The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to have some new guys in various roles next season, following their number of offseason transactions. Cleveland re-signed Caris LeVert, signed Georges Niang, swung a deal to acquire Max Strus via sign-and-trade, dealt for Damian Jones and brought in Ty Jerome.
It’s clear that the significant external moves were the ones for Niang and Strus, who should both be key shooters for the Cavaliers in years to come. Both of those players have proven themselves as knockdown guys in recent seasons, and they should open up more spacing for Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and others.
But, the Jerome signing could be more impactful than one might’ve thought, and even more so after Ricky Rubio stated he’ll be taking a hiatus from basketball to prioritize his mental health. His opportunities have been inconsistent, however, Jerome is a pretty underrated combo guard option, and he could very well find a rotational role early on next year, and stick there.
So, with the new faces involved for the Cavaliers, what might be some lineups Cleveland could go to with a few of those players?
Here, we’ll suggest three potential lineups featuring new guys that the Cavs could deploy for stretches next season.
We’ll get started with the first lineup, in no particular order in that sense, for clarification.
Lineup No. 1: Donovan Mitchell-Caris LeVert-Isaac Okoro-Niang-Mobley
A lineup featuring Mitchell, LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Niang and Mobley could be one Cleveland goes to at times throughout games reguarly in instances where there looking to increase ball pressure on the perimeter.
Both LeVert and Okoro could come in handy in that aspect for the Cavaliers, and Mitchell showed last season that when he’s dialed-in, he can be an off-ball disruptor.
Here, Cleveland has Mobley playing at the 5 off that, where his rim protection and shot altering can still make a difference. He got seemingly better in drop coverage last season when the Cavaliers were utilizing him that way, to balance him as a switching big. Realistically, the Cavaliers could use Mobley and Mitchell as defensive playmakers by mixing in some zone looks with this group, too, which could be a valuable wrinkle for stretches.
As for the offensive end, Mitchell and LeVert can function as the two perimeter shot creators and playmakers for Cleveland in this lineup, and Mobley will be a constant interior threat in his own right.
Mitchell and LeVert would be viable on-ball threats and off of their drives, they can hit sprayouts to one another and to Niang, a knockdown shooter. Niang as a ghost screener can be a dangerous target to look to as well, such as in sequences for LeVert or his former Jazz teammate in Mitchell.
With the constant threat of those players on the perimeter, Mobley is a player Cleveland could clearly use as their rolling big in this grouping, go to for post-ups, or also feature as a key secondary playmaker out of the elbows.
If Mobley has a slower, less athletic big checking him, that can lead to quality offense for him there, or lead to him making things happen from others with his feel for finding open shooters, or cutters on the weak side, such as LeVert and/or Okoro. Conversely, if Mobley is defended by a smaller defender, he can be a go-to option for Cleveland deeper in the paint, where he can routinely use his length and skill on the interior.