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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Jalen Green, Cleveland Cavaliers
2021 NBA Draft prospect Jalen Green goes up for a jam. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Potential 2021-22 starting lineup #3 for the Cleveland Cavaliers: Sexton-Green-Porter-Love-Onyeka Okongwu

In this scenario, the Cavs fall out of the top three of the lottery this year, and end up drafting 4/5 Onyeka Okongwu out of USC, and the following year get a top three pick and select Jalen Green, who is set to head to the NBA/G League’s new pathway initiative, per prior reports.

Okongwu is someone who really has a good feel for the game, and is able to switch out and defend on the perimeter. Okongwu made a team defensive impact in a huge way at USC, too, with 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, per Sports Reference, in 2019-20.

The other prospect, Green, in a loaded 2021 draft, would give the Cavs that franchise centerpiece they need. He is 6-foot-5 and an exceptional athlete, with an explosive first step, and can create his own offense, and again, would likely give Cleveland their franchise player.

Green and KPJ could be a dynamic combination on the wing together. If Porter keeps trending in the right direction, you could have a pair of two-way stars at the 2/3. The only concern with this is I’m not quite sure about the fit in the backcourt.

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Sexton did show improvement as a playmaker before the NBA suspended its’ season, but part of that had to do with Darius Garland missing time, and I don’t view Sexton as a point guard. Green is a good playmaker, but I’m not sure I see him as a lead playmaking guard like Cunningham.

Green and Sexton could make it work anyway if Sexton can continue to improve as an on-ball defender and playing off-ball offensively, but the fit isn’t as easy as Sexton next to Cunningham.

Love once again is in the starting lineup, this time better off at the 4, rather than center, where Okongwu, who averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game at USC as a freshman post presence/roller, is at in this scenario. Again I think Love is still a really good player who provides veteran experience, but again is here, given it still likely proving very difficult to deal him.

Honestly, the best-case scenario for the Cavs is they need to get one of the top prospects in the loaded 2021 NBA Draft. Getting Cunningham is the absolute best-case scenario, but as long as they’re in the top three, they’re fine, and that seems reasonable.

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I like Wiseman and Ball, in particular, for the 2020 NBA Draft, but if Cleveland fell in the lottery and eventually landed Okongwu, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, either.