Cover Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


[In the 30 days leading up to the season opener, we'll preview all 30 NBA teams, from Tanking Teams to Lottery Leaders to Warriors Wannabes. Tanking Teams are fighting for the No. 1 pick. Lottery Leaders could make the playoffs, or they could land in the lottery. Warriors Wannabes are title contenders. Then there are the Warriors in a league by themselves. Team 21 in our preseason rankings is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Check back every day for previews of every team in the NBA followed by our complete preseason rankings.]

Key Losses: LeBron James. This one is pretty simple, James leaving the Cavs alters the entire landscape of the team, the city, and the Eastern Conference. No other departures matter when you lose the best player on the planet. 


Key Returners: Virtually the entire roster outside of LeBron James. Depending on how you look at this, it can be viewed as a good or bad thing. They are returning the majority of a roster that went to the NBA finals last year, but conversely, they only made the finals because of the one player that just walked out the door for Hollywood. 


No one on the remaining roster outside of Kevin Love has been more than a role player in their career. A few have been very good role players at times (JR Smith), but not one of them has been a true star outside of Love and it remains to be seen if Love can return to that form once again in the post-LeBron era.


Key Additions: Collin Sexton and Sam Dekker. Dekker is just another role player to add to the list. Sexton is supposed to be the future though. Highly touted out of high school and then the Univerisity of Alabama, Sexton was taken with the No. 8 overall pick to be the successor to Kyrie Irving in Cleveland and the foundation of the team's impending full rebuild. 

 

X-Factors: Sexton is the X-factor because at this point no one else is probably part of the team's long-term plans. Sure, Love is a great player, or at least he can be, but will he be there in three or four more years? Probably not. All the other younger guys like Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, and Larry Nance Jr. are all young enough to enjoy longer careers in Cleveland, but they are all replaceable. 


The unfortunate reality for this Cavs team is they have to tear it down and do a full rebuild, and they are either the only ones who haven't realized it or aren't willing to admit it.


Betting Odds: The Cavs' over/under team win total for the season is 30.5 games and their odds to win the NBA Championship is tied for worst in the league at +55000.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.