Lineup No. 4: Tall-ball lineup
PG: Donovan Mitchell
SG: Max Strus
SF: Georges Niang
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen
The combination of size and spacing in this lineup could make it formidable in a series similar to last year’s first-round matchup. The primary concern with this lineup is how Georges Niang will defend against wing players. While the ability to space the floor and execute different pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop plays with Allen, Mobley, and Niang would contribute to the unit’s success on offense, Niang’s lack of quickness could create additional pressure on the big men in the paint.
This lineup could have been a potential solution against the Knicks, as it would have added size while maintaining significant spacing. However, the main challenge arises when guards exploit Niang’s defensive limitations and attack him in the mid-range, as Jalen Brunson did against Cedi Osman.
If Niang’s defense in this lineup proves to be too problematic, inserting Caris LeVert becomes an excellent option to alleviate some of Donovan Mitchell’s ball-handling responsibilities. Okoro could also be considered for this role, but it is crucial to manage his playing time alongside both Mobley and Allen to prevent the offense from stagnating and generating poor shot opportunities.
Despite free agency primarily focused on acquiring role players and depth pieces, the Cavaliers will enter the next season with a significantly broader range of lineup options. The additions of Strus and Niang bring increased spacing to every lineup, and Niang’s size allows for flexibility in playing small or big depending on the matchup. While the Cavs didn’t acquire Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard, the moves they made are excellent for enabling the team’s core to perform at their highest level.