Offseason Improvement Rankings: Central Division

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April 9, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) lays the ball in against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Cleveland 99-94. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

  • Cavaliers – Zachary Kolesar (Right Down Euclid) 

In the period between LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers and before the 2013 offseason, the Wine and Gold front office had spent $7 million on free agents. Right now, they are (possibly) paying their last signing, Andrew Bynum, more than $5 million more than that if he reaches or exceeds the team’s expectations. I am hoping it’s the latter, because this is the first time in a long time (even during the LeBron era) that the Cavs are going after (risky) big-time players in the free agency pool instead of sitting idly by and picking up (at best) Antawn Jamison. Before I get to the draft, the Cavs filled the next glaring hole after small forward in backup point guar by getting Jarrett Jack on board for four years at the most. He is a viable backup to Irving, as he averaged almost 28 minutes last season and shot over 40 percent from three. He also dished out over five assists per contest, so he was the most viable backup to Kyrie out in the market this offseason. Earl Clark is a bit of a tweener, but he could start significant minutes at small forward due to the lack of a starting-caliber small forward on the team despite an almost-filled roster.

The signing of Bynum and the depth at power forward makes Anthony Bennett’s selection at the No. 1 pick a confusing one. With Bynum and Zeller now the true centers on this squad, Anderson Varejao can now slide back to his homier position in power forward. Whether he’s coming off the bench behind Tristan Thompson or playing beside Bynum, I think either of those scenarios will work out great for Wild Thing this upcoming season. If Bennett doesn’t get the necessary minutes, he will be lost in the frontcourt sea enough for people to deem him a bust. Let’s not let this happen. Sergey Karasev, who is killing it overseas at the moment, could potentially becoming the starting SF if he can prove he can shoot at a higher rate and play better defense than Gee and Clark, which isn’t impossible. There are 12 solid members on the roster currently that could rotate in and out at any given time. This team is shaping up to become a dominant force in two or so years.

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