Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff named nearly half the roster when asked about the team’s final spot of his 2022-23 starting lineup. Although, it’s for a good reason: the Cavaliers have a lot of young talent.
After the team’s first practice on Tuesday, Bickerstaff was convinced that he has one of the deepest rosters in the Eastern Conference. “We’re looking for who fits the best,” explains the head coach.
However, handpicking the best players on the Cavaliers to start is easier said than done. Bickerstaff said there are “a lot of players” competing for the top spot at their positions.
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“What we try to do is put together the best five-man units that we possibly can. We feel like we are a deep team, and your first unit, second unit, third unit once you make your rotations — we’re trying to create as strong of units as we possibly can.”
Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes nearly half the roster can start for the team
Regarding potential starters, Bickerstaff mentioned Dean Wade, Caris LeVert, Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler, Isaac Okoro, and Lamar Stevens.
“It’s not something where we’re gonna rotate it or anything like that,” continued Bickerstaff. “It’s something that we want to put together, so guys have an understanding of who they are and where they fit and when their minutes are gonna come.”
“Whoever can help that group be the best on both ends of the floor, that’s the group we’ll put in. That doesn’t always mean that’s the group that you finish games with. I think there can be two separate groups here.”
Additionally, NBA analysts are expecting Donovan Mitchell to start. After all, the Cavaliers traded Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, a 2025 first-round draft pick, a 2026 first-round draft pick, a 2027 first-round draft pick, a 2028 first-round draft pick, and a 2029 first-round draft pick to the Utah Jazz for Donovan Mitchell.
Not to mention, other starters include Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. Now, Bickerstaff is looking for a big man defender to fill Markkanen’s shoes.
In 61 starts last season, Markkanen averaged 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. While still a great forward, the 6’11” Arizona product is replaceable. He should have a great future with the Jazz.
In the 2021-22 season, Mobley led the Cavaliers in rebounds (8.3) and blocks (1.7) per contest.