While the selection of Bennett came as a surprise to nearly every viewer of the draft, Cleveland is extremely excited for the potential of the Canadian- native.
Bennett was one of the biggest mismatches in college hoops last year, combining an impressive inside game with a smooth jumper that defenders have to respect. What Bennett lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his 7-foot-1 wingspan, allowing him to bang with players bigger than him.
The Cavs also signed small forward Earl Clark in offseason, who could step in until Bennett is ready to contribute.
Cleveland is also hopeful for center Anderson Varejao to return following a season-ending blood clot in his lung last season. Varejao is the heart and soul of this group, and adds tremendous depth to the Cavs' front court.
While Cleveland is hopeful to return to the playoffs, one last trip to the lottery wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. The projected draft class of 2014 is stacked with talent.
Four players with lottery talent, plus a healthy Bynum, could be enough to lure the most-hated man on the North Coast back to the championship-starved city...maybe.
2012-13 Results: 24-58, 5th in Central, Missed playoffs
ADDITIONS: HC Mike Brown, G Jarrett Jack, C Andrew Bynum, F Anthony Bennett, F Earl Clark, G Carrick Felix, G/F Sergey Karasev
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:
PG- Kyrie Irving SG- Dion Waiters SF- Anthony Bennett PF- Tristan Thompson C - Andrew Bynum (injured)
KEY RESERVES: F/C Anderson Varejao, F Earl Clark, G Jarrett Jack, G/F C.J. Miles, G Danny Gibson, C Cody Zeller, F Alonzo Gee
FRONTCOURT: Bynum has proved to be one of the more dominating centers in the league, and Thompson, coming off one of an encouraging rookie campaign, are joined by Varejao, Zeller and Bennett, creating one of the deeper frontcourts in the NBA.
If Bennett can make an instant impact, Cleveland could be looking at a perfect combination of size and athleticism in the frontcourt to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
All this could be ruined, however, if Bynum never regains his health (which could provide us with more bizarre hairstyles) and Varejao is unable to recover from his heart issues. What looked like incredible depth, could leave the Cavs frontcourt gasping for air.
BACKCOURT: Clearly Irving is the best player on this team, but is the supporting cast enough to give Irving the opportunity to truly excel this season? Possibly.
Waiters averaged 14.7 ppg for Cleveland last season, taking some of the pressure off of Irving to provide the offense.
Jack is certainly one of the best options off the bench in the league, as he provides instant scoring with the second unit. Jack has the ability to score 15 points and dish out six assists off the bench, a role he thrived in with Golden State.
BENCH: Jack is a serious candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and Varejao adds an incredible motor off the bench.
Miles also provides the Cavs with scoring off the bench. Miles averaged 11.2 ppg in a backup role last season.
Zeller showed flashes in limited action last year, and Clark averaged 10.5 ppg and just over 8.0 rpg in January and February for the Lakers last season. If Zeller and Clark can provide off the bench, the Cavs will have a serious chance at contending for a playoff berth.
COACHING: While Brown became the scapegoat in 2009 after James and a group of overachieving role players were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals, it may not have been Brown's fault.
There isn't a coach in the world that could have improved the play of the supporting cast on those teams. Phil Jackson had Jordan and Pippen, Shaq and Kobe and Kobe and Pau. Pat Riley had Magic, Kareem and Worthy. Even Auerbach had Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and John Havlicek.
Brown replaced Jackson with the Lakers after he was fired in Cleveland, and he may have had a tenuous stay in Hollywood, but could be the perfect fit for an up-and-coming squad.
"I am thrilled to return to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers," said Brown "The commitment ownership and management have shown in their efforts to build a successful team and organization is deep and I am excited to lead the team forward. Nothing would mean more to me and my family than to help bring success to this very special community and to all of our committed and loyal fans."
OUTLOOK: Will the Cavs win the NBA Finals this season? No. But this team has the potential to become a contender in a few years. This will be an exciting season for a club filled with young talent.
Irving will continue to set the tone, but the success of the team rests on the contributions on Irving's compliments.
If the supporting cast provides this young superstar with adequate support, this team is playoff-bound.
If not? There's always LeBron...