While training camp looms at the end of September, the Cavaliers will reportedly move the ball much sooner. According to cleveland.com’s reporter Terry Pluto, both Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. plan on holding a mini-camp for Cleveland’s young roster before training camp commences.
“Kevin Love and [Larry] Nance are planning a voluntary mini-camp for players in a few weeks, Pluto said.
While the mini-camp report was published as “voluntary,” the majority of Cleveland’s players should attend. With the youth on this particular Cavaliers roster, any opportunity to build camaraderie, especially before official camp begins, will be important.
Starting his sixth season in Cleveland, Love will dodge several trade rumors, during and after training camp. Veteran leaders like Love are few and far between. As this Cavaliers roster continues to grow, this type of leadership is desperately needed. Love and Nance Jr. will provide plenty of it.
How can this benefit the rookies and sophomores?
During the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cavaliers selected potential cornerstone pieces: Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. All of these selections came in the first round. The Cavaliers reportedly spent a record amount of money to acquire the pick used to select Porter Jr. According to WKYC in Cleveland, Porter Jr. was voted “as the biggest deal” in the draft.
In short, Cleveland nailed all three draft selections. The sophomores, including Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman, should continue to improve their games as well. While it’s technically Osman’s third season in the league, it’ll be his second in terms of meaningful contributions and starter-caliber minutes.
On a team like Cleveland, there shouldn’t be elevated pressure to succeed as soon as the 2019-2020 season tips off. Even if there was pressure, the young guys like Windler surely won’t feel it yet.
“I wouldn’t say I feel the pressure yet. I try not to set too high of expectations for myself since it’s my rookie year. But, I’ll do everything I can every night to get better and do the things I can to contribute to the team,” Windler told Forbes.
Since the pressure is off on Cleveland’s young talent, they should get ample opportunities to develop without the added spotlight.
This mini-camp will be this young core’s first time together as a team. While it can’t be said every Cavalier will be in attendance, the rookies and sophomores, as well as those fighting for a final roster spot or two, will surely be there.
Veteran leadership is integral
A voluntary mini-camp hosted by Love and Nance Jr. won’t include any of the Cavaliers fresh, innovative coaching staff, but it helps to build team chemistry in advance. Even without the talent other Eastern Conference teams will possess this season, team chemistry is an integral component in any organization. If this mini-camp succeeds, the Cavaliers could see a positive start to their training camp and regular season debut.
Entering his second full season in Cleveland, Nance Jr. continues to take strides forward. In 67 games last year in Cleveland, Nance steadily improved his jump shot ability, providing the Cavaliers with a 52% field-goal percentage. His points, rebounds and assists increased.
With Love and Nance Jr. at the forefront of Cleveland’s “renaissance,” the organization should see remarkable improvement from last season.
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