The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to open the season on Wednesday. One of the questions surrounding the team is who the starting small forward will be. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has kept mum about it, and when Cavs insider Chris Fedor asked him about it, the 43-year-old coach offered a succinct answer.
Meet the candidates
Unless something drastic happens, the starting lineup will likely consist of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. That leaves the small forward position open, and the coaching staff has several choices.
Some people have already presumed that the spot is Caris LeVert's to lose. The veteran can play off the ball, which gives him an advantage as the Cavs already have elite shot creators in Garland and Mitchell. In addition, he can also serve as a secondary ballhandler in cases of broken plays.
Another candidate is third-year player Isaac Okoro. While the No. 5 pick of the 2020 draft is not as polished offensively as LeVert, he does have the potential to be disruptive on defense, particularly in one-on-one or pick-and-roll situations.
Bickerstaff could also go a different route and give Cedi Osman or Kevin Love a chance. Going with Love would not be that surprising. After all, the Cavs started the 7-foot Lauri Markkanen at the 3 last season.
Whoever the coaching staff decides to start at small forward, Cleveland would still be in a desirable situation because the "losers" will be relegated to a bench role, giving the second unit a strong weapon off the bench.
The Cavs will begin their 2022-23 campaign against the Toronto Raptors on the road. After another away game versus the Chicago Bulls, they will make their home debut this season on Sunday.