3 potential starting lineups for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021-22

2021 NBA Draft prospect Cade Cunningham brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
2021 NBA Draft prospect Cade Cunningham brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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LaMelo Ball, Cleveland Cavaliers
LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks brings the ball up. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

Potential 2021-22 starting lineup #2 for the Cleveland Cavaliers: LaMelo Ball-Sexton-Porter-Kuminga-Love

In this scenario, the Cavs get a top three 2020 NBA Draft selection, and use it to land guard LaMelo Ball, who previously played for the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks and they would get a top three pick, then selecting forward Jonathan Kuminga.

The Cavs having used their last two first picks (factoring in last year) on smaller guards and adding a lead guard would certainly raise some eyebrows. Ball would offer something different than Sexton and Garland respectively, though.

Ball brings a lot more size at 6-foot-7, albeit he does need to get stronger, and while major questions exist about Ball’s shot and defense, he did average 6.8 assists in NBL play and would bring a ton more as a playmaker than Sexton or Garland.

Ball also would fit what Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is looking for.

While it wasn’t necessarily explicitly regarding the upcoming draft in recent media availability, when asked about what the Cavs need to take “the next step,” seemingly in terms of players, as Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor hit on, Bickerstaff valued players with versatility, and especially guys that can make things happen for themselves and others. Here was more on that, as was h/t Ben Axelrod of WKYC.

Ball has an outstanding handle, truly rare vision/feel and even though there are questions about his individual defense/commitment there, him averaging 1.7 steals in the NBL is a positive sign.

Kuminga is a prospect who has a chance to be the much-needed centerpiece of this rebuild that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been looking for, and could come via the 2021 NBA Draft.

Kuminga is an elite athlete, and could play the 3 or 4, and is put together for a 17-year-old already at 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds. With his switchability, too, and lateral quickness/strength combination, he could potentially be a defensive stopper on the wing for them, too.

Plus, if KPJ continues to develop and maximizes his potential or is near there by this point in the 2021-22 season, him and Kuminga can be really formidable together, even early on with Kuminga’s driving/finishing ability, athleticism and two-way prowess.

Love at center presents defensive problems, but he’d stretch the floor for Kuminga/Sexton on the bright side. At any rate, I don’t see Love being traded with his age and then still hefty price tag; he’d still be a crucial piece for the Cavs then, even so, with his shooting.

Related Story. Two goals for Collin Sexton for next season. light

I can also see Sexton starting and thriving in this potential lineup as well, though. Ball isn’t anywhere near the overall prospect Cunningham is, but he is a terrific passer and Sexton would thrive next to someone like Ball where he’d be the secondary playmaker.

As the season moves along, I think he’d play well with Ball and Sexton, who has hit 40.2 and 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts, often via catch-and-shoots, his first two seasons, could keep progressing off-ball.

In terms of the third potential 2021-22 starting lineup for the Cavaliers, there’d be plenty of speed and a key defensive piece as well.