Kendrick Perkins is one of the most notorious NBA pundits with a considerable media presence these days. His takes can range from the improbable, to the absolutely insane. If there’s one thing Perkins is elite at, it’s at riling up every fanbase, for better or for worse. But his opinion of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the Donovan Mitchell trade will make Cavs fans love the former Cavaliers bench-warming center.
According to Perkins, the Cavaliers now boast the best-starting lineup in the NBA, with the addition of Donovan Mitchell supplementing the young core of All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, and future All-Star and 1st team All-Rookie Evan Mobley.
On paper the Cavs have the best starting lineup in the NBA!!! They could potentially have 4 All-Stars next season. Carry the hell on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) September 1, 2022
There is nothing but optimism for Cavaliers fans after the addition of Donovan Mitchell, but Perkins seems to be the biggest fan of the move. One can understand the excitement brought forth by the blockbuster trade, but it remains to be seen how Mitchell will fit alongside the Cavaliers’ young stars.
Mitchell’s defensive issues have been brought to the forefront, most notably during the Jazz’ first-round series loss against the Dallas Mavericks last postseason, but Mobley and Allen will be anchoring the paint should Mitchell continue to struggle on the perimeter. However, the Garland and Mitchell in the backcourt will complement each other well offensively, with Garland acting as an even better version of Mike Conley, Mitchell’s running-mate in Utah.
Nonetheless, being regarded as having the best starting lineup in the league on paper may still be a stretch for this new and improved Cavs squad. The defending champions Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney, should still continue to hum as a well-oiled machine, the Boston Celtics added Malcolm Brogdon to a lineup already featuring Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams, while the Los Angeles Clippers added John Wall to a lineup with the returning Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. On an individual level, the Cavs may have a case, but basketball is a team sport, and it remains to be seen if the addition of Donovan Mitchell takes the Cavaliers to the next level.