Which players on the Cavaliers roster will be a part of their regular rotation, and what will their roles be?
PG Darius Garland
SG Donovan Mitchell
SF Isaac Okoro
PF Evan Mobley
C Jarrett Allen
DEEP BENCH – VETERANS
DEEP BENCH – DEVELOPING YOUTH
LIKELY TO BE WAIVED
Who will be the starting small forward? There are no less than 6 candidates:
- Isaac Okoro – the young athletic stalwart defender who struggles on offense
- Caris LeVert – the playmaker and scorer whose had injury concerns
- Cedi Osman – the inconsistent versatile shot-maker with length
- Dean Wade – the outsider shooter with size who lacks quickness
- Lamar Stevens – the tenacious defender and energy guy with suspect handles
- Dylan Windler – the lefty sharpshooter who hasn’t yet produced
Okoro makes the most sense given how his skills complement the other 4 members of the starting lineup. But he is a bit undersized and is not consistently aggressive enough on offense. The team may decide to start with LeVert, the most talented player of the bunch and one with enough length and athletic ability to defend. The question with LeVert is whether his presence creates a problem with the offense where too many guys that need the ball are playing at the same time.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Donovan Mitchell is the shiny new car in the garage and the team is definitely going to take him out for a spin. Mitchell has the talent to life the team to a whole new level. After being rescued from Utah where things had gone stale, Mitchell is expected to be actively engaged on the defensive end in addition to providing his usual offensive fireworks. He should mesh well with the unselfish Garland in the backcourt.
The team was really clicking last year until Ricky Rubio tore his ACL. Rubio was the best backup point guard in the league; he could dominate for stretches and took a lot of pressure off Garland. Rubio probably won’t be back on the court until after Christmas, and the team has enough talent in-house that they can ease him and and ensure he is full strength by the time the playoffs roll around.