3 possible starting lineups for Cleveland Cavaliers in 2023-24

Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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A new season means new decisions for every NBA team to make. For some teams those decisions are massive; how are the Phoenix Suns going to build their rotation? Who on the Houston Rockets will get pushed to the deep bench? What offense will new head coaches implement, especially on teams like Phoenix and Milwaukee who have their eyes set on a title?

One particularly important and public decision is who to put in the starting lineup. That group will almost certainly not play all 82 games together, so there will be adjustments during the year, but how a team decides to start the year says a lot about how they view their roster and what their goals are for the year.

The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to compete for a championship this season, so finding the right mix of players for the starting lineup is every bit as important as it is for every team. Four of the starters seem set, at least until the Cavaliers decide to trade Jarrett Allen.

Who will the fifth starter be? That will be a key question for the coaching staff to answer in training camp. Let’s look at the options.

Lineup No. 3: Start Caris LeVert

Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Last year’s initial starting lineup lasted just a few minutes before an injury knocked Darius Garland out for a couple of weeks, but it came back at times during the year, including making an appearance in the playoffs against the New York Knicks. Caris LeVert’s combination of shot creation and hustle on defense earned him the respect of coaches and a prominent rotation role whether or not he was starting.

Hopefully, the lack of floor-spacing motivates the Cavs to go in a different direction, but this group is familiar and comfortable. LeVert plays hard, and he gives the guards a release valve to attack a defense selling out to stop one or both of them. Out of all Cleveland lineups last season that played at least 50 minutes, this lineup had the second-best net rating at +15.1.

Even so, he’s not a particularly good fit, and he’s the least likely of these three players to crack the starting lineup.