Georges Niang might make the best power forward for the Cavs’ starting five
The Cleveland Cavaliers had the NBA’s best defense last season in large part due to the efforts of Mobley and Allen. While their fit defensively affected the outcome many nights throughout the regular season, their poor shooting and physicality in the playoffs have led to questions surrounding the long-term fit of the talented duo.
Cleveland’s President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman plans to see Mobley at the center position more often this coming season, putting into question where Allen fits into the gameplan. Because of this, trade suggestions and rumors for Allen continue to circulate in an attempt to build around Mobley at the five.
Signed to a three-year deal, Georges Niang could become the starting power forward if Mobley shifts to a new role. A career 40 percent 3-point shooter, Cavaliers fans will love hearing “Bang Bang Niang” shouted by commentators as Cleveland finally finds a threat on the arc.
Georges Niang shot 52.6 percent from the corner-three spot, per NBA.com stat tracking. Alongside Cleveland’s deadly backcourt and improved wing depth, Niang in the starting lineup would give Mobley an incredible running mate as the leader of the offense.
An improved role for Niang would come only if Mobley thrives as a playmaking five in his year three season more than he has next to Allen.
Secondly, Niang moving to the starting unit does not necessarily infer that Jarrett Allen will be shipped out of the Land. Similar to Caris LeVert, Allen happily puts his best effort into whatever role he is given. Rather than losing Allen’s defense, the Cavaliers might slot Allen into a sixth-man role, playing heavy minutes and rotating the center position with Evan Mobley.
If Niang can complement Mobley’s talents, his impact would carry over to the bench. A starting unit with incredible floor spacing and suffocating defense would be followed up by a bench lineup with a nearly equal perimeter and defensive presence.
As the regular season approaches, Cleveland will have a newfound depth and possible variety of starting lineups.
Though both LeVert and Niang might serve the team best off the bench, either case for the Cavs is a win-win situation for Believeland’s future.