Final Regular Season Grades for Each Cleveland Cavaliers Player in 2013
It's now the offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and with it a time to reflect on the 2012-13 campaign.
This includes an evaluation of every player on the Cavs roster. At 24-58 for the season, few players performed at a very admirable level. Some were even downright awful this season, while others surprised and even surpassed what many experts predicted of them.
Here is a wrap-up of every Cavaliers player's season, complete with statistics and final regular-season grade.
Anderson Varejao, C
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 21.7 PER, 36.0 minutes
Varejao had the highest player efficiency rating of any Cavalier this season—unfortunately this production lasted a mere 25 games.
The 30-year-old center had a career year and would likely have been selected to his first All-Star Game. His rebounding total was the highest in the NBA at the time and would have earned him the rebounding crown had Varejao stayed healthy.
It's tough to grade a player like Andy given his high production, yet so few games. An "A" should definitely be given for his play, but a "D" for the Brazilian's sustainability. Average these out, and we get Varejao's season grade.
Final Grade: C+
Tyler Zeller, C
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 blocks, 11.0 PER, 26.4 minutes
Zeller was thrust into starting action early in the season after Varejao's season-ending injury.
The rookie from North Carolina struggled throughout most of the season, often looking a step too slow or a few pounds too thin.
A good jump shooter in college, Zeller never found his shot from outside the paint. According to 82games.com, Zeller converted just 35.7 percent of all jump shots.
An offseason adding muscle and an improved jumper would do wonders for Zeller, as he looks to prove he can be a capable every-night starter in the league.
Final Grade: C+
Kevin Jones, PF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 3.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 11.1 PER, 10.4 minutes
Jones saw his production increase during the last month of the season and showed enough promise for the Cavs to want to bring him back next season.
His best outing came April 14 against the Philadelphia 76ers when he registered 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Jones isn't a physical marvel by any means, but he's proven to be a solid rebounder and defender when given the chance. Per 36 minutes of play, Jones averaged 10.2 points and 8.4 rebounds.
It was tough to get an accurate read on Jones up until April, but when given the chance to play, he did show what skills he can bring to the table. A trip to the NBA Summer League should help Jones, who missed last year's league with an injury.
Final Grade: C-
Marreese Speights, PF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 18.3 PER, 18.5 minutes
Speights registered the third-highest PER of any Cavaliers player this season, despite receiving a questionably low number of minutes.
The 6'10" forward/center came over to the Cavs via trade from the Memphis Grizzlies along with Wayne Ellington and performed admirably off the Cavs' bench. A good jump shooter, Speights averaged 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per 36 minutes of play.
While his offense kept him on the court, his defense definitely cut back on his minutes. According to 82games.com, Speights gave up a whopping PER of 21.0 to opposing players.
Speights holds a player option for next season, and his return to the Cavaliers is questionable.
Final Grade: B
Luke Walton, PF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 3.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 11.31 PER, 17.1 minutes
If you told me before the season started that Walton would get nearly 20 minutes a game and actually look like a basketball player doing so, I would have questioned your use of pharmaceuticals.
Such was the case for Walton, who went from washed up veteran on likely his last contract to floor general on a surprisingly good second string.
While his passing was stellar (7.0 assists per 36 minutes), Walton's scoring ability and defense still left much to be desired.
Overall, Walton exceeded my expectations, even though they were incredibly low to begin with.
Final Grade: C
Tristan Thompson, PF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 11.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 blocks, 16.12 PER, 31.3 minutes
Thompson's season really took off after Varejao's year ended.
The second-year pro went on a rebounding tear and finished the season with 31 double-doubles. He showed a much improved offensive game from a year ago, even showcasing some go-to moves in the paint.
A questionable draft selection at the time, Thompson is now just a reliable jump shot away from becoming an All-Star power forward in the NBA. He shot just 36.9 percent on shots outside the restricted area this season.
Overall, you have to be pleased with Thompson's progress, as he was one of the few bright spots for the Cavs this season.
Final Grade: A-
Alonzo Gee, SF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 10.56 PER, 31.0 minutes
Gee continues to be a serviceable starter who's best role is a combo wing off the bench.
He showcased an improved defensive game, and was often assigned the task of guarding the opponent's best offensive perimeter player.
A scrappy, hard-working player, Gee saw no real offensive improvement from his stats last season, and he continues to shoot a low percentage from the field (41.0 percent).
