3 experimental lineups Cavaliers could deploy in 2023-24

Caris LeVert and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Caris LeVert and Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
Cleveland Cavaliers
Max Strus, Miami Heat and Grant Williams, Boston Celtics. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images /

Lineup #1: Knockdown Shooters and Floor Spacers

PG: Caris LeVert

SG: Donovan Mitchell

SF: Max Strus

PF: Georges Niang

C: Evan Mobley

Cleveland’s focus for this season appears to be on improving their offensive pressure. Along with Max Strus, another key acquisition Cleveland made this summer was the signing of power forward Georges Niang. Last year he shot an average of 44.2 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three-point range. Niang’s shooting proficiency was a key reason for bringing him onto this Cavs’ roster.

Georges Niang has the potential to be an integral part of this Cavs team. As a 6’7” power forward shooting from 40 percent beyond the arc – Niang is a player who can provide an ample amount of spacing and offensive firepower on the court. Players like Mitchell and Strus might be guarded more during sets, giving Niang some opportunities to take his shot.

As we mentioned before, Max Strus was acquired by Cleveland seemingly to be the new starting small forward. Coming off last season shooting his threes at 35% efficiency – Strus is a guy that Cleveland can rely on. With his instinct to move off the ball, he is constantly finding ways to make his shots work and boost his team’s success. Shooting aside, Strus can also take advantage of opponents out on the perimeter and cut to the rim instead.

Players like Strus and Niang will certainly bring a higher level of shooting and spacing to this Cavs’ team than they have had in previous years. Cleveland can get creative by putting this pair in a lineup with Mitchell, LeVert, and Mobley.

Last year Donovan Mitchell ranked fifth overall in the entire NBA for three-points attempted and sixth for three-points made – matching his personal best shooting average from 2020-21 in Utah at 38.6%. Bringing Spida to The Land immediately elevated their shooting presence on the court. Mitchell came off of arguably his best season so far in the league last year. If Bickerstaff wants to run a lineup with guys who can get their own shots off and keep the tempo up, Donovan Mitchell would be the man for the job.

Another guard that would fit well into this lineup is Caris LeVert. He’s often overlooked or underrated when it comes to his shooting, but according to Caris himself last year was the best he ever shot the ball at 39%. LeVert went on to say that people don’t typically view him as a knockdown shooter. Having Caris on the court can allow Bickerstaff to run some interesting attacks on the offense. By putting Mitchell and Strus on the court, LeVert could potentially get open for more shots if opponents focus on the others. LeVert placed 15th in three-point shots attempted in the playoffs last year. Caris had a few major games for the Cavs last year throughout the regular season. If he can tap into that side of his game in this lineup, it would be lights out for the opposing defense.

Evan Mobley’s position at center here would be ideal. Given the recent news of Jarrett Allen’s ankle bruise, it looks like Mobley will be seeing more time at center this season. Having a big man like Evan who can facilitate could help the shooters around him play off the ball. Mobley averaged 2.8 assists per game last season. With a stretch four in Niang paired with him in the frontcourt, Mobley could continue to elevate his game. As one of the foundations of this Cavs team, Evan Mobley’s presence on the court is always a plus.

Next, let’s build a unit from some old and new faces.