It’s seems like forever since the Cavaliers took the court as a team … like, a real team, with something for which to play.
But all of that is expected to change shorty, as the NBA and players union will soon finalize plans to tip off the 2020-21 season on Dec. 21. Training camps will begin a few weeks before that, on Dec. 1 to be precise.
This is news that clearly excites Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr.
“Christmas comes on December 1st this year!!,” Nance tweeted. “I’ve never been more excited to do conditioning and defensive drills in my life.”
It will only be 72 days from last season to next for the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and runner-up Miami Heat. But for teams such as the Cavs, whose season ended in March, a game that counts has been a long time coming. Like about 290 days.
Yes, the Cavs held a short mini-camp inside their Cleveland bubble in late September/early October. But that was followed by nothing more than a return to individual workouts at the practice facility.
Now, before anything can begin again, Cavs GM Koby Altman still has plenty to decide. The draft is scheduled for Nov. 18. Free agency is set to begin a day or two after that. Tristan Thompson is an unrestricted free agent. Same goes for Matthew Dellavedova. And Andre Drummond has a contract option.
Altman and his staff will make a pick, explore some trades, try to find the best fits on the open market. That’s just the business of offseason basketball.
But it’s what comes at the end of those things that has Nance rearin’ to go.
The Cavs finished 19-46 last season and were left out of the NBA restart on the Disney campus. They went 5-6 and showed signs of hope after J.B. Bickerstaff took over as coach in February.
They concluded the season on March 10, a 108-103 road loss to the Chicago Bulls. They believe brighter days are ahead, and it all starts Dec. 1.
“I believe in my team, and the organization as a whole, and we’re going to figure it out,” Cavs guard Collin Sexton recently told Forbes.com. “We have a lot of fight and I love playing with the guys, so we’re definitely going to figure it out. Right now, with J.B. as the new coach, we’re moving in the right direction.”