily from the Splash Brothers.

Having an all-6'2" backcourt isn't ideal. Neither is having a 6'0" QB, but most Browns fans seem to have made their peace with that one. It doesn't mean it can't work, especially depending on how the roster gets developed around them.
 

jking948

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To say nothing of the closest thing we've had to a dynasty the past few years. Until KD beta'd his way there in 2016, Golden State's offense came primarily from the Splash Brothers.

Having an all-6'2" backcourt isn't ideal. Neither is having a 6'0" QB, but most Browns fans seem to have made their peace with that one. It doesn't mean it can't work, especially depending on how the roster gets developed around them.
Yep, and winning is hard. Over the past thirty years, only ten different teams have won the title, and five of them won with a similar core every time (Bulls, Lakers, Spurs, Warriors, and Heat). Basically, you have to find a superstar, and then build a core around that superstar that can last for an extended period of time.

The likelihood that a lottery pick will lead your team to a championship is so small that it fits in the error term. The goal should be to build a core that can lead to a competitive roster every year while maintaining assets/space to quickly form a title team.
 

AllforOne

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Yep, and winning is hard. Over the past thirty years, only ten different teams have won the title, and five of them won with a similar core every time (Bulls, Lakers, Spurs, Warriors, and Heat). Basically, you have to find a superstar, and then build a core around that superstar that can last for an extended period of time.

The likelihood that a lottery pick will lead your team to a championship is so small that it fits in the error term. The goal should be to build a core that can lead to a competitive roster every year while maintaining assets/space to quickly form a title team.
That's actually a very underrated point. Quite a few fans seem to think that there is a path to building a championship winner. There's no such thing. There cannot be by default -- a championship is an unusual/extreme outcome, so by definition, there isn't going to be a clear method to achieving it. All you can do is build the best team you can, and have it in position to win it all when their window arrives.

Oh, and if you can happen to be located in the hometown of one of the three or four best players ever, and have him want to play out his prime years in that hometown, that really helps too.
 

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Sure, but I do not know that, from an offensive standpoint, having most of your offense generated from your backcourt is all that unique... This past year, Houston, Portland, Brooklyn, Boston, and Indiana all operated this way.
The issue is not just having most of your offense generated from your backcourt. If you just happen to have great backcourt players who usually generate most of the offense simply because they are so good, but you do have real offense elsewhere when needed, that's not a problem. The issue is having questionable backcourt defense and been too reliable on your backcourt for scoring. You become vulnerable on the defensive end, and more susceptible to being schemed against on the offensive end - particularly when defenses tighten up later in the playoffs and teams need legit offensive options at the other 3 positions.

Lillard and McCollum are a great offensive backcourt. They also gave up 110.9 PPP last year when on the floor together. Portland tried to compensate for their poor defense, and they did that by doing exactly what people are saying we should do here: "surround them with strong defenders on the wing." Well, that's exactly how you end up starting guys like Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu at the forward positions. Their defense is essential because of Portland's weakness in the backcourt, but they're basically like having two pseudo-Tristan Thompsons on the floor at the other end. You're playing 3 on 5 to some extent.

I'm not going to bitch about the draft pick because of BPA and all that. But I think trying to pound our two square pegs into one round hole as a long-term backcourt is a bad strategy.

One of those guys needs to be moved before next season.
 

thedarkness2332

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The issue is not just having most of your offense generated from your backcourt. If you just happen to have great backcourt players who usually generate most of the offense simply because they are so good, but you do have real offense elsewhere when needed, that's not a problem. The issue is having questionable backcourt defense and been too reliable on your backcourt for scoring. You become vulnerable on the defensive end, and more susceptible to being schemed against on the offensive end - particularly when defenses tighten up later in the playoffs and teams need legit offensive options at the other 3 positions.

Lillard and McCollum are a great offensive backcourt. They also gave up 110.9 PPP last year when on the floor together. Portland tried to compensate for their poor defense, and they did that by doing exactly what people are saying we should do here: "surround them with strong defenders on the wing." Well, that's exactly how you end up starting guys like Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu at the forward positions. Their defense is essential because of Portland's weakness in the backcourt, but they're basically like having two pseudo-Tristan Thompsons on the floor at the other end. You're playing 3 on 5 to some extent.

I'm not going to bitch about the draft pick because of BPA and all that. But I think trying to pound our two square pegs into one round hole as a long-term backcourt is a bad strategy.

One of those guys needs to be moved before next season.
I agree that one will more than likely be moved at some point, but I don’t think there’s a strict timeline to do so.
 

jking948

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The issue is not just having most of your offense generated from your backcourt. If you just happen to have great backcourt players who usually generate most of the offense simply because they are so good, but you do have real offense elsewhere when needed, that's not a problem. The issue is having questionable backcourt defense and been too reliable on your backcourt for scoring. You become vulnerable on the defensive end, and more susceptible to being schemed against on the offensive end - particularly when defenses tighten up later in the playoffs and teams need legit offensive options at the other 3 positions.

Lillard and McCollum are a great offensive backcourt. They also gave up 110.9 PPP last year when on the floor together. Portland tried to compensate for their poor defense, and they did that by doing exactly what people are saying we should do here: "surround them with strong defenders on the wing." Well, that's exactly how you end up starting guys like Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu at the forward positions. Their defense is essential because of Portland's weakness in the backcourt, but they're basically like having two pseudo-Tristan Thompsons on the floor at the other end. You're playing 3 on 5 to some extent.

I'm not going to bitch about the draft pick because of BPA and all that. But I think trying to pound our two square pegs into one round hole as a long-term backcourt is a bad strategy.

