Projecting the 2021-2022 Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting lineup

USC big man Onyeka Okongwu (#21) celebrates a near-win. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
USC big man Onyeka Okongwu (#21) celebrates a near-win. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Small Forward: Kevin Porter Jr.

KPJ has quickly emerged as a fan favorite for the Cleveland Cavaliers and has shown massive flashes throughout the season, which may or may not eventually resume, at least to some extent, for the NBA. In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Cavaliers sent four second-round picks along with cash to the Detroit Pistons for the rights to Porter Jr., and Detroit had acquired the pick there from the Milwaukee Bucks via trade prior to the draft.

It’s clearly been a huge hit for Cleveland, anyhow, as Porter Jr. was tied with the Denver Nuggets’ Bol Bol as being voted as the “steal of the draft” by his peers, according to’s John Schuhmann, and so far, it is looking like it.

KPJ has dealt with consistency issues throughout the season but has shown great scoring and defensive potential. In a seven-game stretch from January 28 to February 12, KPJ averaged 16.1 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range.

Plus, KPJ had another great stretch from February 24 to March 2 where he would average 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game, according to Basketball-Reference.

Related Story. Three stats that jump out from Kevin Porter Jr.'s rookie season. light

KPJ has not played nearly as well at the small forward position this year as opposed to the 2 but, many variables went into that. For one, the roster construction has been strange this year and it is hard to have success on the defensive end with an undersized backcourt.

This projected roster/starting lineup includes more length and defensive potential and, considering KPJ’s age of just 20, he has plenty of time to adjust to this role as well as add the muscle needed to compete against the best of the best at this position.