Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 updated potential starting lineups for 2021-22

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton greets teammates in pregame introductions. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton greets teammates in pregame introductions. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images) /
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Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guards Collin Sexton (left) and Darius Garland celebrate in-game. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Cavs updated potential starting lineup #2 for 2021-22: Garland-Sexton-Isaac Okoro-Larry Nance Jr.-Offseason Acquisition-Allen

If Love’s relationship with the team has soured to a point of no return, the Cavaliers should look to move on from him sooner rather than later. Looking at his contract and the level of play that he is currently at, Cleveland would have to attach assets along with Love for a trade to happen. Considering that, the likely move would be to waive and stretch love, allowing for the Cavs to be buyers during this year’s free agency.

There are some quality players that they could look to add to replace Love if he were to be waived and stretched but considering that Cleveland is not a key free agency destination, they would have to overpay.

Another option that the Cavaliers could make would be to trade for a potential replacement seeing as they have expendable players like Cedi Osman and Taurean Prince as well as draft capital to use. A player that would make sense to trade for is Indiana Pacers’ T.J. Warren. Warren missed the majority of the season with a foot injury and it’s been reportedly stated that the relationship with him and the Pacers’ organization is not the best so a trade is not out of the ordinary.

A starting lineup including Warren can see the offense improve as his shot creation and shooting abilities can open up the offense for others. Defensively, his versatility and switchability as a wing can help to improve that area as well.

If the Cavaliers decide to find Love’s replacement in the 2021 NBA Draft, guys like Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes and Franz Wagner all have the potential to fill that void but the chances of them starting Day-1 is unlikely. With that being said, Larry Nance Jr. can be that transition forward until those players are up to speed.

The positives of having Nance be our starting power forward is that he already has chemistry with the “core-four” players in the starting lineup. Offensively, Nance has made strides in his shooting and playmaking while having real All-Defensive potential.

Prior to his first injury of the season, Nance averaged 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game, shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range.

Those early season stats show what Nance can do as a starter but the biggest question mark is if these marks can hold up for an entire season. Nance has never played more than 67 games in a season and on top of that, this year was the first season that Nance has averaged more than 30.0 minutes per game.

Still, Nance’s improving shot and defense are extremely promising and should be noted. If the Cavs are to go in the direction of letting Love go, the replacement should be able to shoot the ball at a good clip and have some form of shot creation ability. Warren is that player and Nance is continuing to trend towards that direction.