The Cleveland Cavaliers made a game-changing move by acquiring guard Donovan Mitchell via trade. Mitchell is one of the league’s young stars and will elevate the Cavs around their core. The rotation has yet to be solidified, though, and there is one Cavs player who could lose their starting job.
Last season was a promising season for the young Cavs, as they made it to the play-in tournament. It was Cleveland’s best season since LeBron James left to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mitchell is a tremendous addition around Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. Garland and Allen both made All-Star appearances, while Mobley had a great rookie campaign.
The Cavs now have an all-around roster filled with rising stars, which makes them a contender in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland has a chance to be true contenders in the Eastern Conference. They found major success during the LeBron era but have done a fantastic job retooling the roster since he left the second time. Adding Mitchell to their core without having to give up any starters was a tremendous move by the front office and makes them a threat in the East. The East is still loaded with great established teams as well as others on the rise, but Cleveland will be amongst them this season.
Four starters are solidified with the aforementioned young stars, but the small forward spot could be in question. With that said, here is the one Cavs player in danger of losing his starting job in 2022-23 NBA training camp.
Although Isaac Okoro is a young defensive wing, it’s possible he could lose his starting spot. Okoro is entering his third season and has yet to solidify his game offensively. On the defensive end, he is able to compete with the best of them and take on the challenge of guarding opposing teams’ top offensive players.
Last season, Okoro averaged 8.8 points along with 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He significantly improved his shooting percentage from his rookie campaign, going from 42.0 percent from the field and 29.0 percent from 3-point range to 48.0 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from 3-land.
It’s not likely that Okoro will lose the starting spot, but Caris LeVert and Cedi Osman could be in the mix. LeVert is a more talented offensive player who averaged 17.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists last season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from behind the arc. If the Cavs decide they need more offense in the starting lineup, LeVert could take Okoro’s spot, though they likely see him more as a sixth-man type who can bolster the second unit.
Meanwhile, Osman is a solid contributor but doesn’t shine in one particular category. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 10.7 points to go along 2.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Osman shot 43.2 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from downtown. He could play the same role off the bench or in the starting lineup, and it is more likely Cleveland will opt to start Okoro or LeVert.
Okoro has a great shot at retaining his starting spot due to his defensive skill set. If he continues to improve his offensive game, there is no question that he will be a starter for the Cavs once again, but he still must watch his back.
Either way, Cavs fans should be excited as they have a great shot at contending in a competitive NBA.