Cleveland Cavaliers start, bench, cut: Max Strus, Isaac Okoro, Caris LeVert

Cleveland Cavaliers, Max Strus, Caris LeVert. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers, Max Strus, Caris LeVert. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have some decisions to make at small forward. They have an All-Star backcourt and two of the best defenders in the league in the frontcourt, ensuring four of the five spots in the starting lineup are locked in. The final spot is more of an open question.

The Cavs could start extra big, as they did two seasons ago with Lauri Markkanen at small forward. Dean Wade or Georges Niang could slide up to the 3 from their more natural power forward position.

The more likely options, however, come from the wing. The Cavaliers have a trio of 2/3-sized players on the roster who all have a case to be in the mix at small forward. Let’s use a method you’ve likely seen before to dig into the options ahead of the organization.

Start, bench, cut – Cavaliers wings

Start: Max Strus

The Cleveland Cavaliers would ideally start a player at small forward who has size, lateral agility and quickness and is a knockdown 3-point shooter. Those players happen to be some of the hardest players in the league to acquire, and it doesn’t appear that any were available for the Cavs to add this summer.

They instead added Max Strus, and he looks like the best option among the trio of wings in the running. While his shooting percentages are streaky, he is a legitimate movement shooter, stretching defenses with his ability to sprint off of screens and hit catch-and-shoot 3-pointers from anywhere. His willingness to shoot gives him gravity just as potent as if he were a 44 percent 3-point shooter.

The defense is more of a question mark, but Strus isn’t a sieve on that end and proved himself during a couple of recent playoff runs. If he can hold up on that end he’s likely in store to get a long crack at the starting spot, and given the other options he is the best option to do so.