Everyone knows that the 2012-13 version of the Cleveland Cavaliers is quite young. Four recent draft picks (who all are heading to Houston) all are regulars, which means the average age of the team has to be one of the youngest in the NBA.
In fact, that’s true. According to Basketball-Reference.com‘s age statistic, which averages the age of players for a team and factors in minute distribution, the Cavaliers are the youngest team in the NBA right now with an average age of 24.0 years.
But how young really is that in context? Let’s take a look at all 19 teams in the last 20 years to finish with an average age of 24.1 years or younger.
|Oklahoma City Thunder*||23.2||50||32||0.610||3.7||2009-10|
|Oklahoma City Thunder*||23.7||55||27||0.671||4||2010-11|
|Portland Trail Blazers*||24||54||28||0.659||6.1||2008-09|
|New Orleans Hornets||24.1||15||31||0.326||-4.3||2012-13|
|Portland Trail Blazers||24.1||41||41||0.500||-1.1||2007-08|
As you can see, the 2012-13 New Orleans Hornets also make this list, along with the Cavaliers in their last dreadful year before drafting LeBron James.
A notable caveat: Many more teams recently have made this list, as high school and one-and-done jumps to the NBA became more popular.
Then some notable averages: .370 winning percentage and -3.8 efficiency differential (this is the difference between a team’s points scored per 100 possessions and points allowed per 100 possessions).
The Cavs are worse than both those averages, but not that tremendously bad compared to some of the other teams on this list. Yes, there also are examples of really good teams led by the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Overall, it’s just another fun way to compare this year’s Cleveland unit to some other similar franchises in recent history.