One of those guys needs to be moved before next season.
I just do not buy your last point... I also believe Portland exhibited poor team-building strategies the summer after the Cavs won the title, and that has stuck them with bad, unmovable contracts. With all of that said, had Nurkic been healthy, Portland may have been able to beat a KD-less Warriors. And, even if not, they've made the playoffs every year and just got beat in a conference finals. It is not like those are bad outcomes.

Houston has been dependent on its backcourt for over 75% of its offense over the past two years. They also came closest to beating beating the healthy Warriors.

I get your point... if neither Garland or Sexton develop into net-neutral defenders, it becomes exceedingly difficult to win a title. I would also posit that having two offensively-dominant guards poses an advantage against teams with one poor defensive guard. Being able to target an opponent's weakest defender is valuable. This leads me to my final point...

Saying we need to trade one of them before next season, no matter what, is short-sighted and based on an idea that we need to have a competitive team sooner than later. In reality, if the two look good offensively, let them continue to play together, build value, and when an opportunity to transform the team emerges, then you trade that player (OKC with Oladipo, Toronto with DeRozan, etc.).

Now, if it starts looking like a Dion+Kyrie pairing, then I 100% agree, the Cavs have to move one sooner than later. I think - based on your posts - you believe that is the most likely case. That's fair, and if you're correct, then we have made a grave mistake.

I just hold the opinion that Garland has shown potential, Sexton obviously has shown potential, and we should at least see what they look like together this season before demanding trades.
 

AllforOne

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Lillard and McCollum are a great offensive backcourt. They also gave up 110.9 PPP last year when on the floor together. Portland tried to compensate for their poor defense, and they did that by doing exactly what people are saying we should do here: "surround them with strong defenders on the wing." Well, that's exactly how you end up starting guys like Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu at the forward positions. Their defense is essential because of Portland's weakness in the backcourt, but they're basically like having two pseudo-Tristan Thompsons on the floor at the other end. You're playing 3 on 5 to some extent.

I'm not going to bitch about the draft pick because of BPA and all that. But I think trying to pound our two square pegs into one round hole as a long-term backcourt is a bad strategy.

One of those guys needs to be moved before next season.
It looks like Darkness and JKing have already responded, and I don't want this to come off as piling on. Especially because your take is a good one. I may not agree with it, but I see where you're coming from. Your position makes sense.

That said -- I'd caution against assuming that the best case scenario for Sexton/Garland will look like what Dame and McCollum have done in Portland. Why can't they be better? Or at least different? Yes, they probably will struggle at the defensive end -- but will those struggles be the same as the Blazers? And with what should be at least one more lottery pick next year, and perhaps a couple more as they continue their rebuild, can't the Cavs surround Sexton/Garland with more complete players than Aminu and Harkless?

You're saying that we should pound square pegs into round holes. I'm saying: let's see what we have, and not just assume that they are square pegs. Maybe they'll turn out to be round ones after all.
 

Nathan S

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Just want to chime in to say that McCollum was a credible SG defensively coming out of college. Very solid rebound/steal/block numbers for his position, even accounting for the weak competition. Measured 6'2.25" in socks and 197 pounds. If he was an inch or so taller he wouldn't be undersized at all.

Nothing about Sexton's profile, in contrast, suggests any potential to play SG defensively. It's just blind fantasy.
 

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A big wing who is a great defender and acceptable on offense is one of the most valuable player types in the modern NBA so it won't just fall into our lap.

Picking Garland when we already had Sexton to me signaled a long rebuild because I'm not sure I can see those two as the starting backcourt of a top team, for defensive reasons alone, unless they end up Dame/McCollum levels of good (and even then it is a question since as Nathan points out McCollum can actually defend). So it feels like we are in the "rolling tryouts" stage of initial rebuilding where you gather a lot of players and see who is good, as opposed to the "building a competitive team" phase.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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Saying we need to trade one of them before next season, no matter what, is short-sighted and based on an idea that we need to have a competitive team sooner than later.
No, that's not my idea at all. As a matter of fact, I made this point precisely because some other people are trying to consider "fit" around those guys right now, which I consider a bad idea. My point is that despite the claim that "we're just in asset accumulation and not worried about fit", it seems like that's exactly what some people are considering right now in terms of building a team around those two guys:

@Los216 said: (can't embed because that old Everything Cavs topic was locked)

The last thing is our roster construction. The lack of defense and talent on the wing is very concerning. I know more moves are sure to come but it sort of feels like we’re making things difficult on how we’re building. I know there was some people saying taking on 3 rookies would be a lot and I agree it could be challenging to maximize their development but we’re making it harder having all of them being primarily offensive players who don’t play in the front court. The fact that the team views Cedi as more of a bench player should mean that we need another wing or at least a more talented one than what we have.

There was a few guys available this summer who we probably could’ve easily taken a flyer on. RHJ, Stanley Johnson, Josh Jackson, Moe Harkless. Those guys aren’t world beaters but they were available and they fill a need. I think we’re creating an obvious hole on the wing and I’m not ready to say it’s similar to what we did 2011-2014 but I don’t understand it.
Nothing fancy here, but I’d like to see the Cavs try to flip John Henson to the Clippers for Moe Harkless. We really are short on wings, especially wings who can defend with our small guards. Harkless fits that bill.
Now, I know that Harkless is only under contract for one more season, so they may just be a considering him a temporary bandaid rather than a potential building block. If true, that's fine. But I also suspect there would be a "re-sign Harkless because he's the kind of guy you need with Garland and Sexton" argument emerge by mid-seasons. After all, if he's a good fit for this season, why not moving forward?

So, to sum up...I'm okay with hanging on to Sexton and Garland for awhile. What I'm not okay with is trying to build a roster around them to compensate for their weaknesses when I consider the prospects of their long-term viability as a backcourt duo to be so low.

Obviously, for those who have a much different opinion of their prospects as a long-term pairing, my point is worthless.
 

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