3 areas where the Cavaliers should be drastically improved in 2023-24

The Cleveland Cavaliers made the 2023 NBA Playoffs without LeBron James for the first time this century last season but were eliminated in five games in the first round by the New York Knicks. Here's how they'll be better this year.
Apr 21, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) controls the
Apr 21, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) controls the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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After trading for Donovan Mitchell in the 2022 NBA offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers put together their first roster this century that was good enough to make the NBA playoffs without LeBron James. Some may have labeled the Cavaliers season a success just for making the playoffs, but after going out in a measly five games in the first round to the New York Knicks many believe the season brought more concern than joy.

For all the jokes made about Jarrett Allen's, "the lights were brighter than expected," comments after being eliminated. it was true. The Cavaliers folded as the New York Knicks attacked their most glaring weaknesses and never dug in and found a way to counter.

The paint remained clogged whenever Allen and Evan Mobley shared the floor due to their lack of shooting and spacing. This made life very difficult for Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, limiting their ability to knife into opposing defenses and draw them in.

Their wing depth was so bad that even Danny Green played 10 minutes per game in the playoffs. Isaac Okoro played 15 minutes per game and Cedi Osman played nearly 20 minutes per game. All due respect to those players, but that isn't going to cut it in April.

After their blockbuster trade last summer, the Cavaliers spent the 2023 NBA offseason improving on the margins. Here's where they should be drastically improved for the 2023-24 NBA season.

3. Max Strus and Georges Niang will greatly improve the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting

If you don't have knockdown shooters and are unable to adequately space the floor in the modern NBA, you're not winning anything. Last season, the Cavaliers had two good 3-point shooters on high volume: Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell. For as talented as these players are, they cannot drive and kick the ball to themselves. They need legitimate 3-point threats alongside them, especially if Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are going to continue to play together.

After Garland and Mitchell, the Cavaliers next best shooters were Caris Levert who shot 39 percent on 4.4 attempts per game, Cedi Osman who shot 37 percent on 4.1 attempts per game, and Isaac Okoro who shot 36 percent on just over two attempts per game. Even though Levert's and Osman's numbers are decent, they are not huge catch-and-shoot threats. They do not have the gravity of an elite shooter that will open the floor for Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen.

That's why the Cavaliers pursued shooting this summer. They went out and signed Max Strus from the Miami Heat and Georges Niang from the Philadelphia 76ers. Strus has shot 37 percent from 3 on over 1,000 attempts in his career, and Niang is widely known as one of the best knockdown shooters in the league. He's shot 40 percent on over 1,400 career attempts.

These two will feast on open looks for the Cavaliers next season, and in return will make life easier for Mitchell and Garland. Strus is also a decent defender, and Niang can be hidden on the defensive end thanks to Mobley's ability to comfortably defend wings. The Cavaliers have a great pair in Strus and Niang, and they could be two of the most underrated signings of the summer.