How did the Charge do last season?
The Charge were successful yet again in the 2014-2015 NBA D-League season, finishing 31-19 and advancing all the way to the NBADL Semifinals, where they were downed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. It was a year of transition for the Charge, as Jordi Fernandez was in his first year as head coach after taking over for Steve Hetzel, who left to become an assistant with the Charlotte Bobcats. They were a team that slowed the pace way down and worked an inside-out game on offense that was incredibly efficient, due in large part to former-NBAer Arinze Onuaku, who led the team in both scoring and field goal percentage.
How good can they be?
Much like with any other D-League team, there was quite a bit of roster turnover from last year to this year. With that being said, they did quite well in reloading their roster and they should be a strong competitor once again. Duke standout Quinn Cook joins Sir'Dominic Pointer, DJ Stephens, Juvonte Reddic and Michael Stockton on a team that should have talent all across the board. The team's concentration on slowing things down and shooting three's should be valuable for Reddic especially, as the paint should be sufficiently cleared out with the spacing that will be created from the shooters on the team.
Most likely call-up?
Cook is probably the most talented player on the roster, but the Cavaliers backcourt is loaded with Mo Williams, Matthew Dellavadova, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and eventually Kyrie Irving all competing for minutes, so it wouldn't make all that much sense to call him up if he's never going to see the court. The Cavs also have depth in the front court, but on the wing they are a bit less loaded. Richard Jefferson, James Jones and Jared Cunningham have held things down well through the first couple of weeks of the season, but should any of them falter Sir'Dominic Pointer may get the call. He's a reliable spot-up shooter and a steady defender, which is all that would be asked of him in the context of the Cavs system.
Most intriguing potential assignee?
The Cavs, as with most of LeBron James' teams throughout his career, feature mostly veterans that would require consent to be sent down the D-League. Solely by the process of elimination and the fact that he played 11 games with the Charge last season, Joe Harris is the most likely assignee. As a rookie last season, Harris saw action in 51 games but found himself sitting out much more often after the acquisitions of Smith and Shumpert. With the signing of Mo Williams this offseason, playing time may be even more hard to come by for Harris, so it may be best for his development to see some action in the D-League. He was a fantastic shooter in college, but couldn't quite find his shot last season and he would be well served trying to do so with the Charge.
How can they replace Arinze Onuaku?
Onuaku was far and away the most important player for the Charge last year as the team's leading scorer and rebounder and was a reliable safety valve on offense that they could fall back on. Just like his Cavaliers counterpart in Tristan Thompson, Onuaku was a terror on the offensive glass which helped create extra possessions and assisted the Charge in making teams play at their pace.
With his departure to Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli League, one of their returning big men or possibly even a new acquisition are going to have to take on a bigger role. Center Michael Dunigan was consistent in his half-season with the team and he should take on greater responsibilities both on offense and on the glass and Juvonte Reddic should see quite a few looks as well. For the Charge to be as successful as they were last season, one of these two is going to have to make a jump.