The Cavaliers want Darius Garland to become more of a team leader as he enters his third NBA season, writes Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Garland has emerged as a dynamic offensive player and appears to be part of the foundation for the rebuilding Cavs. He earned an invitation to the Select Team that scrimmaged the U.S. Olympic squad over the summer and appeared in exhibition games with Team USA.
“That’s my whole goal this year,” he said. “And then just try to make it as easy as I can for some of the young guys that we have, even though I’m still a young guy. But I’m going to my third year, so I’ve seen a lot, played a lot of games. Just try to do some of the little things that make everybody successful.”
There’s more from Cleveland:
- Collin Sexton was reportedly on the trade market this summer, but the Cavaliers weren’t able to find the type of return they wanted, Russo states in the same piece. Sexton will be eligible for a rookie scale extension through October 18, and although general manager Koby Altman refused to talk about negotiations, he said the team hopes to be able to work something out. “We want him here long-term,” Altman said. “And he wants to be here long-term. We’re certainly working with his representation to see that through. But this is someone that’s been with us since the start of this thing, in terms of where we’ve been the last three years. And we love him; we want him here long-term. We’ll deal with that sort of behind closed doors. But the feelings are mutual in terms of something long-term.”
- Kevin Love hasn’t talked to Altman or coach J.B. Bickerstaff about his role, but he’s expected to play fewer minutes per game, Russo adds. The team’s top priority for Love will be to keep him away from injuries after he missed 47 games last season.
- Denzel Valentine is eager for a new challenge after spending the past five years in Chicago, Russo tweets. The 27-year-old guard signed a two-year deal with the Cavs last week. “I believe in myself. I believe in my abilities,” he said. “It’s been up and down, but I feel like the best basketball is ahead of me. I’m finally getting healthy, finally coming into my own, getting my routines down and I think it’s only up from here.”
- The Cavaliers plan to be patient with rookie big man Evan Mobley, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “We will be cautious of too much, too soon, but I think his game is going to dictate what too much is,” Bickerstaff said. “We don’t want to put the weight of the world on his shoulders. We’re building this team and then talent always rises to the top.”