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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Onyeka Okongwu, Cleveland Cavaliers
USC Trojans big man Onyeka Okongwu blocks a shot. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Center: Onyeka Okongwu

With COVID-19 suspending the season, it is safe to say that the 2020 NBA Draft will be postponed as well, even if that is not the case just yet. The league has already postponed the draft lottery and draft combine, per the NBA and as was h/t Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, too.

Due to many uncertainties, we do not know when the offseason will begin or how long it will last for, but for now, here are some reported updates regarding those possibilities, along with others of more recent ones here and also the most recent updates here, via the previously mentioned Gilinsky.

Moreover, with a lack of clarity involving 2020 prospects, the Cavs might pass on some big names that could maybe have higher ceilings, but are harder to project.

This means that rather than going for a high-risk, high-reward player such as LaMelo Ball, previously of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, or James Wiseman, who played with the Memphis Tigers briefly then withdrew from school after he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, as KJG’s Corey Casey hit on, might be passed up by Cleveland. That same thought process could be the case involving the Georgia Bulldogs’ Anthony Edwards, too, and they may look to go a safer route.

On an appearance on 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull & Fox,” Fedor said he believes Ball, Wiseman and Edwards are the Cavs’ likely top tier of prospects, but again, given this drafts’ uncertainty and also social distancing guidelines making it more difficult to evaluate players, the Cavaliers might again pass on higher-risk prospects such as those three.

With that being said, a safe player who could have a high impact on this team is the USC Trojans’ Onyeka Okongwu. With Tristan Thompson being a free agent at the end of this season and with it being seemingly unclear if Drummond will be a part of the Cavs’ future down the road, it makes a lot of sense for the Cavs to use a high pick on a center.

Related Story. Cavs could go with player with more clear-cut role in 2020 NBA Draft. light

Okongwu isn’t an ordinary center and has drawn comparisons to Montrezl Harrell and John Collins, two near All-Star level players. In his lone season at USC, Okongwu averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game on 61.6 percent shooting from the field, as indicated by Sports Reference.

Though he has shown offensive potential with his post-up game and flashed a bit of face-up ability, he excels on the defensive end and could become an elite paint and perimeter defender in the NBA.

Looking at a scouting report from Spencer Pearlman of The Stepien, it states that he has “quick feet, hips, and knows his angles well.”

Also, it states that “he has good awareness and some really high-level flashes rotating.”

Okongwu could become an amazing anchor for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ defense and would be an outstanding pick if the Cavs were to fall in the draft, which could happen considering the new draft lottery rules.

dark. Next. Top three prospects for the Cavs in the 2021 NBA Draft

Cleveland is currently projected to land the 2020 NBA Draft’s second overall pick, per Tankathon, but that’s anything but certain with the newer lottery rules.