Expect the Cavs to look for his replacement in the starting lineup this offseason, be it through free agency or the draft.
Final Grade: C
Omri Casspi, SF
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 4.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 12.94 PER, 11.7 minutes
If not for a significant boost in minutes during April, Casspi's stats would be even more miserable.
The four-year NBA veteran just never clicked in Cleveland and found himself mirrored in buyout and trade rumors through most of the season.
Disappointment is the first word that comes to mind when discussing Casspi the past two seasons, and it's safe to say he and the Cavs will go their separate ways this offseason.
A 39.4 percent shooter from the field this season, the Cavs certainly won't miss Casspi's offensive production.
Final Grade: D-
Daniel Gibson, SG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 5.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 7.75 PER, 20.0 minutes
Wow, whatever happened to 2007 Daniel Gibson, and will we ever see him again?
Gibson has gotten exceptionally worse the past four seasons, including an embarrassment of a campaign this year. His point total was the lowest it's been since his rookie season, and his 34.0 percent shooting from the field was the worst of the 241 NBA players getting 20 minutes or more per night (per Hoopdata.com).
For someone who doesn't do much other than shooting, it makes you wonder if Gibson will even get another NBA contract, much less return to the Cavs.
Cleveland would be wise to re-sign Wayne Ellington and part ways with Gibson now before he continues his career slide.
Final Grade: F
Wayne Ellington, SG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 13.9 PER, 25.9 minutes
Ellington played just 38 games for the Cavs this season after a trade from Memphis, but stepped up big at times when Cleveland needed him to.
A good shooter off the bench, Ellington shot 37.1 percent from deep, good for third overall on the Cavs. He filled in 17 games as a starter for an injured Dion Waiters, but is better off in a reserve role.
If the price is right, the Cavs should look to bring Ellington back and provide them with the three-point specialist that Daniel Gibson has failed to do for years now.
Final Grade: B-
C.J. Miles, SG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 11.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 15.1 PER, 21.0 minutes
Miles was a nice free-agent pickup for the Cavs last offseason, and he did some nice things for them in 2012-13.
We learned that Miles is best at shooting guard and not small forward, even though he can fill in at both positions. His shooting stroke is pretty to watch, even if that is about all he does.
Don't expect a lot of rebounds, assists or ball movement when the ball goes through Miles. He'll attack the rim on occasion, but over half of his field-goal attempts came from beyond the three-point line.
Miles will be back on the Cavs next season, and will hopefully build on a solid first year in Cleveland.
Final Grade: C+
Dion Waiters, SG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 13.77 PER, 28.8 minutes
Waiters enjoyed a fine rookie season for the Cavaliers and wound up as the team's second-leading scorer.
The biggest knock on Waiters in the early going was his shot selection, which resulted in a low field-goal and three-point percentage. While this was fair, it should be known Waiters made a huge turnaround from before and after the All-Star break. His field-goal percentage went from 39.6 percent before the break to 45.8 percent after it.
Waiters looked very Dwyane Wade-esque at times and should turn into a very good pro, if not an All-Star. He and Kyrie Irving can complement each other very well and could form the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference before too long.
Final Grade: B
Shaun Livingston, PG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 7.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 14.6 PER, 23.2 minutes
Livingston was possibly the Cavs' most underrated player this season, and he played well in whatever role the Cavaliers asked him to fill.
A veteran the Cavs desperately needed in their young backcourt, Livingston has one of the highest assist-to-turnover ratios in the NBA. He shot well from the field (50.7 percent) and free-throw line (84.0 percent) while taking care of the ball and setting up teammates.
The Cavs would be wise to bring Livingston back, as he can play either guard position and would be OK coming off the bench behind Kyrie Irving.
Final Grade: B+
Kyrie Irving, PG
2012-13 Stats Per Game: 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 21.5 PER, 34.7 minutes
Irving began taking his game to the next level this season and really turned some heads in the NBA world.
His handle might be the best in the game, and he can seemingly do whatever he wants on the offensive end.
The two major concerns continue to be his defense and ability to stay on the court. Irving missed 23 games this season with various injuries and showed a lack of intensity on defense all season long.
To be considered the best point guard in the game, which he could very well be, these two areas will need to be addressed moving forward.
Overall it was a great year by Irving, and he remains the Cavs' best and brightest building block in their rebuilding process.
Final Grade: A-