The Canton Charge have been to the playoffs every year since 2011, but have lost in the first-round each of the previous two seasons. The Charge finished with a 28-22 record last season, losing in the first-round of the playoffs to the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
How good can they be?
The Charge have five players on the training camp roster that are returning from last year, which will bode well for them. Most teams in the D-League have major roster turnover from season to season, but the Charge have avoided that fate this season. However, the Charge lost a lot of key contributors like Will Cherry, Shane Edwards and Arinze Onuaku. The returning players are Antoine Aguido, William Buford, Justin Johnson, Brandon Paul and Steve Weingarten.
Canton's first-round pick was spent on Michael Dunigan, who played collegiate ball for Oregon, but left after his sophomore year in 2010 and played overseas for a couple of years. Dunigan averaged 23.9 ppg, 15.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, and 2.4 bpg in 2012-13 for the Air21 Express of the Philippine Basketball Association. Dunigan scored 10 points for the Charge in their first preseason game against Erie.
Another interesting player is Jordan Swing out of UAB who made the team via open tryout. The 6'6" guard scored 14 points in the Charge's preseason debut. All of these pieces will have to gel together for the Charge to return to the playoffs this season.
Most likely call-up?
The Cavaliers already called up Will Cherry to start the season, so it's doubtful that another call-up will happen. The roster is stacked from top to bottom and Cherry would have to be expunged for another call-up. If an injury or something happens to the Cavaliers, I like Chris Crawford, who was assigned via the affiliate rule. Crawford is a 6'4" guard from Memphis who dropped 13 points and three steals against Erie.
Most intriguing potential assignee?
Alex Kirk, a 7-footer who was undrafted after coming out of New Mexico. The big man only has three minutes played so far this season, but he made the roster for a reason. At 250 pounds, Kirk is a large body that can be an imposing force in the post. The Cavaliers would be wise to give Kirk some run in the D-League early on in the season, since Anderson Varejao has been subject to multiple injury issues over the past few seasons.
Will anyone be called up this season?
I pose this question since the Charge are the D-League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs signed Will Cherry out of the D-League, but if that stays permanent, then it could be the only call up in Cleveland this season. Unless a massive injury goes down, "The Land" is pretty secure roster wise. In that case, it will be a good season for the group in Canton to gel together and make a playoff run. That doesn't stop another team from calling up someone from the Charge, however, but all the one-to-one D-League affiliations make it less likely unless the talent is that obvious.