ESPN Future Power Rankings: Cavaliers’ Future Is Looking Better

Back in February, ESPN’s Chad Ford and John Hollinger released the latest (at that time) Future Power Rankings. For those unfamiliar, the FPR examines every team’s roster strength, cap situation, front office prowess, market desirability, and future draft picks to decide which teams have the brightest future.

In that installment, the Cavaliers jumped all the way from 29th in the previous version to 18th. Obviously that jump was mostly1 thanks to Kyrie Irving. Now that Irving has taken home Rookie of the Year honors and the Cavaliers added a couple more first round draft picks, the future in Cleveland should look even brighter.

Hollinger and Ford agree with that sentiment and they have moved the Cavaliers all the way up to 12th in today’s update to the Future Power Rankings:

It’s getting better, Cavs fans. After spending a season in the FPR basement following the loss of LeBron James, Cleveland suddenly sports one of the brightest futures of any team in the league.

Much of that has to do with the addition of Kyrie Irving. The top overall selection in the 2011 draft showed enough potential in his rookie season to make us believe the Cavs may have a future All-Star on their hands. The long-term futures of fellow second-year player Tristan Thompson and rookie Dion Waiters also look promising, and we believe Anderson Varejao still has enough juice to man the middle for the Cavs the next few seasons.

The team also has plenty of draft picks coming its way. The Cavs will likely have another lottery pick in 2013, and possibly again in 2014, and they own future picks from both the Kings and Heat.

They also have such a good cap situation going forward that we’ve ranked them second in money heading into the summer of 2013. Cleveland isn’t a top destination for free agents, but there’s no question the team has the flexibility to continue to add to its roster.

For the record, the Cavaliers rank 21st in players, 14th in management, 2nd in money, 20th in market, and 5th in future draft.

In many ways, the speed with which Dion Waiters gets in shape and acclimates to the NBA game will largely determine when the Cavaliers return to contention. Based on Hollinger’s schedule, the Cavaliers are sill 2 years away from being in the playoffs, which likely places them 4-5 years away from Championship contending.

No matter how far away the Cavaliers are, the good news for Cavs fans is that the rebuilding plan is in place, is being followed with patience by the front office, and according to ESPN, the future is looking good for our Cavaliers.

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  • And Tyler Zeller!

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    I agree. He may be overlooked right now but he is a key piece to the future.

  • AlexMathews

    I hope that “2 years away” includes this coming season. If the Cavaliers are not in the 2014 Playoffs, then that means there’s something SERIOUSLY wrong with the team’s development. If we make the right moves I could see us making a jump from not being in the playoffs at all, to being a 4 or 5 seed at that time.

  • cbus

    the speed with which??

  • SDA

    Its nice to see one of our teams moving in the right direction.

  • killernut

    If everyone hits their ceiling then this team is a 3 or 4 seed that can beat the top seeds in 2014

  • BrownsFanSF

    Not enough credit for Grant and the front office. Half of the NBA front offices are an absolute disaster (look at Robin Lopez’s contract and the D Howard situation). I put Grant and Co in the top 10 easily.

    Admittedly I will have to eat my words if TT and Dion flame out in 2 years.

  • FearTheRoo

    The future for the Cavs was looking “bright” back when we thought they would make a trade for Bynum. But since we dropped the ball on that one, big time, we enter this upcoming season really no better than we left last season. I just don’t get why Cleveland teams have so much extra money and don’t use it. Saving for a rainy day? well we’ve been stuck in a Hurricane of disaster since 1964.

  • mgbode

    I would have liked to trade for Bynum as well. however, it’s tough to know why we didn’t without knowing any of the details.

    How are we no better than we left last season? Irving should improve, TT should improve, we have Waiters and Zeller instead of Parker and Jamison. and CJ Miles adds more depth on the wing (assuming we also re-sign Gee eventually). and, even Pargo is better than Sloan at backup PG.

  • mgbode

    did you mean Brook Lopez? I mean anytime you can destroy your future flexibility by locking up a defensive liability who doesn’t rebound at C for a maximum contract, you have to do it, right?

    and, you have to couple that mistake by paying Kris Humphries $24mil over 2 years as well. and try to recreate that Hawks team but without Josh Smith or Horford (and pairing JoeJ and Deron together who both love to have the ball in their hands).

  • John

    He ranked us 12th, even better!

  • OhiosVoices

    The CAVS need an All-Star center. The next two drafts should produce that.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Mixed up my Lopezs! But your point is spot on. The Nets are definitely the main object of my ire as far as front offices go this year. But they are not the only. Maybe I’m a huge homer, but Grant has me convinced that he is way ahead of the curve in the GM world.

  • BrownsFanSF

    I’m guessing it came down to two things: us not being sure we could get Bynum to stay here and Orlando not being willing to pull the trigger. We’ve seen that Grant doesn’t make trades he isn’t sure he won, and renting Bynum for a year would have been risky.

    It’s even possible the thing was basically drawn up and Orlando wanted to wait on it, it was NJ who stepped away from the table ultimately (when they spent their Howard money on Lopez and Hump)

  • mgbode

    and I didn’t even mention giving up a good lottery pick so they could pay Gerald Wallace a ton of money and put themselves into luxury territory (and I like Gerald Wallace, but in the NBA you need good cheap talent and the draft is how you get it)

  • mgbode

    mixing up your Dwight trades now too. NJ stepped away but we wouldn’t have gotten Bynum in that one. the Lakers/Bynum trade we definitely stepped away from (since it ended up happening but with 76ers and Nuggets instead of us).

  • mgbode

    that could end up being Tyler Zeller.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Been a mixed up kinda day lol.

  • OhiosVoices

    Let’s hope. But we still need another. Got to have depth at center for once. It has killed the CAVS in the past, not having depth at center.

  • mgbode

    no worries. we have all got those days 🙂

  • mgbode

    yessir and flexibility too. having a C who can guard the smallball 5’s and having a C who can guard the traditional guys. gotta have both.

  • Steve

    That’s a big reach, even if you do like him. He’s got to find one thing he can do exceptionally well at the NBA level.

  • Steve

    How much of this is guided by Hollinger’s PER rating for Irving last year and his Draft Rating for Thompson and Waiters? Because the problem with that is, it doesn’t take into account the Cavs 26th ranking in defensive efficiency. I like the offensive potential too, but I’m not sure how they’re getting stops anytime soon.

  • But…the Nets will still be better than the Cavs…this year! The next few yrs. will be telling for our Cavs. Of course we wont land a Jabarri Parker or anything but the drafts are the key. If u tell me that we take the OKC route and play for a title in 4 yrs…I’ll take that!