But what about a forward whose name is often forgotten?
The former undrafted free agent from Penn State contributed decent minutes for the Cavs last season, appearing roughly 16 minutes a night across 63 games.
What can we expect next season from the minutes-filler?
Start and Stop
Across 63 games last season, Stevens started in just fourteen.
So don’t expect him to develop into a starting four, even if he pushes Okoro for minutes.
Last season, Stevens slashed a .489/.277/.707 in his 63 appearances.
But what would it look like if he did pressure Okoro for minutes?
As it stands, both players came in with a mediocre defensive rating–113 for Stevens and 115 for Okoro.
But in terms of offensive rating, it’s no contest.
Thinking about Lamar Stevens needing more on-ball reps once again and anticipating the passing flashes arriving more consistently next season pic.twitter.com/eUiucGg4lN
— Brayden Todd (@BraydenBallin) May 22, 2022
Okoro blew Stevens out of the water, 117 to 103.
In terms of general production and contribution, there was also no contest between the two forwards.
Stevens posted a plus-minus of -2.0; Okoro, on the other hand, was a nice +2.5.
So unless Stevens can take a massive leap in his offensive game, don’t expect him to seriously challenge Okoro for minutes.
Stevens is at least third or fourth on the pecking order at forward, behind Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, and Okoro.
Markkanen, for reference, posted a similar defensive rating as Stevens, but, like Okoro, obliterated Stevens on the offensive end.
Also on the docket is the potential for the Cavs to select a forward at no. 14 in next month’s lottery, further pressuring Stevens.
Nonetheless, Stevens is a nice piece to bring off the bench.
But there were some reasons for optimism down the stretch last season.
In the final 12 games of the season, Stevens averaged 10.8 points, up from the 6.1 he’d average for the season.
He’s also a solid defensive rebounder, snapping up almost two per night.
The Report Card
Stevens could do well to increase his efficiency across the board.
That said, if there’s one area of improvement that he should strongly consider, it’s his three-point game.
For his two-season career, Stevens is a 24% shooter behind the arc.
That’s not particularly good if you were wondering.
But Stevens could carve out a solid bench 3-and-D role if that number improves.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 18, 2022
Granted, it would need to improve considerably, but perhaps Stevens can improve over time.
It took players like VanVleet and Finney-Smith several seasons to develop their game to where it is now.
Again, not saying Stevens’ ceiling is either one of those players, but in the same breath, it should be noted that he is still a young player with plenty of potential.
How he looks in a few months after an offseason of workouts will help dictate how high his ceiling truly is.