Projected starting lineup: Cleveland Cavaliers
Point Guard: Darius Garland
Shooting Guard: Donovan Mitchell
Small Forward: Max Strus
Power Forward: Evan Mobley
Center: Jarrett Allen
The Cavaliers’ starting lineup should look mostly the same as last season but with a key difference. Former Miami Heat wing Max Strus was acquired in a sign-and-trade and is expected to start as a small forward. There, he will hopefully fill Cleveland’s biggest hole and give them a good shooter and a decent defender who will benefit from the shots that Garland and Mitchell create. By addressing their biggest question mark, Cleveland should be better for it.
They will also be counting on continued growth from rising star Evan Mobley, who gives them their best chance at internal development. That would give Cleveland their best chance to become one of the three best teams in the Eastern Conference and advance past the first round.
A deep playoff run would not only give them a chance to make the NBA Finals, but it could also help them in their effort to re-sign Mitchell next summer. Mitchell can become an unrestricted free agent, and there are several Eastern Conference rivals who would love to sign him, particularly since it would weaken the Cavs. In the meantime, Cleveland has improved their starting five, which could lead to more success in 2023–24.