Cleveland Cavaliers Rookie Spotlight

Cleveland Cavaliers Rookie Spotlight

David Marrinan-Hayes
3 years ago
2 min read

Watching the Cavs these days can sometimes be a questionable way to spend time. The real fans will always tune in, but as the losses to subpar teams pile up, some fair-weather folks may be getting tired of seeing the product that the team is putting out.

Let’s dive in and talk about the play of the team’s rookies over the past week.

Dylan Windler

There are no updates on Dylan Windler at this time. He’s still having knee issues, and it is unclear if he will be back this season. Given that he missed his entire first year in the league and got hurt during his NBA debut earlier in the year, this has got to be frustrating.

Here’s to a quick recovery.

Brodric Thomas

Unless Cleveland loses every game for the next two weeks, Brodric Thomas’ playing time will likely continue to be minimal. He got his opportunity a month or so ago when the team was short-handed, but now he’s just riding the bench and playing garbage time minutes.

Thomas is a capable shooter and defender, but Taurean Prince, Isaac Okoro, and Cedi Osman all sit ahead of him on the depth chart. Unless that changes, he’ll continue to just serve in mop-up duty. He’s had some good moments since coming to the Cavs, though.

Lamar Stevens

We already know how dynamic a player Lamar Stevens is. He can defend anywhere from 1-5, despite being undersized in some situations. He’s proven his ability to catch the ball and get the team a basket from time to time. He was rewarded with a multi-year deal last week, something he has most definitely earned.

Steven’s minutes are all but gone with Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. back, but his impact has been huge. The game-winning dunk against Atlanta earned him some notoriety a few months back. But at the end of the day, it’s the hustle and putting the team first that has him in this position.

He’s the second-best rookie on the team this season.

Isaac Okoro

The heart and soul of the Cavs team this year; it has been a magnificent rookie campaign for Isaac Okoro. While the #5 pick in the draft hasn’t been a scoring machine by any standard, he has proven that he can finish around the rim and knock down the three-ball from time to time. He can defend as well as any young player in the NBA.

Every single night, Okoro has to guard the best player on the other team. He never complains, taking it all in stride. He had Steph Curry going 0-7 from three in the first half last week, during a stretch where he made 70 threes in just seven games. The fact that he contributed so greatly, so slowing the best shooter in the world down during a historic stretch, is saying something.

Okoro will not win Rookie of the Year but will likely earn a spot on one of the two All-Rookie teams. He is going to be a defensive nightmare for other guards for so many years. The Cavs have a good one.

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